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The SAT Sentence Completions: Basic Principles

Direction Clues Drill
For each of the following sentences, decide first which type of direction is indicated by the italicized phrases and then choose a word that would fit the blank. On the actual test the clues will not be italicized for your convenience, of course, but this drill is designed to sharpen your awareness of the different types of direction clue expressions.

It's possible that many words can fit in the blank, so you have some flexibility. If you'd like, you can select more than one word for an answer.

Sentence Completion Direction Possible Answer
1. The coach praised and ------- her athletes.    
2. The proposed solution was expensive rather than -------.    
3. The prototype exhibited excellent design as well as -------.    
4. Neither agreeing nor disagreeing with either side, the mediator remained
------- during the opening presentations.
   
5. The audience was quiet if not ------- throughout the opera.    
6. The author's anecdote is as enjoyable as it is -------.    

You'll find the answers to this drill at the end of this article. Please try your hand at these sentences before reading on.

Examples of Direction Clues
The following table provides you with a comprehensive list of the variety of direction clues you can expect. The ellipses (. . .) indicate the words before and after each expression. We have already reviewed many of these expressions in the previous drill.

I've arranged these expressions in terms of your likely familiarity with them. Some of the phrases toward the end of each list may be unfamiliar to you. If so, you should practice using any such expression by writing a practice sentence.

As always, you don't have to memorize anything here. Just review the table so that you are familiar with the different types of direction clues.

Direction Continues
(most common)
Direction Reverses Direction Goes to Extremes
(least common)

. . . and . . . . . . but . . . . . . became . . .
. . . also . . . . . . not . . . . . . and eventually . . .
. . . as well as . . . . . . instead of . . . . . . and even . . .
as . . . as it is . . . . . . unlike . . . . . . almost . . .
not only . . . but also . . . . . . although . . . . . . if not . . .
  . . . except for . . .  
  . . . however . . .  
  . . . rather than . . .  
  this . . . is no . . .  
  . . . on the contrary . . .  
  . . . nonetheless . . .  
  . . . surprisingly . . .  
  . . . was previously . . .  
  . . . paradoxically . . .  
  this hitherto . . . is now . . .  
  . . . save for . . .  
  . . . notwithstanding . . .  
  for all its . . . it was still . . .  


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From The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT by Adam Robinson. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here.


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