Blog

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. 

Cover up your answer choices so that they will not prejudice your mind as you read the sentence carefully.  The Knowsys method requires you to predict an answer to fill in the blank, before matching that prediction to the correct answer choice.  Remember that you should always look at all the answer choices before moving on to the next question.

Professor Chen believes that the universal character of art refutes the prevailing notion that art is a ------- of civilization, a cultural frill, a social veneer.

This sentence uses difficult language, but you can make it less intimidating by putting it into your own words.  You might think, “This guy believes that because art is worldwide, it can’t be like everyone thinks, a blank, a cultural frill, a social veneer.”  Even if you do not understand every word in the first part of the sentence, you can now see that the important part of the sentence is the last two things listed.  “A cultural frill” and “a social veneer” must explain the phrase with the blank, they must have similar meanings.  Frills and veneers are things that are unnecessary, but a lot of people like them because they look fancy.  This will work as a general prediction, but try to think of a specific word with these meanings.  You might predict the word “indulgence,” or even “extravagance.”  Once your prediction is as specific as you can make it, look down at the answer choices.

(A) guarantee
(B) hallmark
(C) record
(D) luxury
(E) depiction

You might not be sure what all of these words mean, but in most cases you should go with what you know.  There is only one answer that matches your prediction.  Take a moment to note just how important it is to have a prediction before looking at these words.  Art could be considered a “guarantee of culture,” a “hallmark of culture,” or any of the other answer choices.  You will only be able to identify the correct answer when you have considered the sentence as a whole and have used the context clues to predict what belongs in the blank.

The correct answer is (D).

Words tested in this SC:

Refutes: proves something to be incorrect
Prevailing: current or common, predominant
Veneer: decorative covering
Hallmark: distinguishing characteristic
Luxury: something desirable but expensive
Depiction: an image of something


On sat.collegeboard.org, 43% of the responses were correct.

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