SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 280: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 280

1. In order to ------ the loss of natural wetland used by migrating snow geese, the conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's ------- wetland refuges in the northern prairies.

A. Standardize… ignored
B. Offset… surrendered
C. Explain… dismantled
D. Compensate for… established
E. Account for… administered

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Compensate for" means to make up for, and "establish" means to set up. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In order to compensate for the loss of natural wetlands used by migrating snow geese, conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's established wetland refuges in the northern prairies." The sentence is structured first to identify the goal of an activity and then the method used to achieve that goal. Conservationists tried to make up for the loss of an important natural resource by setting up a replacement.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Standardize" means to make uniform, and "ignore" means to pay no attention to. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In order to standardize the loss of natural wetlands used by migrating snow geese, conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's ignored wetland refuges in the northern prairies." Conservationists would not want to standardize the loss of natural wetlands because that would only serve to increase the loss of such natural resources, and ignoring the loss of wetland refuges in one place would not necessarily make uniform a loss in some other area.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Offset" means to make up for, and "surrender" means to give up. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In order to offset the loss of natural wetlands used by migrating snow geese, conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's surrendered wetland refuges in the northern prairies." Giving up refuges in one area would not make up for their loss in another area.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Explain" means to make understandable, and "dismantle" means to take apart. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In order to explain the loss of natural wetlands used by migrating snow geese, conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's dismantled wetland refuges in the northern prairies." Taking apart the wetland refuges in one area would not make their loss in another area significantly more understandable.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Account for" in this context means to give the main reasons for, and "administer" means to manage. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In order to account for the loss of natural wetlands used by migrating snow geese, conservationists in the 1960's and 1970's administered wetland refuges in the northern prairies." Conservationists could not give reasons for the loss of wetlands in one area by managing wetlands in another area and at another time.

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