SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 232: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 232

13. Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such -------- strategies and even the most ------- player can master them.

A. byzantine… adroit
B. nefarious… conscientious
C. devious… lackadaisical
D. onerous… slipshod
E. predictable… compulsive

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Byzantine" means extremely complex, and "adroit" means skillful and clever. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such byzantine strategies that only the most adroit player can master them." A computer game designed to be extremely complicated would typically be mastered only by skillful players who use complex strategies.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Nefarious" means very wicked, and "conscientious" means careful with all details. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such nefarious strategies that only the most conscientious player can master them." Although conscientious players might do well when playing complicated computer games, there is little reason to think that being conscientious would be a particular advantage in mastering very wicked strategies.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Devious" means crooked or cunning, and "lackadaisical" means showing little interest or spirit. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such devious strategies that only the most lackadaisical player can master them." A player who would be able to devise cunning strategies would probably show a great deal of interest, not a lack of interest, in the game.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Onerous" means burdensome, and "slipshod" means careless. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such onerous strategies that only the most slipshod player can master them." Although difficult strategies could well be considered onerous or burdensome, a careless person would have practically no chance at mastering a game that required such strategies.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Predictable" means easy to foretell, and "compulsive" means being forced by inner drives. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Some interactive computer games are so elaborately contrived and require such predictable strategies that only the most compulsive player can master them." The sentence as a whole leads the reader to expect that the games would require difficult strategies; strategies that really are predictable tend not to be challlenging, since very little thinking is required to apply them to a given situation. A compulsive player would probably have little interest in playing a game that is not challenging.

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