SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 340: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 340

15. Although Keller achieved national -------- as a hero, hie lamentable ------- in the political arena soon became painfully apparent.

A. Recognition… versatility
B. Ignominy… inadquecy
C. Prestige… finesse
D. Prominence… ineptitude
E. Notoriety… rectitude

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Prominence" means importance. "Ineptitude" means incompetence. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Keller achieved national prominence as a hero, his lamentable ineptitude in the political arena soon became painfully apparent." The word "although" is a clue that one of the missing terms will be a positive quality while the other will be a negative one. In the first part of the sentence, "achieved" and "hero" place Keller in a positive light. "Lamentable" and "painfully" indicate that the second missing term will be a negative quality. A hero would be likely to achieve national prominence. "Ineptitude" is a negative quality that would be regrettable in political career.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Recognition" is attention. "Versatility" means flexiblity. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Keller achieved national recognition as a hero, his lamentable versatility in the political arena soon became painfully apparent." The word "although" is a clue that one of the missing terms will be a positive quality while the other will be a negative one. In the first part of the sentence, "achieved" and "hero" place Keller in a positive light. "Lamentable" and "painfully" indicate that the second missing term will be a negative quality. A hero would be likely to achieve national "recognition," or attention. "Versatility," however, is a positive quality that would be "valuable," not lamentable, for a political career.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Ignominy" is personal dishonor or humiliation. "Inadequacy" means insufficiency. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Keller achieved national ignominy as a hero, his lamentable inadequacy in the political arena soon became painfully apparent." The word "although" is a clue that one of the missing terms will be a positive quality while the other will be a negative one. In the first part of the sentence, "achieved" and "hero" place Keller in a positive light. "Lamentable" and "painfully" indicate that the second missing term will be a negative quality. Although inadequacy would be lamentable in a politician, someone who has achieved national "ignominy," or humiliation, would not be considered a hero.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Prestige" is wide recognition of distinction. "Finesse" means diplomatic skillfulness. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Keller achieved national prestige as a hero, his lamentable finesse in the political arena soon became painfully apparent." The word "although" is a clue that one of the missing terms will be a positive quality while the other will be a negative one. In the first part of the sentence, "achieved" and "hero" place Keller in a positive light. "Lamentable" and "painfully" indicate that the second missing term will be a negative quality. Although, a hero would be likely to achieve national prestige, "finesse" is a positive quality that would be "valuable," not lamentable, in a politician.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Notoriety" means known for an unfavorable act or quality. "Rectitude" means moral righteousness. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Keller achieved national notoriety as a hero, his lamentable rectitude in the political arena soon became painfully apparent." The word "although" is a clue that one of the missing terms will be a positive quality while the other will be a negative one. In the first part of the sentence, "achieved" and "hero" place Keller in a positive light. "Lamentable" and "painfully" indicate that the second missing term will be a negative quality. Someone with national notoriety is not likely to be considered a hero. In addition, rectitude in a politician would more likely be praised than lamented.

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