Mastering the SAT Sentence Completion Questions

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished shows you how to master SAT sentence completion questions.

First: Read the sentence and blanks, and look for clues in the sentence.
Second: Use the sentence clues to help you predict the missing words.
Third: Eliminate unlikely answer choices.

Test Preparation

Fourth: Choose the answer choice that best fits the words you are looking for.
Fifth: Jot down all the vocabulary words you didn’t know and memorize them.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi everyone, Alexis here, founder of Prepped and Polished. Now sentence
completions on the SAT amount to just under 30 percent of all the critical
reading questions you’ll find on the SAT test. They’re important, and this
is how you handle a sentence completion question.The first thing you want to do is you want to read the sentence with the
blanks and find clues in the sentence. Doug was both blank and blank: he
possessed penetrating acuity and was also humble. So in this question, the
huge clue is the colon sign. The colon sign acts as an equal sign, and it
tells you exactly what you’re going to put in each of these blanks.In this case, Doug’s penetrating acuity goes in the first blank, and in the
second blank, Doug was humble, so we’re going to put humble in the second
blank. So we’re basically looking for a word that means acuity, like
intelligent for the first blank, and humble for the second blank.

Now you go to all your answer choices and eliminate any word that does not
fit these two words that we’re looking for. In choice E, does apologetic
come anywhere close to the word intelligent? No, it does not, X that out.
In choice D, for the second blank, does imposing come anywhere close to the
word humble? Not at all, get rid of choice D.

Now if you go to choice B, you might not know what the word perspicacious
means, but you certainly know that unpretentious is very close to the word
humble. Now perspicacious, by the way, actually means having or showing
discernment and acuity, so it’s a perfect fit. We’re going to go for choice
B here.

Now the last thing that you always want to do with sentence completion
questions is you want to jot down all the vocabulary words you didn’t know.
In this question alone, there’s about ten vocabulary words that you can
jot down, find the definitions, make flashcards, and memorize them. The
more vocabulary words that you learn, the better you’ll do on sentence
completion questions. So do these things, and I guarantee you’ll improve
your score. Good luck.

Did you find this sentence completion technique helpful? How do you tackle sentence completion questions?

Post your tips/comments below.

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