SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 230: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 230

11. The frequent name changes that the country has undergone ------ the political turbulence that has attended its recent history.

A. argue against
B. contrast with
C. testify to
D. jeopardize
E. sustain

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Testify to" in this context means to provide evidence of. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The frequent name changes that the country has undergone testify to the political turbulence that has attended its recent history." Countries rarely change their names unless some important political forces have caused them to do so. Thus, name changes provide some evidence that a country has suffered political unrest.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Argue against" means to provide reasons not to believe some point of view. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The frequent name changes that the country has undergone argue against the political turbulence that has attended its recent history." Since countries change their names only when some political pressure forces them to do so, the name changes argue for, not against, a situation of political turmoil in the country.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Contrast with" means to be quite different from. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The frequent name changes that the country has undergone contrast with the political turbulence that has attended its recent history." Since a country's frequent name changes are consistent with a history of political unrest in the country, there is no contrast between these two situations.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Jeopardize" means to put into danger. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The frequent name changes that the country has undergone jeopardize the political turbulence that has attended its recent history." Changes in a country's name are effects of political turmoil; they do not typically have a significant effect on it. So no one would expect such name changes to put political turbulence in danger. In addition, political turbulence is something that most people would prefer to avoid, so it is unnatural to talk about its being put into jeopardy.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Sustain" means to keep something in existence. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The frequent name changes that the country has undergone sustain the political turbulence that has attended its recent history." Name changes tend to be a result of, not a cause of, such significant political upheavals as changes in government. Therefore, unless there were some indication in the sentence that the political turbulence revolved around the issue of the country's name, it would be very surprising that mere changes in the name of the country could manage to maintain a situation of political turbulence.

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