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Sentence Completions

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King Arthur is a favorite legend, but many scholars believe that he may have actually been a historical figure. Some scholars believe that the legends that we have are idealized accounts of a single king, while others believe that the King Arthur we read about is an amalgam of several different kings. You can learn more about King Arthur here. He would make a great "Excellent Example" for your essay.

6/3 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 that the answer choices on most SAT questions are there to confuse you. Out of the five listed, four of them are wrong! Use the Knowsys Method: look at the sentence, make a prediction without reading the answer choices, and then compare the answer choices to your prediction to find the one that matches most closely.

To some scholars of medieval Britain, the legendary King Arthur is a genuine historical figure, while to others he and his Round Table are nothing more than ------- of myth and romance.


As always, our first step is to read the sentence carefully and then make a prediction. The passage starts out by saying that "To some scholars of medieval Britain, the legendary King Arthur is a genuine historical figure." The next word in the sentence is very important to us because it is the key to making our prediction. "While" implies that the sentence is about to change direction. "While to others he and his Round Table are nothing more than _______ of myth and romance." Since some people believe he is a "genuine historical figure, while . . . " we predict that "to the others" he and his round table are not real. They are "characters" or "fictional creations." Now we look at the answers below to see which one matches our prediction.

(A) harbingers
(B) trifles
(C) spoilers
(D) figments
(E) inventors

(A) doesn't really match our prediction at all. It has a fairly strong negative charge and the word we are looking for is pretty much neutral. (B) doesn't fit either. (C) is negatively charged just like (A) and that doesn't fit. (D) fits our prediction well (a "figment" of your imagination is a fictional creation). (E) is neutral in charge, but it doesn't match our prediction at all. As always, we choose the answer that matches our prediction. Note that even if you weren't sure what all of the words mean, you can still eliminate the ones that "sound wrong" or have the wrong charge. By predicting we take control of the problem and ensure that we won't talk ourselves into the wrong answer.

The correct answer is (D).

Words Tested in this SC:
harbinger:  A person or thing that foreshadows or foretells the coming of someone or something
trifle: An insignificant amount
spoiler: documentreview or comment that discloses the ending or some key surprise, or twist in a story
figment: fabricationfantasyinvention; something fictitious
inventor: One who invents, either as a hobby or as an occupation

On sat.collegeboard.com 69% of the responses were correct.
Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.