December 24

As usual, the topic of the sentence is the driving force.  For SAT Sentence Completion questions, you must start by asking, “If this were a topic sentence for a paragraph, what would the focus of the paragraph be?”

This sentence focuses on how McCarthy stayed out of the public eye–“few people knew what he looked like or where he lived.”  Even if you don’t know the word reclusive, I bet you know some of the other words don’t have any relationship with being secretive.  A, C, and D are fairly common words and can be eliminated, leaving B and E.

Ever heard of a “brown recluse spider.”  They are called that because they hide and aren’t seen often.  Try to think of words that remind you of the words in the question.  Recluse is similar to reclusive.  Trust your judgment.

Let’ see what the ACT has in store for us on this Christmas Eve.

Which answer is insertable?  The answer is J.  This is the key characteristic of the best answers on both the SAT and ACT reading tests.  All the other answers disagree or add to the story when you insert them.

This is one of the most powerful test-taking tips in my SAT and ACT course.  It applies to all reading tests.  Watch my free reading video that is on the home page of the website.  Take a look at my SAT and ACT Tips and Tricks.  You’ll pick up some quick tricks for improving your score.

If my explanations for the SAT and ACT Question of the Day are helpful, please tell you friends and spread the word.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday.

The Wizard


About Bob Alexander

Bob has been a professional educator starting with teaching biology, becoming a school administrator, and then working as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC. He got his start in national testing by becoming a consulting test writer, later joining Kaplan as a director, and finally starting his own business in 1995. He has written numerous books, consulted for school districts and colleges, developed his website and been featured on a DVD set. He offers SAT and ACT prep classes and tutors individuals and small groups of students in central Florida.
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