SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 272: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 272

8. Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally ------- .

A. obscure
B. severe
C. conventional
D. erroneous
E. noteworthy

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Noteworthy" means remarkable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally noteworthy." The term "equally" indicates that Armstrong was as "innovative," or creative, vocally as he was with a trumpet.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Obscure" in this context means relatively unknown. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally obscure." The term "equally" indicates that the missing term must be compatible with "renowned," but "obscure" has the opposite meaning.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Severe" in this context means extremely rigid. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally severe." It is somewhat illogical to refer to "improvisation" and "innovation" as "severe."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Conventional" means following the established ways of doing things. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally conventional." The fact that Armstrong was known for "improvisation" and "innovation" suggests that his music was original, not "conventional."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Erroneous" means wrong. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong is renowned for his improvisations on the trumpet; his innovations as a vocalist are equally erroneous." It makes little sense to praise Armstrong's trumpet playing in the first clause and call his singing "equally erroneous," or incorrect, in the second clause.

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