SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 187: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 187

15. The mountain road was distinctly -------: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside.

A. panoramic
B. precipitous
C. serpentine
D. circumscribed
E. retrograde

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Serpentine" means winding. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The mountain road was distinctly serpentine: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside." The colon indicates that the second part of the sentence will illustrate the meaning of the missing term. "Serpentine" fits the sentence because a winding road does indeed twist "back and forth."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Panoramic" refers to a complete view of a surrounding area. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The mountain road was distinctly panoramic: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside." A winding road will not necessarily offer "panoramic" views.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Precipitous" means extremely steep. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The mountain road was distinctly precipitous: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside." There is no indication that the winding road in the sentence is particularly steep.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Circumscribed" refers to something that is constricted or surrounded by a boundary. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The mountain road was distinctly circumscribed: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside." The statement after the colon does not indicate that the road is "circumscribed" in any way.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Retrograde" means moving backward. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The mountain road was distinctly retrograde: it twisted back and forth along the contours of the hillside." It does not make sense to describe the road as moving in a backward direction.

Previous       Next