PSAT Critical Reading : Nouns and Adjectives or Adverbs in Two-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #33 : Nouns And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Always delaying his work, Aaron was the __________ example of your textbook __________.

Possible Answers:

worst . . . salesman

remarkable . . . reader

noted . . . lector

quintessential . . . procrastinator

immature . . . peddler

Correct answer:

quintessential . . . procrastinator

Explanation:

The only thing that is stated about Aaron in this sentence is that he delays his work. Therefore, the best description of him would be “a procrastinator.” The expression “textbook . . .” is a colloquial (i.e. spoken or informal) expression meaning “the standard version of . . .”. Someone who is “quintessential” is the perfect example of a given class of things. The word “procrastinator” comes from the Latin “cras”, meaning “tomorrow.”   The word “quintessential” comes from the old cosmology that spoke of four elements, followed by the fifth (“quint-”) element that made up the heavenly bodies—the most refined and perfect of all elements in that account.

Example Question #79 : Nouns And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

The country had become quite accustomed to __________ alterations in __________, always changing its entire political structure every nineteen years.

Possible Answers:

cyclical . . . authority

astonishing . . . juries

regular . . . legislation

representative . . . regulation

belabored . . . regalia

Correct answer:

cyclical . . . authority

Explanation:

A change in political structures does not necessarily indicate a mere change in "juries," "regulation," or "regalia." These options are far too specific in themselves. Likewise, the alterations are very regular in their occurrence, happening “every nineteen years.” Such the best option for the adjective for “alterations” thus should express the regularity of such alterations. “Cyclical” and “regular” do this well. However, “legislation” is too specific as well. Remember, it is the “entire” political structure that is changed. Cyclical means happening in a cycle, that is, as though it were happening in a circular manner. This and “authority” fit the sentence very well.

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