SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 72: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 72

12. The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health ------- some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine.

A. belies
B. bypasses
C. elucidates
D. compounds
E. camouflages

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "To belie" means to contradict something or to show it to be false. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health belies some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine." The missing term in this sentence explains what the "sound," or valid, medical advice provided by the medieval scholar does to previously held assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. If Trotula's advice is sound, then it "belies," or proves false, the assumption that medieval medicine was inadequate.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "To bypass" means to go around or to circumvent. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health bypasses some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine." The missing term in this sentence explains what the "sound," or valid, medical advice provided by the medieval scholar does to previously held assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. To say that the sound advice given by Trotula "bypasses" our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine makes little sense because medieval medical advice cannot circumvent assumptions from a later era.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "To elucidate" something is to explain or clarify it. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health elucidates some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine." The missing term in this sentence explains what the "sound," or valid, medical advice provided by the medieval scholar does to previously held assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. If anything, Trotula's sound advice would prove that our modern assumptions of medieval inadequacy are incorrect, rather than "elucidate," or clarify, them.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "To compound" something is to add to it. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health compounds some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine." The missing term in this sentence explains what the "sound," or valid, medical advice provided by the medieval scholar does to previously held assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. The sound advice given by Trotula would not "compound," or add to modern assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine; rather, it would prove they are incorrect.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "To camouflage" something is to disguise it. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The sound advice given by the eleventh-century medical scholar Trotula in her writings on women's health camouflages some of our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine." The missing term in this sentence explains what the "sound," or valid, medical advice provided by the medieval scholar does to previously held assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. The sound advice given by Trotula would not "camouflage" our assumptions about the inadequacy of medieval medicine. Medieval medical advice cannot disguise assumptions from a later era.

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