SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 215: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 215

11. The actor was note for his ----- behavior; he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied.

A. fastidious
B. sedulous
C. vindictive
D. petulant
E. mercenary

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Petulant" means unreasonably ill-tempered. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The actor was noted for his petulant behavior: he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied." The colon in the sentence sets up an example of the actor's behavior. The assertion that the actor was ill-tempered is supported by the fact that he became annoyed when people did not cater to his "every whim."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Fastidious" in this context means meticulous. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The actor was noted for his fastidious behavior: he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied." A fastidious person has high standards but is more concerned with quality than speed. The actor might pay meticulous attention to details, but this trait does not explain the irritation he feels when his desires are not "immediately satisfied."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Sedulous" means constant in effort or busy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The actor was noted for his sedulous behavior: he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied." The sentence says nothing to imply that the actor is hard-working or busy.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Vindictive" means spiteful or vengeful. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The actor was noted for his vindictive behavior: he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied." There is nothing in the sentence to suggest that the actor, though difficult, was spiteful or prone to revenge.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Mercenary" means motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The actor was noted for his mercenary behavior: he quickly became irritated if his every whim was not immediately satisfied." A person motivated by greed does not necessarily become quickly irritated.

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