SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 259: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 259

10. The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this ------ would likely be his undoing.

A. naïveté
B. furtiveness
C. venality
D. indecisiveness
E. sarcasm

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Na?veté" means a deficiency of worldly wisdom. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this na?veté would likely be his undoing." The word "this" indicates that the missing term directly following it will have the same meaning as the phrase that directly preceded it. In this case, "na?veté" does indeed refer to a "lack of worldly wisdom."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Furtiveness" means secrecy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this furtiveness would likely be his undoing." Secretive behavior has nothing to do with a simplistic view of the world.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Venality" means openness to corrupt influence, especially bribery. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this venality would likely be his undoing." Although a weak moral code could certainly destroy a politician's career, "venality" is unrelated to the question of "worldly wisdom."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Indecisiveness" means hesitation in making decisions. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this indecisiveness would likely be his undoing." The tendency to be indecisive is not directly linked to a person's level of sophistication.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Sarcasm" means satirical wit that often has a bitter effect. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The editorial claimed that the gubernatorial candidate lacked worldly wisdom and that this sarcasm would likely be his undoing." Sarcasm often reflects a jaded view of the world, not a limited one.

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