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Sentence completions are "fill-in-the-blank" questions. The SAT sentence completions questions may have one or two blanks, but each sentence as a whole still counts as only one question. Your job is to choose from among the answer choices that word or phrase that best fit each blank. The directions for sentence completions questions are as follows:
Directions: Each of the following sentences contains one or two blank spaces to be filled in by one of the five choices listed below each sentence. Select the word or words that best complete the meaning of the sentence.
Some of the questions are straightforward vocabulary questions. Many others require that you know more than just the meaning of the words involved. They also require that you understand the logic of fairly complicated sentences.

Most questions involve compound or complex sentences, that is, sentences made up of several clauses. In many cases, to answer the question correctly, you have to figure out how the parts of the sentence (different clauses) relate to each other.

Example 1 - A one-blank vocabulary-based question

    Ravens appear to behave ---- , actively helping one another to find food.

      (A) mysteriously
      (B) warily
      (C) aggressively
      (D) cooperatively
      (E) defensively
Explanation:
This sentence asks you to look for a word that describes how the ravens behave. The information after the comma restates and defines the meaning of the missing word. You are told that the ravens actively help one another. There is only one word among the choices that accurately describes this behavior -- cooperatively. So, the correct answer is (D).

Example 2 - A two-blank logic-based question

    The sudden death of the world-renowned leader ---- his followers, but it ---- his former opponents.

      (A) saddened .. devastated
      (B) shocked .. encouraged
      (C) depressed .. tempered
      (D) satisfied .. aided
      (E) prostrated .. depressed
Explanation:
The word but is your clue that the word in the second blank will contrast with the word in the first blank. Only the words shocked and encouraged offer the logical contrast that is expected between the feeling of followers and opponents on the death of a leader. So, the correct answer is (B).

Always begin by trying to pin down the standard dictionary definitions of the words in the sentence and the answers. To answer the questions correctly, you usually don't have to know a nonstandard meaning of a word.

Testing strategies for sentence completions questions are discussed in the later section "SAT Strategies".

If you want to start practicing now, click here to login "SAT Practice" section.
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