SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 17: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 17

2. The spacecraft has two ------- sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function.

A. divergent
B. identical
C. simulated
D. mutual
E. prohibitve

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Identical" means exactly the same. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The spacecraft has two identical sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function." The information following the semicolon helps to identify the missing term. The fact that one of the sets of electrical components has a "duplicate," or exact copy, indicates that the two sets are "identical."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Divergent" means varying or proceeding in different directions. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The spacecraft has two divergent sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function." There is no support for the claim that the two sets are "divergent," or differing. On the contrary, the sentence indicates that the sets are exactly the same.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Simulated" means having the appearance or form of something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The spacecraft has two simulated sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function." The fact that the two sets are "duplicates" means that they are exactly alike. The term "simulated," however, only indicates that the sets are made to resemble something else.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Mutual" means having the same relationship. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The spacecraft has two mutual sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function." The term "mutual" implies that the two sets have similarities, but it does not establish that they are "duplicates" of each other.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Prohibitive" means forbidding or tending to prevent. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The spacecraft has two prohibitive sets of electronic components; if one fails, its duplicate will still function." It is illogical to claim that a set of electronic components and its duplicate are "prohibitive." The sentence instead implies that they are identical.

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