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Sentence Completions

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If, like many students, you have tests and projects standing between you and a winter break, don’t stress out!  Too much stress can negatively impact your efforts to study.  Take a look at this list of tips to clear your mind.

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. 

Do not look at the answers until you have read the sentence carefully and predicted a word to fill the blank.  Once you have a prediction, match it to the correct answer and use it to quickly eliminate any answers that do not match.  Look at all of the answer choices, even if the first one seems to fit.

The party guests were enthralled by the host's ------- anecdotes, which were full of engaging and provocative details.

There are two types of sentence completion questions: vocab-based and logic-based.  You know that this one is a straightforward vocabulary question because the definition of the omitted word is in the sentence.  Your task is to find a word that means “full of engaging and provocative details.”  Predict a word such as “interesting” and look down at the answer choices.

(A) piquant
(B) obtrusive
(C) insipid
(D) discursive
(E) forthright

(A) Does piquant mean interesting?  If you do not know anything about the word, keep it.  (B) Does obtrusive mean interesting?  No, but obtrusive sounds like a negative word.  Eliminate it if you think you may have heard it in a negative context before.  Remember, the guests were enthralled by the stories – the answer must be positive!  (C) This word also seems negative, but you are looking for a positive word.  This word is actually the opposite of your prediction.  (D) Discursive sounds kind of like the words discourse or discuss.  This probably has something to do with speech, but it doesn’t sound particularly good, so go ahead and eliminate it.  (E) You can be “forthright” without being interesting, so eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (A).

Words used in this SC:
Enthralled: charmed or captivated
Anecdotes: short stories, often humorous
Piquant: engaging, stimulating, interesting
Obtrusive: protruding, noticeable in a displeasing way
Insipid: flavorless, boring
Discursive: rambling
Forthright: straightforward, direct


On sat.collegeboard.org, 52% of the responses were correct.

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