SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 173: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 173

1. Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily -------, this art is also emotionally and spiritually -------.

A. illusory . . taxing
B. exaggerated . . balanced
C. physical . . demanding
D. appealing . . indulgent
E. strenuous . . dubious

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Physical" means something involving or characterized by vigorous bodily activity. "Demanding" in this context means requiring much effort or attention. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily physical, this art is also emotionally and spiritually demanding." The words "although" and "also" indicate that the sentence will compare two related ideas. In this case, they set up a logical contrast between ballet's physical and non-physical demands.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Illusory" refers to something that is based on illusion or that is deceptive. "Taxing" means burdensome or difficult. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily illusory, this art is also emotionally and spiritually taxing." The first clause of this sentence implies that ballet is not as physically challenging as it appears, so it does not make sense to then claim that its emotional and spiritual elements are "also . . . taxing," or difficult.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Exaggerated" means overstated. "Balanced" means equal or equivalent. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily exaggerated, this art is also emotionally and spiritually balanced." The claim that ballet is emotionally and spiritually balanced is in no way related to the claim that its rigors are exaggerated.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Appealing" means attractive or inviting, and "indulgent" means lenient. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily appealing, this art is also emotionally and spiritually indulgent." It makes little sense to describe the rigors of ballet as attractive, especially in connection to a claim about ballet's emotional and spiritual "indulgence."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Strenuous" means requiring great effort, energy, and exertion. "Dubious" means fraught with uncertainty or doubt. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although the rigors of ballet dancing are primarily strenuous, this art is also emotionally and spiritually dubious." It is somewhat redundant to describe rigors as strenuous, and this claim is unrelated to the assertion that ballet is emotionally and spiritually "dubious," or doubtful.

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