SAT Writing : Increasing the Effectiveness of a Single Word

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 The tornado, a dreaded meteorological phenomena and a verifiable force of nature. 2 But what is it really? 3 Also known as a twister or a cyclone, tornadoes are rapidly rotating funnels of air linked between a cloud and either the surface of the earth or water. 4 They are caused by the creation of strong thunderstorms by rotating columns of air, resultantly increased rainfall causes increased downward air movement. 5 Rather than the Richter scale measures the strength of hurricanes the Fujita scale measures the strength of a tornado. 6 This natural disasters’ destructive mite is commemorated in such classic films as the 1996, movie, Twister. 7 And the 2014 “Into the Storm” and even the 2013 sparse “Sharknado.” 8 The Fujita scale, also called the F-scale, was named after an employee at the University of Chicago and originally had 13 different levels.

In Sentence 1, what word should replace “verifiable”?

Possible Answers:

verisimilitude

verifiable

variable

veritable

veridical

Correct answer:

veritable

Explanation:

“Veritable,” which means true or real, contributes better to the sense of the sentence than does “verifiable,” which means able to be verified.

Example Question #781 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Think about medieval Christianity. 2 What do you see? 3 Likely you’re imagining monks, gloomy Gothic cathedrals with flying buttresses, or witches burned at the stake. 4 But what you may not be cognitive of is: the concept of the anchorite. 5 This is the moniker for a religious recluse who elects to be walled up in a small room inside a church. 6 The anchorite was not left to die, however, they were fed through small windows and used the imprisonment to participate more fully in the spiritual life of the community. 7 It is a spiritual calling that is now very rare; few if any anchorites still exist in the world today.

In Sentence 4, what word should replace “cognitive”?

Possible Answers:

cagey

concomitant

cognition

committal

cognizant

Correct answer:

cognizant

Explanation:

“Cognizant of” means aware of, and this substitution improves the logical meaning of the sentence.

Example Question #13 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Think about medieval Christianity. 2 What do you see? 3 Likely you’re imagining monks, gloomy Gothic cathedrals with flying buttresses, or witches burned at the stake. 4 But what you may not be cognitive of is: the concept of the anchorite. 5 This is the moniker for a religious recluse who elects to be walled up in a small room inside a church. 6 The anchorite was not left to die, however, they were fed through small windows and used the imprisonment to participate more fully in the spiritual life of the community. 7 It is a spiritual calling that is now very rare; few if any anchorites still exist in the world today.

In Sentence 5, what word should replace “moniker”?

Possible Answers:

ramekin

peccadillo

denizen

moniker (no change)

animus

Correct answer:

moniker (no change)

Explanation:

Here, “moniker,” a name or nickname, is the correct word for the sentence. A "denizen" is a citizen or resident of a place, a 'peccadillo' is a minor offense or sin, a "ramekin" is a type of small bowl, and "animus" is strong dislike or hatred.

Example Question #14 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 That’s why codes of discipline have arisen for raising factual or difficult children. 2 Some experts avow for strict authoritative castigation at all times while others argue for gentle or praise centric approaches. 3 Many parents find themselves confounded with the problem of unruly children. 4 Most adults however can agree that consistency and consequences are two key components of disciplining any child from the most pugilist to the most mild-mannered. 5 Being too permissive or too authoritarian can ultimately result with many instances of bad behavior.

In Sentence 4, what word should replace “pugilist”?

Possible Answers:

pubescent

pugnacious

pugilistpubescent

puerile

purblind

Correct answer:

pugnacious

Explanation:

While the two words are derived from the same root, “pugilist” means a boxer and “pugnacious” means aggressive or eager to fight – two very different meanings. “Pubescent” means developing into an adult, “puerile” means childish or silly, and “purblind” means literally or figuratively blind. We know from context that “pugnacious” – an antonym to “mild-mannered” – is the only word that makes sense here.

Example Question #15 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Generally, a person will tell you they prefer not to have their food burned. 2 Because caramel: a delicious sticky dessert, is actually made by slowly burning sugar. 3 A copper saucepan, a candy thermometer, and sugar and water are all you need to make this lascivious treat. 4 Although some chefs prefer to use their eyes and nose rather than a thermometer. 5 Desserts that will be made from caramel, including ice cream, pies, crème brûlée, candy apples, nougats, flan, and pralines. 6 However it may take many disastrous attempts and scorched pans while the amateur caramel maker achieves the golden, buttery perfection of this tasty dessert.

In Sentence 3, what word should replace “lascivious”?

Possible Answers:

lascivious (no change)

lustrous

lassitude

luscious

lacerated

Correct answer:

luscious

Explanation:

While “lascivious” means lustful and is clearly not the right fit for the sentence, “luscious,” or rich and delicious, is. (“Lustrous” means shiny or polished, “lacerated” means severely cut, and “lassitude” means lethargy or apathy.)

