SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 100: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 100

9. New data measuring the ------- of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor.

A. models
B. contours
C. remnants
D. populations
E. pigments

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Contours" are the outlines or shapes of curving or irregular surfaces. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "New data measuring the contours of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor." The missing term has a meaning similar to "topography," or the surface features of a place or region. The "contours of land" are the outlines or shape of the land's surface.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Models" are miniature representations of something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "New data measuring the models of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor." The actual land beneath the oceans, not miniature representations of the land, must be measured in order to make accurate generalizations about the seafloor.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Remnants" are remains or things left over. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "New data measuring the remnants of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor." In this context, it does not make sense to speak of remains of land on the ocean floor.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. A "population" is the total number of people or organisms in a given area. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "New data measuring the populations of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor." The land beneath the oceans may have a "population" of organisms, but knowing the number of these organisms would not assist in making generalizations about the seafloor's "topography," or surface features.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Pigments" are substances used for coloring. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "New data measuring the pigments of land beneath the oceans permit accurate generalizations about the topography of the seafloor." Colors are not among the surface features typically referred to by the term "topography."

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