SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 40: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 40

10. The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that ------- most researchers.

A. interest
B. perplex
C. discourage
D. unite
E. overtake

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Discourage" means to hinder. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that discourage most researchers." The assertion that lemurs are "little studied" indicates that the factors described in the first half of the sentence have "discouraged," or hampered, scientists' efforts to research the animal.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Interest" means to engage someone's attention. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that interest most researchers." It is contradictory to claim that the very qualities that "interest" researchers in the lemur are the reason that the animal is "little studied."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Perplex" means to confuse or puzzle. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that perplex most researchers." The purpose of research is to acquire new information, so it is illogical to claim that lemurs are "little studied" because their habits are "perplexing."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Unite" means to join together. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that unite most researchers." There is no support for the suggestion that the lemur's living conditions "united" researchers.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Overtake" means to catch up with and pass by. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The lemur is little studied because it is nocturnal and dwells in an extremely rainy region, factors that overtake most researchers." It makes little sense to say that the lemur's living conditions could "overtake," or pass by, researchers.

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