SAT Writing : Increasing the Effectiveness of a Single Word

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

1 What is to be done about the problem of shoplifting. 2 Small security devices hidden in the tags of expensive clothing, clearly posted signs vocalizing the penalties for shoplifting, and “spider tags” or wired alarm clips all measures that store owners can take. 3 However many can be removed turgidly with magnets, scissors, or other means.

4 Other solutions including using attentive employees, clear and wide aisles, security guards, and security cameras. 5 With self-checkouts, an additional degree of honesty comes into play. 6 Though, it might be more fruition to examine the motives for shoplifting, as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place.

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

Possible Answers:

malicious

benevolent

chary

lugubrious (no change)

superstitious

Correct answer:

benevolent

Explanation:

“Lugubrious” (glum), “malicious” (spiteful), “chary” (cautious/hesitant), and “superstitious” (believing in legends and luck) do not make sense as types of social polices that could eradicate shoplifting. “Benevolent,” or well meaning and charitable, is an excellent word for the sentence.

Example Question #31 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Single Word

You may not know Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet. Hopkins led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866. Born in 1844 the poet was excellent at sketching from an early age and attended the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867, where he met poets Christina Rossetti, Robert Bridges, and others. According to his personal diaries, Hopkins frequently struggled to repress homoerotic urges, adopting an ascetic lifestyle, many believing that this contributed to his writing. His work itself is characterized by an escarpment of conventional poetic meter, the use of sprung rhythm, frequent vivid imagery, and a careful and creative use of language. Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech and is distinguished by its irregular patterns although it is distinct from free verse.

Hopkins died when he was only in his forties, but his contributions to poetry – particularly his experimentation and his use of sprung rhythm – continue to obscure today.

What word should replace the underlined word "escarpment"?

Possible Answers:

esplanade

eschewal

NO CHANGE

espadrille

escapade

Correct answer:

eschewal

Explanation:

“Eschewal,” or avoidance, of traditional poetic conventions is something that could reasonably characterize someone’s writing. None of the other words make sense in the context. An “escarpment” is a steep slope or cliff, an “espadrille” is a type of shoe, an “esplanade” is a walking path, and an “escapade” is an adventure.

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