PSAT Critical Reading : Adjectives and Adverbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

His mother said dismissively that the film was full of __________ violence, but Fred liked all the blood and gore.

Possible Answers:

gratuitous

gruesome

captivating

bewitching

shrewd

Correct answer:

gratuitous

Explanation:

Because of the "but" in the sentence, we know that the mother's opinion of the violence should contrast with Fred's. Since Fred liked it, the mother didn't, and the blank calls for a negative adjective. Gruesome and gratuitous are the options we have left. We can eliminate gruesome because it is not often that someone speaks "dismissively" of something that grosses them out. Gratuitous works best because it means uncalled for or unjustified.

Example Question #32 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The __________ soccer player returned to training after her third ACL surgery and difficult recovery.

Possible Answers:

tenacious

impetuous 

restrained

wary

opulent

Correct answer:

tenacious

Explanation:

Since this was her third surgery, the soccer player must be stubbornly persistent, or "tenacious" in returning to training once again after a difficult recovery.

Example Question #33 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Many actors spend their entire lives chasing after the __________ high that is associated with being onstage in front of an audience.

Possible Answers:

divergent

jubilant

exemplary

frugal

ephemeral 

Correct answer:

ephemeral 

Explanation:

"Ephemeral" works best here since a high is a temporary rush of euphoric emotions, which can only last so long before disappearing, making it temporary.

Example Question #34 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The college freshman considered her dorm room very __________ after sharing a room with her three sisters all her life.

Possible Answers:

capacious

florid

enervating

frugal

arid

Correct answer:

capacious

Explanation:

Because she had shared a room with her three sisters all her life, she was probably accustomed to a cramped and small living space. Thus, the dorm room must seem very large, or "capacious," to her.

Example Question #35 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Once a boring part of town life, the town meeting was now __________ with tension after the high school controversy.

Possible Answers:

reclusive

fraught

provacative

prosaic

 

mundane

Correct answer:

fraught

Explanation:

The best answer is "fraught," which means "filled with," and captures the transformation of the town meeting from boredom to tension.

Example Question #36 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The seemingly __________ puppy never tired, even after several vigorous hours of play.

Possible Answers:

satirical 

heretical

volatile

uninhibited 

indefatigable 

Correct answer:

indefatigable 

Explanation:

"Indefatigable" means incapable of being tired out, or never tired.

Example Question #37 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Lewis and Clark are often regarded as the daring and __________ pair that explored the entire western United States.

 

Possible Answers:

benign

mercurial

intrepid

inadvertent 

rancorous

Correct answer:

intrepid

Explanation:

The fact that Lewis and Clark explored the entire western United States would make them “intrepid”—adventurous or fearless.

Example Question #38 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The public was pleasantly surprised and relieved by their congresswoman’s speedy and __________ recovery from pneumonia.

Possible Answers:

exacerbated 

inauspicious

resilient 

incongruent 

superficial

Correct answer:

resilient 

Explanation:

“Resilient” indicates a quick recovery from illness or adversity

Example Question #39 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Most people were impressed with George’s grasp of __________ trivia, but Susan saw it as a mere parlor trick.

Possible Answers:

common

significant

useful

popular

arcane

Correct answer:

arcane

Explanation:

George’s knowledge of trivia is not something that everyone knows, ruling out both "common" and "popular."  Susan’s dismissal of George’s knowledge indicates that it is also not "significant" or "useful," so "arcane" is the correct answer.

Example Question #40 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Becky's locker was __________—all of her papers were filed by date and class, all of her notes were color-coded, and there wasn't a speck of dust or piece of trash to be seen.

Possible Answers:

perfidious

deprived

immaculate

humble

vulnerable

Correct answer:

immaculate

Explanation:

We're looking for an adjective that conveys how clean and organized Becky's locker is, so "immaculate," which means perfectly clean, neat, or tidy, is the best answer.

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