SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 282: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 282

3. The scientific organization ------- the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while -------- to report on a major research conference.

A. Celebrated… failing
B. Promoted… refusing
C. Denounced… neglecting
D. Spurned… hastening
E. Honored… opting

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Denounce" means to condemn publicly, and "neglecting" in this context means failing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The scientific organization denounced the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while neglecting to report on a major research conference." It seems likely that a scientific organization would criticize a newspaper for reporting on psychic predictions rather than on a research conference.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Celebrate" means to praise the accomplishments of, and "failing" in this context means not doing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The scientific organization celebrated the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while failing to report on a major research conference." Far from praising a newspaper for focusing on psychic predictions at the expense of a research conference, a group of scientists would be likely to criticize the newspaper for this editorial choice.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Promote" in this context means to recommend to others, and "refusing" in this context means not agreeing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The scientific organization promoted the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while refusing to report on a major research conference." A scientific organization would likely disapprove of psychics, who do not use scientific methods, so a scientific organization would be acting against its own interests if it recommended a newspaper for highlighting psychic activities at the expense of scientific ones.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Spurn" means to reject with contempt, and "hastening" means hurrying. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The scientific organization spurned the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while hastening to report on a major research conference." "Spurn" is typically used to mean to reject the romantic advances of a suitor and thus seems an inappropriate word choice for a situation in which a group of scientists is criticizing a newspaper. In addition, since the newspaper in this case also covered the research conference, the scientists could not criticize it for failing to represent the scientific view.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Honor" means to respect greatly, and "opting" means choosing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The scientific organization honored the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while opting to report on a major research conference." Since scientists usually consider scientific and psychic activities to be incompatible, it is quite unlikely that a scientific organization would honor a newspaper for featuring psychic predictions.

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