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Sentence Completions

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The SAT question for today is about a literary figure who loathes public appearances.  Although she is now an established literary giant, no one asked Emily Dickinson to make public appearances because her talent was unknown until after her death.  Read this information about her life and consider using your knowledge of this poet and one of her poems as one of your five literary examples for the SAT essay.

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 the answer choices so that they do not influence the way you think about the sentence.  Read the sentence carefully and use context clues to predict a word to fill the blank.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer, eliminating any choices that do not match.  Look at each answer choice, even if one of the first answers seems to be correct.

Because she has a great need for ------- , she loathes the public appearances demanded of her as a leading literary figure.

This question tests whether you know the meaning of the word “loathe.”  However, you can still answer this question correctly even if you do not know this word.  You can tell that this woman dislikes public appearances because she finds them demanding.  She would not feel that these appearances were demanding if she enjoyed them.   If she dislikes public appearances, then she appreciates the opposite – private moments.  Predict the word “privacy” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) luxury
(B) privacy
(C) reward
(D) devotion
(E) distraction

(A)  Luxury can be either private or public; it has nothing to do with your prediction.  Eliminate this answer choice.  (B)  This choice matches your prediction exactly.  Nevertheless, you should still quickly check the other answer choices before selecting it.  (C)  This answer is meant to distract you if you are only looking for something good.  Privacy could be a reward for an introvert, but “reward” does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate this choice.  (D) Devotion requires something or someone outside oneself.  It does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate it.  (E)  Distraction does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (B)

Words used in this SC:
Loathes: hates, detests
Luxury: wealth and the comfort it brings
Privacy: seclusion from others, solitude
Reward: something given in return for an action
Devotion: attachment to a cause or person
Distraction: something that catches one’s attention and prevents concentration


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

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