SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 291: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 291

12. Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural --------: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups.

A. tension
B. conservatism
C. integrity
D. convergence
E. eradication

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Convergence" refers to the act of coming together. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural convergence: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups." The colon introduces an explanation of the missing term. The description of different ethnic groups sharing their customs supports the notion of a "cultural convergence," or meeting.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Tension" means opposition between groups. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural tension: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups." Although a degree of tension may have existed between these groups, the second part of the sentence addresses only the ethnic integration that occurred in colonial South Carolina.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Conservatism" is an inclination to maintain the existing or traditional order. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural conservatism: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups." The fact that groups from different parts of the world absorbed one another's customs in colonial South Carolina suggests that the region was not entirely conservative.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Integrity" means incorruptibility or soundness. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural integrity: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups." Something that has "integrity" is typically resistant to change, but the sentence indicates that different ethnic groups in colonial South Carolina adopted one another's customs.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Eradication" means extermination. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Colonial South Carolina was characterized by cultural eradication: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans each absorbed some customs of the other groups." Although the groups changed by adopting new customs, this sentence does not mention the eradication of any ethnicity.

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