Blog

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 answers so that you are not drawn to one before you have all the information you can glean from the sentence.  Read the sentence carefully and make a prediction to fill the blank.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer, eliminating any answer choice that does not match.  Be sure to look at all the answer choices before selecting an answer.

The jellyfish’s slow pulsing action propels it in a graceful, seemingly ------- drift, but its tentacles contain a poison potent enough to stun a swimming human.

This sentence requires you to use logic to find the answer.  If you are trying to save time by only reading part of the sentence, you will get this question wrong.   For example, if you only read up to the blank, you may select the answer “rhythmic” because grace and rhythm seem to go hand in hand, and the jellyfish has a pulsing action.  However, if you read a bit farther, you will come to the word “but.”  The word “but” sets up a contrast.  One thing about this jellyfish must be the opposite of what you would expect.  You can’t change the portion after the “but,” so you must contrast that portion of the sentence.  What is the opposite of being dangerous to humans?  Being safe – the jellyfish seems safe.  Predict the word “safe” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) sinister
(B) rhythmic
(C) murky
(D) harmless
(E) patient

(A) Does sinister mean safe?  No!  Even if you do not know the dictionary definition for sinister, you can probably identify it as a negative word.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  The word “rhythmic” has nothing to do with “safe.”  Eliminate this choice.  (C)  This word comes from an Old Norse word, myrkr, which means “darkness.”  It does not mean safe.  Eliminate it.  (D) “Harmless” can mean “safe.”  This word matches exactly!  It seems as if the jellyfish will not harm people, but it is poisonous.  Keep this answer and quickly check the last choice.  (E) “Patient” does not mean “safe.”  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Sinister: ominous or unlucky, seeming to be evil
Rhythmic: regularly recurring sound or movement
Murky: hard to see through, gloomy
Harmless: without the power or desire to injure
Patient: content to wait if necessary


On sat.collegeboard.org, 70% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Writing Equations

Link of the Day

As you prepare for college, one of the best things that you can do for yourself, outside of studying, is to build good relationships with your teachers.  Learning the proper way to ask for help from your teachers can mean the difference between finally understanding a concept and getting written off as a whiner.  Read this article and think about how you can use the given advice not just in the future, but in your classes right now.

Algebra: Writing Equations

Read the following SAT test question and then select the correct answer. 

Always read each question carefully and make a note of the bottom line.  Assess your options for finding the bottom line and choose the most efficient method to attack the problem.  When you have an answer, loop back to verify that it matches the bottom line.

A florist buys roses at $0.50 a piece and sells them for $1.00 a piece. If there are no other expenses, how many roses must be sold in order to make a profit of $300?

Bottom Line: # roses = ?

Assess your Options:  You could find the profit from a single rose and then start plugging in answer choices, but that is not the fastest way to solve this problem.  A better way to solve this problem is to simply write an equation.  You could also solve this problem in a few seconds by using logic.

Attack the Problem:  Writing an equation will not take you much time.  Start by finding the profit from a single rose: $0.50.  (You know that the florist spends $0.50 to make each dollar, so $1.00 - $0.50 = $0.50.)

If each rose brings in a profit of $0.50, then how many must you sell to get $300?  Start by writing the fifty cents, and then use x to represent the unknown number of roses.  Each rose costs the same, so multiply the two numbers.  Together they must all equal $300.

$0.50x = $300.  (Just divide 300 by .5 to isolate the variable.)
         x = 600

Loop back: The x represented roses so you found your bottom line.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) 100
(B) 150
(C) 200
(D) 300
(E) 600

The correct answer is (E).

Alternatively:  You can solve this problem in a few seconds.  Think about it logically; if you get less than $1 for each rose and you need $300, can you sell 300 roses and get the profit you need?  No!  You need more than $300 roses.  There is only one answer choice that works.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 71% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT math, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Let's finish out 2012 on a positive note!  Here is a link to seven different news stories that are positive, ranging from how health is improving to how extreme poverty is declining.  Any one of these stories would make a great current event for your SAT essay.  They directly relate to one released essay topic: "Is the world changing for the better?"  However, in reading the details you will find themes in these stories that can relate to almost any topic.  Choose one or two of these stories to focus on as you prepare five current events as excellent examples before your testing date.

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. 

Always cover up the answer choices before you read the sentence.  Then read the entire sentence carefully and predict the answer.  Match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating answers that do not match.  Be sure to look at all five answer choices even if one seems to match your prediction exactly.

Although his close friends and colleagues see him as outgoing and -------, Milo usually feels shy and unsure of himself.

This question tests your ability to think logically.  The word “although” indicates that a contrast is coming between the way others see Milo and the way that he sees himself.  The contrast is between “outgoing and ---“ and “shy and unsure.”  The words outgoing and shy are clearly opposites, so you must find the opposite of the word “unsure.”  Predict the word “sure” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) cautious
(B) resigned
(C) confident
(D) generous
(E) patient

(A)  This is the opposite of what you need; it is how Milo sees himself, not how others see him.  Eliminate it.  (B)  This is a trait that makes a person seem passive, but Milo’s friends see him as outgoing.  Eliminate it.  (C)  This matches your prediction.  Keep it.  (D) Generous does not mean sure.  Eliminate it.  (E) Patient also does not mean sure.  Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Cautious: careful, tentative
Resigned: accepting
Confident: very sure or positive about something, self-confident
Generous: kind and giving
Patient: willing to wait, composed

On sat.collegeboard.org, 87% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

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. 

