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

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Example Question #1093 : One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The stark contrast between mainstream society and the hippie movement in the 1960s demonstrated how __________ America had become.

Possible Answers:

polarized 

arrogant 

distinct

mundane

steadfast 

Correct answer:

polarized 

Explanation:

The use of the phrase “stark contrast” tells you that there must have been a massive difference between mainstream society and the hippie movement; the correct answer must reflect this. While "distinct" might look like a good answer, "polarized," which means characterized by extreme differences of opinion, is the most fitting answer, since it conveys a more intense difference than does "distinct." (In addition, "polarized" conveys a sense of something (e.g. a country) being made up of two or more very different aspects, whereas "distinct" would suggest that the country is different from something else, but does not suggest anything about its component parts.) As for the other answer choices, "mundane" means boring; "steadfast" means resolute; and "arrogant" means smug.

Example Question #441 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The __________ behavior of Mother Theresa is legendary; over the course of her lifetime she gained a reputation for extreme kindness, self-sacrifice, and generosity.

Possible Answers:

holistic

inaudible

arrogant 

polarizing 

magnanimous

Correct answer:

magnanimous

Explanation:

The second clause reveals that the first blank must describe how Mother Theresa’s behavior was kind and generous. The best answer choice is therefore magnanimous which means generous, high-minded, selfless and noble. Holistic refers to the consideration of all factors; inaudible describes something that cannot be heard; arrogant means cocky; polarizing means causes extreme division.

Example Question #1101 : One Blank Sentences

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

The French Revolution was a(n) __________ occasion where the whole future of European society changed.

Possible Answers:

irrelevant

momentous

polarizing

dismissive

introspective

Correct answer:

momentous

Explanation:

The sentence suggests that the French Revolution changed the whole future changed the whole future of European society. It must have therefore been an important occasion. Of the answer choices momentous best captures the implied importance. Momentous means highly significant. Irrelevant means not important; polarizing means extremely divisive; dismissive means to not consider something; introspective means reflective.

Example Question #451 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The doctor was quite __________ in his praise of the patient for quitting smoking and losing weight; he spent five whole minutes congratulating him for his efforts to live a healthier lifestyle.

Possible Answers:

esoteric

ambivalent

superficial

verbose

disparaging

Correct answer:

verbose

Explanation:

"Verbose" means wordy or long-winded. We know that the doctor "spent five whole minutes congratulating [the patient]" on his lifestyle changes, so "verbose" best fits the context of the sentence and is the correct answer.

Example Question #452 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Without the support of the congregation, the minister had to raise funds __________ for the new church building.

Possible Answers:

ambivalently

holistically

openly

bombastically

covertly

Correct answer:

covertly

Explanation:

Without the support of the congregation, the minister had to find new methods of fundraising. "Openly" and "bombastically" both make little sense with the sentence considering the congregation's lack of support. "Holistically" and "ambivalently" both communicate an inappropriate lack of resolve by the minister to be correct. "Covertly," meaning secretly, is the correct answer.

Example Question #1092 : One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

In contrast to his mother’s grating and unmeasured voice, David’s grandmother’s voice had a markedly __________ character.

Possible Answers:

muted

elderly

euphonious

faint

soft

Correct answer:

euphonious

Explanation:

The opposition to note is that between the word to be chosen and the “grating and unmeasured voice” of David’s mother. In opposition to such an annoying voice, the best description of his grandmother’s voice would be “euphonious.” The word comes from Greek roots literally meaning “good sounding.” The prefix “eu-” can be found in “eulogy,” meaning “a good word (often spoken at a funeral) and “euphemism,” a type of word or expression that makes a more coarse expression seem less uncultured, for instance, the use of “to pass gas” for the crass word “to fart.” The “-phonious” portion means “sound.” It is found in words like “symphony,” meaning “sounding (often in the sense of ‘playing’) together” and “telephone.”

Example Question #453 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The young boy’s __________ complexion alarmed his teacher, and she sent him to the school nurse to make sure he wasn’t coming down with the flu.

Possible Answers:

glowing

pallid

torrid

tenuous

terse

Correct answer:

pallid

Explanation:

A white or light color in one’s cheeks is a symptom of sickness or ill-health, and “pallid” most closely means a paleness, typically attributed to poor health or sickness. The correct answer choice is "pallid."

Example Question #2044 : Psat Critical Reading

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

The author’s __________ output tended to overshadow the poor quality of the majority of his work.

Possible Answers:

unimpressive

prodigious

meager

limited

infinitesimal

Correct answer:

prodigious

Explanation:

Here the word “poor” indicates that the author is not very good; therefore, he must have written a good amount of material if it overshadows the quality of the material. Only "prodigious" means in a great amount.

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