[edit section] Inside Sentence Completion Guide
[edit section] Word Charge
When someone tells you that they have received a high score on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT, one of the first associations that typically will pop into your head is that they have a strong vocabulary. What you may not realize, however, is that the SAT Critical Reading (CR) rarely tests purely your knowledge of vocabulary.
Instead, the SAT tests your ability to identify the charges (positive/objective/negative) and context of simple words in order to figure most vocabulary questions out. In this lesson, we're here to expose to you the "big lie" about the SAT CR portion and vocab-in-context questions.
[edit section] What is vocabulary-in-context?
In the past, the "old" SAT used to include questions on analogies, which purely tested your ability to discern between different words (and recognize the meaning of those words). In the new SAT, however, analogy questions have been replaced by the new vocab-in-context questions that test your ability to fill in a sentence with the appropriate word(s) based on the context of the sentence. For example, a simple vocab-in-context question might be:
The SAD boy couldn't stop crying.
[[Image:|user posted image]] excited
The sentence is your clue - the (blank) boy couldn't stop crying, which makes him most likely sad. You would choose E here. Of course, anyone familiar with the SAT knows that real vocab-in-context questions appear to be much harder than this question. However, we will show you a simple method that makes most of these questions as easy as the one above.
== Word Charge == A key skill in answering vocab-in-context questions is the ability to identify a word's charge. As you know from ordinary conversation, some words carry charges - so much so that when you use them, a particular reaction or emotion is evoked. For example, if you describe a person as "arrogant," it carries a decidedly negative tone; if you describe a person a "confident," it carries a positive tone. Even though '"arrogant" and "confident" can have similar meanings, they have very different connotations''''.
One of the easiest ways to differentiate between different words is by labeling them with a positive, negative, or neutral charge.horoscopo semanal gratis For example:
- A) pessimistic - [[Image:|user posted image]] opportunistic + C) idealistic - D) cynical - E) corrupt
Although the words from A-E have widely varying meanings, only one of them carries the appropriate "charge." Because Woodrow Wilson was "well-meaning," the word that is used to describe him in conjunction with the positive "well-meaning" will likely also be positive. "Idealistic" is such a word. Let's try another example:
I wish she wouldn't spend the entire class time obsessing on with her ____mundane_________ commentary; sometimes it puts me right to sleep.
+ A) insightful N [[Image:|user posted image]] provocative + C) courageous + D) powerful - E) mundane
Because the commentary puts him "right to sleep," and because he wishes she wouldn't spend class time "obsessing," the word in the blank will like have a very negative charge. Only E, "mundane," which means boring or uninspired, carries such a charge. How about one more?
Despite her best efforts, she was simply too ___inept_______ to handle the job.
+ A) brilliant + [[Image:|user posted image]] satisfied - C) inept + D) capable N E) adequate
The words "despite her best efforts" indicate that she was not capable of handling the job, meaning that the word charge will be negative. Inept, which means not capable or competent, carries such a negative charge.
Of course, many people ask: how do you find the "word charge" of a word whose definition you do not know? This is a very good question; sometimes, you simply cannot. Take the following question, for example:
The __irksome_______ swim instructor kept repeating the same lesson.
A) dilatory [[Image:|user posted image]] pernicious C) superficial D) irksome E) boorish
First of all, most of the words listed above are rather difficult to define or assign a charge to. Second of all, more than one of them carries a negative charge, which is of course what we are looking for ("...kept repeating the same lesson.")
In the next lesson, we will take a look at how to tackle these types of questions. For now, get some practice with word charge factor eliminar grasa facil in the first SAT Vocabulary Quiz on Quiz School.
[edit section] Additional Resources
- SAT Vocabulary Flashcards
- SAT Sentence Completion Quizzes
- SAT Reading Cram Sheet
- SAT on Web School
- SAT Practice Exams