Sentence Completions

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. 
Remember to cover your answers before you read the sentence. Cover the answers, read the sentence, predict the missing word, and match your prediction to the correct answer.

According to Burgess, a novelist should not ------- , for sermonizing has no place in good fiction.

Sometimes, the sentence drops a perfect prediction right into your mind. A "perfect" prediction does not mean that you guessed the same word that the SAT writers used in the answer choices (that can happen, but the odds are unimaginable), just that you came up with a single word that effectively captures the idea in the sentence. Do not waste time on the exam trying to come up with a perfect prediction if it doesn't occur to you right away. Go with a general prediction, like "tell people what to think," or a vague one. A vague prediction would rely entirely on the connotation, or charge, of the word. The missing word from this sentence seems to have a negative charge. The most obvious prediction here is "sermonize."
(A) invent
(B) offend
(C) inform
(D) preach
(E) distort

Compare each answer choice to your prediction, and the answer will pop. Who else gives sermons but a preacher? The answer is D. 

Words tested in this SC:
Invent: to make up or fabricate.
Offend: to irritate, annoy, or anger
Inform: to share or give knowledge
Preach: to give earnest advice, especially in a tedious way
Distort: to twist or misrepresent information

81% of those who attempted this question at got it right.

Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.