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Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Those who overcome obstacles inspire others to do the same.  Remember the young girl who was shot for advocating education for girls?  (You can review the original story from last October here.)  This girl has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize and is now resuming her own education.  If this story interests you, write down the broad themes from it (such as education) and specific details (such as the spelling of Malala and her age, 15).  Think about how you could use the broad themes in this current event to support a position on almost any essay prompt, then try connecting it to the prompts below:

(1) Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?
(2) Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?
(3) Has today’s abundance of information only made it more difficult to understand the world around us?

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 the answer choices until you have read the sentence carefully and made a prediction to fill the easier blank.  Then eliminate any choices that do not match your prediction.  Do the same with the other blank.

Laboratories have been warned that provisions for animal protection that in the past were merely ------- will now be mandatory; ------- of this policy will lose their federal research grants.

Look at the first blank.  Animal protection was once one thing, but now it is mandatory.  The “now” lets you know that a change has been made.  You can predict the word “optional,” but remember that any word that could be used for something that is “not mandatory” will work.

(A) comprehensive . . adversaries
(B) nominal . . advocates
(C) disregarded . . proponents
(D) recommended . . violators
(E) compulsory . . resisters

(A) Your teachers have probably told you at some point that you would have a comprehensive test.  That kind of test covers a lot of the topics that you studied.  These tests are generally not optional!  Look back at the original sentence and notice the word “merely.”  The words “merely” and “comprehensive” sound odd together.  This is like saying that the test “only includes a lot,” which is not strictly logical.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  If you don’t know a word, keep the answer choice.  (C) Something disregarded could be optional. Keep this choice.  (D)  This seems like the strongest answer.  Recommended means optional but advisable, and it seems advisable to protect animals.  Keep it.  (E)  This word is a synonym of mandatory; it is the opposite of what you want.  Eliminate it.

Now look at the second blank.  The second blank involves a punishment, the loss of research grants.  People who do not do mandatory things get punished for it.  Predict “disobedient people” and look down at your answer choices.

(B) nominal . . advocates
(C) disregarded . . proponents
(D) recommended . . violators

(B)  Knowsys word!  People who advocate something are for that thing.  If they are for the policy, they will not disobey it.  Eliminate this choice.  (C) A proponent is also for something.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)  You see signs everywhere that list rules along with the words, “Violators will be prosecuted.”  Violators break rules.  Keep this choice.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Comprehensive: broadly or completely covering something
Adversaries: opponents or rivals
Nominal: being such in name only, or minimal
Advocates: people speaking in support of something
Disregarded: ignored
Proponents: supporters, advocates
Recommended: suggested, encouraged
Violators: people who break the rules
Compulsory: required, mandatory
Resisters: people who fight against something


On sat.collegeboard.org, 73% 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. 

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!

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. 

Always cover up your answers as you read the sentence.  Choose the easier blank and predict an answer to fill that blank.  Eliminate any choice that does not match your prediction.  Then use the same process with the other blank.

Although the conference speakers disliked one another and might have been expected to -------, it turned out that on several substantive issues they were in complete ------- and were able to avoid petty squabbling.

This sentence give you many context clues.  Paraphrase it as you read it:  even though many people did not like each other, they avoided squabbling.  If people do not get along, especially speakers at an event, you can expect them to argue.  Predict the word “argue” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) argue . . disagreement
(B) bristle . . apathy
(C) debate . . dissonance
(D) concur . . denial
(E) bicker . . accord

(A)  This choice matches your prediction exactly.  However, you should always check all of the choices for synonyms of your prediction.  (B)  Bristle sounds like a negative word, and argue is also a negative word.  Keep this word if you are not sure you can eliminate it.  (C) Debate and argue sound similar, even though debate has a more positive connotation than argue.  If you are not sure you can eliminate a word, keep it.  (D)  The Latin root “con” means “with” or “together.”  The root “cur” means “run.”  If people are running together, they are in agreement instead of working against each other.  Eliminate this choice.  (E)  This word sounds negative, and your prediction was negative, so keep it.

Now turn your attention to the second blank.  Something kept these people from arguing.  These people must have found areas of agreement.  Predict the word “agreement” and look down at your remaining choices.

(A) argue . . disagreement
(B) bristle . . apathy
(C) debate . . dissonance
(E) bicker . . accord

(A)   “Disagreement” is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  Knowsys word!   If you are apathetic, it means that you do not care, not that you agree.  Eliminate this choice.  (C)  This word starts with the same Latin root as the word “disagreement.”  The root “dis” means “away” and the root “son” means “sound.”  You may recognize this word if you are a musician, but even if you are not, you can eliminate this word because it does not match your prediction.  (E)  At first glance, the word “accord” may not seem to match “agreement,” but think of the phrase “of one accord” or “in accordance with.”  These phrases are used when people come together and agree on something or with one another. 

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Substantive: essential or considerable
Petty: trifling, little, or inconsiderable
Squabbling: quarreling
Bristle: to react with fear or suspicion
Apathy: lack of interest
Dissonance: inharmonious, harsh sounds or disagreement
Concur: to agree
Bicker: to quarrel about petty things
Accord: agreement


On sat.collegeboard.org, 73% 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. 

Cover up your answer choices and focus on reading the sentence carefully.  Then make a prediction to fill the blank and match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating choices that do not match.  Remember to look at all the choices before selecting your answer.

