The final SAT of the 2012 – 2013 school year is just one week away. Even so, that is more than enough time for you to sharpen your test skills. Here are my TOP 5 skills to help you improve your performance on sentence completion questions:
1. VOCABULARY! VOCABULARY!! VOCABULARY!!!
In the final analysis there is no substitute for a strong SAT vocabulary.
Learning vocabulary words does NOT mean memorizing long lists of
random words. College Board test writers draw their words from a
LEXICON that has been tested and validated over many years. The words
in The Essential 500 Words are all answers from recent SATs. There is
every reason to believe that test writers will continue to use them again
and again.
2. USE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE WORDS
Many sentence completion questions contain key positive and negative
words that will lead you to the correct answer. Knowing this can help
you answer many of the test’s toughest sentence completion questions.
Chapter 51 in The Essential 500 Words provides a tutorial on using
positive and negative words in sentence completion questions.
3. RECOGNIZE REVERSAL WORDS
Many sentence completion questions contain reversal words such as
“but,” “although,” and “paradoxically.” These reversal words signal
a shift in the sentence’s direction. In this type of sentence the answer
will be a word that contrasts with the key word or group of words.
Chapter 50 in The Essential 500 Words provides a tutorial on using
reversal words in sentence completion questions.
4. RECOGNIZE CAUSE-AND-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS
Many of the most challenging sentence completion questions ask you to
determine a logical cause-and-effect relationship between two answers.
Chapter 52 in The Essential 500 Words provides a tutorial on cause-and-
effect sentence completion questions.
5. USE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
Don’t panic if can’t immediately answer a question. Stay calm and use
process of elimination (POE) to help you delete obviously wrong
answers. It is important to remember that positives and negatives
can be a very valuable POE tool.

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