SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

Select the words that best fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The fast-paced game gave players little chance for -------, so by the end of the first half, they were all panting and drenched in sweat. 

A.   remorse

B.  credulity

C.  recalcitrance

D.  nostalgia

E.  respite

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up the answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  If the players of this game are panting and drenched in sweat, then they must have been playing nonstop.  What did they not have a chance to do?  Rest.  Use "rest" as your prediction for the answer, and check each answer choice to see whether it matches.

A.  The word "remorse" literally translates from Latin as "to bite back."  When you feel remorseful, you feel deep regret for something something you have done wrong.  It is as though your guilt is "biting" you and torturing you.  Does this match our prediction?  No, so eliminate this choice.

B.  "Credulity" refers to eagerness to believe something despite the fact that there is not sufficient proof.  Someone who demonstrates "credulity" is giving too much "credibility" where it is not due.  Does this match our prediction?  No.  Eliminate this choice. 

C.   "Recalcitrance" comes from the French word récalcitrant, which means "kicking back."  Think of a toddler kicking and screaming when he or she does not want to do something.  Recalcitrant means stubborn and resistant to authority.  It does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice. 

D.  "Nostalgia" is something that you might feel when you look back through old photographs.  It is a sense of homesickness or a longing to return to the past.  Does it match our prediction?  No, so eliminate this choice. 

E.   "Respite" sounds like "rest," and it has a similar meaning.  A respite is a temporary delay, pause, or rest period.  This is the only choice that matches our prediction, so it is the correct answer.

The correct answer is (E).

This is a medium level question. 


Words used in this SC:

remorse: a nagging sense of guilt and regret caused by wrongdoing

credulity: over eagerness to believe, despite insufficient evidence  

recalcitrant: stubbornly defiant and resistant of authority

nostalgia: homesickness, or a wistful yearning for the past

respite: a temporary delay, pause, or rest period


Want some help with SAT Vocabulary?  Check out these helpful resources: