Blog

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Have you ever wondered where mammals came from? This interactive page from the Smithsonian displays some fascinating information about how mammals evolved alongside dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. 

4/22 Sentence Completions

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

Whenever you see a sentence completions question, the first thing you should do is put your hand on top of the answer choices before you read them. Next, read the sentence and check for clues about the missing words. Make a prediction, then look at the answer choices to see which ones match your prediction.

Ms. Fergusson's main criticism of the artist's rendering of the ancient mammal's physical appearance is that, unsupported by even a ------ of fossil evidence, the image is bound to be ------. 

The clues here are the words "unsupported" and "even." Together, they convey that there was no evidence at all, so the first blank is a word that means "a tiny bit." For example, "fragment," "speck," or "iota" could be your prediction.



Look at the answer choices to rule out options that don't match this prediction.

A) modicum . . speculative

B) particle . . supplemented

C) perusal . . substantiated

D) fabrication . . obsolete

E) recapitulation . . exhausted

Retain A and B as possibilities. C, D, and E all include first words that have nothing to do with your prediction, so eliminate them. Look at the sentence again to determine the correct answer.

Ms. Fergusson's main criticism of the artist's rendering of the ancient mammal's physical appearance is that, unsupported by even a modicum or particle of fossil evidence, the image is bound to be ------. 

There are only two choices left, speculative and supplemented. Since there is no fossil evidence, what would supplement the artist's imagination? That does not make sense. Eliminate B. Instead, the image is speculative, meaning that the artist imagined what the creature may have looked like.

Ms. Fergusson's main criticism of the artist's rendering of the ancient mammal's physical appearance is that, unsupported by even a modicum of fossil evidence, the image is bound to be speculative

Words tested in this question
Modicum: A small, modest, or trifling amount
Speculative: Based on a guess or unfounded opinion
Particle: Something with very small size; a fragment
Supplement: Something added, especially to make up for a deficiency
Perusal: The act of perusing or studying something carefully
Substantiate: To verify something by supplying evidence
Fabrication: Something fabricated; a falsehood or lie
Obsolete: No longer in use; disused or neglected
Recapitulation: A brief recitement or enumeration of the major points in a narrative, article, or book.
Exhaust: To draw out or let out the contents of something until it is empty

Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.