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ACT Reading: Vocabulary

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is a Sentence Completion Question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question is a reading question today.

On the actual ACT exam, you would read the entire passage focusing on the topic, scope, purpose, topic sentences, and conclusion, if any.  Then you would prioritize the questions and answer them  in order of difficulty (answering all the Easy questions before all the Medium questions before all the Hard questions).  

This particular question is a vocabulary question, which should be classified as Easy.  You should answer this question as soon as you get to it.

The question asks you for the meaning of the word "cumbrous" in line 33.  Even if you have never seen this word before, it will be easy for you to go to the sentence in which it is used and look for context clues.  In the sentence you can see that the word "cumbrous" describes the swearing in process.  Cover "cumbrous" up with your finger and read the whole sentence, treating it like a sentence completion question.  You know that this process has a "very exact form" that must be finished "without a mistake."  It is easy to make mistakes, especially when something must be done very precisely.  Therefore, this must be a difficult process.  Predict the word "difficult" and look down at your answer choices.

(F)  Does "comfortable" mean "difficult"?  No!  Eliminate it.

(G)  Does "untruthful" mean "difficult"?  No!  Eliminate it.

(H)  Does "mistaken" mean "difficult"?  No!  Eliminate it.

(J)  Does "burdensome" mean "difficult"?  Yes!  It is difficult to carry a burden.

The correct answer is (J).

Words used in this question:

Cumbrous: difficult or awkward and unwieldy

Comfortable: providing comfort and ease, or satisfactory

Untruthful: false

Mistaken: erroneous

Burdensome:  difficult or demanding

To get help preparing for the SAT, PSAT, or ACT exam, check out the Knowsys College Readiness Program.

For help with the SAT Vocabulary, check out our flashcardsflashcard apps, and iBook activities.