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Sentence Completions

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Scientific hoaxes are not new. This top ten list includes frauds as early as 1726 and as recent as 2005! While there is not enough information on any of these examples to include them in an essay, a little bit more research could easily land you with a great selection of Excellent Examples. 

4/25 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.

Always read the sentence and make a prediction before looking at the answer choices. Simply glancing at the sentence is not enough; you must think of a word or idea that would fill the blank. Then, matching that word with the answer choices is fast and easy.

Although the scientist claimed to have made a major breakthrough in his research, the evidence he offered as proof of his assertion was ------ at best.

Clearly, the scientist wants others to believe that he has discovered something new and amazing. In order for them to believe him, he must present solid proof of his breakthrough. Without evidence to support his claim, no intellectual would believe the scientist in this sentence. The clue to look for in the sentence is the word "Although" because it indicates an opposite. Since we've established that the scientist is making a claim that needs evidence to support it, the opposite would be a lack of support or weak evidence. Lacking, shoddy, or meager might work.



Now look at the answer choices:

A) conclusive

B) indubitable

C) paltry

D) copious

E) extensive

Ask for each word, does conclusive mean shoddy? Does indubitable mean lacking or meager? Both words, in fact, mean that something is clear and decisive. Eliminate them since they are opposites of your prediction. Copious and extensive are also synonyms, meaning abundant and widespread, respectively. Both would indicate that the scientist had plenty of evidence to support his claim, so eliminate them as well. In fact, eliminating synonyms is a great strategy to limit the number of answer choices. When two words are as similar in meaning as conclusive and indubitable, for example, no sentence could clearly indicate that one is right and the other wrong. Since there can only be one correct answer, both synonyms must be wrong. The answer is C.

Words tested in this SC:
Conclusive: Proving an end to something
Indubitably: Clearly true; providing no possibility of doubt
Paltry: Meager, worthless, trifling; trashy, of little value
Copious: Profuse, abundant
Extensive: Widespread


On sat.collegeboard.com, 54% of responses were correct


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