SAT Critical Reading : Nouns in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #1822 : Sat Critical Reading

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

Usually an extremely outgoing person, Shawn surprised his friends at the party with his timidity and __________.

Possible Answers:

gregariousness

jubilation

aloofness

brevity 

energy 

Correct answer:

aloofness

Explanation:

The sentence contrasts Shawn’s usual outgoing personality with his surprising timidity and some other quality. As that other quality is similar to timidity and opposite to outgoing the correct answer is “aloofness” which relates to the quality of being distant or reserved. Jubilation describes extreme happiness; gregarious is a synonym for outgoing; energy obviously could not be correct; brevity describes something short-lived or brief.

Example Question #1823 : Sat Critical Reading

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

The president opened his speech with an amusing __________ about a fishing trip he had taken when he was young.

Possible Answers:

panacea

repartee

celerity

anecdote

paradigm

Correct answer:

anecdote

Explanation:

The correct answer is "anecdote," meaning a short, often amusing story. Speeches, essays, and persuasive pieces often include anecdotes. While "repartee" is also amusing speech, it refers to back-and-forth conversation between people, not a singular person's address.

Example Question #1824 : Sat Critical Reading

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

Larry and Justin were so different that the former believed the latter to represent the very __________ of everything that he stood for.

Possible Answers:

unraveling

delegation

decimation

devolution

antithesis

Correct answer:

antithesis

Explanation:

The sentence implies an intensification from “so different” to “the very . . .” The sense is that Larry believes Justin to be “the very example of difference” or “the very opposite” of him. The word “antithesis” means “the direct opposite.” To help memorize the word, think of it in terms of being the “anti-thesis”—the opposite of the “thesis” proposed by another’s character. Although this will help you memorize it, do remember that the word “antithesis” can be applied to anything that directly opposes another thing. As a vocabulary note, “antithetical” is the adjective form meaning “being directly opposed.”

Example Question #1825 : Sat Critical Reading

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

The latest popular health fad led many people to believe vinegar was a __________, miraculously able to heal a countless number of ailments.

Possible Answers:

topping

medicine

pharmaceutical

prescription

panacea

Correct answer:

panacea

Explanation:

The key phrase to note is “able to heal a countless number of ailments.” A “panacea” is something that is believed to be able to cure every sort of ailment. It is derived from the prefix “pan-” meaning “all” and the Greek “akos,” meaning “remedy.” The former is found in English words like “pantomime” and “pantheist.” 

Example Question #1826 : Sat Critical Reading

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The young man’s clear __________ made him easily understood by those who listened to him speak.

Possible Answers:

language

discourse

communication

diction

announcements

Correct answer:

diction

Explanation:

“Diction” involves both the choice of words and, particularly in its normal usage, the style of speaking and forming words. It is derived from the Latin dicere meaning “to say or speak,” a word with forms that have in which the “c” becomes a “ct” (“dict-“). In this latter form we find most of our related English words such as “dictation,” “dictator,” “edict,” “addiction,” “predict,” and many others.

Example Question #1827 : Sat Critical Reading

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Although the nation avoided financial reforms for many years, the great banking crisis provided the necessary __________ for such reforms to begin.

Possible Answers:

impetus

reflection

hysteria

fear

panic

Correct answer:

impetus

Explanation:

Since the nation is said to have avoided the reform, it can be said not to have had enough force behind the idea of such an undertaking. We are not told anything about the crisis’ effects on the psyche of the nation, so it is not fair to say that it provided the necessary “panic” (and so forth). Insofar as the crisis encouraged the nation to undertake the reform, it can be said to have provided an “impetus,” that is, the force to start it. The word literally means “to seek toward something.” The “seek” portion is derived from the Latin “peto,” which is reflected in the “-petus” portion of the word. It is found in many English words like “petition,” “repetition,” and even “appetite.”

Example Question #1828 : Sat Critical Reading

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

__________ can come in many forms, for many poor people are just as eager to increase their resources as are the greediest of wealthy individuals.

Possible Answers:

Sedition

Avarice

Investing

Laundering

Profiteering

Correct answer:

Avarice

Explanation:

“Avarice” is extreme greediness for material wealth. Since the second half of the sentence indicates both eagerness for such increase and comparison to the “greediest,” it is implied that this is not a matter of mere desire but instead something stronger like “avarice.” Also, all of the other “monetary words” among the possible answers are related to certain acts or strategies to be undertaken by those wishing to increase gain.

Example Question #1829 : Sat Critical Reading

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

At the __________ of his power, that emperor ruled kingdoms on three continents; never had he governed so much land, and never would he govern any more land than he did at that time.

Possible Answers:

middle

beginning

zenith

end

promise

Correct answer:

zenith

Explanation:

We know that the sentence is discussing the moment at which the emperor was most powerful, so we should pick out an answer choice that means something like "height." While "middle" might look like a potentially good answer choice, especially because it is surrounded by "beginning" and "end," "zenith" is the better answer choice. While "zenith" specifically means "the highest point reached by a celestial or other object" or "the point in the sky or celestial sphere directly above an observer," it also means "the time at which something is most powerful or successful." Because "zenith" is closer in meaning to "height" than is "middle," "zenith" is the correct answer.

Example Question #1830 : Sat Critical Reading

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Perhaps every person must go through a period of __________, for any normal life experience ultimately leads to profound uncertainties.

Possible Answers:

angst

adolescence

immaturity

indignation

anger

Correct answer:

angst

Explanation:

Since the second clause speaks of “uncertainties,” anything matching this would be the best choice. Anger and indignation are too strong and specifically refer to something more than mere uncertainty, though uncertainty can often lead people to anger. Do not be tempted to think of immaturity or adolescence, though these are often marked by or related to uncertainty. The best word is “angst” which means “dread” and is often related to one’s realization of the difficulties of life. The word is related to words like “anxious” and “anxiety.”

Example Question #311 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

Neuropsychologists have a doctorate degree and __________ in studying the brain.

Possible Answers:

expertise

aversion

deficit

liability

ignorance

Correct answer:

expertise

Explanation:

People with doctorate degrees have had a large amount of education and knowledge. This would mean that they have an expertise in studying the brain. (The prefix "neuro" means brain).

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors