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Sentence Completions

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We hope that you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  Labor and jobs are going to be huge issues in the upcoming presidential elections.  Today’s SAT question concerns debating politicians.  If you have never watched a presidential debate, then this is a good year to start!  Anything that is mentioned during the debates will make a great current event for your SAT essay, and referencing the polls taken before and after the debates is one way to talk about current events without advertising your own personal political preferences.  Go here for a schedule of the debates.  Don’t forget that the format and style of the debates can also constitute a current event.  This article will inform you about one woman involved in the debates.

9/4 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. 

Your first step is to cover your answers so that you will not be distracted by wrong answer choices.  Next, read the sentence carefully so that you can find context clues to make a prediction about what goes in the blank.  Make your prediction and then compare your prediction to the answer choices.  Be sure to look at all of the answer choices, eliminating any that do not match your prediction.

Since the two legislators had a long history of major disagreements, the senator considered his colleague’s enthusiastic assurances that they would be in agreement on a forthcoming piece of legislation -------.

This sentence tells you that two men have had a long history of disagreement, but that one man thinks that they will agree in the future.  If you were the second man, what would you think?  No way!  That is overly optimistic and unbelievable.  You would find the assurances “unlikely,” “doubtful,” or even “dubious” if you have been studying your Knowsys SAT words.  Use a word such as “dubious” as your prediction and look down at your answer choices.  Ask yourself whether each choice matches your prediction.  If not, eliminate it!

(A) fatuous
(B) precious
(C) sagacious
(D) meritorious
(E) ignoble

(A) sounds like a negative word, and your prediction is negative, so even though you might not know the meaning you should keep it as an option.  (B) sounds positive and these men do not agree, so eliminate it.  (C) might be a tricky word for you.  Does it sound positive or negative?  If you are not sure, keep it.  (D) meritorious is the opposite of what you want, because you predicted that the assurances were without merit. (E) sounds negative, but look at the word “noble”  There are no clues that the colleague is being “not noble,” or that he is lying about his predictions.  (E) is too negative so it can be eliminated.  Now, remember that you have earned the right to guess on a question if you have eliminated at least two choices.  That does not mean that you should always guess if you eliminate two choices, but take a guess now because this is a practice question.

The correct answer is (A).

Words tested in this SC:
Fatuous: foolish, silly, unreal, illusory
Precious: of great value
Sagacious: wise, shrewd
Meritorious: deserving praise
Ignoble: not honorable


On sat.collegeboard.org, 45% of the responses were correct.

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