SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

The girl had been ------- completing her chores, and now her room had  a ------- appearance, with clothing, shoes, and school supplies strewn all over the floor.  

A.  remiss in . . slovenly
B.  laudatory about . . distinct
C.  lackadaisical while . . dilatory
D.  aloof while . . terse
E.  negligible about . . seditious

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up the answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully, and then predict what you think the answers should be.  Start with the blank that seems easier—in this case, the second blank.  If a girl’s clothes, shoes, and school supplies are strewn (scattered) all over her floor, then how would you describe her room?  You would probably call her room messy.  Using “messy” as our prediction, let’s look at the second words in each answer choice.  

A. One helpful tip for remembering the meaning of the word “slovenly” is to think about “slob,” which sounds similar.  “Slovenly” means “messy or careless” and can refer to a person who is messy, or to the state of something that is messy.  This choice fits our prediction, so keep it for now.  

B.  You most likely know the definition of “distinct,” which means “unique, notable, or clear.”  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.  

C.  When you see the word “dilatory,” think “delay,” because “dilatory” means “characterized by procrastination or delay.”  The girl in the sentence above is “dilatory” because she puts off her chores, but her room cannot be described with this term.  Eliminate this choice.  

D. The word “terse” sounds a little like what it means.  Try saying the word aloud, and notice how it cuts off somewhat abruptly at the end.  Fittingly, “terse” means that something (usually a statement or a written message) is “short to the point of rudeness.”  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.  

E. The word “seditious” comes from the Latin “seditionem,” which means “civil disorder, strife, or rebellion.”  “Seditious” means “guilty of rebellion or treason.  Eliminate this choice.

Only one of the choices fit, but we need to check the first word of choice A to make sure it works as well.  

A.  “Remiss” comes from the Latin word “remissus,” which can mean “negligent.”  Someone “remiss” is “negligent or lacking a sense of duty.”  This word aptly describes the girl in the original sentence because she neglects her chores.  A is clearly the correct choice.

The correct answer is A.

Words used in this SC:
remiss: negligent or lacking a sense of duty
slovenly: messy or careless
laudatory: full of praise
distinct: unique, notable, or clear
lackadaisical: lacking spirit and enthusiasm
dilatory: characterized by procrastination or delay
aloof: cool and detached
terse: short to the point of rudeness
negligible: small, unimportant, or not worth noticing
seditious: guilty of treason (rebellion against a government)

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