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Sentence Completions

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Today’s SAT question references facts.  Facts are the details that are going to make your SAT essay stand out among a number of essays with unsupported opinions.  When used correctly, numbers and statistics are a wonderful tool that will make you sound informed.  You can quickly memorize a couple of numbers, which will hardly take a moment to write down, and impress your graders.  Which sounds more compelling:

(1) Americans should stop wasting so much food because other people do not have food.
(2) Americans currently throw away $165 billion dollars worth of food each day, a squandering of money and resources that is reprehensible in a world with starving children.

Read this article about the amount of food that Americans waste and realize that without concrete facts and numbers this article would have nothing to say.  This issue would make an excellent current event because it includes society, businesses and individuals, the environment and profit, and specific numbers.

8/23 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. 

Always cover the answer choices before reading the sentence so that you will not be distracted by wrong answer choices.  Read the sentence carefully and predict an answer.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer choice, making sure to look at all of the choices.  This process should be quick, not more than 40 seconds for most questions, and probably less for this particular question.

A judgment made before all the facts are known must be called -------.

This is a straightforward vocabulary-based question; the definition of the blank is “a judgment made before all the facts are known.”  Your keyword is “before.”  If someone makes a judgment before all the facts are known, it has been made too soon.  You might predict a word like “presumptuous” or “untimely.”  Look down at your answer choices to see which word matches your prediction.

(A) harsh
(B) deliberate
(C) sensible
(D) premature
(E) fair

(A) has nothing to do with the timing of the judgment, and you cannot know whether the decision was too harsh or too lenient.  Perhaps the facts that were unknown would have called for an even stricter punishment for a crime.  (B) is the opposite of your prediction.  (C) and (E) cannot be correct because a judgment made without considering the relevant facts will be neither sensible nor fair.  (D) is the only choice left.  Remember that your keyword in the original sentence was “before.”  The Latin prefix pre- actually means “before,” so the word “premature” means “before maturity” or simply, “too soon.”

Words used in this SC:
Harsh: rough, severe, or cruel
Deliberate: intentional, careful, having weighed facts and arguments
Premature: earlier than anticipated, before readiness or maturity


On sat.collegeboard.org, 85% of the responses were correct.

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