SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 238: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 238

4. Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political -------; her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged.

A. partisanship
B. intemperance
C. acumen
D. irreverence
E. interest

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Acumen" means quickness and accuracy of judgment. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political acumen: her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged." The phrase after the colon in this sentence explains or expands on the character trait of Warren expressed by the missing term. "Keen judgment and insight" correctly defines the term "acumen."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Partisanship" means a bias in favor of a party or cause. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political partisanship: her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged." The phrase after the colon in this sentence explains or expands on the character trait of Warren expressed by the missing term. "Partisanship" is not defined by the phrase "keen judgment and insight."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Intemperance" means a lack of moderation. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political intemperance: her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged." The phrase after the colon in this sentence explains or expands on the character trait of Warren expressed by the missing term. Although some people who lack moderation might well have keen judgment and insight, a lack of moderation is not related to keen judgment in such a way that the second concept helps to define or explain the first concept.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Irreverence" means a lack of deep respect. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political irreverence: her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged." The phrase after the colon explains or expands on the character trait of Warren expressed by the missing term. "Irreverence" is not defined by the phrase "keen judgment and insight."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Interest" means a feeling of curiosity about something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial American playwright Mercy Otis Warren was known for her political interest: her keen judgment and insight were widely acknowledged." The phrase after the colon in this sentence explains or expands on the character trait of Warren expressed by the missing term. Being curious about politics is one thing, and having keen judgment and insight is something quite different.

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