SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 275: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 275

11. The intern was almost too ------; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own.

A. candid
B. disarming
C. empathetic
D. insightful
E. hysterical

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. Someone who is "empathetic" has a deep understanding of the feelings of another person. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The intern was almost too empathetic; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own." The semicolon sets up an explanation of the missing term. Someone who identifies so closely with the suffering of others is indeed "empathetic."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Candid" means frank or honest in expressing oneself. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The intern was almost too candid; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own." A "candid," or frank, person does not necessarily relate to the suffering of other people.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Disarming" means charming. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The intern was almost too disarming; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own." A charming person does not necessarily internalize other people's suffering.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. Someone who is "insightful" understands the inner nature of things. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The intern was almost too insightful; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own." "Insightful" people may recognize when other people suffer, but they do not necessarily take their suffering personally, as the intern does.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Hysterical" means irrationally overcome by powerful emotions. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The intern was almost too hysterical; he felt the suffering of his patients as if it were his own." "Hysterical" people are more likely to be consumed with their own emotions rather than the suffering of others.

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