Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

SAT Sentence Completion Questions: When to Guess?

Verbal   Videos   SAT
Karl Schellscheidt -

eprep test prep videoIn this prepcast, I’ll discuss sentence completion SAT questions. Ultimately, if you started early and developed a great vocabulary for the SAT, you’ll be in great shape answering questions on this section of the test. If you’re a little late developing your vocabulary and the SAT test is in two weeks, don’t panic! I’ll discuss how you can still prepare and the overall strategy on when to guess. If you’re new to ePrep, I encourage you to visit our earlier series on SAT vocabulary:

SAT Vocabulary - Lesson 1
SAT Vocabulary - Lesson 2
SAT Vocabulary - Lesson 3
SAT Vocabulary - Lesson 4

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SAT Sentence Completion Questions: When To Guess?

Hi, I’m Karl Schellscheidt welcome to eprep. I want to talk to for a couple of minutes about the sentence completion questions in the critical reading section. Sentence completion is when they give you a sentence and they leave one or two blanks and you’re then asked to fill in the blank or blanks with the answer choices.

My advice is this, if you can read the sentence and fill in the blank on your own on what word you think would go in there and then look through the answer choices and either find that word or one that means the same thing, that is the ideal choice, and you move on.

Let’s say your vocabulary is not great. You’ve developed and studied a SAT vocabulary list. You think you know what word would go in and you look through the list and you don’t see that word anywhere. But you do see two answer choices that you do know the definition of and you know that those two don’t work; they don’t fit into the sentence. So cross out those two, eliminate them. You then have three left and even if you don’t know what the three words mean, statically speaking, it’s to your advantage to guess at this point. If you can eliminate two or more answers go for it and guess.

If you are taking the SAT’s soon, you might not be able to improve your SAT vocabulary in the next week. For the younger students who may be watching this video, if you get started freshman, sophomore, even at the beginning of junior year working on your vocabulary you can make a huge, huge difference in your critical reading score. I have a pretty good vocabulary. I go through the sentence completion questions a lot with students and they are easy for me. Not because I’ve seen them before, but because I know what all the words mean.

So ultimately if you know what the words mean you have a great vocabulary it’s going to be easy for you. If you don’t your running out of time don’t panic. Again, try to pick a word that would fit in your own mind. See if you can find it or one that means the same thing. And if you can’t and you only know two words out of the five and they don’t work cross them out, and guess; that’s the way you maximize your SAT score.

Karl Schellscheidt

Copyright 2006 — All Rights Reserved, ePrep, Inc.

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