(Sentence Completion) — Michelle sought ----------- from her new peers who she wanted to like her on the first day of high school, but instead she found herself quietly ----------------- for the familiarity and warmth of middle school.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — Clearly Michelle sought acceptance by her peers like most students. This is evidenced by her desire to be well-liked and the context of starting high school, a place that almost every freshman wants to feel comfortable. Therefore, Michelle would not want to be condemned/repudiated, nor would she want to reach perdition. Therefore, she either sought approbation or acceptance. But was she crying out for familiarity or was she internally yearning for it? “Repining” is a better description of how she felt strictly because she had to be longing for something “quietly.” Choice D is the best answer.
(Sentence Completion) — Nearly half of the entire student body traveled to New Orleans to rebuild communities and construct homes from scratch; other members of the student body worked on a more finite project by restoring ----------------- homes in the urban district that were falling apart.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — The correct answer choice here will describe houses “that were falling apart.” You can eliminate everything except D because of the following: The houses still stand, are not “irresponsible”, do not give off bubbles/gas and are not described in terms of comparison to other houses. These reasons cut out A, B, C and E. Rather, the houses were “falling apart” so they were “damaged, decayed,” or dilapidated. Choice D is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — Known for his loquacious speech style, Robert typically delivered ------------ speeches that often used five words for concepts that could be expressed in two words.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — Because the speech style is loquacious and the speeches use “five words for concepts that could be expressed in two words” the speeches are definitely wordy. That is what these clues are meant to tell you. No expression about the tone is provided so choice B, C and D can be eliminated and choice A is an ambiguous term in this situation. Robert could have easily been a boring speaker but for all we know he could have also been an exciting one. Choice A is ambiguous because when one says a speech is lengthy, it could possibly just mean it was a long speech--not necessarily an excessively long speech (and therefore a wordy, or verbose, speech). It's a tough call and fine line to draw but some questions on the SAT are just like that. Choice E is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — During the ------------, which deprived the entire region of rain for two consecutive months, the town had a difficult time surviving the -------- weather that left plants withered and people parched.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — If an area was deprived of rain, it certainly would not have experienced monsoons, torrents or typhoons that would have drenched the area. Rather the area may have experienced a scarcity or a drought. However, “scarcity” is too vague and certainly would not leave the area muggy (occurs when the area is very moist, or wet). Therefore, choice D “drought” describes a time without rain and clarifies why the weather would be “arid” (hot, dry).
(Sentence Completion) — It is better to be -----------, allowing people to approach you and gradually making friends, than being a --------------- and talking presumptuously to get people’s attention and false respect.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — In questions with blanks, there will almost always be hints or even direct definitions of the missing words that you can use. Even if you don't know what some words mean, these clues can help you eliminate some answers. Use the clue “allowing people to approach you and gradually making friends.” A person like this is rather shy and cautious, which only leaves choice B and C. The other choices would be appropriate if you took the initiative and approached people instead. Between B and C, you really need to know your vocabulary. By definition, a “swashbuckler” is one who is a swaggering swordsman or daredevil, while a “charlatan” is one who tells stories as if he or she knows more than he or she actually does. Obviously “charlatan” matches the context of conversation in this question. Choice C is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — Since the orator was exceeding his allotted time and lost the audience’s interest, it was up to the orchestra at the awards show to --------------- his speech and guide the host to the next event.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — In case you were not aware of the way that the music at many awards shows curtail, or cut off, speeches, then you must pay attention to the fact that the orator needed to be cut off (passed allowed time, bored audience). The only choice the means “to cut off” is Choice D “curtail.” The orchestra would not lengthen the speech, nor would it be directly responsible for “ruining” the speaker’s presentation (eliminate A, B, C). So is the orchestra accommodating or does it curtail, or cut off, the speech? Typically “accommodate” has a positive connotation, or feeling, and the orchestra is not making adjustments to better suit the speaker. Choice D “curtail” captures the actions of the orchestra and is correct because it cut the speaker off.