The dramatist was ------- over his lack of funds and his inability to sell any of his plays, and his letters to his wife reflected his unhappiness.

You need to fill a blank describing the dramatist.  The end of the sentence tells you that his letters showed his unhappiness.  Predict that the dramatist was “unhappy.”

(A) despondent
(B) supercilious
(C) prudent
(D) encouraged
(E) fortified

(A) The Latin root “de” can mean “down.”  Think of the word “despair.”  Feeling down or despairing would match your prediction perfectly.  Keep this choice.  (B)  Knowsys SAT word!  The Latin root “super” means “above.”  If someone thinks he is above others, he is proud and haughty.  Eliminate this choice because it does not match your prediction.  (C)  Knowsys SAT word!  Prudent people make decisions cautiously, but you are looking for an emotion, not evaluating this person’s judgment.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)  This is the opposite of your choice!  Eliminate it.  (E)  Vitamins fortify your body, so “fortify” is probably a positive word.  You are looking for a negative term.  Eliminate this choice.

Words used in this SC:
Despondent: in low spirits, disheartened, dejected
Supercilious: excessively proud and arrogant
Prudent: very careful or showing judgment and wisdom
Encouraged: inspired, heartened, reassured
Fortified: strengthened or encouraged


On sat.collegeboard.org, 76% 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. 

Completely ignore the answer choices, and read the sentence carefully.  Choose one blank, the easier one, and make a prediction.  Then eliminate any answer choices that do not match the meaning of your prediction.  Use the same process with the other blank, making sure to look at all of your remaining choices before selecting one.

Often inattentive when it comes to schoolwork, Maya was uncharacteristically ------- when she wrote her personal essay; rather than taking her typical ------- approach, she paid extremely close attention to every last detail.

Start with the first blank.  Maya is often inattentive.  If she is acting uncharacteristically, then she must be the opposite of inattentive.  Predict the word “attentive” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) thorough . . cautious
(B) painstaking . . precise
(C) inconsiderate . . thoughtful
(D) nonchalant . . efficient
(E) meticulous . . careless

(A)  Someone who does something thoroughly is being attentive.  Keep it.  (B)  If you take pains to do something, you definitely care about it.  Keep this choice.  (C)  To consider something is to think about it, so “inconsiderate” is the opposite of your prediction “attentive.”  Eliminate this choice.  (D) Knowsys word!  “Nonchalant” comes from Latin and essentially means “not hot.”  If you are cool towards something, you are indifferent about it.  “Indifferent” is the opposite of “attentive.”  Eliminate this choice.  (E)  Knowsys word!  Meticulous people care about detail, and showing care for details is being attentive.  Keep this word.  You've eliminated choices C and D. 

Turn your attention to the second blank.  You know that Maya is “often inattentive,” so what would her normal approach to something look like?  It would be “inattentive.”  Predict the word “inattentive” and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(A) thorough . . cautious
(B) painstaking . . precise
(E) meticulous . . careless

(A)  The word “cautious” does not mean inattentive.  If you are cautious, you are warily checking your surroundings for danger.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  The word “precise” does not mean inattentive.  Eliminate it.  (E)  The word “careless” matches your prediction of “inattentive.”

Note: this sentence has many context clues; you can also find the answer by focusing on the clue that Maya “paid extremely close attention to every last detail” on this specific essay, which was out of character for her.

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Thorough: painstaking and careful not to miss any detail
Cautious: watchful and prudent
Painstaking: carefully attentive to details
Precise: exact, accurate
Inconsiderate: thoughtless, without care for others
Thoughtful: showing care and consideration
Nonchalant: indifferently cool, unconcerned
Efficient: performing in the best manner, without wasting time or effort
Meticulous: very careful and attentive to small details
Careless: without care or concern


On sat.collegeboard.org, 76% of the responses were correct.

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Have you ever seen the movie Jaws?  Is anyone on the shark’s side?  Take a look at this current event and think about how you could use this example for an SAT essay asking, “Is there always another explanation or another point of view?”  Look for themes and facts about sharks that could be used to substantiate an opinion on a variety of issues.  Consider the question, “Should people let their feelings guide them when they make important decisions?”  Maybe you don’t feel like petting a shark, but you can understand why some people want to protect them.

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 your answers and read the sentence carefully.  You will be able to use context clues to predict a word to fill the blank.  Then you can match your prediction to the correct answer and eliminate any words that do not match.  Be sure to look at all of the answer choices before selecting your answer.

To some scholars of medieval Britain, the legendary King Arthur is a genuine historical figure, while to others he and his Round Table are nothing more than ------- of myth and romance.

This sentence sets up a contrast; some scholars think one way, while others think another way.  The first set of scholars thinks that King Arthur is genuine.  The word genuine means real, so the second group of scholars must think that he is not real, or that he was imagined.   The word “myth” confirms that the second group does not believe Arthur and his Round Table are real.  Predict a word such as “fictions” or “inventions” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) harbingers
(B) trifles
(C) spoilers
(D) figments
(E) inventors

(A) If you know the verb “harbor,” as in harbor a fugitive, you may be able to deduce the meaning of this word.  Those who harbor fugitives give shelter to people running from the law.  This word is related to a word used in the fifteenth century for people who were sent ahead to arrange shelter for important travelers.  Over time the meaning has broadened to mean anything foreshadowing a future event.  The stories of King Arthur are in the past, not the future, and this word does not match your prediction.  Eliminate this choice.

