SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 161: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 161

6. Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some ------- medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure.

A. presumptive
B. predictive
C. preliminary
D. premeditated
E. preventative

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Preventative" means preventing something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some preventative medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure." The phrase "Even though" sets up a contrast between Charlie's apparent good health and his family's history of high blood pressure. The missing term should describe a medication that the doctor would prescribe for Charlie even in the absence of symptoms. It would make sense for the doctor to prescribe "preventative" medication to help Charlie avoid developing the high blood pressure that runs in his family.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Presumptive" means based on an assumption. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some presumptive medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure." While the doctor might have presumed that Charlie should be taking medication due to his family's history of high blood pressure, it does not make sense to say that the medication itself was "presumptive," or based on an assumption that the doctor made about Charlie's health.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Predictive" means making a prediction. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some predictive medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure." It does not make sense to describe medication as "predictive." Medication cannot predict a patient's health.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Preliminary" means coming before something else. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some preliminary medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure." The phrase "Even though" sets up a contrast between Charlie's apparent good health and his family's history of high blood pressure. The missing term should describe a medication that the doctor would prescribe for Charlie even in the absence of symptoms. For medication to be "preliminary," or coming before something else, the doctor would have to know that Charlie would later need other medications. Charlie may or may not develop high blood pressure, so the medication would not necessarily be preliminary.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Premeditated" means considered beforehand. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Even though Charlie was in apparently good health, the doctor prescribed for him some premeditated medication due to his familial history of high blood pressure." While the doctor's decision to prescribe medication for Charlie may have been "premeditated," or considered beforehand, it does not make sense to say that the medication itself was premeditated.

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