(Reading Comprehension) — Technology is rapidly expanding the scope of capabilities for both professional and personal use; such is the case with smart phones. Professionals now have devices available to them capable of digital media, internet access, phone communication, multi-person scheduling and office tools for documents and presentations. Businesspeople that are often mobile may maximize the use of these critical features on smart phones. Individuals who simply enjoy the luxury of multi-function devices often use these devices for frivolous pursuits such as downloading catchy ring tones, instant messaging about the latest gossip and looking up the world record for most cans crushed on one’s head during the Superbowl. This fusion of capabilities and increased availability of such devices could be a sign of a growing blend in society between work and personal life, or individuals could simply be taking a luxurious approach to their connectivity in personal lives. The term “frivolous” implies that the author
- is fascinated by the endless capabilities on smart phones.
- hopes that technology ceases to expand its scope.
- believes that the average individual does not need a smart phone.
- has a smart phone.
- wants to see more developments added to smart phone technology.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — Based on the contextual description of trivial uses and knowledge, “frivolous” means useless or unnecessary. So if the author believes that individuals not involved in business are unnecessarily using smart phones, that the author would think that these people do not need smart phones (choice C). The author makes no mention of their specific hopes for how the technology will turn out in the future, so choice B and choice E can be eliminated. The authors matter-of-fact tone allows you to rule out “fascination” (choice A), and there is no evidence to support whether or not the author has a smart phone (choice D). Choice C is the best option.
(Reading Comprehension) — What is the purpose of the conclusion sentence?
- Draw a conclusion about what we know smart phones can do
- Assume where technology is headed and how it will affect society
- Comment on human connectivity through the use of smart phones
- Predict how the government will regulate and guide future technology
- Present two possible explanations for the growing popularity of smart phones
ANSWER EXPLANATION — The conclusion sentence states two possible paths that could explain the arrival of a growth in smart phone popularity. These two suppositions are guesses at what is causing this trend. Because the author injects minimal bias and leaves the answer to the reader’s interpretation, the author is simply presenting explanations as choice E indicates. The other choices are either irrelevant or insufficiently supported by text evidence.
(Reading Comprehension) — Greek mythology is a vehicle that uses mythological characters and creatures to teach people about the dangers, beauties and possible outcomes of life. In many myths, characters face moral dilemmas involving honor and practicality. The protagonists of epics face creatures that represent values and challenges such as respect, temptation and redemption. How has Greek mythology inevitably evolved with time and new story tellers? Scholars that have interpreted Greek mythology seek to maintain the universal values conveyed in these stories, while ensuring the validity of adapting these stories to their own distinct cultures. It is up to each reader to seek their own truths and learn from epic Greek mythology as best they can. According to the author’s description, which of the following is most likely to be a message from Greek mythology?
- Love is difficult, but it will last if the lovers are meant to be together.
- Resisting temptation and immediate gratification will lead to ultimate success.
- It is important to keep track of your personal history.
- Passing down Greek mythology has taken on a new form since oral records faded.
- It is not the fastest, but the longest lasting that wins the race.
ANSWER EXPLANATION — Although almost each of these messages (except choice D!) is valid and could be interpreted from Greek mythology, only one fits the author’s description. The author explicitly mentions “dangers,” “outcomes of life” and “temptation. Choice B clearly mentions temptation, which is a danger, and how it affects your outcome in life (ultimate success). Choice A and choice E are compelling choices, but the author does not make as direct of a reference to these lessons. Choice B is the best choice.
(Reading Comprehension) — Which word best describes the author’s account of Greek mythology?
ANSWER EXPLANATION — The author describes the high moral lessons learned from Greek mythology and how epics can instill key values in readers. Greek mythology was also rife with sexual encounters and dirty human actions. The author conveys strictly positive characteristics about epics and their utility. Clearly, the author’s account is idealistic. Choice A is the best. Because the author is neither pessimistic (choice B) nor doubtful, or dubious (choice C), one can then look at choice A, D and E. The author does not really criticize Greek mythology; in fact, the author praises it. Also, the author’s account, or description, of Greek mythology is not mysterious; although, the actual mythology may very well be mysterious. Only choice A, idealistic, captures the sentiment attached to the author’s account of Greek mythology.