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.
Always cover your answer choices so that you can read the sentence carefully with an unprejudiced mind. Make a prediction to fill the blank, and then match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating any words that do not match. Make sure that you look at all the answer choices before selecting your answer.
The impoverished city lacked the financial means to update its ------- electrical infrastructure.
Paraphrase the sentence to clarify its meaning. The city is in poverty and lacks money for an update. If something needs an update that means that it is old and outdated. Predict the word “old” and look down at your answer choices.
(A) If you have heard this word used before, you have probably heard it applied to a person with a negative emotion. You are not looking for an emotional word; you are looking for something that means “old.” Eliminate this choice. (B) Think of the related word, “antique.” This matches your prediction perfectly. Keep it. (C) The Latin root “re” means again while the Latin root “juven” means young. The infrastructure cannot be young again because the city does not have any money to change it. Eliminate this choice. (D) The Latin root “super” means “over” or “above.” A poor city will not have an infrastructure that is better than another city’s infrastructure, so eliminate this choice. (E) The Greek root “eso” means “within,” as in belonging to an inner circle. Although the infrastructure is within the city, this word does not match your prediction and should be eliminated.
The correct answer is (B).
Words used in this SC:
Impoverished: reduced to poverty
Infrastructure: the underlying framework
Despondent: feeling or showing profound hopelessness
Antiquated: old-fashioned or obsolete
Rejuvinated: restored to youthfulness
Superlative: of the highest quality or order, surpassing others
Esoteric: requiring specialized knowledge to be understood (Knowsys vocab!)
On sat.collegeboard.org, 67% of the responses were correct.
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