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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.

If you went to the official Question of the Day site, you know that you don't even need to look at the directions above to tell that this is a sentence completion question and that you will need to fill in the blank. The first step in the Knowsys method for attacking these kinds of questions is to always cover up the answers before reading the sentence. It is easy to be distracted by one of the wrong answer choices if you waste time looking at them. So don’t look! The second step is to read the entire sentence carefully:

The archaeologist enjoyed the ------- life she led while gathering artifacts; she never stayed at any one site long enough to get bored.

The third step is to predict the answer. In order to make a prediction, you must draw out any information that the sentence holds about the blank. In this case, you are in luck because this is a vocabulary-based question. Remember that these types of questions often include the definition of the missing word after a comma or semicolon. The blank must convey the meaning that the archaeologist “never stayed at any one site long enough to get bored.” Because the beginning of the sentence already tells you that the archaeologist “enjoyed” her lifestyle, the relevant and new information in the second clause is that she never stays in one place for a long time; you can ignore the part about her not being bored.  You need a word that means “moves often,” so words such as “roaming,” “traveling,” or “wandering” might come to mind.  Any word that is the opposite of “sedentary” or “fixed in one location” will work as a prediction.

After predicting what the answer will be, you must match your prediction to one of the actual answer choices.

(A) stealthy
(B) nomadic
(C) clamorous
(D) indiscreet
(E) rustic

Eliminate answers that do not match your prediction. You can eliminate (A) because it is too specific.  One can move stealthily, but you want to show that the archaeologist moved frequently, and there is no indication in the original sentence as to whether she was stealthy or obvious about her frequent moves.  (B) matches perfectly; nomads are people who relocate repeatedly because they do not have a permanent home. Although this answer fits your prediction, make sure to look at all of the answer choices before making your selection. (C) has nothing to do with movement, nor does (D). (E) might distract some students because an archaeologist often works in rustic settings, but it definitely does not match your prediction of “moves often.”

The correct choice is (B).

Words tested in this SC:
Stealthy: characterized by attempts at secrecy, furtive, cautious
Nomadic: moving from place to place
Clamorous: loud, seeking attention
Indiscreet: lacking good judgment
Rustic: rural and often simple


On sat.collegeboard.org, 77% of responses were correct.


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