PSAT & SAT PreparationSession 1:Sentence Completion Medford High School English Department
Sentence Completion Questions • Medieval kingdoms did not become the constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary, the change was ______________. A. unpopular B. unexpected C. advantageous D. sufficient E. gradual
Don’t be like Joe Bloggs! • Joe Bloggs does what is most intuitive. • He tries to solve these questions by rereading the sentence five times. • He puts a different words into the blank each time, and picks the one that “sounds right.” • How many of your solve multiple choice questions this way?
What’s wrong with Joe’s method? • His method takes way too much time! • Just go back and try to read the sentence five times, and you’ll see what I mean. • His method is not really reliable, because many answers often “sound right.”
You’re Smarter Than You Think 1 • Susan was ___________ when the formula, which had worked just yesterday, failed to produce the expected result. • Plug a word into the blank – any word from your head that would complete the sentence correctly. • How did you know what word to plug in?
You’re Smarter Than You Think 2 • Although she was never considered pretty as a child, Magaret grew up to be a ______________ adult. • Plug a word into the blank – any word from your head that would complete the sentence correctly. • How did you know what word to plug in?
You’re Smarter Than You Think 3 • Once a cheerful person, the years of fruitless struggle against government waste made him a very ____________ man. • Plug a word into the blank – any word from your head that would complete the sentence correctly. • How did you know what word to plug in?
The Method • Cover the answer choices with your hand. This will ensure that you don’t do what Joe does, which is to read the sentence five times, trying one of the answer choices each time. • Speak for yourself. Read the sentence, and write your own word in the blank. • Uncover the answer. • Pick the word that comes closest to the word that you came up with.
The Key is Finding the Clue 1 • Susan was _________________ when the formula, which had worked just yesterday, failed to produce the expected result. • The clue: the formula, which had worked just yesterday, failed to produce the expected result. • So you know that the word has to be something like “perplexed” or “puzzled.”
The Key is Finding the Clue 2 • The park was so _____________ that children could play in it for hours without getting bored. • The clue: children could play for hours without getting bored. • So you know that the word has to be something like “interesting” or “varied.”
Practice Question 1 • Many feature films are criticized for their _____________ content, even though television news is more often the medium that depicts violent events in excessive detail. A. discretionary B. graphic C. dramatic D. artistic E. honest
Practice Question 2 • The author is reliably ______________; every book he writes is more _______________ than the one before. A. dull…inspired B. exceptional…hackneyed C. artistic…informed D. imaginative…creative E. original…lackluster
Practice Question 3 • Chang realized that she had been ___________ in her duties; had she been more ____________, the disaster may well have been avoided. A. unparalleled…careful B. irreproachable…aware C. derelict…vigilant D. arbitrary…interested E. neglectful…insensible
Practice Question 4 • The scientific community was ____________ when a living specimen of the coelacanth, which ichthyologists had feared was ____________, was discovered by deep-sea fishermen. A. perplexed…common B. overjoyed…dangerous C. unconcerned…exterminated D. astounded…extinct E. dismayed…alive
Practice Question 5 • Although Jane’s professors reproached her as a ______________ during her first year in college, she became attentive and _____________ once she found a major that interested her. A. neophyte…assiduous B. sycophant…critical C. loafer…focused D. beginner…average E. shirker…distracted
Practice Question 6 • In a vitriolic message to his troops, General Patton insisted that he would ____________ no further insubordination, no matter how brutal the ensuing engagements might become. A. impede B. brief C. denote D. brook E. expose
Independent Practice • Let’s try some on our own. • The Princeton Review: Cracking the PSAT (2008 Edition) • p. 254, #1-8 • Remember to keep the answer options covered until you plug in your own words. • When looking for synonyms for your own words, use process of elimination strategies. • When using these strategies, I encourage you to write directly on the handout, as you will be writing directly on the PSAT.