SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 174: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 174

2. Studies of ------- among turtles are sometimes ------- by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed.

A. extinction . . enhanced
B. longevity . . hampered
C. behavior . . belied
D. mortality . . bolstered
E. reproduction . . confirmed

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Longevity" means of great age or great span of life. "Hampered" means to impede in motion or progress. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Studies of longevity among turtles are sometimes hampered by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed." The sentence explains that the lengthy lifespan of turtles can cause problems for researchers. "Longevity" fits the description "lives so long." That turtles outlive the careers of the scientists studying them would certainly hamper, or impede, the study.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Extinction" means the process of becoming extinct. "Enhanced" means improved, or advanced in qualities. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Studies of extinction among turtles are sometimes enhanced by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed." It is illogical to claim that a study could be enhanced, or improved, by the inability of researchers to complete it.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Behavior" means the manner in which something functions. "Belied" means pictured falsely or misrepresented. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Studies of behavior among turtles are sometimes belied by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed." It makes some sense to say that a study could be belied, or misrepresented, by the problem of researchers retiring, but it is unclear why a behavior study would be affected by this problem.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Mortality" means death rate. "Bolstered" means supported or propped up with. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Studies of mortality among turtles are sometimes bolstered by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed." A study on turtle mortality would not be bolstered, or propped up by, the retirement of the researcher.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Reproduction" means the act of reproducing. "Confirmed" means strengthened or made valid. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Studies of reproduction among turtles are sometimes confirmed by the fact that the subjects live so long that researchers retire before the studies can be completed." The fact of researchers retiring would do nothing to confirm, or prove, anything about reproduction.

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