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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. 

Do not look at the answer choices.  You should be able to read the following sentence carefully and make an educated prediction about what belongs in the blank without being distracted by wrong answer choices.  Make your prediction as specific as possible, using any clues you find in the sentence.  Your prediction could be an exact word, or it may be a general feeling that the answer is positive or negative.  Then you can easily eliminate any words that do not match your prediction.

Although often victims of circumstance, the heroines of Shakespearean comedy tend to be ------- women, usually ready with a clever stratagem or verbal ploy for getting out of a difficult situation.

The first thing that you should notice about this question is that it is a logic question.  Note the use of the word “although.”  This word signals that you must find something that means the opposite of “victims of circumstance.”  A victim is someone who suffers from the actions of another person, so the word that you are looking for must show that these heroines are actively doing something good.  If you read the sentence too quickly, you might look for a synonym of “victim” and choose a wrong answer.

The second part of the sentence goes on to explain more about these women.  They are “ready with a clever stratagem or verbal ploy.”  If you need one word to describe this phrase, what could it be?  You might predict the word “skillful” or just use the word “clever” from the sentence.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) imperious
(B) suffering
(C) excitable
(D) resourceful
(E) precocious

There is only one answer that matches your prediction.  (B) is the opposite of your prediction. (A) and (C) have nothing to do with your prediction.  (D) matches perfectly.  (E) could mean “clever,” but it is too specific.  It means cleaver at an early age and the sentence does not indicate anything about the age of Shakespeare’s heroines.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Stratagem: tactic
Ploy: strategy
Imperious: bossy, overbearing
Resourceful: capable or clever
Precocious: characterized by early development


On sat.collegeboard.org, 52% of the responses were correct.

For more help with the reading section of the SAT, visit www.myknowsys.com!