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Sentence Completions

Critical Reading: 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 up your answer choices so that you can approach the sentence with an open mind.  Read the sentence carefully, using context clues to predict what belongs in the blank.  Then you can match your prediction to the correct answer and eliminate any answer choices that do not match.  Be sure to look at all 5 answer choices even if the first one seems to match.

Paradoxically, this successful entrepreneur is sometimes ------- and at other times reclusive.

The word “paradoxically” lets you know that this sentence will contain a contrast.  You don’t really have to know what the word entrepreneur means.  Sometimes this person is one thing and sometimes he is reclusive.  What is the opposite of reclusive?  I like to connect the word “recluse” with the word “hermit;” a recluse shuts himself or herself out of society.  Predict a word such as “outgoing” to fill the blank and look down at your answer choices. 

(A) autonomous
(B) dispassionate
(C) solitary
(D) unthinking
(E) gregarious

(A) The Latin root “auto” means self, so this answer choice will not have anything to do with interacting with others.  Eliminate it.  (B)  Passion does not really have anything to do with being alone or being with others.  You can be passionate in either situation.  Eliminate it.  (C) The Latin root “sol” can mean sun, but it can also mean alone, as in solitary.  This is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.  (D)  This answer choice is just in case you read the sentence too quickly and thought that you were looking for the opposite of a successful entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurs think a lot to be successful, right?  So maybe the opposite would be unthinking.  Before you start trying to justify the answer, notice that it does not match your prediction and eliminate it.  (E)  The Latin root “greg” means group.  Participating in a group would be evidence of outgoing behavior, and it is the opposite of being reclusive.  This perfectly matches your prediction.

Words used in this SC:
Paradoxically: in a self-contradicting manner
Entrepreneur: someone who organizes or starts a business
Reclusive: withdrawn, preferring isolation
Autonomous: self-governing
Dispassionate: not showing or feeling emotion
Solitary: living alone
Unthinking: careless
Gregarious: outgoing and sociable


On sat.collegeboard.org, 65% of the responses were correct.

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