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Sentence Completions

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August 14, 1945 marked the end of World War II, the deadliest conflict in human history.  Although Japan’s formal surrender to the Allied Nations would occur later in September, soldiers and civilians took to the street as soon as they heard the announcement of Japan’s surrender.  Do you recognize this iconic image from New York?  It was taken on the 14th, a day that has been termed V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day).  World War II is a vast topic, probably much too general for an essay example.  However, any of the events of World War II, including V-J Day, would make excellent examples.  Think of the joy that people felt as they realized that years of sacrifice had come to an end, but think also of the great cost of finishing the war.  Why did Japan finally surrender?  Learn the facts about V-J Day here.

8/14 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. 

Sentence completion questions are very quick, but you should still approach them using the Knowsys method to make sure that you answer accurately.  Cover the answers so that they do not distract you, and read the entire sentence carefully.  You will be tested on logic as well as vocabulary.  Predict an answer to fill the blank and then match your prediction to the correct answer choice.  Eliminate any answers that do match your prediction, but be sure to examine all of the answer choices even if you find an answer that matches before reaching the last choice.

Their conversation was unsettling, for the gravity of their topic contrasted so oddly with the ------- of their tone.

Paraphrase this sentence in your mind so that you are sure that you understand it: Their conversation was strange because the gravity of the topic did not match their tone.  The word “gravity” is not meant to be understood as a scientific term; the word has another meaning.  Think of a grave topic as similar to a weighty issue.  These are serious matters.  Looking back at the context of the sentence, you need a word that contrasts with gravity – something that means the opposite of serious.  If you are not taking something seriously and treating it with importance, you are taking it lightly.  "Levity" or "lightheartedness" would fit in the blank.  Look down at the answer choices now.

(A) uniqueness
(B) rapidity
(C) lightness
(D) precision
(E) reverence

As you read the answer choices, be sure to stick to your prediction because your first thought is usually correct.  (A) is distracting because things that are odd are often unique, but it does not match your prediction.  (B) may seem like a good answer because it can be unsettling to hear rapid speech, but rapidity has nothing to do with importance.  (C) matches your prediction. “Lightness” is like the word “gravity” in that it has more than one meaning.  This word is not meant to imply the opposite of darkness, instead it takes the meaning of frivolity or silliness.  (D) looks like a good choice if you missed the word “contrasted,” because things that are taken seriously are often spoken of with precision, but it does not match your prediction. (E) is the opposite of what you predicted because if you treat something with reverence it is important to you.

The correct answer is (C).

Words tested in this SC:
Gravity: seriousness
Uniqueness: the quality of being one-of-a-kind
Rapidity: quickness
Lightness: frivolity or silliness
Precision: exactness
Reverence: showing awe and respect


On sat.collegeboard.org, 69% of the responses were correct.

For more help with vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!