Use the same method for every sentence completion question.  Cover your answers so that you are not distracted by incorrect choices as you read the sentence carefully.  Then make a prediction for the easier blank.  Eliminate any choices that do not match your prediction.  Then make a prediction for the other blank. Eliminate any remaining choices that do not match your prediction.  You can be sure of your answer with this method.

Although they are perceived as ------- by some, the various vocalizations of the common loon may sound harsh and ------- to others.

This question requires you to think logically about the relationship between the two blanks.  The word “although” signals that there is a contrast.  Paraphrase the sentence to yourself: “Some people think the loon sounds one way, but others think it sounds another way.”  The second blank is linked with “and,” a conjunction that does not show contrast.  Whatever is in that blank must be like the word before it, “harsh.”  “Harsh” is a negative word, so the second blank must be negative.  Predict a negative word for the second blank and look down at your answer choices.

(A) irritable . . migratory
(B) mellifluous . . discordant
(C) soothing . . palatable
(D) pervasive . . strident
(E) loathsome . . intolerable

(A) The word migratory is not negative; it is neutral.  Migrating is not good or bad, it is just something that birds do.  Eliminate this choice.  (B) Discordant sounds negative, so keep it.  (C) Good food is palatable, so this is actually a positive word.  Eliminate it.  (D) Strident sounds negative, so keep it.  (E) Intolerable also sounds negative, so keep it as well.

Now go back to thinking about the original sentence.  The first blank had to contrast with the second blank because of the word “although.”  A positive word would contrast a negative word.  Predict a positive word for the first blank and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(B) mellifluous . . discordant
(D) pervasive . . strident
(E) loathsome . . intolerable

(B)  Mellifluous has the same root as melody.  These words come from the Latin prefix “mell-,” which means honey.  In this case it means “like honey,” not actual honey.  Think of the qualities of honey as being sweet and pleasing. (The Latin root “flu” means flow – think of the word “fluid.”)  This is definitely a positive word.  Keep it.  (D) Does the word pervasive sound positive?  Pervasive things are everywhere, which means that it could be a good or a bad thing depending on what is in abundance.  Eliminate this word.  (E) Loathsome is a really negative word.  Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Vocalization: an utterance, sounds or words out loud
Loon: a bird
Irritable: easily annoyed
Migratory: someone that migrates, travels each season
Mellifluous: sweet and smooth (often used to describe words or voices)
Discordant: harsh or dissonant sounding
Soothing: giving relief
Palatable: pleasing to the taste
Pervasive: throughout everything
Strident: loud, shrill, grating, obnoxious
Loathsome: highly offensive, sickening
Intolerable: offensive, not proper or right to allow


On sat.collegeboard.org, 54% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

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. 

Always cover the answer choices so that they do not influence your thoughts as you examine the sentence.  Read the sentence carefully, looking for clues to predict the answer that belongs in the blank.  After you make your prediction, match it to the correct answer choice.  Eliminate answers that do not match.  Be sure to compare your prediction to all the answer choices, even if one seems to match perfectly. 

Those scholars who believe that the true author of the poem died in 1812 consider the authenticity of this particular manuscript ------- because it includes references to events that occurred in 1818.

What do sentence completion questions test?  They test both vocabulary and logic.  When you read this sentence, did anything seem odd about the dates that are mentioned?  Can an author who died in 1812 refer to events that happened in 1818?  It seems unlikely, and that is exactly what scholars are going to think about the authenticity of this version of the poem: it is unlikely.  Use the word “unlikely” as your prediction, and look down at your answer choices.

(A) ageless
(B) tenable
(C) suspect
(D) unique
(E) legitimate

(A)  Does ageless mean unlikely?  No.  Eliminate it.  (B) Does tenable mean unlikely?  No; it almost means likely.  (C) The word suspect has more than one meaning.  When suspect is used as an adjective, and all the answer choices are adjectives, it matches your prediction.  (D) Unique does not mean unlikely.  (E) Legitimate does not match your prediction and it is the opposite of what the scholars from the sentence will believe.

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Authenticity: genuineness
Ageless: continuing indefinitely
Tenable: capable of being justified or defended
Suspect: viewed with suspicion, doubtful
Unique: having no equal, unparalleled
Legitimate: valid

On sat.collegeboard.org, 55% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

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. 

Do not look at the answer choices.  You should be able to read the following sentence carefully and make an educated prediction about what belongs in the blank without being distracted by wrong answer choices.  Make your prediction as specific as possible, using any clues you find in the sentence.  Your prediction could be an exact word, or it may be a general feeling that the answer is positive or negative.  Then you can easily eliminate any words that do not match your prediction.

Although often victims of circumstance, the heroines of Shakespearean comedy tend to be ------- women, usually ready with a clever stratagem or verbal ploy for getting out of a difficult situation.

The first thing that you should notice about this question is that it is a logic question.  Note the use of the word “although.”  This word signals that you must find something that means the opposite of “victims of circumstance.”  A victim is someone who suffers from the actions of another person, so the word that you are looking for must show that these heroines are actively doing something good.  If you read the sentence too quickly, you might look for a synonym of “victim” and choose a wrong answer.

The second part of the sentence goes on to explain more about these women.  They are “ready with a clever stratagem or verbal ploy.”  If you need one word to describe this phrase, what could it be?  You might predict the word “skillful” or just use the word “clever” from the sentence.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) imperious
(B) suffering
(C) excitable
(D) resourceful
(E) precocious

There is only one answer that matches your prediction.  (B) is the opposite of your prediction. (A) and (C) have nothing to do with your prediction.  (D) matches perfectly.  (E) could mean “clever,” but it is too specific.  It means cleaver at an early age and the sentence does not indicate anything about the age of Shakespeare’s heroines.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Stratagem: tactic
Ploy: strategy
Imperious: bossy, overbearing
Resourceful: capable or clever
Precocious: characterized by early development


On sat.collegeboard.org, 52% of the responses were correct.

For more help with the reading section of the SAT, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Logic

Read the following SAT test question and then select the correct answer. 

The Knowsys math method calls for you to read each question carefully, but you should be especially conscious of the possibility of misreading when your question involves a graph.  Be sure that you understand each label on the graph and take the time to read any additional information given in the question.  Identify the bottom line and asses your options for solving the problem in an efficient manner.  Select your method, attack the problem, and loop back to make sure that the answer you found fits the bottom line, that it answers the question that you were asked.

 graphic

The bar graph above shows the number of people in attendance at each of the four meetings of the Maple Street Block Association that were held in 2011. Only members of the Block Association can attend the meetings, and no members joined or left the Block Association during 2011. Based on the bar graph, what is the least number of members the Maple Street Block Association could have had in 2011?

 Your bottom line is the least number of members belonging to the association.  You must use logic to determine which information in this graph is relevant.  The question is meant to mislead you, because as soon as you see the word “least,” you are likely to look for the smallest value on this bar graph.  Before you jump to any conclusions, think about what the bar graph represents.  At any of these four meetings, all of the members could have shown up, or only some of the members.  In other words, it is possible for people to be absent, but it is not possible for people to be at these meetings without being members.  All of the people present at any meeting must be members.  The greatest number of people who came to any meeting is 72.  Therefore, there cannot be fewer than 72 members in this club.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) 61
(B) 65
(C) 67
(D) 72
(E) 268

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 43% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT math questions, visit www.myknowsys.com!

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. 

Sentence completion questions will test your logic and vocabulary.  The best way to make sure that you are not prejudiced in how you think about the question is to avoid looking at the answer choices.  Most of them are wrong, so do not look at a single answer choice until you have read the sentence carefully and made a prediction to fill the blank.  When there are two blanks, focus on the easy blank first and eliminate any answer choices that do match your prediction.  Then move on to the second blank.

Dahntay’s ------- over winning the prestigious prize was ------- only by the fact that his father was unable to attend the ceremony.

When you have two blanks, it is best to focus on what you know.  You know that Dahntay won a prize, but his father was unable to attend the ceremony in which the prize was awarded.  Start with the first blank because it will help you with the second.  When someone wins a prize, what kind of reaction does that person have?  You probably thought of a word such as “happiness” or “joy.”  At the very least, you know that this blank must be positive.  Now that you have your prediction, look at your answer choices for the first blank.

(A) incredulity . . misconstrued
(B) ebullience . . tempered
(C) bashfulness . . extended
(D) satisfaction . . confirmed
(E) relief . . conveyed

The more specific your prediction, the more choices you can eliminate.  If you predicted “happiness,” you can eliminate (A) because it does not match.  Skip (B) if you are not sure what it means.  (C) does not match your prediction.  (D) matches.  (E) is positive, but relief is an emotion that occurs when a the threat of a negative occurrence is removed, not when something good happens, so it does not match “happiness.”  You have eliminated three answer choices and only two remain.

Look back at the second blank now.  Dahntay was happy about his prize, but then what happened to that happiness when he realized his father could not be at the ceremony?  “Lessened” or “reduced” would be good predictions for this blank.  Look at the second part of the answer choices that remain.

(B) ebullience…tempered
(D) satisfaction…confirmed

Skip (B) if you do not know what it means.  (D) is incorrect because you have two contrasting feelings.  Dahntay feels good that he won, but bad that his father cannot attend the ceremony.  It does not make sense to say that a positive feeling is “confirmed” only by something negative.  Even if you do not know the definition of the terms in choice (B), all of the other choices have been eliminated.  Normally you would want to pick what you know over what you do not know, but this case is an exception because you were able to confidently eliminate all of the other choices.

The correct answer is (B).

Words tested in this SC:

Prestigious: honored, important
Incredulity: unwillingness to believe, doubt
Ebullience: high spirits, exuberance
Bashfulness: shyness, easily embarrassed
Satisfaction:  contentment
Relief: emotion that comes with the removal of pain
Misconstrued: taken in the wrong sense, misinterpreted
Tempered: 1) having a temper of a certain character or 2) made less intense
Extended: stretched out, prolonged
Confirmed: made certain, settled
Conveyed: 1) communicated, 2) transported, 3) transmitted


On sat.collegeboard.org, 65% of the responses were correct.

For more help with vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day


August 14, 1945 marked the end of World War II, the deadliest conflict in human history.  Although Japan’s formal surrender to the Allied Nations would occur later in September, soldiers and civilians took to the street as soon as they heard the announcement of Japan’s surrender.  Do you recognize this iconic image from New York?  It was taken on the 14th, a day that has been termed V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day).  World War II is a vast topic, probably much too general for an essay example.  However, any of the events of World War II, including V-J Day, would make excellent examples.  Think of the joy that people felt as they realized that years of sacrifice had come to an end, but think also of the great cost of finishing the war.  Why did Japan finally surrender?  Learn the facts about V-J Day here.

8/14 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. 

Sentence completion questions are very quick, but you should still approach them using the Knowsys method to make sure that you answer accurately.  Cover the answers so that they do not distract you, and read the entire sentence carefully.  You will be tested on logic as well as vocabulary.  Predict an answer to fill the blank and then match your prediction to the correct answer choice.  Eliminate any answers that do match your prediction, but be sure to examine all of the answer choices even if you find an answer that matches before reaching the last choice.

Their conversation was unsettling, for the gravity of their topic contrasted so oddly with the ------- of their tone.

Paraphrase this sentence in your mind so that you are sure that you understand it: Their conversation was strange because the gravity of the topic did not match their tone.  The word “gravity” is not meant to be understood as a scientific term; the word has another meaning.  Think of a grave topic as similar to a weighty issue.  These are serious matters.  Looking back at the context of the sentence, you need a word that contrasts with gravity – something that means the opposite of serious.  If you are not taking something seriously and treating it with importance, you are taking it lightly.  "Levity" or "lightheartedness" would fit in the blank.  Look down at the answer choices now.

(A) uniqueness
(B) rapidity
(C) lightness
(D) precision
(E) reverence

As you read the answer choices, be sure to stick to your prediction because your first thought is usually correct.  (A) is distracting because things that are odd are often unique, but it does not match your prediction.  (B) may seem like a good answer because it can be unsettling to hear rapid speech, but rapidity has nothing to do with importance.  (C) matches your prediction. “Lightness” is like the word “gravity” in that it has more than one meaning.  This word is not meant to imply the opposite of darkness, instead it takes the meaning of frivolity or silliness.  (D) looks like a good choice if you missed the word “contrasted,” because things that are taken seriously are often spoken of with precision, but it does not match your prediction. (E) is the opposite of what you predicted because if you treat something with reverence it is important to you.

The correct answer is (C).

Words tested in this SC:
Gravity: seriousness
Uniqueness: the quality of being one-of-a-kind
Rapidity: quickness
Lightness: frivolity or silliness
Precision: exactness
Reverence: showing awe and respect


On sat.collegeboard.org, 69% of the responses were correct.

For more help with vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!

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.

Sentence completion questions provide you with answer choices, but four out of the five they give you are incorrect.  Do not look at the answer choices until you have read the entire sentence carefully and predicted a word to fill the blank.  Using this method, you will match your prediction to one of the answer choices and eliminate all of the answers that do not match.  Make sure that you check your prediction against all of the answer choices.

The senator chose to incur dislike rather than ------- her principles to win favor with the public.

This sentence uses the word “incur,” but you need not be intimidated by this word.  Paraphrase the sentence: “The senator chose dislike instead of doing something to her principles to win favor with the public.  When people want others to like them, they often feel pressured to give up their principles.  Use “give up,” “relinquish,” “abandon,” or any words meaning the same thing as your prediction.

(A) gratify
(B) endorse
(C) accuse
(D) compromise
(E) advertise

(A), (B) and (E) are all positive words that describe what the senator would like to do in relation to her principles, but they do not fit in the original sentence because “rather than” tells you that she will not be doing the thing that fits in the blank.  (C) does not make sense because “accusing her principles” will not win the senator favor.  The only word that matches your prediction is (D) “compromise.”  When you compromise, you must give up some of your desires to satisfy the desires of others.

The correct answer is (D).

Words tested in this SC:
Incur: to bring upon oneself
Gratify: to please
Endorse: to support
Accuse: to blame
Compromise: to settle differences or to make a shameful concession
Advertise: to announce publicly

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Another tale of dedication and accomplishment comes out of the Olympics! Gabby Douglas, a 16-year-old girl from the USA, "made history" in London by winning the women's all-around title--the first African-American to ever do so. She had the highest score on both balance beam and vault, and she was the only American to compete on all four women's events. Dedication to her sport pulled her away from her parents at 14, when she moved from Virginia Beach to Des Moines to work with a world-famous gymnastics coach. Read more here.