(B)  Trifles are not very important, but this contrast has nothing to do with importance.  The word “trifle” does not mean “fiction,” so eliminate this choice.

(C)  Even if you do not know what the word “spoilers” means, it probably sounds negative to you.  Your prediction was not negative, and there is nothing that indicates that myths and romances are perceived negatively in this sentence.  Eliminate this choice.

(D) You have probably heard someone say the words “a figment of your imagination.”  If figments are imaginary things, that matches your prediction exactly.  Keep this choice and quickly look at the last answer choice.

(E)  Inventors may produce inventions, or even something fictional, but they are not themselves made-up or imaginary.  Eliminate this answer choice.

The correct answer is (D).

Words used in this SC:
Harbingers: people or events that foreshadow or announce the coming of something
Trifles: things of very little value
Spoilers: people who rob others or things that spoil something
Figments: fabrications or fantasies, imagined things
Inventors: people who create new things


On sat.collegeboard.org, 68% 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. 

Cover up the answer choices and read the sentence carefully.  Focus on the easier of the two blanks, making a prediction to fill it.  Eliminate any answer choice that does not match your prediction.  Use the same process with the other blank.

The “double feature,” which featured two films for the price of one, became popular in the 1930s as a scheme to ------- former moviegoers who had begun to stay home since the ------- of the Depression at the beginning of the decade.

Start with the first blank.  You know that companies offer good deals in order to bring in more customers.  The sentence even tells you that there are specific people who need to be brought in to the movies: those who used to come all the time before the Depression.  Predict the answer “bring in” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) lure . . advent
(B) discourage . . end
(C) dissuade . . dawn
(D) perplex . . onset
(E) instigate . . devastation

(A)  Does “lure” mean “bring in”?  Well, when you use a fishing lure to catch a fish, you bring it into your net, or cooler, from its native waters.  This answer choice matches your prediction, so keep it.

(B)  This is the opposite of your prediction.  The moviegoers are already discouraged from going to the movies by the bad economy.  The “double feature” is intended to encourage them to go to the movies anyway.  “Discourage” does not mean “bring in.”  Eliminate this answer choice.

(C)  This word comes directly from Latin.  The root “dis” means “off,” “against,” or “away.”  The root “suad” means “urge,” just as it does in the word “persuade.”  Thus, “dissuade” means to urge someone away rather than to bring that person in.  Eliminate this answer choice.

(D) You know the word “complex.”  If something is complex, it will perplex people.  The Latin root “per” means “through” and the root “plex” means “plait” or “braid.”  Something complicated is going on in this word.  There is nothing complicated about offering two movies for the price of one.  “Perplex” does not mean “bring in,” so you can eliminate this answer choice.

(E) The word “instigate” has Greek origins.  The root “stig” means “prick,” as in to stimulate or incite someone to action by provocation.  The “double feature” is meant to goad people into coming back to the movies, so this answer might work even though it does not match your prediction as well as choice (A).  Keep it.

Now turn your attention toward the second blank.  Even if you do not remember from your history class that the stock market crashed in 1929, you should notice that the sentence emphasizes the “beginning of the decade.”  The word “begun” is also used in the sentence to describe when the people stopped coming to the movies.  Clearly the word “beginning” is important to the meaning of this sentence.  People didn’t gradually quit going to the movies, they stopped at the very beginning of the Depression, even though that might not have been the most miserable period of the Depression.  Predict the word “beginning” and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(A) lure . . advent
(E) instigate . . devastation

(A)  The Latin root “ad” means “in addition to,” but it also means “movement toward.”  For Christians, the Christmas holiday historically begins with something called the “Advent season” that ushers in a day of celebration.  The word “advent” indicates the coming of a certain period.  This choice matches your prediction.

(E)  Although the Depression was a time of devastation, the word “devastation” does not match the word “beginning.”  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (A).

Words used in this SC:
Lure: something that tempts or attracts
Advent: coming, or arrival
Dissuade: to convince someone not to do something
Perplex: to cause to feel puzzled or baffled
Onset: the start of something, or the start of an attack
Instigate: to urge forward
Devastation: destruction and desolation


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

For more help with SAT reading, 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. 

Always cover the answer choices before reading the sentence because most of them are incorrect and intended to distract you from the correct answer.  Read the sentence carefully and predict a word to fill the blank.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer, eliminating any choices that do not match.  Be sure to look at all the answer choices before selecting your answer.

A group of Black American fighter pilots known as the Red Tail Angels has the ------- of never having lost any of the bombers it escorted on missions over Europe in the Second World War.

Paraphrase the sentence as you read it.  These fighters never lost any bombers on their missions.  This statement sounds pretty impressive; it sounds as if these fighters deserve recognition for their perfect record.  Predict the word “honor” or “credit” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) onus
(B) distinction
(C) imperative
(D) potential
(E) assignment

(A) If you have been studying your Knowsys vocabulary, you know a word related to this one: onerous.  The Latin root “oner” means burden.  Though these pilots were given a burdensome task, your prediction was positive to describe how well they completed their task.  “Onus” does not mean “honor.”  Eliminate it.

(B) You probably associate “dist” with distance.  In this case, think of it as “set apart.”  This word has changed slightly in meaning over the ages.  By the 1690s it came to mean “distinguished from others” or “excellent.”  If you say that an individual “served with distinction,” you are complementing that person and giving that individual credit.  This matches your prediction.

