SAT Critical Reading : Sentence Completion Questions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Sentence Completion Questions

Ericka decided her decision to go to the movies on a Friday night was very banal. 

A synonym for "banal" would be __________.

Possible Answers:

precipitous 

galvanizing

boring 

pedestrian

unique

Correct answer:

pedestrian

Explanation:

"Banal" is another word for unoriginal. "Pedestrian" also means unoriginal. "Unique" would be an antonym, not a synonym. Something might be described as "boring" because it is unoriginal, however, it is not a synonym. "Galvanizing" means exicting, and "precipitous" means abrupt; therefore, "pedestrian" is the synonym for banal

Example Question #2 : Sentence Completion Questions

Bill Gates was annoyed by the hackneyed jokes relating his name to the famous Microsoft co-founder.  

A synonym for "hackneyed" is __________.

Possible Answers:

reverence

inevitable

original

trite

opulent

Correct answer:

trite

Explanation:

"Hackneyed" means overused or overfamiliar. "Trite" also means overused, therefore it is a synonym for "hackneyed." 

Example Question #3 : Sentence Completion Questions

The transient rain poured down heavily and created a flash flood. 

A synonym for "transient" is __________.

Possible Answers:

ephemeral

rancorous

superfluous

long-lasting

heavy

Correct answer:

ephemeral

Explanation:

"Transient" means lasting a short time; therefore, "ephemeral," meaning lasting a short time, is a synonym.

Example Question #4 : Sentence Completion Questions

Unlike the fancy updo's of the other girls at the wedding, Sarah's hair blew brazenly in the breeze. 

An antonym for "brazen" is __________.

Possible Answers:

brusque

insolent

timid

audacious

emulate

Correct answer:

timid

Explanation:

Brazen means unrestrained by convention; therefore, an antonym would be something meaning restrained. "Timid" means restrained.

Example Question #1 : Sentence Completion Questions

In the following question, a related pair of words or phrases is followed by five pairs of words or phrases. Choose the pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that in the original pair. 

metal : car

Possible Answers:

food : dinner

gold : ring

sunglasses : glass

book : paper

coffee : tea

Correct answer:

gold : ring

Explanation:

Metal is a material used to make a car. Gold is a material used to make a ring. 

Example Question #2 : Sentence Completion Questions

In the following question, a related pair of words or phrases is followed by five pairs of words or phrases. Choose the pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that in the original pair.

prudent : reckless

Possible Answers:

prosperity : superfluous 

orator : precocious 

submissive : intractable 

surreptitious : tenacious 

inconsequential : mundane 

Correct answer:

submissive : intractable 

Explanation:

The relationship between prudent and reckless is that they are antonyms. The only answer choice containing antonyms is submissive and intractable. 

Example Question #3 : Sentence Completion Questions

In the following question, a related pair of words or phrases is followed by five pairs of words or phrases. Choose the pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that in the original pair.

intrepid : indomitable

Possible Answers:

florid : plain

mundane : haughty

opulent : scant 

parched : satiated

impetuous : impulsive 

Correct answer:

impetuous : impulsive 

Explanation:

Intrepid means fearless, therefore intrepid and indomitable are synonyms and mean the same thing. The only answer choice with a synonym relationship is impetuous: impulsive. 

Example Question #8 : Sentence Completion Questions

Meredith was ecstatic and could not wait to tell her parents about the A she recieved on her midterm.

In the context of the passage, "ecstatic" most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

mystical transcendence 

impatient

eager

devastated

extreme happiness

Correct answer:

extreme happiness

Explanation:

Extreme happiness is a definition of ecstatic and also fits into the sentence, since Meredith is happy about the grade she recieved. Devastated is the opposite of happy, and can be eliminated. Eager and impatient could fit the sentence, however, they are not definitions for ecstatic. Mystical transcendence is a definition for ecstatic, but does not fit into the context of this sentence; therefore, extreme happiness is what ecstatic most nearly means. 

Example Question #2 : Sat Critical Reading

Passage 1: Questions 1-7 refer to the following passage, which is adapted from Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889, by Jerome K. Jerome.

There were four of us—George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency.  We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were—bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it.  Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that he had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what he was doing.  With me, it was my liver that was out of order.  I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order.  I had them all.

It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form.  The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch—hay fever, I fancy it was.  I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally.  I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into—some fearful, devastating scourge, I know—and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages.  I came to typhoid fever—read the symptoms—discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it—wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance—found, as I expected, that I had that too,—began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically—read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight.  Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years.  Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with.  I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight.  Why hadn’t I got housemaid’s knee?  Why this invidious reservation?  After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed.  I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid’s knee.  Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood.  There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

 

As used in the second paragraph, “circular” most likely refers to __________.

Possible Answers:

an instruction booklet

a pamphlet

widespread

round

Correct answer:

a pamphlet

Explanation:

Round and widespread can immediately be rejected because they are adjectives, and the sentence calls for a noun. A “circular” is a pamphlet or advertisement (that is circulated) rather than instructions that come with a drug.

Example Question #3 : Sat Critical Reading

Passage 1: Questions 1-7 refer to the following passage, which is adapted from Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889, by Jerome K. Jerome.

There were four of us—George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency.  We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were—bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it.  Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that he had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what he was doing.  With me, it was my liver that was out of order.  I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order.  I had them all.

It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form.  The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch—hay fever, I fancy it was.  I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally.  I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into—some fearful, devastating scourge, I know—and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages.  I came to typhoid fever—read the symptoms—discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it—wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance—found, as I expected, that I had that too,—began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically—read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight.  Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years.  Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with.  I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight.  Why hadn’t I got housemaid’s knee?  Why this invidious reservation?  After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed.  I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid’s knee.  Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood.  There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

As used in the 6th paragraph, “invidious” most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

enviable

unpleasant

purposeful

unjust

Correct answer:

unjust

Explanation:

“Invidious” could mean either unjust or unpleasant, but because of the previous sentence “it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight,” we can infer that the narrator feels that the situation is unjust. The other two answers choices can be excluded not just because they do not have similar meanings to “invidious,” but also because they do not have the negative connotation that the context requires.

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