8/2 Sentence Completion

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The Knowsys Strategy for Sentence Completions is to cover the answer choices before you read the sentences.  If you read the entire sentence carefully, then you will be able to predict an answer for the blank and match your prediction to the correct answer choice.  When you use this method, you will not be distracted by wrong, but promising, answers because you can eliminate all the answers that do not match your prediction.  Be sure to look at all the answer choices, even if one matches immediately.

Exotics and indigenous weeds include some of the most ------- species: their visual impact often eclipses that of nearby plants.

After reading this sentence, you know that you must predict a word to describe “species.”  This word must give us more information than that they are “exotics and indigenous weeds.”  Think about the colon right after “species.”  Colons introduce explanations of the terms that precede them, so we should look after the colon for additional information.  After the colon you find that the species are known for “their visual impact.” You need a word to describe “visual impact,” so you might predict “eye-catching,” or “noticeable,” or even “attractive” (in the sense that they attract more attention than other plants).  Take your prediction and match it to the answer choices.

(A) lethal
(B) diffuse
(C) varied
(D) striking
(E) resilient 

Many of these words are meant to be distractions.  Weeds are (B) “diffuse,” spreading out even where they are unwanted.  Weeds are also (E) “resilient,” growing in places where other plants cannot and flourishing even after gardeners have attempted to uproot them.  Some students might also be distracted by (C) “varied” because the author mentions both exotic and indigenous species.  Even (A) might seem promising if you only know that "lethal" is a negative word.  However, these answers do not match your prediction, which is based on the information that the author is most concerned about conveying.  The only word that matches your prediction is (D) “striking.”  This sentence demonstrates how important it is to use the Knowsys method.

The correct answer is (D).

Words tested in this SC:
Lethal: deadly
Diffuse: spread out, everywhere
Varied: diverse
Striking: making a strong impression
Resilient: strong, overcoming adversity
Exotic: foreign, non-native
Indigenous: native
Eclipse: overshadow

Translating English to Math

Link of the Day

If you have trouble studying, bookmark this handy list of study tips that can make your study time more effective. 

Mathematics: Standard Multiple Choice

Read the following SAT test question and then click on a button to select your answer. 

Always remember to follow the Knowsys Method. First, read the problem carefully for any clues or helpful terms. Identify the bottom line, what the question is asking, and note it at the top of your scratch work. Look at the problem to assess your options. Ask, "What could I do?" to consider all the options available to you. Then ask, "What should I do?" to select the most appropriate, most efficient approach to the problem. Next, attack the problem quickly and confidently to find the answer. Once you determine an answer to the problem, loop back to the bottom line to double-check that what you found is the answer to the question actually asked by a problem.

A florist buys roses at $0.50 apiece and sells them for $1.00 apiece. If there are no other expenses, how many roses must be sold in order to make a profit of $300?

First, note the bottom line.

p = $300, r = ?

Assess your options. You know how much the roses cost and how much they sell for, so you could calculate the amount of profit earned with each flower. You could also translate the problem into a formula to determine how many flowers will yield $300 in profit. The first solution is more efficient, so begin by finding the amount of profit each flower brings in. Since they cost fifty cents and sell for a dollar, each flower earns fifty cents in profit.

$1.00 - $0.50 = $0.50

Next, how many flowers are needed to add up to $300 total?


.5r = 300



r = 600

Loop back to the bottom line to check whether you answered the question correctly. You were looking for the number of roses that would yield $300 in profit. Since that is what you found, look at the answer choices to see which one matches.

A) 100

B) 150

C) 200

D) 300

E) 600

The answer is E.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% of responses were correct.


For more help with math, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Sets

Link of the Day

If you're feeling nervous about college, check out this page full of advice from real college seniors. They mention many wise "do's" and "don't's" about the freshman year of college. 

Mathematics: Standard Multiple Choice

Read the following SAT test question and then select your answer. 

Always follow the Knowsys Method to save time and energy on math questions: read carefully, identify the bottom line, assess your options, attack the problem, and loop back to double-check your answer. This will help you find the correct answers more quickly.

If S is the set of positive integers that are multiples of 7, and if T is the set of positive integers that are multiples of 13, how many integers are in the intersection of S and T?

First, read carefully. Notice that S includes all multiples of 7 and T includes all multiples of 13. Next, identify the bottom line and note it at the top of your scratch work.

Intersection of S and T = ?



You are looking for the intersection, so you need only the numbers that are in both set S and set T. Since neither set has an upper limit, they both have an infinite number of members; therefore, their intersection also has an infinite number of members. Look at the answer choices.

A) None

B) One

C) Seven

D) Thirteen

E) More than thirteen

The answer is E.



Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Getting a job might not be your top priority in high school--or maybe it is! This link has some good advice. As a student, it is easy to think that you don't have any qualifications, but that isn't true. Think about your personality, your favorite classes in school, any leadership roles you've held, and so on. Some teachers set up Classroom Managers to help with daily tasks, and students often put these positions on real-life job applications as well. Are you exceptionally friendly? Outrageously smart? Good with computers? Do you speak (or even take classes in) another language? Any of these can help you stand out in an application or interview. You have a lot to offer! 

5/16 Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

I wonder sometimes whether you get tired of reading these explanations of the instructions or skip them entirely. I hope you don't. Reading them repeatedly, day after day, is a great way to internalize them so you don't need to waste time on the exam reading the directions--you'll already know what they say. For sentence completion questions, the first thing you should do is cover the answer choices. Next, read the sentence and predict the correct answer. Then look at the answer choices and determine which one best matches your prediction.

His ------ experience notwithstanding, David was judged by the hiring manager to be ------ the job.

This one is a little trickier than most. The sentence does not give enough information to predict either blank with certainty, but you can draw come conclusions about the relationship between the two omitted words. The word "notwithstanding" is your clue here, and it indicates that the two blanks are opposites. It means nevertheless, although, or in spite of, so either David had abundant experience and was still found inadequate, or he had meager experience and was found suitable anyway. Look at the answer choices:



A) illustrious . . entitled to

B) limited . . qualified for

C) applicable . . assured of

D) useful . . overqualified for

E) irrelevant . . perplexed by

Only B demonstrates the opposite relationship needed for this question.

His limited experience not withstanding, David was judged by the hiring manager to be qualified for the job.

The answer is B.

Words tested in this SC:
illustrious: dignified
entitled: having the right to own, demand, or do something
applicable: suitable, relevant, appropriate
assured: guaranteed, confident
useful: having a practical or beneficial use
overqualified: having too many qualifications to be deemed appropriate for a job
irrelevant: not related, not applicable, or unimportant
perplexed: confused or puzzled


Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.

Ratios, Rates, and Proportions

Link of the Day

George Mason University's History News Network is an unusual news site that puts current events in a broad historical context. Normal news stories focus only on what has happened recently, but HNN strives to connect current events to the history that created them. 

5/12 Ratios, Rates, and Proportions

Read the following SAT test question and then select your answer.

I find it interesting that the instructions say to "select your answer," rather than the right answer. That is why you should always follow the Knowsys Method: so that your answer is the correct one! Read the question carefully first. Identify the bottom line and note it at the top of your scratch work. This should be the first thing your write down! Next, assess your options. Look back at the problem for key words like "average," "probability," "distance," or other key words that indicate facts and formulas in your mental toolbox. Consider these when you ask yourself, "What could I do?" and "What should I do?" Select the best tool for the job and solve the problem quickly. Finally, loop back to the bottom line to make sure you have answered the question correctly.

The c cars in a car service use a total of g gallons of gasoline per week. If each of the cars uses the same amount of gasoline, then, at this rate, which of the following represents the number of gallons used by 5 of the cars in 2 weeks?

First, note the bottom line.

5 cars 2 weeks = ?

Next, assess your options. Since the problem gives so much information about the cars using words rather than numbers, a good place to start is to translate its question into mathematical terms.

c = total number of cars

g = total gallons of gas per week

The gas used in two weeks is easy to find: 2g. The tricky part involves determining how much gas is used by only 5 cars. It is tricky rather than difficult because if you know the trick, this problem is easy. Simply find the gas used by one car over the course of a week and multiply that by 5 cars.

 = gas per week for 1 car

 = gas per week for 5 cars


Since the question asks how much gas will be used in 2 weeks, multiply this term by 2. This incorporates the 2g you identified earlier.

 = gas for 5 cars for 2 weeks

Now look at the answer choices.

A)

B)

C)

D)

E)


The answer is E.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 32% of responses were correct.


For more help with math, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Andrew Jackson was one of our nation's first presidents, and one of the most famous. Today, he is on the $20 bill. The greatest political battle of his presidency centered around the Second National Bank, which he claimed held "undue economic privilege." His determination not to renew its charter presented a major challenge among the political elites, but it gained him 56% of the popular vote in the next Presidential election. 

5/10 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. 

The first thing you should do when you see a Sentence Completions question is cover the answer choices. Looking at the answer choices before you are ready will cost you time and accuracy; instead, make a prediction based on what the sentence actually says. Evaluate the clues in the sentence and choose a word or phrase that describes what is missing. Compare that prediction to the answer choices and eliminate all words that do not match. If you don't know a word, leave it open, but if you're unsure about an answer, choose what you know over what you don't.

Andrew Jackson's ideal vision of an American nation composed of farmers and artisans had become increasingly ----- by the 1860s, when the new ------ economy was turning craftspersons and planters into factory laborers. 

First (after covering up the answers), look at the two blanks and decide which is easiest to predict. In this case, the second one is easier because it must describe an economy that is the opposite of one based on farmers and artisans. In fact, since the sentence mentions factories, factory-based will work as a prediction.

Andrew Jackson's ideal vision of an American nation composed of farmers and artisans had become increasingly ----- by the 1860s, when the new factory-based economy was turning craftspersons and planters into factory laborers. 