(C) The word “imperative” may be linked to the word “important” in your mind.  It may have been important for these fighters to protect the bombers on their missions, but the word “important” does not mean “honor.”  Eliminate this choice.

(D) Are you told you have the potential to do great things?  Potential is generally used for the future.  World War II is in the past.  You cannot say the group of fighters “has the potential” to do something that they have already done.  “Potential” has more to do with “a chance for honor” than “honor.”  Eliminate it.

(E) This answer also does not make sense chronologically.  You cannot say that the group of fighters “has the assignment” for World War II when World War II ended long ago.  They may have had the assignment, but just because you complete an assignment does not mean that you get honor or credit for doing a good job.  “Assignment” does not mean “honor.”  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Onus: burden of proof or obligation
Distinction: condition of being different or strong praise
Imperative: a command or a necessity
Potential: capacity to improve or possibility
Assignment: task or duty


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

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Current events may be used to distinguish the present from the past or link the present to the past.  You have all learned about the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the one abolishing slavery.  Read this article explaining that the last state has finally ratified that amendment.  After all these years, is this an empty gesture or a meaningful conclusion?  Pay particular attention to the motivation of those behind the ratification and notice that they were not government employees.  How many common SAT themes can you spot in this current event?  Which details should you write down in order to use this current event effectively in an essay format?

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 the answer choices and read the sentence carefully.  Select the blank that seems easier to you and focus on predicting a word for that blank.   Uncover your answer choices and eliminate any that do not match your prediction.  Use the same process with the other blank. 

Allison had only ------- knowledge of the recent legislation; although she had glanced at a summary, she had not ------- the details of the new law's many provisions.

Start with the first blank.  When you use the word “only,” you are generally trying to emphasize that the amount of something is small.  The idea that Allison did not have a lot of knowledge is also supported by the fact that she “glanced at a summary.”  Predict that she has “a little” knowledge and look down at your answer choices.

(A) superficial . . examined
(B) subjective . . studied
(C) sketchy . . vacated
(D) questionable . . endorsed
(E) cursory . . opposed

(A) A superficial observer only sees what is obvious.  Allison only took a glance.  The word “superficial” could mean “a little,” so keep it.  (B) The word “subjective” is the opposite of “objective.”  “Subjective” does not mean “a little,” so eliminate this choice.  (C) A sketch is quick and hasty, and so was Allison’s look at the summary.  “Sketchy” can mean “a little,” so keep this choice.  (D) “Questionable” does not usually mean “a little,” but the word could be used to emphasize that Alison does not know much about the legislation.  Keep it.  (E) The Latin root “curs” means “run.”  This word also implies haste, just as Alison’s glance did, so keep it.

Now look at the second blank.  It comes after the keyword “although.”  This word lets you know that there must be a contrast between the next two ideas.  If the first idea is that Allison only glanced at a summary, then the second idea would logically be that she carefully read all of the details.  Predict “carefully read” and look down at the remaining answer choices.

(A) superficial . . examined
(C) sketchy . . vacated
(D) questionable . . endorsed
(E) cursory . . opposed

(A) “Examined” matches your prediction perfectly.  Before you select it, check the other answer choices.  (C) The Latin root “vac” means empty, and you have probably heard of vacant houses before.  “Vacated” does not mean “carefully read,” so eliminate this choice.  (D)  You know that when celebrities endorse products, they recommend them to the public.  You do not care how Allison felt about the legislation; you just want to know that she read it carefully.  Eliminate this choice.  (E) “Opposed” does not mean “carefully read.”  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (A).

Words used in this SC:
Superficial: shallow, based on face value
Examined: observed or inspected critically, studied
Subjective: based on feeling rather than reasoning
Sketchy: rough or hasty
Vacated: left or moved out
Questionable: problematic, open to doubt
Endorsed: supported with approval or wrote on a check
Cursory: brief or broad, not cautious or detailed
Opposed: against something


On sat.collegeboard.org, 66% 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. 

Cover up your answer choices and predict a word to fill the blank.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating any word that does not match.  Be sure to check all of the choices before you select your answer.

The ------- of Queen Elizabeth I impressed her contemporaries: she seemed to know what dignitaries and foreign leaders were thinking.

This is a straightforward vocabulary question; the definition of the word that belongs in the blank comes right after the colon.  If the Queen always knows what others are thinking, she must have “discernment” or “understanding” and a lot of “insight.”  Predict one of these words, or one of their synonyms, and look down at your answer choices.

(A) symbiosis
(B) malevolence
(C) punctiliousness
(D) consternation
(E) perspicacity

(A)  The root “sym” is a Greek root meaning “with” or “together.”  “Bio” means “life.”  You have probably run across the word “symbiotic” in your science classes.  Symbiotic relationships are mutually beneficial, so this is a tempting choice.  However, notice that the Queen is set apart from her contemporaries; she impresses them.  She is not going to be interdependent on someone else.  She depends on her own discernment, and you do not know whether other leaders can also find out what she is thinking.  Does “symbiosis” mean “understanding”?  No.  Eliminate it.

(B)  This word is easy to eliminate.  The Latin root “mal” means “bad.”  If you know this, or even if you speak Spanish, you can quickly identify this as a negative word.  You are looking for a positive attribute of the Queen that would impress others – your prediction was positive.  

