SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 287: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 287

8. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a ------- of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest.

A. modicum
B. discrepancy
C. surfeit
D. deficit
E. juxtaposition

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C ) is correct. A "surfeit" is an overabundant supply. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a surfeit of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest." The part of the sentence following the comma expands on the missing term. A book that offers "more information" than a reader can easily process can accurately be said to have a "surfeit," or excess, of detail.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. A "modicum" is a small portion. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a modicum of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest." It is illogical to claim that a small amount of detail would be "more information than one can easily digest," or make sense of.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. A "discrepancy" is a difference. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a discrepancy of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest." A "discrepancy of detail" might suggest that the book contains inaccuracies, but it is not related to the amount of information it presents.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. A "deficit" is a deficiency in amount or quality. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a deficit of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest." A shortage of detail does not make sense in this context. The words "detail" and "information" have similar meanings in this context, so it would be illogical to accuse a book of having too little detail and then criticize it for offering too much information.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. A "juxtaposition" is the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's recent book presents a juxtaposition of detail, providing far more information than one can easily digest. "Juxtaposition" refers to a comparison, not an amount, and thus makes no sense in this sentence. The book may compare different ideas, but this claim has nothing to do with the excessive amounts of information that it presents.

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