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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. 

Sentence completion questions will test your logic and vocabulary.  The best way to make sure that you are not prejudiced in how you think about the question is to avoid looking at the answer choices.  Most of them are wrong, so do not look at a single answer choice until you have read the sentence carefully and made a prediction to fill the blank.  When there are two blanks, focus on the easy blank first and eliminate any answer choices that do match your prediction.  Then move on to the second blank.

Dahntay’s ------- over winning the prestigious prize was ------- only by the fact that his father was unable to attend the ceremony.

When you have two blanks, it is best to focus on what you know.  You know that Dahntay won a prize, but his father was unable to attend the ceremony in which the prize was awarded.  Start with the first blank because it will help you with the second.  When someone wins a prize, what kind of reaction does that person have?  You probably thought of a word such as “happiness” or “joy.”  At the very least, you know that this blank must be positive.  Now that you have your prediction, look at your answer choices for the first blank.

(A) incredulity . . misconstrued
(B) ebullience . . tempered
(C) bashfulness . . extended
(D) satisfaction . . confirmed
(E) relief . . conveyed

The more specific your prediction, the more choices you can eliminate.  If you predicted “happiness,” you can eliminate (A) because it does not match.  Skip (B) if you are not sure what it means.  (C) does not match your prediction.  (D) matches.  (E) is positive, but relief is an emotion that occurs when a the threat of a negative occurrence is removed, not when something good happens, so it does not match “happiness.”  You have eliminated three answer choices and only two remain.

Look back at the second blank now.  Dahntay was happy about his prize, but then what happened to that happiness when he realized his father could not be at the ceremony?  “Lessened” or “reduced” would be good predictions for this blank.  Look at the second part of the answer choices that remain.

(B) ebullience…tempered
(D) satisfaction…confirmed

Skip (B) if you do not know what it means.  (D) is incorrect because you have two contrasting feelings.  Dahntay feels good that he won, but bad that his father cannot attend the ceremony.  It does not make sense to say that a positive feeling is “confirmed” only by something negative.  Even if you do not know the definition of the terms in choice (B), all of the other choices have been eliminated.  Normally you would want to pick what you know over what you do not know, but this case is an exception because you were able to confidently eliminate all of the other choices.

The correct answer is (B).

Words tested in this SC:

Prestigious: honored, important
Incredulity: unwillingness to believe, doubt
Ebullience: high spirits, exuberance
Bashfulness: shyness, easily embarrassed
Satisfaction:  contentment
Relief: emotion that comes with the removal of pain
Misconstrued: taken in the wrong sense, misinterpreted
Tempered: 1) having a temper of a certain character or 2) made less intense
Extended: stretched out, prolonged
Confirmed: made certain, settled
Conveyed: 1) communicated, 2) transported, 3) transmitted


On sat.collegeboard.org, 65% of the responses were correct.

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