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Least Acceptable Questions


This lesson is about a particular question type that you're going to see on the test, and that is the least acceptable question or sometimes not acceptable question. These are the questions that ask you to pick an answer choice as least acceptable, or not acceptable. Go figure. Let's go ahead and just jump right in and do a test example to take a look at what I'm talking about here.

So here is our sentence from the passage. Madonna is considered to be one of the most influential musical icons of the 20th century. However, whether she has as much of an impact on the 21st century remains to be seen. Which of the following choices would be least acceptable?

And now, as a general rule of thumb, you always want to circle, star, or draw arrows to, etc. Any time you see a least or a not, so you don't forget about it as you're working through the question. So let's talk about a strategy for dealing with a least acceptable question type. And this strategy is called which one of these is the least like the others.

Now maybe you watched Sesame Street as a kid and you solved the game where they would play with pictures and you had to pick which one of the pictures was least like the others. And I think this is a great process of elimination strategy that you can use for these types of questions. Because if two answers choices are dissimilar, are similar or are synonyms, or three answer choices even then none of them can be the correct answer.

We're trying to find the one that's most different. So, see if you can find two choices that are very similar or that are synonyms. This means that the answer can't be one of these because there would be no way to decide which one of those should be the correct answer it. It must mean that they are both wrong. So added the remaining two choices then once you picked that pair as most similar, find the one that is most similar to that pair.

And then you have this group of three answer choices that are either all acceptable or not acceptable depending on the question and one that's different. And that one is going to be most likely your answer. So this strategy can help you sort of sort through the process of elimination in case you are, don't see the answer right away. But on these questions, because you have to weigh all your answer choices, you do have to go through and test all of them.

So let's go ahead and test this strategy out on our test question. So we're looking for which of the following is least acceptable, and this is a transition question, and we're just figuring out whether the tra, the least acceptable transition should be however or any of these. So which one of these is most similar to however? Now, I would say but, that will be my answer.

But and however often act in similar ways in the sentence, so this is our pair. This is our pair of things that are similar. Now, what is the most similar thing out of although, and moreover, to however and but. Well, I would say although. You might have said although at first, which is fine too.

We're just trying to find our group of three. So we have however, but, and although. And moreover, that is very different. Moreover, it means in addition. Not, like however, not were changing. Were introducing an alternative when we say however, but, or although.

Moreover means an addition, so were adding onto something. So that means in this case, it's probably gonna be moreover, moreover, but we always want to read that into our sentence to be sure. Madonna is considered to be one of the most influential musical icons of the 20th century. Moreover, whether she has much of an impact on the 21st century remains to be seen.

Yeah, that doesn't make sense. The sentence is not intending to say moreover there, it's intending to question whether or not she has much of an impact on the 21st century. So, our answer, our least acceptable answer would be D, moreover. So we wanna be careful, because the acceptableness of an answer choice may have to do with content or with grammar.

In that case, it was kind of a, it was a transition issue, so somewhere between grammar and style. But we don't necessarily know whether it has to do with content or with grammar. So when you're picking answer choices that are similar to each other, make sure you're not just looking at the content. Make sure you're looking at which act grammatically similar to one or the other.

So, let's take a look at the same one. So this is the same exact sentence but we have different alternatives. In this case, it says which one's not acceptable. And so, if it says not acceptable that's a big clue. That means that there's probably something that is seriously grammatically wrong with this sentence.

So not is a big clue that perhaps we're looking at grammar, not just style. As opposed to saying, least, which, if we're talking about style or we're talking about adding descriptions, you know, least would be a better choice because it would be hard to say which one would be not acceptable if you're picking a bunch of descriptions of flowers, for example. But, we can definitely say that something should be grammatically wrong.

So, let's go ahead and take a look at this. So, we have, however, whether she has as much of an impact on the 21st century remains to be seen. We know that's correct. But she's still performing, whether she has much of an impact on the 21st century remains to be seen.

So this creates kind of a comma splice there. That's not exactly what we wanna do in this sentence. She is still performing. That's a complete sentence. Whether she has much of an impact in the 21st century remains to be seen. That's a complete sentence.

So this creates a grammatical error. And so that means it's not acceptable. And so we'd have to pick not acceptable in this case. So if it says not acceptable, big clue that there's something seriously grammatically wrong that you're looking for. Least acceptable tends to have more to do with style though, it could have something to do with grammar as well too.

But if you're in doubt, play this, which one of these is least like the other game. Find the answer choices that are the most similar, eliminate them, find the one that is most similar to that pair, eliminate that one and really carefully evaluate the one that you have left because it's probably going to be the answer.

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