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CRITICAL READING – SENTENCE COMPLETION
STRATEGIES FOR SENTENCE
COVER THE ANSWERS
TRY TO PUT IN YOUR OWN WORD
CIRCLE / MARK ALL PUNCTUATION AND
CONJUNCTIONS (they are SO important in
sentence completion questions)
DECIDE IF POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE – “GOOD
WORD” OR “BAD WORD”???
ELIMINATE, ELIMINATE, ELIMINATE
Remember that the SAT is designed for
careLESS readers, so notice the details!
DON’T SKIP A QUESTION BECAUSE YOU DON’T
KNOW ALL THE WORDS!
Use good word / bad word
LET’S TRY ONE!
Moths are nocturnal pollinators, visiting scented
flower during the hours of darkness, whereas the
butterflies are ____ , attracted to bright flowers in
Notice “whereas” ? Opposite idea
My guess would be “daytime”
Eliminate colorful, brilliant – so now guess if in first 2/3
of questions (Easy, Medium, Hard)
Nocturnal in first one – opposite is diurnal?
The Victorian middle class woman was ____ by
restraints, obligations and ____ that prevented her from
achieving economic independence.
A. hampered - aspirations
B. emancipated - strictures
C. fettered - responsibilities
D. ensnared - possibilities
E. surrounded - freedoms
1) list of 3.. (restraints, obligations, __) – bad word
2) key words “that prevented” – so first blank is “bad word” –
second blank is parallel to list
3) first blank --- ELIMINATE (b) emancipated = good, (e)
4) second blank -- ELIMINATE (a) good word, (d) good word
GUESS WHAT – only 1 left – C!!!!!
YOU TRY ONE~!
There is great unevenness in his later plays; there
are moments of the greatest ____ in the midst of
A. lucidity - enlightenment
B. frivolity - triteness
C. insight - banality
D. obscurity - ambivalence
E. profundity - wisdom
First, I look at the questions – the first part suggests
UNEVENNESS – so I know the two words will be
That means I can eliminate A – both have “light”
I can eliminate E – profound and wise
Both words in B are closely related
Of the two left (even if I’m not sure of the meaning
of all words), I should make an educated guess –
since “obscure” and “ambivalent” are really
opposites, I will choose C – insight and banality
TRY THIS ONE!
The success of the business venture ____ his
expectations; he never thought that the firm would
In examining the sentence, there are two clauses
joined by a semicolon (;) – the second explains the
The second clause suggest that he was surprised –
so I can eliminate ALL of them except B – “belied” -- even if I don’t know what that word means – I
have eliminated the rest – B is the correct answer.