SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 168: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 168

13. Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under ------- conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no ------- his creativity.

A. squalid . . boon for
B. tranquil . . obstruction to
C. tumultuous . . impediment to
D. destructive . . demonstration of
E. flagrant . . benefit to

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Tumultuous" means chaotic and disorderly. An "impediment" means something that slows down or gets in the way of something else. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under tumultuous conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no impediment to his creativity." The term "Since" indicates that there is a relationship between the conditions to which the correspondent was accustomed and his ability to work during the "commotion," or noisy confusion, of the subway at rush hour. The noisy confusion of the subway was similar to the "tumultuous," or chaotic and disorderly, conditions the correspondent was used to, so the commotion was not an "impediment" to his creativity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Squalid" means dirty and neglected. A "boon" is a benefit or favor. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under squalid conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no boon for his creativity." The term "Since" indicates that there is a relationship between the conditions to which the correspondent was accustomed and his ability to work during the "commotion," or noisy confusion, of the subway at rush hour. Because there is not necessarily any connection between "squalid," or dirty and neglected, conditions and noisily confusing conditions, there is no reason to believe that the commotion of the subway would or would not have been a "boon," or benefit, to the correspondent's creativity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Tranquil" means calm and free from disturbance. An "obstruction" is something that blocks or gets in the way of something else. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under tranquil conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no obstruction to his creativity." A correspondent who is used to working under "tranquil," or calm, conditions would likely find the "commotion," or noisy confusion, of the subway to be an "obstruction" to his creativity. Therefore, it is illogical to suggest that the commotion presented "no obstruction to," or did not get in the way of, his creativity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Destructive" means causing harm and destroying. A "demonstration" is a public display. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under destructive conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no demonstration of his creativity." Although the first term makes sense in this context, the second term does not. While the "commotion," or noisy confusion, of the subway could affect the correspondent' s ability to be creative, it is illogical to suggest that a commotion could "demonstrate" his creativity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Flagrant" means obviously offensive. A "benefit" means an advantage or something that is useful. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Since the foreign correspondent was accustomed to completing his assignments under flagrant conditions, the commotion of the subway at rush hour presented no benefit to his creativity." Although the second term makes sense in this context, the first does not. It is illogical to describe a condition as "flagrant," or obviously offensive.

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