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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. 

Never look at the answer choices before reading the sentence; they will only distract you.  Instead, read the sentence carefully.  If there are two blanks, focus on the easier one.  Make a prediction for that blank and eliminate any answer choice that does not match.  Then do the same with the remaining blank.

Budget cuts prompted the town's officials to cancel the annual parade, but the subsequent ------- from residents was so great that the event was -------.

Look at the first blank.  Parades are fun community events, so how would people react to hearing that one is canceled?  They would be disappointed or upset.  Predict a word such as “disappointed” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) amazement . . shortened
(B) support . . altered
(C) disapproval . . eradicated
(D) outcry . . reinstated
(E) negligence . . upgraded

(A) People are usually amazed at something good.  Your prediction is negative.  Eliminate this choice.  (B) This is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate this choice.  (C) This matches your prediction.  Keep it.  (D) Disappointed or upset people raise an outcry, so this matches your prediction.  Keep it.  (E)  If you don’t know this word, think about whether it seems positive or negative.  It is a negative word, so keep it.

Now look at the second blank.  Officials try to keep people happy.  If people are disappointed that an event is canceled, officials are going to try to put it back on the calendar.  Predict a word such as “restored.”  If a single word does not come to mind, you can always just use “put back” as your prediction.  Look at your remaining answer choices.

(C) disapproval . . eradicated
(D) outcry . . reinstated
(E) negligence . . upgraded

Bottom of Form
(C) If you don’t know what this word means, keep it.  However, does eradicate have the same root as erase?  Hint:  it does.  (D) This matches your prediction.  Remember that the Latin prefix “re-“ means again, and the officials want to have the parade again.  (E) Can you upgrade something that does not exist?  No.  The parade was canceled, so this answer does not make sense.  Eliminate it.  If you want to guess an answer, pick what you know over what you do not know.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Annual: happening every year
Subsequent: following
Altered: changed
Eradicated: eliminated, destroyed
Outcry: protest
Reinstated: restored, brought back
Negligence: not using appropriate care or attention


On sat.collegeboard.org, 73% of the responses were correct.

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