The Essential 500 Words provides you with definitions and illustrations of 500 key words frequently tested on the SAT. These words will help you become a more articulate writer and speaker. The Essential 500 Words is more than just a vocabulary book. In order to achieve a high score on the SAT it is not enough to simply learn vocabulary words. You must also know how to apply them to sentence completion questions. Chapters 38 – 42 in Essential define and illustrate 50 top Level 3 words tested on the SAT. Here are 10 practice sentence completion questions that will test your ability to recognize and use these words. Essential also provides a 6 chapter tutorial on sentence completions that includes 3 full practice tests.
1. “Bedlam,” a popular name for the first English insane asylum, has come
to signify any ____ scene of turmoil and confusion.

(A) subtle
(B) paradoxical
(C) chaotic
(D) coherent
(E) ingenious

2. The term “funny bone” is actually ____, since this part of the body is
actually a nerve.

(A) an allusion
(B) an understatement
(C) a misnomer
(D) a paradox
(E) a personification

3. Despite high expectations, the popular novelist’s new blog was
surprisingly ____: every entry was ordinary and commonplace.

(A) divisive
(B) mundane
(C) poignant
(D) egregious
(E) lucrative

4. Guneet cannot tolerate a situation that is ____, where there is no hope
of effective action.

(A) euphoric
(B) futile
(C) slovenly
(D) feasible
(E) somber
5. The guidance counselor demonstrated great understanding of the
student’s feelings, thereby enhancing her reputation for being

(A) divisive
(B) exasperating
(C) obsolete
(D) empathetic
(E) euphoric

6. Justin was ____ and ____, a man of great courage and conviction.

(A) craven .. credible
(B) punctilious .. taciturn
(C) adept .. tenacious
(D) impassioned .. affable
(E) intrepid .. resolute

7. Carson was a gloomy and ____ person; he had none of his brother’s

(A) stodgy .. credibility
(B) fastidious .. rancor
(C) somber .. vivacity
(D) slovenly .. empathy
(E) abstemious .. vacillation

8. Conrad Anker is a world famous mountain climber who is renowned for
his ____ and ____: he is very inventive and never gives up on a challenge.

(A) ingenuity .. tenacity
(B) ineptitude .. indomitability
(C) adeptness .. inertia
(D) negligence .. futility
(E) elusiveness .. aloofness

9. Because of its out-of-date features, reviewers have roundly criticized the
printer for its use of ____ technology.

(A) trivial
(B) obsolete
(C) plausible
(D) mundane
(E) credible

10. Because she has a great need for praise and admiration, Rihanna enjoys
the public ____ that comes with being a famous recording artist.

(A) adulation
(B) empathy
(C) disparity
(D) mockery
(E) levity


1. C The key definitional phrase “scene of turmoil and confusion” leads
you to CHAOTIC (Word 405) as the correct answer.
2. C Since the “funny bone” is actually a nerve, it’s name is incorrect and
therefore a MISNOMER (Word 414).
3. B The key definitional phrase “ordinary and commonplace” leads you
to MUNDANE (Word 429) as the correct answer.
4. B The key definitional phrase “no hope of effective action” leads you
to FUTILE (Word 404) as the correct answer.
5. D The key definitional phrase “great understanding of the student’s
feelings” leads you to EMPATHETIC (Word 421) as the correct
6. E The key definitional phrase “great courage” supports INTREPID
and the key definitional word “conviction” supports RESOLUTE.
The correct answer is therefore INTREPID (Word 417) and
RESOLUTE (Word 428).
7. C The questions calls for a first word that is synonymous with
“gloomy” and a second word that offers a sharp contrast. The correct
answer is therefore SOMBER (Word 409) .. VIVACITY (Word 353).
8. A The key definitional phrase “is very inventive and never gives up
on a challenge” leads you to describe Conrad Anker as a person
known for his INGENUITY (Word 424) .. TENACITY (Word 447).
9. B The key definitional phrase “out-of-date features” leads you to
OBSOLETE (Word 406) as the correct answer.
10. A The key definitional phrase “praise and admiration” leads you to
ADULATION (Word 401) as the correct answer.

Share →