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Sentence Completions

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This is an exciting time of year as people take the time to vote on the officials to represent them on both local and national levels.  Have you ever thought about what a massive undertaking it is to organize the voting privileges of so many people?  How much technology is involved in the process?  What do the candidates do as they wait for the results of the election?  Think about these questions as you read this article, then think about how you might relate this current event to an SAT essay prompt through the use of broad themes.

11/6 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. 

Never look at the answer choices to sentence completion questions before reading the sentence carefully and making a prediction to fill the blank.  Once you have a prediction, you can match the prediction to the correct answer choice and eliminate any answer choices that do not match.  Be sure to look at all of the answer choices even if your prediction matches one of the first ones.

The radical ideas in Henderson's speech were ------- to those assembled, inciting many in the crowd to anger and some to open rebellion.

There are two types of sentence completion questions: vocabulary and logic.  This one is a vocabulary question; it tells you the definition of the word in the blank after the comma.  You know that the speech incited many people to anger and open rebellion.  How would you describe how the crowd viewed the ideas in the speech?  You can use the general prediction “causing anger and rebellion” as your prediction if a single word does not come to mind, or you could pick more specific words such as “angering” or “instigating.”  Look down at your answer choices and see which ones match your prediction.

(A) exhilarating
(B) sympathetic
(C) gratifying
(D) inflammatory
(E) tiresome

(A) Does exhilarating mean angering? No.  Eliminate it.  (B) Does sympathetic mean angering?  No.  Eliminate it.  (C) Does gratifying mean angering?  No.  Eliminate it.  (D) Does inflammatory mean angering?  Yes.  If you don’t know, you still keep the word as a choice.  (E) Does tiresome mean angering?  No. Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Exhilarating: thrilling
Sympathetic:  compassionate or empathetic
Gratifying: pleasing
Inflammatory: provoking or arousing anger
Tiresome: boring or annoying


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

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