SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 18: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 18

3. Frank was confident that he had presented the most ------- plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results.

A. efficacious
B. abstruse
C. conservative
D. protracted
E. misconstrued

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Efficacious" means effective or producing a desired result. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Frank was confident that he had presented the most efficacious plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results." The logic of the sentence suggests that that Frank believed his faulty plan to be both "practical" and "useful," or in other words, "efficacious."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Abstruse" means difficult to understand. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Frank was confident that he had presented the most abstruse plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results." The structure of the sentence implies that the missing term will be synonymous with "practical" and "useful," but a plan that is "abstruse" is too complex to be easily understood.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Conservative" in this context means cautious. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Frank was confident that he had presented the most conservative plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results." A cautious plan is not "just the opposite" of a "practical" or "useful" plan.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Protracted" means drawn out. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Frank was confident that he had presented the most protracted plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results." It is unlikely that Frank would want to develop the most drawn out plan possible, and the term "protracted" does not mean "practical" or "useful."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Misconstrued" means mistakenly interpreted. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Frank was confident that he had presented the most misconstrued plan possible, but in reality his proposals were just the opposite, neither practical nor useful enough to produce any worthwhile results." It is illogical to claim that Frank intentionally presented a misunderstood plan, and "misconstrued" does not mean "practical" or "useful."

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