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SAT Critical Reading: Sentence Completions

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is a Sentence Completion question that tests your knowledge of logic and vocabulary.

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that wrong answers don't affect your thought process.  Then read the entire sentence carefully, making sure that you understand the meaning.  Although Rolf is usually (something), he was so (something else) after rude remarks that he decided to complain to a manager.  The second blank will be the easiest to predict because it has the most clues.  Rolf was treated rudely and decided to complain.  It sounds as if he was upset.  Predict the word "upset" for the second blank and look down at the second word in each of your answer choices.

(A)  Does reassured mean upset?  No.  Eliminate this choice. 

(B)  Does angered mean upset?  Yes.  Keep this choice. 

(C)  Does offended mean upset?  Yes.  Keep this choice. 

(D)  Does incensed mean upset?  Yes.  (If you are not sure what the word means, you cannot eliminate it.)  Keep this choice.

(E)  Does satisfied mean upset?  No!  It means the opposite.  Eliminate this choice.

You have three answer choices left, so turn your attention to the first blank.  The sentence begins with the word "although," so you know that the first part of the sentence should contrast the second part.  If someone doesn't normally get upset and complain, how would you describe that person?  This person might be timid, meek, or unassertive.  Predict the word "timid" and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(B)  Does timorous mean timid?  Even if you are not sure, you can tell that these two words probably have the same root.  The Latin root "tim" means to be afraid.  Keep this answer choice.

(C)  Does plucky mean timid?  No.  Young heroes and heroines are often termed "plucky" in books if they have guts and are determined to achieve their goals.  This choice would not provide a contrast in the sentence (it might look like the correct answer if you missed the word "although").  Eliminate this choice.

(D)  Does valiant mean timid?  No!  Think of medieval knights of valor.   Valor is the opposite of timidity.  This choice would only look correct if you missed that important little word "although."  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (B).

On sat.collegeboard.org, 69% of the responses were correct.

Words used in this SC: 

Tractable:  docile, easily managed

Reassured:  freed from fear, having restored confidence

Timorous:  fearful, timid, shy

Angered:  displeased

Plucky:  courageous, spirited, feisty

Offended:  feeling insulted and angry

Valiant:  heroic, courageous

Incensed:  enraged, very angry

Diffident:  timid, reserved, modest

Satisfied:  content

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question of the day is an English question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

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