SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 172: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 172

17. The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was ------- evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century.

A. immaterial
B. potential
C. incriminating
D. nominal
E. indisputable

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Indisputable" means unquestionable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was indisputable evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century." The comma in the sentence separates two synonymous phrases. Only "indisputable evidence" has the same meaning as "unquestionable proof."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Immaterial" means unimportant. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was immaterial evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century." The sentence implies that the archaeologist's discovery is significant, so it would be illogical to call the evidence "immaterial."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Potential" means possible. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was potential evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century." A discovery that could potentially provide evidence about an archaeological site is a far cry from "unquestionable proof."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. Something that is "incriminating" shows evidence of a crime or fault. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was incriminating evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century." The term "incriminating" is inappropriate in this sentence because the coin does not prove anyone guilty of wrongdoing.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Nominal" means insignificant. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The archaeologist believed the coin she unearthed was nominal evidence, unquestionable proof that the site dated to the fourth century." "Nominal," or skimpy, evidence would never be described as "unquestionable proof."

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