Critical Reading Sentence Completion Strategies
Sentence Completion Questions Test Two Main Attributes: • The strength of your vocabulary. • Your general verbal ability, especially your ability to understand the logic of sentences.
Preparation • To improve your verbal ability, read as widely as you can and look up words you do not recognize. • Read anything: newspapers, articles, articulate blogs, short stories…just keep reading!
Preparation • Latin and Greek Roots • https://www.msu.edu/~defores1/gre/roots/gre_rts_afx2.htm • There are many websites like the link above that list common prefixes, suffixes, and root words. Study them; they will help you figure out words you don’t know! • acer means “bitter,” “sour”, or “sharp” • Even the acerbic old woman smiled when children came to visit her in the nursing home. • What do you think acerbic means?
Answer: • a⋅cer⋅bic əˈsɜr bɪk/ [uh-sur-bik]–adjective • 1.sour or astringent in taste: Lemon juice is acerbic. • 2.harsh or severe, as of temper or expression: acerbic criticism.
Preparation (continued) • SAT Words Hot List • http://nccsc.k12.in.us/hsmedia/hot_words_SAT.htm • You can find these lists online or in any SAT prep book. • This site groups the words by definition. • I suggest you group the words in some way yourself, maybe even alphabetically, and work on them a chunk at a time. • Flash cards are the bomb!
Preparation • Quizlet even has SAT words! • http://quizlet.com/207969/100-most-common-sat-words-flash-cards/
Sentence Completion Question Format • Every section of questions will be preceded by a set of directions and an example for your reference: Directions • Read the sentence • Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence.
Sentence Completion Format SAMPLE QUESTION: Medieval kingdoms did not become constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary, the change was ________. • Unpopular • Unexpected • Advantageous • Sufficient • Gradual
Answer: • The correct answer is (E) Gradual. • Medieval kingdoms did not become constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary, the change was gradual.
Basic Steps for Solving Sentence Completions • Read the sentence carefully. • Think of a word or words that will fit the blanks appropriately. • Look through the five answer choices for the word. If it’s not there, move on to the next step.
Basic Steps for Solving Sentence Completions • Examine the sentence for clues to the missing word. • Eliminate any answers choices that are ruled out by the clues. • Try the ones that are left and pick whichever is best.
Time to Practice our Mad Skills! • Please go to www.rachwal.wikispaces.com and go to the “SAT prep” page to find links to a few practice tests that the website will score for you! Take at least three of the tests. Good luck!