Blog

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

What do you think about when you look to the sky?  How often do you look up and see the stars?  Astronomers around the world watch for changes in the skies, but it seems that only one Texan was able to capture on video a recent event on Jupiter.  Read the article here and think about how you could use this current event as an excellent example on an SAT essay relating to the themes of luck, perseverance, technology, knowledge, planning, or even how individuals are defined.


9/3 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. 

As always, cover your answers before you read the sentence.  This sentence has two blanks, which means that you should focus on one blank, predict an answer for that blank, and then eliminate any answer choices that do not match your prediction.  Next you will move on to the second blank and use the exact same process.  Remember to look at all the answer choices even if one answer matches your prediction exactly.

He maintains that ethnic and cultural ------- are generalizations no more related to what an individual is actually like than are the ------- representations of constellations to the actual nature of a star.

After you have read the sentence, isolate the important information pertaining to a single blank.  Look at the first blank.  There is a definition right in the sentence: “________ are generalizations.”  What could you call generalizations about ethnic and cultural groups?  The word “stereotypes” comes to mind.  Use that word as your prediction and look down at your answer choices to see which answer choice matches your prediction.

(A) traditions . . chemical
(B) stereotypes . . pictorial
(C) details . . figurative
(D) heritages . . prophetic
(E) specimens . . graphic

It may help to ask yourself whether the word fits the definition in the sentence.  Is a tradition a generalization? No. Is a stereotype a generalization? Yes.  Is a detail a generalization? No.  Is a detail a generalization? No.  Is a heritage a generalization? No.  Is a specimen a generalization? No.  (A specimen cannot be a generalization because it is an actual part of the group being studied, even though the results from studying a specimen can be generalized.)  Using this method you keep yourself from trying to justify a wrong answer.

Although you were able to predict the exact answer and eliminate all the other answer choices just by looking at one blank, this will not typically happen.  Continue with this problem to practice the Knowsys Strategy for Sentence Completions.

The second blank contrasts "_____ representations of constellations to the actual nature of a star."  The key word here is representations.  A representation is usually an imitation, and if something is not “actual” it must be a "copy" of some kind.  How do humans try to represent constellations? Usually people use a visual means such as drawings or photographs.  Use the word "visual" as your prediction and look down at your remaining answer choice.

(B)  stereotypes . . pictorial.

Your prediction matches the answer choice.

The correct answer choice is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Tradition: part of a culture passed down from person to person
Stereotype: an oversimplified conception
Detail: something small
Heritage: something received through descent from the previous generation
Specimen: an individual sample representing a group
Chemical: substance produced through a chemical process
Pictorial: expressed in pictures
Figurative: metaphorical, emblematic, or representing (as in drawing and sculpture)
Prophetic: predicting the future or speaking by divine inspiration
Graphic: pictorial or vivid


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

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