Sentence Completions

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Most people don't like to write essays. The key to writing an essay is preparation. The first step is to understand the assignment. If you don't know what you are supposed to write about then you can't even begin writing. The next step is to know the requirements. If you write a great essay, but it isn't the correct length, or it is formatted incorrectly, then you still won't receive full credit. Finally, you must prepare to write your essay by researching the topic you will be writing about. These steps may seem obvious but most students try to hurry through process of writing an essay by skipping the preliminary steps. You will find that, with proper preparation, the essay writing process will be much easier (and believe it or not, faster). You can learn more about how to make the essays writing process go smoothly here.

6/6 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.

Often inattentive when it comes to schoolwork, Maya was uncharacteristically ------- when she wrote her personal essay; rather than taking her typical ------- approach, she paid extremely close attention to every last detail.

The first thing you need to do is to try to predict a word for the easier blank. In this sentence, it's fairly easy to predict the first blank. You know that Maya was "Often inattentive." Notice that the keyword "uncharacteristically" means that the word in the blank must be the opposite of "inattentive." In this case, you can predict that Maya was "uncharacteristically attentive." The next step is to look at the first part of all the answers to see which ones match your prediction.

(A) thorough . . cautious
(B) painstaking . . precise
(C) inconsiderate . . thoughtful
(D) nonchalant . . efficient
(E) meticulous . . careless

(A) does match your prediction fairly well so you shouldn't eliminate it. (B) also fits. (C) and (D) won't work, so you can eliminate them, but (E) would also work. Sometimes, you can eliminate all but one answer by only predicting one blank. In this case, however, we are still left with answer choices (A), (B), and (E).

The next step is to predict the second blank. The text says "rather than taking her typical______ approach, she paid extremely close attention to every last detail." Once again, it is essential that you notice the key word "rather". Here you could predict that "rather than taking her typical thoughtless approach, she paid extremely close attention to detail . . . " Remember that now you only have to check answers (A), (B), and (E). (A) is the exact opposite of your prediction, and (B) is also the opposite of your prediction (you can see now that the test makers knew what would happen if you failed to notice the keyword "rather"). (E), however, matches your prediction exactly.

The correct answer is (E).

Vocab Tested in this SC:
thorough: painstaking and careful not to miss or omit any detail
cautious: careful; using or exercising cautiontentative
painstaking: Carefully attentive to details; diligent in performing a process or procedure
precise: exactaccurate
inconsiderate: Not considerate of others, thoughtless
thoughtful: Demonstrating thought or careful consideration
nonchalant: Casually calm and relaxed
efficient: Making good, thorough, or careful use of resources; not consuming extra. Especially, making good use of time or energy
meticulous: Characterized by very preciseconscientious attention to details
careless: Not concerned or worried (about)

On 69% of the responses were correct.
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