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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 the answer choices so that you can read the sentence carefully without any distractions.  Then make a prediction for the blank that seems easier.  Check that prediction against your answer choices.  Use the same process for the other blank.  Make sure that you have examined each answer choice, even if you find one of your predictions among the answer choices.

Observing the newspaper’s tradition of ------- attention to accuracy, the reporter ------- every statement made by her informant.

Start with the first blank if it seems easier than the second blank.  A newspaper is intended to accurately report the news, so you could predict that it has a tradition of “careful” attention to accuracy.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) scrupulous . . verified
(B) lax . . challenged
(C) sporadic . . corroborated
(D) systematic . . bungled
(E) inordinate . . exaggerated

(A) matches your prediction.  Keep it.  (B) is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.  (C) does not match your prediction.  Eliminate it.  (D) matches your prediction.  (E) might have something to do with taking care.  If you are not sure, keep it.

Look now at the second blank.  The reporter is doing something to every statement that her informant says.  If she wants to be sure that her information is accurate, she will check each statement against the known facts.  Use the word “checked” as your prediction, and look down at the answer choices that remain.

(A) scrupulous . . verified
(D) systematic . . bungled
(E) inordinate . . exaggerated

(A) matches your prediction.  (D) and (E) do not match your prediction and would not mean that the reporter observed a tradition of careful attention to accuracy.

The correct answer is (A).

Words used in this SC:
Scrupulous: exact and careful, painstaking
Verified: confirmed
Lax: lenient
Challenged: questioned
Sporadic: rare or scattered
Corroborated: confirmed
Systematic: planned and ordered
Bungled: did something poorly
Inordinate: excessive or extreme
Exaggerated: overstated


On sat.collegeboard.org, 70% of the responses were correct.

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