Now compare that prediction to the answer choices:

A) antiquated . . agricultural

B) feasible . . industrial

C) elusive . . artistic

D) fanciful . . manufacturing

E) progressive . . urban

You can eliminate A and C because agricultural and artistic economies would not be dependent on factories. Next, look at the first blank in the sentence.

Andrew Jackson's ideal vision of an American nation composed of farmers and artisans had become increasingly ----- by the 1860s, when the new industrial, manufacturing, urban economy was turning craftspersons and planters into factory laborers. 

At a time when the economy was moving from one based on farming and craftsmanship to factories, Jackson's vision was out-of-date and getting more antiquated by the moment. In other words, it was far from feasible, so eliminate B. It was also not progressive because the nation had already left Jackson's vision in the dust, so eliminate E as well. The answer is D.

Andrew Jackson's ideal vision of an American nation composed of farmers and artisans had become increasingly fanciful by the 1860s, when the new manufacturing economy was turning craftspersons and planters into factory laborers. 

Words tested in this SC
antiquated: old-fashioned, out of date
agricultural: related to the art or science of cultivating the ground
feasible: doable, possible, achievable
industrial: of or related to hard work and business, especially manufacturing
elusive: evading capture or comprehension; rarely seen
artistic: having creative skill; relating to art or artists
fanciful: imaginative, creative, and unusual; unreal or imagined
manufacturing: the transformation of raw materials into finished projects, especially on a large scale.
progressive: favoring or promoting progress
urban: related to a city; characteristic of city life


On sat.collegeboard.org, 49% of responses were correct.


Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.


Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Recently, a woman was arrested in Jacksonville, FL, for road rage. Someone cut her off, so she rammed his vehicle! Yesterday, the driver was sent to jail and a news article was posted online. When you look for Current Events to include in your essay, make sure to find the most recent developments. "Current Events" six weeks out of date will create an impression that you weren't willing to put in enough effort to complete your research. 

5/4 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.

Always read the sentence carefully before looking at the answer choices. Remember that four of the five answer choices are wrong, and they are likely to change the way you think about the problem. Look for clues first, then make a guess based on what the sentence says. Compare this prediction to the answer choices and you will find the correct answer.

Refuting the claim that the surest way to reduce anger is to express it, the author asserts that ------ anger can actually increase its ------.

First, there is a claim about managing anger, which the author refutes; your first clue is the word refute. Refute means "to deny the truth of something" or "to prove something to be false," so the words in the blanks will convey that expressing anger will not actually help one deal with it. In fact, "expressing" works perfectly as a prediction for the first blank. Check that prediction against the answer choices.


A) denying . . impact

B) understanding . . importance

C) overcoming . . likelihood

D) venting . . intensity

E) voicing . . benefits

Both D and E, venting and voicing, involve expressing one's feelings. Denying anger is the opposite of expressing it, so eliminate A. Understanding anger has nothing to do with how one reacts to it, so eliminate B as well. Finally, overcoming anger is a worthy goal in any upsetting situation, but it does not mean the same thing as expressing one's feelings, so eliminate C as well.

That leaves two words for the second blank, intensity and benefits. Only "intensity" makes sense; while anger can have certain benefits, they are not addressed in this sentence. The answer is D.

Refuting the claim that the surest way to reduce anger is to express it, the author asserts that venting anger can actually increase its intensity.

Words tested in this SC
deny: to assert that something is not true
impact: to influence; to affect
understand: to be aware of the meaning of; to believe, based on information
importance: significance; prominence
overcome: to prevail over; to get the better of
likelihood: the probability of a specified outcome
vent: to allow something to escape, as through a vent
intensity: the degree of strength
voice: to give utterance or expression to
benefit: an advantage, help, or aid


On sat.collegeboard.org, 56% of responses were correct.


Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Henry David Thoreau is famous for his reclusive nature. For more than two years, he lived in complete solitude by now-famous Walden Pond in Massachusetts. During that time, he reflected on the nature of humanity, of the world, and of nature itself. His famous book Walden documents his musing during this hermitage. 

5/1 Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Remember to read the sentence carefully before looking at the answer choices.  Use the clues in the sentence to predict an answer, then look for a synonym of your prediction among the answer choices.

Because she has a great need for ------, she loathes the public appearances demanded of her as a leading literary figure.

The first clue in this sentence is the word "Because."  "Because" is a subordinating conjunction (it introduces a clause and makes it dependent on another clause in the sentence), and it indicates a cause-and-effect relationship between two things.  In this sentence, the cause is the author's need, and the effect is that she loathes public appearances.  The second clue is the word "loathes."  If you don't know what loathing is, this sentence is difficult to predict.  However, if you know that it means "to hate, detest, or revile," you can deduce that the author prefers isolation to crowds. Isolation or solitude could work as your prediction. Now check each answer choice by asking, "Does [choice] mean solitude?"



