SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 295: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 295

1. Ellen Swallow Richards, a ------- environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to -------- responsible practice in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology.

A. Foil for… expose
B. Pioneer of …. Implement
C. Resource on… squelch
D. Mitigator… promote
E. Critic of… exploit

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Pioneer of" means someone who helps open up a new line of thought or activity. "Implement" means to carry out. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ellen Swallow Richards, a pioneer of environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to implement responsible practices in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology." The phrase "has come to be" indicates that Richards was a "pioneer" of ecology, working in the field before it had even been named. It is unsurprising then that she campaigned to "implement" sound environmental measures.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. A "foil" is someone who acts or plays the opposite of something. "Expose" means to reveal. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ellen Swallow Richards, a foil for environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to expose responsible practices in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology." If Richards had only been a "foil" for environmental preservation, she would not have assisted the movement by bringing attention to the issue of ecology responsibility.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. A "resource" is a source of information, and "squelch" means to completely suppress. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ellen Swallow Richards, a resource on environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to squelch responsible practices in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology." Reynolds would not have been considered a "resource" on preservation, and it is unlikely that an ecology expert would work to suppress responsible environmental practices.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. A "mitigator" is someone who makes a situation less severe or hostile. "Promote" means to encourage. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ellen Swallow Richards, a mitigator of environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to promote responsible practices in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology." Since ecology was a new concept in the nineteenth century, it is unlikely that Richards would have needed to make the field "less severe or hostile."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. A "critic" is someone who expresses a reasoned opinion. "Exploit" means to make productive use of something for one's own gain. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ellen Swallow Richards, a critic of environmental preservation in the United States, campaigned during the nineteenth century to exploit responsible practices in the discipline that has come to be known as ecology." It is illogical to claim that someone would "campaign," or try to garner support, for the "exploitation" of an environmental movement.

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