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Chris Lele

SAT Sentence Completions – It’s About the Clues

Sometimes, an SAT Sentence Completion will have a couple of answer choices that seem to fit the blank. The reason is that both words fit the general context. Yet only one the answer choices will actually match up with specific words mentioned in the sentence. If you don’t know those words (meaning study your vocab), you might pick the wrong answer.

Here’s a perfect example. Remember, focus on the clues not the general context/feel of the sentence.

With a storm approaching, the park ranger earnestly begged the hikers not to continue on to the summit, but, unperturbed, they kept walking, ignoring his _________.

    (A) entreaties
    (B) prohibition
    (C) disenchantments
    (D) condemnation
    (E) annoyance

In this sentence, you might find yourself thinking that the park ranger is upset, and he is telling those pesky kids: “You better not go off hiking!” But if we look closely, it says he “earnestly begged” them. That’s more like, “Hey kids, I really want you guys to stay put. That storm looks like a real doozy. Please, don’t go clambering up those hills yonder.”

What the hikers are ignoring is some noun that matches “earnestly begging.” The word “entreaties” is an earnest request: “Please don’t do that.” Therefore, (A).

But watch out for (B) or even (D) and (E). They seem to match up with the idea that the range is warning them in a mean way not to go anywhere. But this interpretation is inspired by our own imagery and not the words. Remember: the specific words in the sentence will always help you home in on the clue.

About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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