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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.


When you take the SAT, remember to cover the answer choices to each sentence completion question. Looking at them will cost you time and possibly confuse you. The most common problem students have is that they look at the answer choices before reading carefully, see a word they know, and convince themselves that it must be the right answer by creating a scenario where that word could work in the context of the sentence. Instead, let the clues in the sentence point you toward the right answer.

Her vague sense of ------ grew into anxiety and then alarm when she discovered that her initial doubts about the success of the undertaking were well-founded. 

The clues here are easy to find: you need something that can grow into anxiety and alarm, a feeling that something bad is coming. Unease, concern, or misgiving would work as a prediction. Remember that you do not need to generate a word for each blank. In this case, if a synonym for worry did not come to mind quickly, you would simply use "a feeling that something bad is coming" as your prediction and check that against each answer choice.


A) foreboding
Does foreboding mean unease or "a feeling that something bad is coming?" In fact, that is exactly what it means. A is probably the answer, but check the other options before you commit to it.

B) remorse
Does remorse mean unease or "a feeling that something bad is coming?" No, it actually means a feeling that something bad has already happened. A student could easily talk himself or herself into believing this is the right answer; maybe the woman in the sentence did something she regretted which then led to her doubts about the success of the undertaking... but this is complicated and not suggested in the sentence. Eliminate B.

C) anticipation
Does anticipation mean unease or "a feeling that something bad is coming?" Actually, it means the opposite: a feeling that something good is coming or the sense of looking forward to something. Eliminate C.

D) intrigue
Does intrigue mean unease or "a feeling that something bad is coming?" No, it means a complicated plot or conspiracy. It is possible that the woman in the sentence feels anxiety and alarm because something went wrong with an intrigue, but since this is not implied in the sentence, eliminate D.

E) complacency
Does complacency mean unease or "a feeling that something bad is coming?" It actually means a feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble. Clearly E does not fit in the sentence. Eliminate it.

The answer is A.



On sat.collegeboard.org, 49% of responses were correct.


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