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. 

Cover up your answer choices and focus on reading the sentence carefully.  Then make a prediction to fill the blank and match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating choices that do not match.  Remember to look at all the choices before selecting your answer.

The dramatist was ------- over his lack of funds and his inability to sell any of his plays, and his letters to his wife reflected his unhappiness.

You need to fill a blank describing the dramatist.  The end of the sentence tells you that his letters showed his unhappiness.  Predict that the dramatist was “unhappy.”

(A) despondent
(B) supercilious
(C) prudent
(D) encouraged
(E) fortified

(A) The Latin root “de” can mean “down.”  Think of the word “despair.”  Feeling down or despairing would match your prediction perfectly.  Keep this choice.  (B)  Knowsys SAT word!  The Latin root “super” means “above.”  If someone thinks he is above others, he is proud and haughty.  Eliminate this choice because it does not match your prediction.  (C)  Knowsys SAT word!  Prudent people make decisions cautiously, but you are looking for an emotion, not evaluating this person’s judgment.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)  This is the opposite of your choice!  Eliminate it.  (E)  Vitamins fortify your body, so “fortify” is probably a positive word.  You are looking for a negative term.  Eliminate this choice.

Words used in this SC:
Despondent: in low spirits, disheartened, dejected
Supercilious: excessively proud and arrogant
Prudent: very careful or showing judgment and wisdom
Encouraged: inspired, heartened, reassured
Fortified: strengthened or encouraged

On, 76% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit!