SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 6: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 6

6. The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were -------; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless ------- about speaking in public.

A. positive . . insecure
B. euphoric . . hopeful
C. unknown . . modest
D. ambivalent . . anxious
E. restrained . . confident

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Ambivalent" means having contradictory emotions. "Anxious" means troubled or worried. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were ambivalent; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless anxious about speaking in public." The words "although" and "nonetheless" indicate a contrast, or "ambivalence," between the student's feelings about being chosen to deliver the commencement address and his feelings regarding public speaking in general. Since the student was "happy" to have been chosen, it is logical to conclude that he felt a negative emotion, such as "anxiety," at the thought of actually presenting the speech.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Positive" means marked by acceptance or approval. "Insecure" means troubled by anxiety and apprehension. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were positive; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless insecure about speaking in public." The student's "insecurity" about speaking in public counters the claim that his feelings regarding the commencement speech were "positive."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Euphoric" means extremely happy. "Hopeful" means expecting a positive outcome. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were euphoric; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless hopeful about speaking in public." The terms "although" and "nonetheless" indicate a contrast between the student's feelings about being chosen and his feelings about speaking in public. Since "happy" does not contrast with "hopeful," the sentence is illogical.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Unknown" means not known. "Modest" means humble. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were unknown; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless modest about speaking in public." It would be illogical to claim that the student's feeling were "unknown" because the second part of the sentence describes them.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Restrained" means held back or restricted. "Confident" means self-assured. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The student's feelings about presenting the commencement address were restrained; although visibly happy to have been chosen, he was nonetheless confident about speaking in public." The terms "although" and "nonetheless" indicate a contrast between the student's feelings about being chosen and his feelings about speaking in public. Since "happy" does not contrast with "confident," the sentence is illogical.

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