SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

 Sentence Completions

Select the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Alfons Mucha saw The Slav Epic as the ------- of his life’s work in the visual arts; this series of paintings was intended to celebrate Slavic history and become the artist’s ultimate legacy.

A. veneration

B. decorum

C. culmination

D. nadir

E. cacophony


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  This series of paintings plays a certain role in Mucha’s life work.  The paintings were also intended to become “the artist’s ultimate legacy.”  From these context clues, you can predict that Mucha considered these paintings to be very important, the high point of his career.  Predict the phrase “most important part” and look down at your answer choices.  For each choice, ask yourself whether this word means “the most important part.”

A.       The Latin root “vener” means respectful.  The whole word means praise.  While Mucha probably wanted the praise of others for his work, this does not match your prediction.  This answer choice puts the spotlight on Mucha’s previous work rather than showing that The Slav Epic is to be his “ultimate legacy.”  Eliminate it.

B.      Don’t confuse the word “decorum” with the word “decorate” assume that it has to do with the visual arts.  Decorum is proper behavior.  This does not match your prediction.  Eliminate it.

C.      The culmination of something is its highest point.  This matches your prediction exactly.  Keep it and quickly check the remaining choices.

D.      The word “nadir” is the opposite of your prediction.  It means the lowest point.  Eliminate this choice.

E.       The word “cacophony” should be connected with sound in your mind.  The Greek root “cac” means bad.  The Greek root “phon” means sound (think of the telephone).  Therefore, this word indicates a bad sound.  You are looking for something positive.  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (C).


Words used in this SC:

Ultimate: the final or the greatest

Legacy:  something left behind once a person is gone

Veneration: profound reverence or respect

Decorum: appropriate behavior

Culmination: the highest point

Nadir: the lowest point

Cacophony: a harsh or jarring sound


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