Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Did you know that changing the location you study at can help you to learn? Studies like the one mentioned in this New York Times article have shown that as we learn, our brain makes associations between the material we are studying and the sights, sounds, and even smells of our surroundings. By studying in different locations with different characteristics you can make it easier for your brain to remember new material. This doesn't mean that you should study on your couch with the TV on, but it does mean that every once in a while moving from your room to the back porch, or even a coffee shop  might not be a bad idea.

5/31 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 that the answer choices on most SAT questions are there to confuse you. Out of the five listed, four of them are wrong! Use the Knowsys Method: look at the sentence, make a prediction without reading the answer choices, and then compare the answer choices to your prediction to find the one that matches most closely.

His inclination to succumb to flattery made him ------- to the ------- of people who wished to take advantage of him.

The first step is to decide which blank is easier to predict. In this case the first blank is definitely easier to predict than the second blank. Since this man has an "inclination to succumb to flattery" we can predict that that inclination made him "vulnerable"  to something. We now look at the answer choices below and see which choices we can eliminate.

(A) immune . . predilection
(B) prejudicial . . intentions
(C) susceptible . . cajolery
(D) resistant . . blandishments
(E) amenable . . rejection

We can eliminate (A) because it is the exact opposite of our prediction. (B) also will not work because "prejudicial" does not mean "vulnerable". (C) fits our prediction very well. (D) can be eliminated because again, it is the opposite of our prediction. Unfortunately, since (E) also matches our prediction fairly well we will have to now predict the second black and check (C) and (E) again. Based on the sentence we know that this man is "vulnerable" to flattery so we can predict that this makes him "vulnerable to the control" or "manipulation of the people who wished to take advantage of him". Now, even if we are not sure what "cajolery" means, we can eliminate (E) because "rejection" does not match our prediction. You can see that by following the Knowsys method, we were able to get to the correct answer without having to know the definitions for all of the words.

The correct answer is (C).

Words tested in this SC:
immune: Exempt; not subject to
predilection: Condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards
prejudicial: Exhibiting prejudice or bias
intentions: Courses of action that a person intends to follow
susceptible:  Likely to be affected by something
cajolery:  To persuade by flattery, gentle pleading, or insincere language
resistant: That which makes resistance or offers opposition
blandishments: Flattery intended to coax or cajole
amenable:  Willing to respond to persuasion or suggestions
rejection: The act of rejecting or the state of being rejected

On 63% of the responses were correct.

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