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 43 – 45 in Essential define and illustrate 30 key words with multiple meanings tested on the SAT. Here are 10 practice sentence completion questions that will test your ability to recognize and use these words. Essential provides a 6 chapter tutorial on sentence completions that includes 3 full practice tests.

 
1. Although the professor occasionally allowed her students the ____
to select their own research projects, she typically imposed strict
guidelines which severely limited their freedom of choice.

(A) latitude
(B) channel
(C) stipulation
(D) antecedent
(E) resignation

2. Professor Tuttle’s new world history text is both ____ and ____: although
his prose is unimaginative the book is very comprehensive.

(A) intriguing .. didactic
(B) banal .. parochial
(C) compelling .. versatile
(D) pedestrian .. exhaustive
(E) tasteless .. spare

3. In surprising contrast to the austere homes build in this neighborhood,
the homes built in the adjacent town are surprisingly ____.

(A) tasteless
(B) economical
(C) capricious
(D) ornate
(E) symmetrical

4. Eager to appear sophisticated and genial, Eric cultivated a public image
that was both ____ and ____.

(A) parochial .. gregarious
(B) urbane .. enigmatic
(C) cosmopolitan .. affable
(D) aesthetic .. laconic
(E) temperate .. craven

5. Although the mayor tried to ____ the soaring optimism engendered by
the large private grant, her pleas for moderation were largely ignored.

(A) arrest
(B) doctor
(C) eclipse
(D) shelve
(E) temper

6. The new director of the charitable trust announced that his primary focus
would be on broad global problems rather than on ____ issues with
limited consequences.

(A) provincial
(B) nostalgic
(C) disputatious
(D) universal
(E) autonomous

7. The restaurant chef was noted for her ____ taste, she carefully selected
only organic vegetables and grass-fed beef for her menu.

(A) retiring
(B) discriminating
(C) austere
(D) odd
(E) provincial

8. Rather than ____ the building project, the college president called upon
alumni to launch an immediate and aggressive fund-raising drive.

(A) shelving
(B) tackling
(C) commencing
(D) galvanizing
(E) cultivating

9. Ernest Hemingway wrote in a notably ____ style, achieving great impact
in a few unadorned words.

(A) convivial
(B) pedestrian
(C) ambiguous
(D) parochial
(E) spare

10. Although usually ____ and reluctant to draw attention to herself, Neve
publicly announced a bold plan to ____ her community’s pressing need
for a new park.

(A) retiring .. tackle
(B) gregarious .. confront
(C) diffident .. forgo
(D) provocative .. embrace
(E) cavalier .. address

ANSWERS

1. A The reversal word “although” signals that you want an answer that
contrasts with the key phrase “typically imposed strict guidelines
which severely limited their freedom of choice.” The correct answer
is therefore LATITUDE (Word 463).
2. D The key word “unimaginative” will lead you to either BANAL or
PEDESTRIAN. The second key word “comprehensive” will lead
you to EXHAUSTIVE. The correct answer is therefore PEDESTRIAN
(Word 457) .. EXHAUSTIVE (Word 471).
3. D The reversal phrase “in striking contrast” tells you to look for an
answer that is the opposite of AUSTERE. The correct answer is
therefore ORNATE (Word 451).
4. C The key definitional word “sophisticated” will lead you to either
URBANE or COSMOPOLITAN. The key definitional word genial
will lead you to either GREGARIOUS or AFFABLE. The correct
answer is therefore COSMOPOLITAN (Word 477) .. AFFABLE
(Word 418).
5. E The mayor tried to limit or soften the “soaring optimism.” Her pleas
for “moderation” therefore represent an attempt to TEMPER
“the soaring optimism.” The correct answer is therefore TEMPER
(Word 473).
6. A The reversal phrase “rather than” signals that you want an answer
that is the opposite of “broad global problems” and is consistent
with “limited consequences.” The correct answer is therefore
PROVINCIAL (Word 478).
7. B The key definitional phrase “carefully selected” leads you to
DISCRIMINATING (Word 464) as the best answer.
8. A The reversal phrase “rather than” tells you to look for an answer that
has the opposite meaning of “immediate and aggressive.” The
correct answer is therefor SHELVING (Word 474).
9. E The key definitional phrase “a few unadorned words” leads you
to SPARE (Word 453) as the correct answer.
10. A The key phrase “reluctant to draw attention to herself” will
lead you to either RETIRING or DIFFIDENT for the first blank.
The key phrase “bold plan” tells you that Neve will TACKLE
her community’s “pressing need for a new park.” The correct
answer is therefore RETIRING (Word 472) .. TACKLE (Word 479).

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