(C)  This word will not be intimidating when you remember that you know the related word “punctual.”  If you are careful to be precise or arrive on time that may be a good quality, but it certainly does not mean “understanding.”  Eliminate this choice.

(D)  The root “con” can be difficult for students because it has several meanings, but in this case the “con” is related to the word “confusion.”  This is a negative word.  Eliminate it.

(E)  This is probably another word that you have never used, but it is related to one we use all the time: perspective.  “Per” means “through” while “spec” means “look.”  Is the Queen able to see though others?  Yes!  She can understand the thoughts behind their words and actions.  “Perspicacity” matches “understanding.”

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Symbiosis: a relationship of mutual benefit
Malevolence: hostile attitude or feeling
Punctiliousness: paying strict attention to detail
Consternation: amazement or terror so strong that a response is impossible
Perspicacity: acute discernment or understanding


On sat.collegeboard.org, 56% 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. 

Always cover your answer choices and use the sentence to predict a response to fill the blanks.  Match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating any words that do not match.

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

This sentence is a little harder to predict than some others, but you should always make a prediction so that you don’t get bogged down in the answer choices.  You don’t know whether David had experience and you don’t know whether he got the job, but you should immediately spot a keyword in the sentence.  “Notwithstanding” tells you that although David’s experience was one way, it was judged another way.  In other words, the two blanks will contrast one another: you will have one negative and one positive blank.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) illustrious . . entitled to
(B) limited . . qualified for
(C) applicable . . assured of
(D) useful . . overqualified for
(E) irrelevant . . perplexed by

(A) The word illustrious comes from the Latin “illustris,” which means “lighted” or “brilliant.”  Illustrious is a positive word.  It would also be a positive thing if a manager judged David to be entitled to a job.  This answer choice has two positives, but you predicted a negative and a positive.  Eliminate this choice.

(B) The idea of limited experience is negative.  However, qualifying for a job is a positive thing.  You found a positive and a negative.  Keep this answer choice and quickly check the remaining choices.

(C) Applicable experience would be good during a job search.  Being assured of a job is also good.  Eliminate this choice.

(D) Useful experience would be good during a job search.  Being overqualified for a job is bad if you don’t get hired.  At first glance this choice seems to fit your prediction; however, remember the keyword “notwithstanding.”  It is logical to say that a person with a lot of useful experience may be overqualified.  There is no contrast between these ideas.  Eliminate this answer choice.

(E) Irrelevant experience won’t help you; it is negative.  Being perplexed by a job is also a bad thing.  Eliminate this answer choice.

The correct answer is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Notwithstanding: in spite of, nevertheless
Illustrious: famous, dignified, glorious
Entitled: has the right to something
Limited: confined, lacking
Qualified: meeting the standards for a position
Applicable: relevant
Assured: guaranteed, certain
Overqualified: has more than required
Irrelevant: not related
Perplexed: baffled, puzzled


On sat.collegeboard.org, 63% of the responses were correct.

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

One of the released SAT essay prompts asks “Has today’s abundance of information only made it more difficult for us to understand the world around us?”  Before you answer this question, take a look at this current event.  This current event could be used to argue either yes or no, but think for a moment.  Have you ever heard this man’s name before?  Did you know any of the facts associated with the massacres of Guatemalan villagers?  If not, why not?  What other information have you absorbed instead? 

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 answer choices so that they do not distract you while you read the sentence carefully.  Predict a word to fill the blank that you find easier, and then eliminate any answer choices that do not match your prediction for that blank.  Use the same method with the other blank.  Remember to eliminate each wrong choice, even if one answer matches one of your predictions exactly. 

Lazarro's last movie polarized viewers: while many ------- the film for its artfully directed scenes, others ------- it for being inaccessible.

The key word in this sentence is “polarized” – a Knowsys word!  However, you can still find the correct answer if you do not know what the word “polarized” means.  Start with the first blank.  If people think that the film is “artfully directed” that is a very positive observation.  If no word comes to mind immediately, predict “a positive word” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) praised . . extolled
(B) disparaged . . blamed
(C) regarded . . commended
(D) admired . . endorsed
(E) lauded . . criticized

(A) “Praised” is positive.  Keep it.  (B) Another Knowsys vocabulary word!  “Disparaged” is negative; it is the opposite of what you want.  Eliminate this answer choice.  (C) The word “regarded” often just means “to look.”  This is a neutral word rather than a positive word.  However, if you start over thinking the sentence, it is easy to remember that to “give that person my regards” is to give them respect or show interest in them.  If you aren’t comfortable with eliminating this word yet, keep it.  (D) “Admired” is positive.  Keep it.  (E) Another Knowsys word!  Remember that the Latin root “laud” means praise.  Keep this choice.

Now look at the second blank.  If people say that the film is inaccessible, that means that it was difficult to understand or they couldn’t get into it.  That is a criticism.  Predict “a negative word” and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(A) praised . . extolled
(C) regarded . . commended
(D) admired . . endorsed
(E) lauded . . criticized

(A) Another Knowsys word!  Are you studying your Knowsys SAT vocabulary?  If so, you know that extol is positive and you can eliminate it.  If not, keep it.  (C) This word is related to the word “recommend.”  If a teacher commends you or recommends you for something, those are good things.  Eliminate this choice.  (D) If celebrities endorse a product, they recommend trying that product and say positive things about it.  Eliminate this choice.  (E) You know that the word “criticized” is negative.  Always go with what you know on the SAT rather than hazarding a guess on what you don’t know.

