Words In context - Mrs. Ricker

Words In context - Mrs. Ricker

WORDS IN CONTEXT WORDS IN CONTEXT SUBSCORE Includes questions in both the Reading and Writing sections of the test. Is calculated by adding up the points you earn from answering all the questions in this category. There are 18 of these questions per test (ten in the Reading section and eight in the Writing section). All vocabulary questions on the SAT fall into the Words in Context subscore category. Words in Context questions focus on understanding

the different meanings of common words and choosing words that are most appropriate for the given circumstances. READING TEST On the Reading section, these types of questions will ask you to: Use context clues to decide which meaning of a word or phrase is being used in a specific instance (vocabulary in context) Decide how the authors word choice affects meaning, style, and tone in the passage (purpose of words in context)

WRITING AND LANGUAGE TEST On the Writing section, they will ask you to: Alter word choice to convey the appropriate style or tone (improving word choice) Improve syntax of the passage (combining sentences) Improve word choice to make the sentence more precise (fill in the blank) EXAMPLE 1

ANSWER EXPLANATION In this sentence, we can see that credit means something like trust because the demographers are the ones giving us data to suggest that the public transportation is on the upswing. If we trust them, the trend is real. Now that it's clear what we are looking for, it's time to go through the choices. Choice A is incorrect because endow means to equip or furnish someone with something, which isnt a good replacement for the form of credit being used here. Choice B is also incorrect because attribute would mean cite, which makes a

little bit of sense, but still doesnt match up with what the original sentence is saying. Choice C seems to fit pretty well. If we believe the demographers, the growing popularity of public transportation is a reality. Choice D is wrong because honor" isn't a synonym for trust, and taking the demographers at their word is not the same as actively honoring them. Final Answer: C EXAMPLE 2

Rather than choosing the correct definition of a word, you must determine why the author uses certain words and how they affect the readers perception of the passage. The three words mentioned in the question all indicate hopeful uncertainty, so that's something we should look for in the description of the tone. Also, upon rereading the paragraph, it's clear that this is a very dry, scientific reporting of facts. This clinical quality combined with the words listed seems to indicate that they're used as a means of stating aspects of the authors' hypothesis while clarifying that their beliefs are not yet scientifically

confirmed. Ok, time to look at the choices. EXAMPLE 2 EXAMPLE 2 Based on the unemotional writing style of the paragraph, Choice A doesnt fit. There is no descriptive language to suggest either an optimistic (or pessimistic) tone. It simply states the central tenets of the authors' hypothesis along with several supporting

facts. Choice B can also be eliminated because there is nothing to indicate a "dubious" or doubtful tone. Again, the authors are stating their hypothesis in scientific terms without giving us any clear insight into their deeper feelings about it. Choice C is the most promising so far. It reflects the measured, scientific tone of the paragraph. The authors believe in their hypothesis to a certain extent, but they cant state their beliefs as facts because they havent conducted any experiments to test them. Finally, Choice D is definitely out. The elaboration in the second part of the sentence is overly specific, and once again, the passage doesnt have strong enough language to

establish a critical tone. Final Answer: C EXAMPLE 3 EXAMPLE 3 Let's look at what the sentence is trying to say. The officials recently ordered six original paintings of cats from an artist. If the museum privately hired someone to paint the cats, it wouldn't be necessary for any sort of public announcement or "decree" to be issued.

Based on this understanding of the sentence, choice A, "NO CHANGE", doesnt quite work. We're looking for a word that means the same as "ordered" in the sense of "the officials ordered Chinese food" but in a more formal, artistic context. Choice B is a very promising answer. If you're familiar at all with the art world, you'll know that people and institutions often "commission" works from artists. This is just a fancier way of describing the process of submitting an order for a specific painting that you would like an artist to create. Makes sense considering what we know so far, so we'll keep it in the mix. Choice C, forced, indicates that there was resistance to the creation of the paintings, and theres no evidence for that. This answer can be crossed out.

Choice D, licensed, implies that the paintings already existed and the museum went through a legal process to make them official. This doesn't jive with our understanding of the sentence at all; any licensing, if applicable, would be done after the paintings were completed. Final Answer: B EXAMPLE 4 EXAMPLE 4 What type of word are we looking for? Let's examine the context. Well,

the food was described as being of "terrible quality" earlier in the passage, so we want a synonym for unpalatable or gross. The passage is also a formal historical account, so we're looking for a word that matches with the serious tone. EXAMPLE 4 Choice A can be ruled out because sinister isnt an appropriate word choice based on what the sentence is describing. Sinister means ominous or foreboding. It would be weird to describe train food as sinister because this word

is reserved for things that are subtly unsettling, not outwardly gross. Choice B, surly, is an adjective that describes a persons behavior. It cant be applied to an inanimate object like food, so this choice should be eliminated as well. Choice C, abysmal, seems like a promising choice. Abysmal is a direct synonym for terrible, and it's formal enough to fit with the tone of the passage. Keep this one. Choice D is incorrect for different reasons than the other answers we eliminated. While "icky" makes sense as a synonym for unpalatable or

gross, it doesn't set the right tone. It's way too informal to work with the rest of the passage. Final Answer: C EXAMPLE 5 EXAMPLE 5 First, let's make sure we understand the content of the original two sentences. The passage has already established that artificial lights lower

worker productivity. The purpose of these two sentences is to add another reason to dislike artificial lights: their excessive cost. We're looking for a combination of the two sentences that preserves this purpose and maintains its grammatical integrity. EXAMPLE 5 Choice A looks pretty good. It avoids misplaced modifiers and maintains focus on the costliness of the lights. We can keep this one. Choice B is incorrect because it indicates that the cost of artificial light

sources lowers worker productivity. This is an inaccurate statement because we know from the rest of the passage that the quality of the light source used in the office impacts productivity, not its cost. Choice C is wrong because it is worded awkwardly and doesnt emphasize the central point of the two sentences. It gives equal attention to the two negative attributes of artificial light sources when cost is the main focus of this paragraph. Choice D is wrong because, like choice C, it misses the point of the original sentences. It emphasizes a supporting detail about the lights' energy

use while only briefly touching on the subject of their costliness. TIPS FOR WORDS IN CONTEXT QUESTIONS Tip #1: Read the Whole Paragraph These questions are about words (and sentence structure) IN CONTEXT, which means you shouldnt focus solely on the sentence in which the word appears. This is especially true for questions that ask you to choose the word that fits the tone of the entire paragraph or

passage. Always read the surrounding paragraph so that you dont get an inaccurate impression of the meaning of the word or the authors intentions. TIPS FOR WORDS IN CONTEXT QUESTIONS Tip #2: Predict the Answer One strategy I would recommend for vocabulary in context questions is to formulate your own idea of what the word means in context

before looking at the answer choices. Sometimes looking at the choices can make things more confusing. If you already have an idea in your head of what the answer should be, your thought process is less likely to be disrupted. TIPS FOR WORDS IN CONTEXT QUESTIONS Tip #3: Plug It In A good method for testing out answer choices on Words in Context

questions is plugging each of your options back into the sentence. This tip applies to vocabulary in context questions and improving word choice questions. Its much easier to see the flaws in answer choices if you read the sentence over again using the proposed replacement word. If you plug in the word and it doesnt feel right, you should reconsider your choice.

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