Example Question #16 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Whether or not you are superstitious. 2 Fortunetelling has played a major role in many cultures.3 Also known as divination. 4 Western fortunetelling arose from the Romani people and such as reading tea leaves’, gazing into crystal balls, tarot reading, palmistry, and observing the flights, innards, or eating patterns of birds. 5 In William Shakespeare’s famous play “Julius Caesar,” for example, a soothsayer warns the soon to be assassinated Caesar to beware the Ides of March. 6 Western fortunetelling has also been influenced by Eastern divination methods such as the I Ching and to read coffee beans. 7 Unfortunately several major religions prescribe fortunetelling with very degrees of severity. 8 Despite, fortunetelling still thrives in contemporary culture, psychics and Magic-8 balls are just two of many fun ways to attempt to see into the future.

In Sentence 7, what word should replace “very”?

Possible Answers:

variously

varietally

vernacularly

varying

very

Correct answer:

varying

Explanation:

“Very” is an adverb incorrectly modifying a noun. The only part of speech that makes sense in this construction is an adjective, and only “varying” is an adjective.

Example Question #17 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Want to book a copacetic hotel, or dine at a premier restaurant? 2Your best bet may be: to consult a Michelin Red Guide. 3 These guides have been published by a French company since 1900 and using anonymous “inspectors” to award establishments either zero, one, two, and three stars. (4 Yes, the same company also manufactures tires. 5 It employs more than 100,000 people. 6 The guides were actually established in order for encouraging people to take more car trips to slavish hotels and exclusive restaurants.) 7 Nowadays the Michelin Guides are regarded by some as the ultimate abetters of taste.

In Sentence 7, what word should replace “abetters”?

Possible Answers:

abetters (no change)

ardors

arbiters

adders

arbors

Correct answer:

arbiters

Explanation:

An “abetter,” someone who helps or encourages someone else in wrongdoing, has little to do with the Michelin Guides. An “arbiter,” something that passes judgments or influences others’ decisions, describes the Michelin Guides’ role in society.

Example Question #18 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Want to book a copacetic hotel, or dine at a premier restaurant? 2Your best bet may be: to consult a Michelin Red Guide. 3 These guides have been published by a French company since 1900 and using anonymous “inspectors” to award establishments either zero, one, two, and three stars. (4 Yes, the same company also manufactures tires. 5 It employs more than 100,000 people. 6 The guides were actually established in order for encouraging people to take more car trips to slavish hotels and exclusive restaurants.) 7 Nowadays the Michelin Guides are regarded by some as the ultimate abetters of taste.

In Sentence 6, what word should replace “slavish”?

Possible Answers:

slavish

ersatz

lascivious

garrulous

lavish

Correct answer:

lavish

Explanation:

“Lavish” means rich, luxurious, or fancy and fits well with the concept of the passage. (“Slavish” means in the manner of a slave, “ersatz” means artificial or false, “lascivious” means lewd or lustful, and “garrulous” means overly talkative.)

Example Question #11 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 Ethnography: sounds erogenous but is simply a study of a culture or group of people.2 Originating in the field of anthropology, later becoming popular in sociology and other disciplines. 3 Ethnographies typically include: descriptions of geography, religion, economy, social behaviors, rituals and histories. 4 Most early ethnographies were written by ex-patriot European explorers traveling outside their home continent; though by some standards the Greek historian Herodotus was producing protoplasmic ethnographies hundreds of years before the Age of Exploration. 5 Ethnographies can take forms ranging from the confessional, the feminist, the critical, and the realist but most are qualitative and descriptive rather than quantitative and statistical. 6 Some attempt to provide fairly objective observations of a group or society, others have the anterior motive of empowering marginalized or repressed cultures.7 This group or culture may include anything from a fraternity to a particular Uruguayan village. 8 Today ethnographers often immerse themselves fully in the lives of their subjects, be they powerful politicians and impoverished blue-collar workers.

In Sentence 1, what word should replace "erogenous?"

Possible Answers:

esoteric

erotic

erogenous (no change)

ergonomic

erroneous

Correct answer:

esoteric

Explanation:

“Erogenous,” which describes parts of the body with heightened sensitivity and which often has sexual connotations, is definitely not the right word for the sentence. “Esoteric,” which means abstruse, obscure, or understood by only a small number of people, is a much more appropriate term for the context.

Example Question #11 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 The job of the cryptozoologist is a taciturn one for sure. 2 Being unlike ordinary zoologists, that study the behaviors and lives of a cathartic variety of animals, cryptozoologists track down mythical animals whose existence has never or rarely been proven.

3 There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places. 4 The origins of the word “cryptozoologist” come from the ancient Greek, crypto meaning “hidden” and “zoo” meaning animal.5 Some of the most famous of these mythical animals or cryptids are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and Chupacabra. 6 Many denizens consider cryptozoologists to be pseudoscientists; but, they believe that the discipline’s reliance on anecdotal evidence does not exclude it from the world of serious science.

7 Many of these animals seem too incredible to be believed and yes evidence is often flimsy, but the existence of fossil records sometimes provide evidence to the contrary. 8 As such many doubters attempt to machinate the cryptids’ existence, but cryptozoologists aim to abolish their skepticism.

In Sentence 1, what words should replace “a taciturn?”

Possible Answers:

a loquacious

an intriguing

a taciturn (no change)

a prolix

a garrulous

Correct answer:

an intriguing

Explanation:

Once you’ve read the rest of the passage, you should be able to infer that “intriguing,” or interesting and fascinating, is the best choice for the sentence. The other word choices all describe talkativeness or quietness, which don’t make sense in a sentence about an occupation.

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