SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 330: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 330

5. Conservationists argue that unconstrained ------- of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced by a policy of -------.

A. Dismissal… preparation
B. Consumption… dispersion
C. Harvesting… gathering
D. Exploitation… husbandry
E. Stockpiling… extirpation

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Exploitation" refers to the selfish and unethical use of something. "Husbandry" means careful management of natural resources. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Conservationists argue that unconstrained exploitation of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced with a policy of husbandry." The phrase "should be replaced with" indicates that the two missing terms contrast each other. "Husbandry," or conservation, certainly counters environmental "exploitation."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. A "dismissal" is a rejection from serious consideration. "Preparation" means being ready. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Conservationists argue that unconstrained dismissal of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced with a policy of preparation." A lack of consideration for the environment could theoretically lead to the "depletion," or deprivation, of natural resources, but it is somewhat illogical to assert that such a "dismissal" is "unconstrained," or unlimited.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Consumption" is the utilization of goods, and "dispersion" means scattering. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Conservationists argue that unconstrained consumption of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced with a policy of dispersion." While irresponsible "consumption" could certainly deplete natural resources, it is illogical to claim that conservationists would argue in favor of "dispersing," or spreading these resources.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Harvesting" means reaping or gathering in. "Gathering" means collecting or harvesting. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Conservationists argue that unconstrained harvesting of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced with a policy of gathering." The phrase "should be replaced with" indicates that the missing terms have opposite meanings, but "harvesting" and "gathering" are synonymous.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Stockpiling" means gathering a supply of resources for future use. "Extirpation" means destruction. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Conservationists argue that unconstrained stockpiling of natural resources, which might deplete them forever, should be replaced with a policy of extirpation." By definition, conservationists would not support an environmental policy of "extirpation," or destruction.

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