Note:  If you knew the word “polarized,” you could have simply looked for two words that are opposites in your answer choices.

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Polarized: Made something completely opposite, at two different extremes
Extolled: Praised highly
Disparaged: Criticized disrespectfully
Regarded: Looked at or paid attention to
Commended: To reward or praise
Endorsed: To support or give approval to someone or something
Lauded: Praised


On sat.collegeboard.org, 64% of the responses were correct.

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

The SAT question for today is about a literary figure who loathes public appearances.  Although she is now an established literary giant, no one asked Emily Dickinson to make public appearances because her talent was unknown until after her death.  Read this information about her life and consider using your knowledge of this poet and one of her poems as one of your five literary examples for the SAT essay.

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 so that they do not influence the way you think about the sentence.  Read the sentence carefully and use context clues to predict a word to fill the blank.  Then match your prediction to the correct answer, eliminating any choices that do not match.  Look at each answer choice, even if one of the first answers seems to be correct.

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

This question tests whether you know the meaning of the word “loathe.”  However, you can still answer this question correctly even if you do not know this word.  You can tell that this woman dislikes public appearances because she finds them demanding.  She would not feel that these appearances were demanding if she enjoyed them.   If she dislikes public appearances, then she appreciates the opposite – private moments.  Predict the word “privacy” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) luxury
(B) privacy
(C) reward
(D) devotion
(E) distraction

(A)  Luxury can be either private or public; it has nothing to do with your prediction.  Eliminate this answer choice.  (B)  This choice matches your prediction exactly.  Nevertheless, you should still quickly check the other answer choices before selecting it.  (C)  This answer is meant to distract you if you are only looking for something good.  Privacy could be a reward for an introvert, but “reward” does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate this choice.  (D) Devotion requires something or someone outside oneself.  It does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate it.  (E)  Distraction does not mean “privacy.”  Eliminate it.

The correct answer is (B)

Words used in this SC:
Loathes: hates, detests
Luxury: wealth and the comfort it brings
Privacy: seclusion from others, solitude
Reward: something given in return for an action
Devotion: attachment to a cause or person
Distraction: something that catches one’s attention and prevents concentration


On sat.collegeboard.org, 70% 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. 

Cover up your answer choices and carefully read the sentence.  Predict a word for the easier blank and eliminate any answer choices that do not match your prediction.  Then do the same with the other blank and the remaining 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.

Start with the blank that is easier for you, even if it is the second blank.  In this case the second blank is easy to predict if you take into account the information in the sentence.  If the explosive in the factory blows up the entire factory, it can detonate without warning.  Predict the word “able” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) dormant . . ready
(B) fickle . . unlikely
(C) volatile . . liable
(D) unprecedented . . intended
(E) inactive . . designed

(A)  Does “ready” mean “able?”  If someone is ready to something, that usually means that they are able to.  Hang onto this one if you are not sure that you can eliminate it.  (B)  “Unlikely” does not mean “able.”  You were just given an example of when something exploded, so it seems pretty likely that the explosive will blow up.  Eliminate this choice.  (C) The word “liable” has two meanings.  Most people know that it means “legally responsible.”  However, words can change meaning over centuries.  If you are liable for something, people can sue you if something bad happens connected with that liability.  It eventually became acceptable to use the word “liable” whenever something bad was likely to happen.  Ex: In an economic downturn people are liable to become stressed.  A factory blowing up is an unfavorable outcome, so keep this answer choice.  (D) The word “intended” has to do not with what actually happened, but what someone planned to happen.  Nobel did not plan for his own factory to blow up; he only discovered that it could.  Eliminate this choice.  (E)  “Designed” and “intended” can be used as synonyms.  No one designed this explosive to blow up the factory; Nobel just accidentally discovered that it could.  Eliminate this answer choice. 

Now turn your attention to the the first blank in the sentence.  Now that you have thought about the sentence while checking the other blank, you probably understand that Nobel was surprised by his discovery.  He did not know the explosive was so likely to blow up until his entire factory was gone.  It is okay to use a phrase as your prediction.  Predict that he discovered the explosive was “capable of exploding,” and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(A) dormant . . ready
(C) volatile . . liable

(A)  The Latin root “dorm” means “sleep.”  An explosive is active, not “sleepy” or “inactive.”  Eliminate this choice.  (C)  The Latin root “vol” means “fly.”  An explosion definitely sends things flying.  Think of a volcano that sends fire up into the air very suddenly.  Keep this choice.

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Detonate: to explode suddenly and violently
Dormant: inactive, as if asleep
Fickle: quick to change, not loyal
Volatile: explosive
Liable: likely to do something or susceptible to something, prone to
Unprecedented: never before seen or done
Intended: planned
Inactive: not functioning or passive
Designed: intended or planned


On sat.collegeboard.org, 60% of the responses were correct.

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Have you caught the flu?  Have you had a flu shot?  Even something as mundane as the flu virus can make a great current event for your SAT essay.  Instead of focusing on your own experiences, take a broader look at the debate about flu vaccinations.  Read this article, looking for themes that are likely to show up on the SAT.  Be sure to scrutinize how the people in this article make the choices that they make.  If you choose to use this as one of your current event examples, memorize some specific details and facts so that your essay includes more than vague generalizations.  For those of you about to take the January SAT:  Take care of your health!  The SAT will seem much longer if you are sick! 

