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Sentence Completions

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Your SAT essay should include one current event as an example to show that you are well informed about the world.  Look for broad themes in current events, things like safety, science, accountability, justice, authority, and facing disaster.  One current event that connects to all of the things just listed is the reaction of an Italian court to an earthquake.  The court jailed scientists for not warning people of impending danger.  Read this article and think about all the ways that it could relate to previous SAT essay prompts.  Write down and memorize any facts you would need to use this as an excellent example for your SAT essay.

10/25 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. 

Always cover your answers before you read the sentence so that they do not prejudice your thought.  Read the sentence carefully.  If there are two blanks, predict an answer to the one that seems easier to you.  Eliminate any answers that do not match your prediction.  Then use the same process with the other blank.  Always consider all of your choices, even if your prediction matches one choice exactly.

Scientists are studying the birth and growth of thunderstorms to discover what causes the difference between showers that enable crops to ------- and ------- storms that cause floods and erosions.

Look at the first blank.  Rain showers “enable” crops to do something.  What do crops do when they get a sufficient amount of water?  They grow!  Use the word “grow” as your prediction and look down at your answer choices.

(A) flourish . . violent
(B) wither . . damaging
(C) grow . . harmless
(D) parch . . severe
(E) multiply . . essential

(A) matches your prediction.  Something that is flourishing is growing.  (B) is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.  (C) is exactly the word you predicted, but always check all of the answer choices.  Remember that many words have synonyms.  Your prediction is intended to eliminate words that do not match; it is not always the correct answer.  (D) does not match your prediction.  It does not make sense that showers would parch crops.  Eliminate this answer choice.  (E) is connected to the idea of growth, so do not eliminate it just yet.

Now look at your second blank.  You need a word to describe the storms that cause floods and erosions.  Both of the results of these storms are negative and even dangerous.  Do not spend too much time thinking of the perfect word; you can just predict the word “bad” when you know that the answer must be negative.  Look down at the choices that you have not yet eliminated.

(A) flourish . . violent
(C) grow . . harmless
(E) multiply . . essential

Only one of your answer choices is negative.  (A) is negative, (C) is neutral, and (E) is positive.

The correct answer is (A).

Words used in this SC:
Flourish: to thrive or grow well
Wither: to shrivel up
Parch: to dry out or scorch
Severe: very bad or intense
Essential: necessary


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% of the responses were correct.

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