SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 135: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 135

12. Though he was fascinated by the ------- behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of ------- in his own comportment.

A. hedonistic . . recklessness
B. unorthodox . . conformity
C. restless . . agitation
D. egotistical . . extremity
E. unwieldy . . rigidity

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Unorthodox" means not following tradition or convention. "Conformity" is a tendency to behave in ways that are socially acceptable. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Though he was fascinated by the unorthodox behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of conformity in his own comportment." The word "Though" and the phrase "by contrast" indicate that the missing terms will describe opposing types of behavior. The "unorthodox," or unconventional, behavior of others contrasts with Darek's own "conformity."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Hedonistic" means pursuing pleasure and happiness. "Recklessness" is irresponsibility and a lack of caution. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Though he was fascinated by the hedonistic behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of recklessness in his own comportment." The word "Though" and the phrase "by contrast" indicate that the missing terms will describe opposing types of behavior. The terms "hedonistic" and "reckless" are not necessarily in opposition to each other. Hedonism, or the pursuit of pleasure, can sometimes involve irresponsible behavior and a lack of caution.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Restless" means continuously moving or unsettled. "Agitation" is a state of emotional disturbance. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Though he was fascinated by the restless behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of agitation in his own comportment." The word "Though" and the phrase "by contrast" indicate that the missing terms will describe opposing types of behavior. The terms "restless" and "agitation" are not necessarily in opposition to each other because both terms can refer to a state of being unsettled or disturbed.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Egotistical" means having an exaggerated sense of selfimportance. "Extremity" is a tendency to commit drastic or desperate acts. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Though he was fascinated by the egotistical behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of extremity in his own comportment." The word "Though" and the phrase "by contrast" indicate that the missing terms will describe opposing types of behavior. The terms "egotistical" and "extremity" are not necessarily in opposition to each other. Someone could have both an exaggerated sense of self-importance and a tendency to commit drastic acts.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Unwieldy" means not easily managed or handled because of weight or complexity. "Rigidity" is the quality of being unyielding and inflexible. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Though he was fascinated by the unwieldy behavior of others, Darek was, by contrast, the model of rigidity in his own comportment." Although the second term makes sense in this context, the first term does not. While the term "unwieldy" can be used to describe something that is difficult to handle because of its physical properties or that is difficult to manage because of its complexity, it does not make sense to describe a person's behavior as "unwieldy."

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