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SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

Select the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Although she was faced with many obstacles, Ramona remained ------- in pursuit of her goals.  

A.   banal
B.   innocuous
C.   apathetic
D.   resolute
E.   overt

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully, and then predict what you think the answer should be.  If Ramona pursues her goals despite the obstacles she faces, then how would you describe her?  She is probably persistent and determined.  Using “determined” as our prediction, let’s look at the choices.  

A.   “Arduous” comes from the Latin word “arduus,” meaning high or steep.  The term can literally refer to something that is difficult to climb, but it can also figuratively refer to anything that is difficult to overcome.   Although the obstacles Ramona faces may be arduous, Ramona herself is not.   Eliminate this choice.  

B.   The Latin word “nocuus” means harmful, so you can probably guess what “innocuous” means.  Something “innocuous” is harmless.  This does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.  
 
C.   “Apathetic” comes from two Greek roots: “a,” which means without, and “pathos,” which means “emotion, feeling or suffering.”  Apathy is a lack of feeling or emotion.  This is nearly the opposite of our prediction (someone who is apathetic is probably not determined to achieve a goal), so eliminate this choice.  
 
D.   The word “resolute” means determined.  Here is a helpful way to remember the meaning of this word: when I make New Year’s resolutions, I am resolute that I will achieve these goals.  This choice matches our prediction, so keep it and check the last option.

E.   “Prudent” comes from the Latin word “prudens,” meaning “skilled, sagacious (wise) or cautious.”  This does not fit with our prediction, so eliminate this choice.  

The correct answer is D.

Words used in this SC:
arduous: difficult
innocuous: harmless
apathetic: lacking concern or interest
resolute: determined and steady
prudent: very careful

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