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Sentence Completions

Critical Reading: Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. 

Remember to stop and cover the answers before you read the sentence. Two-blank sentences have twice as many wrong words, so the answer choices are even more likely to cost you time. Read the sentence and predict the answer instead. 
The play, which features ------- mix of comedy, pathos, and music, was correctly described by one honest critic as a -------.

The catch is, predicting is not always easy. The hardest thing about this sentence is that the two blanks are connected to each other--predicting one would be easier if we knew more about the other. That means that coming up with a perfect prediction is impossible. Instead, think about how the two relate to generate a general prediction. Your clue is the phrase "correctly described." Whatever the two words are, they need to have the same charge and related meanings. Look at the answer choices:

(A) a seamless . . debacle
(B) an ungainly . . hodgepodge
(C) an unfortunate . . masterpiece
(D) an inappropriate . . success
(E) a harmonious . . failure

All but one of the answer choices are opposites. A harmonious play would not be a failure, an inappropriate blend of parts would not be a success, an unfortunate mix would not be a masterpiece, and a seamless work would not be a debacle. By simply looking for opposites, you can determine that the correct answer is B. 

The play, which features an ungainly mix of comedy, pathos, and music, was correctly described by one honest critic as a hodgepodge.

Words Tested in this SC:
Seamless: Continuous or uniform
Debacle: A complete collapse or failure
Ungainly: Awkward and clumsy
Hodgepodge: A mix of many different parts; a jumble
Unfortunate: Unfavorable or regrettable
Masterpiece: A person's greatest piece of work or art
Inappropriate: Not proper or suitable
Success: The attainment of wealth, position, or honor
Harmonious: Forming a pleasant whole from different parts
Failure: Not completing something due, expected, or required



53% of responses on sat.collegeboard.org were correct. 

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