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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. 

Cover your answer choices before you read the sentence so that they do not distract you.  Then read the sentence carefully, and predict an answer to fill the blank.  Match that prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating any answers that do not match.  Be sure to look at all 5 answer choices before selecting an answer.

Everyone who saw the play agreed that the lead actor’s performance was especially
------- : it was so deeply affecting that it moved many audience members to tears.

There are two types of sentence completion questions: vocab-based and logic-based.  Vocab-based questions include the definition of the word that belongs in the blank, usually after a comma or semi-colon.  This sentence uses a colon, but you should be able to realize that the word in the blank must show how the performance “was so deeply affecting that it moved many audience members to tears.”  You could predict the word “affecting” or the word “moving” for the blank.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) negligible
(B) insipid
(C) poignant
(D) amiable
(E) receptive

Even if you do not know all of the words in your answer choices, eliminate those that are too negative or too positive.  (A) If “negligible” sounds negative to you, eliminate it. The performance was a success if it was moving.  (B) You may realize that “insipid” is also a negative word and can be eliminated.  (C) If this word is unfamiliar, keep it.  (D) Have you ever heard of someone’s smile being described as “amiable?”  If so, eliminate this choice because this performance induces tears.  (E) This word describes the audience, not the performance, so it can be eliminated.  Remember not to guess on an SAT question unless you can eliminate at least two choices.

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Negligible: too small or unimportant to be of concern
Insipid: boring or bland
Poignant: affecting or moving
Amiable: friendly
Receptive: taking in knowledge or ideas


On sat.collegeboard.org, 58% of the responses were correct.

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