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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

Link of the Day

This is an exciting time of year as people take the time to vote on the officials to represent them on both local and national levels.  Have you ever thought about what a massive undertaking it is to organize the voting privileges of so many people?  How much technology is involved in the process?  What do the candidates do as they wait for the results of the election?  Think about these questions as you read this article, then think about how you might relate this current event to an SAT essay prompt through the use of broad themes.

11/6 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. 

Never look at the answer choices to sentence completion questions before reading the sentence carefully and making a prediction to fill the blank.  Once you have a prediction, you can match the prediction to the correct answer choice and eliminate any answer choices that do not match.  Be sure to look at all of the answer choices even if your prediction matches one of the first ones.

The radical ideas in Henderson's speech were ------- to those assembled, inciting many in the crowd to anger and some to open rebellion.

There are two types of sentence completion questions: vocabulary and logic.  This one is a vocabulary question; it tells you the definition of the word in the blank after the comma.  You know that the speech incited many people to anger and open rebellion.  How would you describe how the crowd viewed the ideas in the speech?  You can use the general prediction “causing anger and rebellion” as your prediction if a single word does not come to mind, or you could pick more specific words such as “angering” or “instigating.”  Look down at your answer choices and see which ones match your prediction.

(A) exhilarating
(B) sympathetic
(C) gratifying
(D) inflammatory
(E) tiresome

(A) Does exhilarating mean angering? No.  Eliminate it.  (B) Does sympathetic mean angering?  No.  Eliminate it.  (C) Does gratifying mean angering?  No.  Eliminate it.  (D) Does inflammatory mean angering?  Yes.  If you don’t know, you still keep the word as a choice.  (E) Does tiresome mean angering?  No. Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Exhilarating: thrilling
Sympathetic:  compassionate or empathetic
Gratifying: pleasing
Inflammatory: provoking or arousing anger
Tiresome: boring or annoying


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% 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. 

Use the same method for every sentence completion question.  First, cover the answers. Then make a prediction for the easier blank.  Eliminate any answer choices that do not match your prediction for that blank.  Next, use the same method for the second blank.  Check each remaining answer choice until you have eliminated all but the correct answer.

Even those who do not ------- Robinson’s views ------- him as a candidate who has courageously refused to compromise his convictions.

Start with the second blank if it seems easier than the first.  How are people going to feel about a candidate who is described as “courageous?”  They are definitely going to respond positively.  The verb in the second blank must be positive.  You can start with a vague prediction.  Look down at the second part of each answer choice.

(A) shrink from . . condemn
(B) concur with . . recognize
(C) profit from . . dismiss
(D) disagree with . . envision
(E) dissent from . . remember

(A) is negative; eliminate it.  (B) is positive, keep it.  (C) is negative; eliminate it.  (D) is positive; keep it.  (E) is neutral.  Normally you can eliminate words that are neutral, but if you are not sure about a word you can always keep it.

Now look at the first blank.  The sentence starts with the words “even those.”  This is setting up a contrast with the second part of the sentence.  It makes sense that people who agree with this candidate would point out his courage.  However, the “even those” phrase tells you that it is surprising that certain people think that the candidate is courageous.  Do people who disagree with a candidate often point out his strengths?  No!  So it would be surprising if people who did not agree with Robinson pointed out his courage.  Use “agree with” as your prediction and look down at the answer choices that remain.

(B) concur with . . recognize
(D) disagree with . . envision
(E) dissent from . . remember

(B) matches your prediction.  (C) is the opposite of your prediction, and it creates a double negative in the original sentence.  (E) is also the opposite of your prediction.

The correct answer is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Condemn: to pronounce guilty, convict
Concur: to unite or agree (in action or opinion)
Dismiss: to order to leave, or to reject
Envision: imagine
Dissent: to disagree, to differ from


On sat.collegeboard.org, 50% of the responses were correct.

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