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 answer choices and read carefully so that you can predict a word to fill one of the blanks.  Make a prediction for the easier blank and eliminate the answer choices that do not match your prediction.  Do the same for the other blank.

Alvin is an exceedingly ------- person: he unselfishly ------- his friends without ever expecting anything in return.

Start with the blank that seems easier.  What would an unselfish person do for his friends?  Help them!  Use the word “helps” as your prediction, and look down at your answer choices.

(A) opportunistic . . supports
(B) noble . . undermines
(C) bemused . . aids
(D) caustic . . neglects
(E) altruistic . . assists

(A) "Supports" can mean "helps".  Keep this choice.  (B) Undermining someone is the opposite of helping them.  Eliminate this choice.  (C) "Aids" and "helps" are synonyms.  Keep this choice.  (D) Neglecting someone is not helping!  Eliminate this choice.  (E) "Assists" and "helps" are synonyms.  Keep this choice.

Now look back at the first blank.  Right after the blank, you read that Alvin is unselfish.  Predict that Alvin is an “unselfish” person, and look down at your remaining answer choices.

(A) opportunistic . . supports
(C) bemused . . aids
(E) altruistic . . assists

(A) Does "opportunistic" mean "unselfish?"  No.  People who are always looking for opportunities may just be looking for opportunities for themselves.  Eliminate this choice.  (C)  Don’t confuse the word “bemused” with the word “amused,” but they both refer to the way that one person feels.  You aren’t looking for a feeling word; you are looking for a word that means unselfish.  Eliminate this choice.  (E) This word comes from French: “autrui” means “to others.”  Altruistic people are concerned with others; they are unselfish.

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Opportunistic: taking advantage of situations (often selfishly)
Supports: helps or keeps from falling
Noble: honorable or aristocratic
Undermines: hinders or sabotages
Bemused: confused or preoccupied
Aids: helps
Caustic: burning, sharp or bitter (often refers to language)
Neglects: disregards, fails to care for
Altruistic: Unselfishly concerned for others (Knowsys word!)
Assists: helps


On sat.collegeboard.org, 72% 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. 

Cover your answers so that you can focus on reading the question carefully and predict an answer to fill the blank.  Once you have a prediction, you can easily eliminate answer choices that do not match your prediction in meaning.  Be sure to look at all 5 answer choices, even if the first answer that you see seems to match exactly.

Because he was ------- in the face of danger, the explorer won the government’s highest award for conspicuous bravery.

This sentence is great because it gives you a word to fill the blank.  Someone who is given an award for bravery will be “brave” in the face of danger.  Sentences that use simple vocabulary and seem to give away the answer like this will often have more difficult vocabulary in the answer choices.  Look at each word separately and don’t confuse yourself by bouncing back and forth between answers.

(A) virile
(B) heedless
(C) dauntless
(D) callow
(E) timorous

(A)  Does virile mean brave?  In Latin the prefix “vir” means man, so this answer is supposed to distract you if you associate manliness with bravery.  Think about it this way: is a man necessarily brave? No.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  You may be more familiar with the word “heed” than the word “heedless,” as in “heed my warning.”  Someone who is heedless would not heed a warning, which sounds more foolish than brave.  Eliminate this choice.  (C)  The related word “daunting” can give you a clue to this word’s meaning.   A daunting task is frightening and intimidating.  If someone is dauntless, they would be the opposite: brave and inspiring.  This choice matches perfectly.  Keep it and quickly check the other choices.  (D) Even if you do not know the word “callow,” you can probably tell that this is not a positive word.  “Brave” is a very positive prediction, so you can eliminate this choice.  (E) The Latin root “tim” means to be afraid.  You probably know the word “timid.”  This is the opposite of your prediction; eliminate it.  Note:  don’t confuse timorousness with temerity: the second actually means daring or recklessness.  In this case there is a big difference between an “i” and an “e.”

The correct answer is (C).

Words used in this SC:
Conspicuous: obvious or attracting attention
Virile: possessing manly characteristics or strength
Heedless: unaware or careless
Dauntless: fearless and bold
Callow: immature or inexperienced, juvenile
Timorous: fearful, timid


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

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

Sentence Completions

Link of the Day

Are people still capable of original ideas that result in new discoveries?  Before you answer, take a look at this article about how scientists were able to lure a giant squid out of impenetrable depths in the ocean.  Which details might be relevant if you wanted to use this as a current event for an SAT essay?

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 answer choices until you have read the sentence carefully and predicted an answer for the easier blank.  Your prediction can be anything from a vague idea to an exact word.  Eliminate any answer choice that does not match the meaning of your prediction.  Then make a prediction for the other blank and eliminate any choice that does not match that prediction.

Understandably, it is the ------- among theater critics who become most incensed when producers insist on ------- celebrated classic plays.

This sentence may not seem to have a lot of meat on it the first time that you read it.  You will need to think clearly and logically to fill in the blanks correctly.  Focus on the second blank because there is more detail associated with it.  Paraphrase the words leading up to it and after it:  Some critics get angry when producers do something to celebrated classic plays.  You are looking for a word that could “understandably” make someone upset or offend them.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) strategists . . discussing
(B) mediators . . staging
(C) conformists . . praising
(D) traditionalists . . recognizing
(E) purists . . reinterpreting

(A)  Merely discussing something is not offensive.  Eliminate this choice.  (B)  The word staging is neutral, but maybe there is an objection that these plays are being staged instead of other kinds of plays.  Keep this choice until you can definitely eliminate it.  (C)  The plays are already described as “celebrated,” so you already know that they are often praised.  Praising something that is often praised is unlikely to offend people.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)  Again, a celebrated play is by definition recognized, and it does not make sense to take offense if someone recognizes it.  Eliminate this choice.  (E)  If something is celebrated as it is but someone comes along and changes it, people are likely to be offended.  Keep this choice.

