If you’re taking the SAT and ACT in Huntington Beach or your local city,
the “sentence completion” section might be one you’re most nervous about. Perhaps you love reading passages and answering questions on them. Maybe you’re a math whiz or a writer at heart.
Achieving a good vocabulary can be intimidating. And the sentence completion section of the SAT and ACT exams measure just that – the strength of your vocabulary.
Obviously, the best way to prepare for sentence completions is to gain a greater vocabulary. There are plenty of SAT and ACT vocabulary lists that are just a Google search away. But there are some other key ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT dreaded sentence completions. Here are some of my tips as a seasoned tutor in Huntington Beach and Orange County.
SAT and ACT Sentence Completions Tip #1: Cover it Up!
You might look foolish in the classroom as you utilize both hands for the SAT and ACT, but trust me as a tutor; you’ll want to use your non-writing hand on the sentence completions. Use your other hand to cover up the five answer choices as you read the sentence completion with a missing word. After you finish reading the sentence, think about the perfect word to fill the blank.
Once you have your word, lift your hand. The word you considered could very well match one of the answer choices. If it’s a more advanced question, you might have to find a similar word amid the answer choices. Either way, guessing a word before you even see the choices is a surefire step toward determining the right answer!
SAT and ACT Sentence Completions Tip #2: Mark it Up!
After you cover up the answers, the next best thing you can do on the SAT and ACT sentence completions is mark up the question. Circle or underline key adjectives or verbs that directly impact the identity of the missing word. Your markings serve as a sort of blueprint for the question. You can feel more confident about your answer when you see the underlined and circled clues that point to that very word.
SAT and ACT Sentence Completions Tip #3: Plus or Minus It!
Often, especially on more advanced questions, you might not know a precise enough word to fill in the blank. But that’s okay. If you can determine whether a blank should contain a “positive” or a “negative” word, that information can be just as critical and helpful.
Many times you’ll read a sentence and easily determine that the blank should contain a word with a positive connotation or a negative connotation. Simply jot a + or a – symbol in the blank as you remove your hand and examine the answer choices. Then, eliminate the answers that go against the connotation you’ve determined. Hopefully, one choice will stand out among the rest!
Finally, remember to guess if you can safely eliminate at least two choices on any SAT and ACT problem. Guessing is a hazardous strategy when you still have all five choices in the mix, but it becomes quite sound when you’ve narrowed it down to three!