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Sentence Completions

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SAT essay questions prompt you to think critically about the world around you.  They ask general questions that require specific reasoning in order to defend a position.  Is there always another point of view?  Is the world changing for the better?  How should we relate to authorities?  Can ordinary people solve problems affecting their nations?  Should people give up if they are not making progress towards their goals?  Think about these questions as you read this article about a struggle for peace in the Philippines.  What are the major themes in this article that would allow this current event to relate to the questions above?  

7/10 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 answer choices until you have read the sentence carefully and made a prediction for one of the blanks in the sentence.  Start with the easiest blank and match your prediction for it to the corresponding answer choices, eliminating any that do not match.  Then use the same process with the second blank.  Always check all of your answer choices that have not yet been eliminated.

True to her altruistic beliefs, Natalie ------- the ------- attitude of her colleague that a client represented nothing more than a source of income and an opportunity for advancing one’s professional reputation.

This sentence is much easier if you understand the word used to describe Natalie’s beliefs: “altruistic.”  However, even if you do not know what altruistic means, you can still predict answers for both of the blanks.  Look at the first blank.  Natalie did something about the attitude of her colleague.  Notice the phrase used to describe that attitude: “a client represents nothing more than….”  Did you pick up on the negativity?  The phrase “nothing more” suggests that a client could be so much more than the following opinion.  Natalie thinks negatively about her colleague’s opinion.  Look down at the first blank from each of your answer choices.

(A) applauded . . conscientious
(B) condoned . . aggressive
(C) lamented . . mercenary
(D) adopted . . egotistical
(E) belittled . . magnanimous

(A), (B), and (D) can all be eliminated because they are not negative; they show approval for the colleague’s opinion.  Turn your attention to the second blank.  You need a word to describe the colleague’s attitude.  What is the colleague focused on?  Natalie’s colleague only cares about money and personal gain.  You might predict the word “greedy” for the second blank.  Look down at your remaining answer choices.

(C) lamented . . mercenary
(E) belittled . . magnanimous

(C) matches your prediction.  (E) is the opposite of the colleague’s attitude. 

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Altruistic: concerned about others
Applauded:  expressed approval for
Conscientious: careful or thoughtful
Condoned: to overlook an offense
Aggressive: attacking
Lamented: mourned
Mercenary: acting for money or other reward
Adopted: accepted, made one’s own
Egotistical: self-centered
Belittled: disparaged
Magnanimous: generous, noble


On sat.collegeboard.org, 39% of the responses were correct.

For more help with vocabulary, visit 
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