SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 248: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 248

14. Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of the navigation, becoming the most ------ sailors.

A. adept
B. temperamental
C. congenial
D. vulnerable
E. reclusive

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Adept" means highly skillful. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of navigation, becoming the ocean's most adept sailors." It makes sense to say that those who had mastered the art of navigation became adept, or highly skilled, sailors.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Temperamental" means unpredictable in behavior. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of navigation, becoming the ocean's most temperamental sailors." That the islanders were masters of navigation would probably mean that they did not behave unpredictably.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Congeniality" means friendliness. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of navigation, becoming the ocean's most congenial sailors." Masters of navigation are not necessarily friendly sailors.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Vulnerable" means open to attack or injury. If this term were inserted into text, the sentence would read "Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of navigation, becoming the ocean's most vulnerable sailors." Master navigators would likely be less open to injury or attack than other, less experienced sailors.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Reclusive" means withdrawn or preferring solitude. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Residents of the isolated island were forced to master the art of navigation, becoming the ocean's most reclusive sailors." While living on an isolated island might cause the sailors to prefer solitude, reclusivity does not describe their mastery of sea travel.

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