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Critical Reading

Critical Reading

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Critical Reading

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  1. Critical Reading Sentence Completion Strategies

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Preparation • Latin and Greek Roots • • 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?

  5. 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.

  6. Preparation (continued) • SAT Words Hot List • • 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!

  7. Preparation • Quizlet even has SAT words! •

  8. 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.

  9. Sentence Completion Format SAMPLE QUESTION: Medieval kingdoms did not become constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary, the change was ________. • Unpopular • Unexpected • Advantageous • Sufficient • Gradual

  10. Answer: • The correct answer is (E) Gradual. • Medieval kingdoms did not become constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary, the change was gradual.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Time to Practice our Mad Skills! • Please go to 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!