PSAT Critical Reading : Sentence Completions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Critical Reading

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #111 : 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.

The movie was set in the eighteenth century, but it has a terrible __________ when an actor's cell phone is clearly visible in one scene.

Possible Answers:

vindictiveness

antagonism

anachronism

complacency

tolerance

Correct answer:

anachronism

Explanation:

"Anachronism" means the representation of something as existing or happening in the wrong time period, and a cell phone in the eighteenth century is clearly misplaced. To break the word down into its roots, "ana" means wrong and "chronos" means time, so this word literally means "wrong time."

Example Question #21 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Sentences

The high school teacher talked to her students about the importance of __________ in reaching their dreams.

Possible Answers:

haughtiness

ascendancy

tenacity

vindication

reticence

Correct answer:

tenacity

Explanation:

In order to succeed in their endeavors, students must be determined. Thus, a student must have tenacity or perseverance.

Example Question #12 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

The essay was one of many fascinating works in a(n) __________ edited by her favorite author.

Possible Answers:

broadside

obituary 

anthology

antagonism

soufflé

Correct answer:

anthology

Explanation:

An anthology is a published collection of shorter pieces of writing, such as essays. While obituaries and broadsides are also published written works, they do not contain a collection of essays. 

Example Question #111 : Sentence Completions

Harry couldn't keep up with their quick __________; they joked and teased each other constantly.

Possible Answers:

banter

childishness

propriety

bravado

redundance

Correct answer:

banter

Explanation:

Banter is correct because it means to speak playfully or wittily. Joking and teasing (especially when it is quick and witty) can be described as banter. 

Example Question #201 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

John reluctantly sat down to complete his math homework; Emma, on the other hand, jumped into her chair and attacked the problem sets with ­­__________.

Possible Answers:

apathy

altruism

alacrity

benevolence

malediction

Correct answer:

alacrity

Explanation:

The second half of the sentence contrasts with the first, as we can tell by “on the other hand.” This means that the word in the blank should mean the opposite of reluctance and grudge. The correct answer is “alacrity,” which means cheerful willingness.

Example Question #201 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Each sentence completion question is made up of a sentence with one or two blanks.  One blank indicates that one word is missing.  Two blanks indicate that two words are missing.  Each sentence is followed by five choices.  Select the one word or pair of words that will best complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

At the _____ of her career, the figure skater Tara Lipinski won the Olympic gold medal in individual figure skating.

Possible Answers:

conclusion

beginning

plateau

apex

decline

Correct answer:

apex

Explanation:

The apex is the best fit in this sentence since Tara Lipinski won the highest medal possible at the height or apex of her career.

Example Question #201 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Each question below is made up of a sentence with one or two blanks.  One blank indicates that one word is missing.  Two blanks indicate that two words are missing.  Each sentence is followed by five choices.  Select the one word or pair of words that will best complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The __________ between brother and sister was almost too much for their parents to bear on the cross country road trip.

Possible Answers:

indifference

pacificity

neutrality

contention

accord

Correct answer:

contention

Explanation:

The situation suggests that both son and daughter were willfull and had disagreements during the road trip; thus, they had contention between them.

Example Question #111 : Sentence Completions

Each question below is made up of a sentence with one blank. The blank indicates that a word is missing. Each sentence is followed by five choices. Select the one word that will best complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Rather than take the information in the book at face value, it was important to note that the author used heavy sarcasm and _____.

Possible Answers:

analogies

veracity

satire

allusions

synecdoche

Correct answer:

satire

Explanation:

The key to this sentence is noting that the author does not simply write straightforward facts, but he instead uses sarcasm and ridicule or satire.

Example Question #203 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Each question below is made up of a sentence with one blank. The blank indicates that a word is missing. Each sentence is followed by five choices. Select the one word that will best complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Instead of being candid in his speech, he has __________ in word meanings which require the listener to read between the lines.

Possible Answers:

refutations

deceptions

treachery

nuances

traces

Correct answer:

nuances

Explanation:

If the person isn't candid, it indicates he has subtlety in his speech and nuances or implications in word meanings.

Example Question #31 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Sentences

When Laura’s boss discovered that her supposed sickness had been a mere __________, he immediately fired her for her dishonesty.

Possible Answers:

headache

fabrication

heartburn

dyspepsia

discomfort

Correct answer:

fabrication

Explanation:

The key word here is “dishonesty,” for this is the most specific that we can get about Laura’s sickness. There is nothing in the sentence to indicate anything about the specific nature of her ailment. Given that she was fired for dishonesty, the illness must have been a complete story that she made up. Hence, it is best called a “fabrication.” Something “fabricated” is strictly speaking something “manufactured.” When this is applied to human actions, a “fabrication” takes on the additional implication of intention to deceive.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors