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 answers and carefully read the sentence.  When a sentence completion question has two blanks, you will choose the blank that seems easier, predict a word to fill that blank, and then match that prediction to the answer choices.  Eliminate any choices that do not match.  Then go back to the other blank and follow the same process.  The only difference is that you do not need to look at any of the answer choices that have already been eliminated.  Remember to look at all the answer choices that have not been eliminated, even if you make a prediction that perfectly matches one choice.

A dictatorship ------- its citizens to be docile and finds it expedient to make outcasts of those who do not ------- .

This sentence completion question is about a dictatorship.  The second blank may be a little easier to think about:  What kind of people would be outcasts in a dictatorship?  Anyone who does not obey the dictatorship!  Use “obey” as your prediction and look down at the second part of all of your answer choices.

(A) forces . . rebel
(B) expects . . disobey
(C) requires . . conform
(D) allows . . withdraw
(E) forbids . . agree

(A) and (B) are the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate them.  (C) matches your prediction.  (D) does not directly concern obedience, so you can eliminate it.  (E) is not a perfect match, but you can hang onto any choices that you are not sure about.

Now look at the first blank.  In a dictatorship, do citizens have any kind of choice?  No.  Even if you are not sure about the meaning of the word “docile,” you can eliminate anything that is not a forceful word for this blank.  Think about how the word “docile” relates to your second blank.  If the dictatorship is making outcasts of those who do not obey, it makes sense to say that they are forcing people to obey.  It is logical to predict that the word “docile” has something to do with obeying authority.  A good prediction for the blank would be “makes” or “forces.”

Note: Your prediction exactly matches (A), but you already eliminated (A)!  Look for synonyms in the remaining answer choices that have not yet been eliminated.

(C) requires . . conform
(E) forbids . . agree

(C) matches your prediction.  (E) is the opposite of your prediction.

The correct answer choice is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Dictatorship: a government that holds absolute power and control
Docile: obedient or easily taught (Knowsys vocabulary word!)
Expedient: easy, quick, or convenient
Rebel: resist authority
Conform: act according to set rules or act like others
Withdraw: pull back or take back
Forbids: does not allow, prohibits


On sat.collegeboard.org, 67% of the responses were correct.

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