A) luxury

B) privacy

C) reward

D) devotion

E) distraction

Luxury and reward both have to do with money, not solitude, so eliminate A and C. Devotion means being dedicated to a person or cause, so eliminate D. A distraction is something that makes it difficult to focus, which also has nothing to do with isolation or solitude. Eliminate E. The answer is B.

Words tested in this SC:
Luxury: extremely wealthy and comfortable surroundings
Privacy: the state of not being seen by others
Reward: something of value given in return for an act
Devotion: feelings of strong or fervent affection; dedication
Distraction: something that diverts the attention


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% of responses were correct.

Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

After realizing how dangerous his explosives were, Alfred Nobel rewrote his will to establish the five Nobel Prizes. Many were shocked and contested the will, and the plan for the Nobel Prizes underwent several changes, but eventually the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. Any Nobel Prize winner would make a great Excellent Example, so look through this website to find an example to add to your list. 

4/28 Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Remember to read the sentence and look for clues before looking at the answer choices. Most of the answers are wrong, so any clues you find there will only lead you to the wrong answers. Instead, look for clues in the original sentence without looking at the answer choices at all. Make a prediction based on what the sentence says, then match that prediction to the answer choices.

When, in 1864, a factory established by Alfred Nobel to manufacture nitroglycerin blew up, the scientist discovered that the explosive was as ------ as it was powerful, ------ to detonate without warning.

Whenever you find yourself facing a two-blank sentence, don't automatically focus on the first blank first. Take a moment to determine which blank is easier. In this case, the second blank is easier to predict, so make a guess for that word first. Since one factory already blew up, it is easy to conclude that nitroglycerin is apt or likely to detonate without warning. Look in the answer choices for an option that matches.

A) dormant . . ready

B) fickle . . unlikely

C) volatile . . liable

D) unprecedented . . intended

E) inactive . . designed



Eliminate B immediately, since it is the opposite of your prediction. D and E don't make sense either, since Nobel obviously did not intend for his factory to explode. That leaves A, "ready," and C, "liable." Both of these would make sense, so move to the first blank.

When, in 1864, a factory established by Alfred Nobel to manufacture nitroglycerin blew up, the scientist discovered that the explosive was as ------ as it was powerful, ready or liable to detonate without warning.

Based on the fact that this explosion was completely unexpected, the word in the blank must convey that nitroglycerin is dangerous. There are many words that could fit, so stick with "dangerous" only as a general prediction. It probably won't be a perfect synonym for the answer. The only choices left are A and C:


A) dormant . . ready

C) volatile . . liable


"Dormant" doesn't make sense, so eliminate A.

When, in 1864, a factory established by Alfred Nobel to manufacture nitroglycerin blew up, the scientist discovered that the explosive was as volatile as it was powerful, liable to detonate without warning.

The answer is C.

Words tested in this SC
dormant: inactive, asleep, suspended
ready: inclined; apt to happen
fickle: quick to change
unlikely: not to be reasonably expected
volatile: explosive
liable: with used with "to," probable
unprecedented: never seen or done before
intended: planned
inactive: not active; not functioning or operating
designed: created according to a design or for an intended purpose


On sat.collegeboard.org, 62% of responses were correct.


Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Scientific hoaxes are not new. This top ten list includes frauds as early as 1726 and as recent as 2005! While there is not enough information on any of these examples to include them in an essay, a little bit more research could easily land you with a great selection of Excellent Examples. 

4/25 Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Always read the sentence and make a prediction before looking at the answer choices. Simply glancing at the sentence is not enough; you must think of a word or idea that would fill the blank. Then, matching that word with the answer choices is fast and easy.

Although the scientist claimed to have made a major breakthrough in his research, the evidence he offered as proof of his assertion was ------ at best.

Clearly, the scientist wants others to believe that he has discovered something new and amazing. In order for them to believe him, he must present solid proof of his breakthrough. Without evidence to support his claim, no intellectual would believe the scientist in this sentence. The clue to look for in the sentence is the word "Although" because it indicates an opposite. Since we've established that the scientist is making a claim that needs evidence to support it, the opposite would be a lack of support or weak evidence. Lacking, shoddy, or meager might work.



Now look at the answer choices:

A) conclusive

B) indubitable

C) paltry

D) copious

E) extensive

Ask for each word, does conclusive mean shoddy? Does indubitable mean lacking or meager? Both words, in fact, mean that something is clear and decisive. Eliminate them since they are opposites of your prediction. Copious and extensive are also synonyms, meaning abundant and widespread, respectively. Both would indicate that the scientist had plenty of evidence to support his claim, so eliminate them as well. In fact, eliminating synonyms is a great strategy to limit the number of answer choices. When two words are as similar in meaning as conclusive and indubitable, for example, no sentence could clearly indicate that one is right and the other wrong. Since there can only be one correct answer, both synonyms must be wrong. The answer is C.

Words tested in this SC:
Conclusive: Proving an end to something
Indubitably: Clearly true; providing no possibility of doubt
Paltry: Meager, worthless, trifling; trashy, of little value
Copious: Profuse, abundant
Extensive: Widespread


On sat.collegeboard.com, 54% of responses were correct


Need to build your SAT Vocab?  Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program.