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Sentence Completions

Sentence completions begin each reading section. This is fortunate since the sentence completions are a good warm-up for the harder reading comprehension. The sentence completions form the most straightforward part of the test, and most students do well on them.

Before You Look at The Answer Choices, Think of a Word That “Fits” The Sentence


Crestfallen by having done poorly on the SAT, Susan began to question her abilities. Her self-confidence was _________ .

  1. appeased
  2. destroyed
  3. placated
  4. elevated
  5. sustained

If somebody is crestfallen (despairing) and has begun to question herself, then her self-confidence would be destroyed.


Hence, the answer is (B).

If a Sentence Has Two Blanks, Plug in the First Word in Each Answer-Choice, Eliminating any that Don't Make sense.

After eliminating the answer-choices that don't make sense with the first word plugged in, turn to the remaining answer-choices and plug in the second word.

The plane had been redesigned so many times before it reached the assembly line that its _________ conception was no longer _________.

  1. appropriate . . visible
  2. dilapidated . . relevant
  3. original . . recognizable
  4. initial . . understandable
  5. promised . . viable

An “appropriate conception” does not make sense in this context, eliminate (A).


A “dilapidated conception” probably does not make sense in any context, eliminate (B).


A “promised conception” is an odd construction, probably eliminate. Now, “original” and “initial” both work in the first blank. However, “understandable” does not make sense in the second blank. A redesign could clarify the original design, but it's hard to imagine how it would make the original design unintelligible, eliminate (D).


Finally, “recognizable” does make sense. Since the plane was redesigned many times, is it likely to look quite different from its original design.


The answer is (C).

Most often the answer-choices to sentence completion problems are not simple or common words, that is, words we use in daily speech. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate to use a common word. Although an everyday word is unlikely to be the answer, it will help guide you to the answer. Further, it will help eliminate wrong answer-choices.
Be Alert to Transitional Words

Transitional words tell you what is coming up. They indicate that the author is now going to draw a contrast with something stated previously, or support something stated previously.

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