SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 251: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 251

2. Opponents of the research institute label it ------ anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have ------ rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility.

A. An elitist… perquisites
B. A monarchial… tribulations
C. An irreproachable…luxuries
D. A reprehensible… afflictions
E. A commendable… privileges

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Elitist" means favoring a small, high-status group, and "perquisites" are privileges. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Opponents of the research institute label it an elitist anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have perquisites rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility." A research institute that provides perquisites, or privileges, that are so excessive that they rival those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility can appropriately be called elitist, or favoring a small, high-status group.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Monarchical" means pertaining to a king, and "tribulations" are sufferings. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Opponents of the research institute label it a monarchical anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have tribulations rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility." The pre-Revolutionary French nobility were not known for their suffering, and it is unlikely that the opponents of the research institute would criticize the institute's scholars for having tribulations, or sufferings.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Irreproachable" means faultless, and "luxuries" are extravagant comforts. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Opponents of the research institute label it an irreproachable anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have luxuries rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility." Opponents of an institution would not call it faultless and would criticize the institution for lavishing luxuries on its scholars.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Reprehensible" means deserving blame, and "afflictions" are sufferings. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Opponents of the research institute label it a reprehensible anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have afflictions rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility." Although opponents might label the institute reprehensible, or blameworthy, they would not be likely to criticize the institute's scholars for having afflictions, or sufferings. Furthermore, the pre-Revolutionary nobility were not known for their suffering.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Commendable" means praiseworthy, and "privileges" are deserved rights or luxuries. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Opponents of the research institute label it a commendable anachronism; its scholars, they allege, have privileges rivaling those of pre-Revolutionary French nobility." Opponents who accuse the institute of providing excessive privileges would not characterize it as commendable, or praiseworthy.

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