Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Those who overcome obstacles inspire others to do the same.  Remember the young girl who was shot for advocating education for girls?  (You can review the original story from last October here.)  This girl has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize and is now resuming her own education.  If this story interests you, write down the broad themes from it (such as education) and specific details (such as the spelling of Malala and her age, 15).  Think about how you could use the broad themes in this current event to support a position on almost any essay prompt, then try connecting it to the prompts below:

(1) Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?
(2) Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?
(3) Has today’s abundance of information only made it more difficult to understand the world around us?

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. 

Cover up the answer choices until you have read the sentence carefully and made a prediction to fill the easier blank.  Then eliminate any choices that do not match your prediction.  Do the same with the other blank.

Laboratories have been warned that provisions for animal protection that in the past were merely ------- will now be mandatory; ------- of this policy will lose their federal research grants.

Look at the first blank.  Animal protection was once one thing, but now it is mandatory.  The “now” lets you know that a change has been made.  You can predict the word “optional,” but remember that any word that could be used for something that is “not mandatory” will work.

(A) comprehensive . . adversaries
(B) nominal . . advocates
(C) disregarded . . proponents
(D) recommended . . violators
(E) compulsory . . resisters

(A) Your teachers have probably told you at some point that you would have a comprehensive test.  That kind of test covers a lot of the topics that you studied.  These tests are generally not optional!  Look back at the original sentence and notice the word “merely.”  The words “merely” and “comprehensive” sound odd together.  This is like saying that the test “only includes a lot,” which is not strictly logical.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  If you don’t know a word, keep the answer choice.  (C) Something disregarded could be optional. Keep this choice.  (D)  This seems like the strongest answer.  Recommended means optional but advisable, and it seems advisable to protect animals.  Keep it.  (E)  This word is a synonym of mandatory; it is the opposite of what you want.  Eliminate it.

Now look at the second blank.  The second blank involves a punishment, the loss of research grants.  People who do not do mandatory things get punished for it.  Predict “disobedient people” and look down at your answer choices.

(B) nominal . . advocates
(C) disregarded . . proponents
(D) recommended . . violators

(B)  Knowsys word!  People who advocate something are for that thing.  If they are for the policy, they will not disobey it.  Eliminate this choice.  (C) A proponent is also for something.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)  You see signs everywhere that list rules along with the words, “Violators will be prosecuted.”  Violators break rules.  Keep this choice.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Comprehensive: broadly or completely covering something
Adversaries: opponents or rivals
Nominal: being such in name only, or minimal
Advocates: people speaking in support of something
Disregarded: ignored
Proponents: supporters, advocates
Recommended: suggested, encouraged
Violators: people who break the rules
Compulsory: required, mandatory
Resisters: people who fight against something

On, 73% of the responses were correct.

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