SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 62: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 62

2. When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously ------- shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere.

A. omnipresent
B. precipitous
C. flowering
D. dazzling
E. inconspicuous

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Skill: Determining the meaning of words

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Inconspicuous" means not easily noticeable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously inconspicuous shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere." The word "previously" indicates that the missing term must contrast with the phrase "seems to be everywhere." It is therefore logical to conclude that this highly visible plant was "inconspicuous" before blooming.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Omnipresent" means present everywhere. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously omnipresent shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere." The missing term should contrast with the phrase "seems to be everywhere," but the term "omnipresent" has the same meaning.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Precipitous" means steep. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously precipitous shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere." "Precipitous" does not contrast the claim that the chamisa plant "seems to be everywhere," nor does it make sense to describe a shrub as steep.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Flowering" means blooming. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously flowering shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere." This sentence is illogical because a blooming chamisa plant is a "flowering shrub."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Dazzling" means admired for an impressive display. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "When autumn comes to the Southwest, the chamisa plant blooms, and this previously dazzling shrub suddenly seems to be everywhere." A "dazzling" shrub would have been highly visible even before it bloomed.

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