SAT Critical Reading Example Problem

The easiest way to improve your SAT Critical Reading Score is to practice! This means going through example problem after example problem until you begin to recognize (and remember) key vocabulary words and the ways SAT test makers attempt to trick you. Let’s jump right in…

  1. Hollywood SignDarren’s sensitivity to his celebrity clients is nothing short of —–: he is able to —– their needs before they themselves are fully aware of them.
    1. superfluous … gratify
    2. unconditional … forestall
    3. preternatural … anticipate
    4. interminable … formulate
    5. legendary … minimize

Explanation: For the first blank, the phrase “nothing short of” indicates the correct answer choice will refer to something that is extraordinary. Of the answer choices only (C) and (E) have words that meet that description. This eliminates three potential answers. In the instance of the second blank, the phrase “before they themselves are aware of them” indicates the answer choice must be a word that means to realize beforehand; of the two possible answer choices only (C) satisfies this criteria. Thus the correct answer choice is (C).

  1. ScientistDetractors attacked the study’s —–, claiming that researchers used lax procedures to gather and analyze data.
    1. hypothesis
    2. predictability
    3. methodology
    4. corroboration
    5. inflexibility

Explanation: The key phrase in this passage is “procedures to gather and analyze data.” This phrase specifically indicates that the answer choice must be a word that references the process by which this study gathered and analyzed data.  Of the available answer choices only (A) and (C) reference scientific investigation; however, a hypothesis, or answer choice (A), only refers to the theory which scientists attempt to prove through experimentation, not to the actual experimentation itself. Methodology, on the other hand, refers to the “the underlying principles and rules of an inquiry,” or the process by which data is gathered and analyzed. Thus, the correct answer choice is (C).

Having a strong vocabulary is the very best way to ensure a high score on the SAT Critical Reading section. If you want to improve your SAT Critical Reading score, learn how to study vocab.

Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!

College Compass by Test Masters regularly posts Critical Reading example problems, as well as example problems and solutions for the other areas of the SAT/PSAT & ACT. You can find additional example problems here.


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