Now look at the first blank.  You need a kind of person who would become upset.  Look down at your remaining answer choices.

(B) mediators . . staging
(E) purists . . reinterpreting

(B)  Mediators are in the middle, they are the ones who try to calm people at both ends of the spectrum down.  They are likely to be part of a solution to a disagreement, not the people who are upset.  Eliminate this choice.  (E)  Purists would have a definite opinion and refuse to compromise their beliefs. They would easily become upset if any aspect of a play was changed.  This matches your prediction.

The correct answer is (E).

Words used in this SC:
Incensed: 1) perfumed with incense or 2) enraged, inflamed with wrath
Celebrated: renowned, well-known
Strategists: experts in strategy, often in warfare
Mediators: negotiators between two parties seeking agreement
Staging: putting on a play
Conformists: people who don’t question group standards
Traditionalists: people who like the original or established way of doing something
Recognizing: 1) identifying or 2) acknowledging
Purists: people who insist on strict adherence to a belief or style
Reinterpreting: interpreting again, looking at something a new way, performing it a new way


On sat.collegeboard.org, 59% 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. 

Always cover your answer choices so that you can read the sentence carefully with an unprejudiced mind.  Make a prediction to fill the blank, and then match your prediction to the correct answer choice, eliminating any words that do not match.  Make sure that you look at all the answer choices before selecting your answer.

The impoverished city lacked the financial means to update its ------- electrical infrastructure.

Paraphrase the sentence to clarify its meaning.  The city is in poverty and lacks money for an update.  If something needs an update that means that it is old and outdated.  Predict the word “old” and look down at your answer choices.

(A) despondent
(B) antiquated
(C) rejuvenated
(D) superlative
(E) esoteric

(A)  If you have heard this word used before, you have probably heard it applied to a person with a negative emotion.  You are not looking for an emotional word; you are looking for something that means “old.”  Eliminate this choice.  (B) Think of the related word, “antique.”  This matches your prediction perfectly.  Keep it.  (C)  The Latin root “re” means again while the Latin root “juven” means young.  The infrastructure cannot be young again because the city does not have any money to change it.  Eliminate this choice.  (D)   The Latin root “super” means “over” or “above.”  A poor city will not have an infrastructure that is better than another city’s infrastructure, so eliminate this choice.  (E) The Greek root “eso” means “within,” as in belonging to an inner circle.  Although the infrastructure is within the city, this word does not match your prediction and should be eliminated.

The correct answer is (B).

Words used in this SC:
Impoverished: reduced to poverty
Infrastructure: the underlying framework
Despondent: feeling or showing profound hopelessness
Antiquated: old-fashioned or obsolete
Rejuvinated: restored to youthfulness
Superlative: of the highest quality or order, surpassing others
Esoteric: requiring specialized knowledge to be understood (Knowsys vocab!)

On sat.collegeboard.org, 67% 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. 
                         
Cover the answers so that wrong answer choices do not mislead your thoughts as you carefully read the sentence.  Focus on one blank, the one that seems easier, and make a prediction for that blank.  Eliminate any answer that does not match your prediction.  Then use the same method for the second blank.

The architect wanted to ------- his own initial vision and design but recognized the importance of ------- requests from his client; in the end, he had to make several concessions.

Look at the second blank because there are more contextual clues to help you find this blank.  The last portion of the sentence tells you that the architect had to make concessions.  In order to make concessions, he first had to recognize the importance of conceding to requests from his clients, which means he accepted or approved them.  Use these words as your prediction and look down at your answer choices.

(A)   maintain . . accommodating
(B)   develop . . submitting
(C)   protect . . excluding
(D)   refuse . . incorporating
(E)    preserve . . disregarding

(A) The word accommodating shows that he was willing to make changes.  Keep it.  (B)  The architect does not submit requests; the client does. Eliminate this choice.  (C)  "Excluding" is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.  (D)  If the architect incorporates his client’s requests, he accepts them and uses them to adapt his design.  Keep this option.   (E) "Disregarding" is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.

Now return to that first blank.  It is separate from the second part of the sentence by the word “but,” a word that indicates a contrast.  If the architect eventually has to make concessions or changes, a contrast to this idea would be that he wants to keep his initial vision and design without changes.  Use the word “keep” as your prediction and look down at the remaining choices.

(A) maintain . . accommodating
(D) refuse . . incorporating

(A) The word “maintain” matches the word “keep.”  Keep this answer choice.  (D)  It doesn’t make sense for the architect to refuse his own ideas; he wants to refuse the ideas of his client.  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (A).
                                                         
Words used in this SC:
Concessions: changes as a result of yielded privilege or power
Maintain: keep up, preserve
Accommodating:
Develop: change, progress
Submitting: yielding authority
Protect: keep safe, defend
Excluding: shutting out
Refuse: reject
Incorporating: including
Preserve: protect, maintain
Disregarding: ignoring


On sat.collegeboard.org, 77% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, 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!