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Answer Guide: Section 9 (Critical Reading)

  • The test is available here:
  • Sentence Completions
    • Question 1: Which word means “an isolated person”?
      • If you don’t know that “loner” means “self-isolating or solitary person”, you have never spoken to an American teenager. Or an American.
      • Answer: A
    • Question 2: Which word means “something to be traded”?
      • Eliminate Choice A; a “promotion” is not something that can be used in place of money.
      • Eliminate Choices C through E; “formula”, “refund”, and “register” are all related to commercial transactions, but none of these things is actually a product to be traded.
      • Choice B, “commodity”, is.
      • Answer: B
    • Question 3: Which word pair means “constantly / quiet”?
      • Eliminate Choices A, C, and E; while “violently”, “spontaneously” and “faintly” could all describe eruptions, none of them describes an ongoing eruption.
      • Eliminate D; “active” does not mean “quiet.”
      • B meets both criteria.
      • Answer: B
    • Question 4: Which word means “bully”, “threaten”, or “force”?
      • Hey, look! D actually is “bully”!
      • Answer: D
    • Question 5: Which word pair means “deceitful / innocent”?
      • Eliminate Choices A, B, and C; none of these words means anything like “deceitful”.
      • Eliminate E; “surreptitious” means “sneaky” and would not be a synonym for “innocent”.
      • Answer: D
  • Passage-Based Questions
  • Question 6: Which word most nearly means “international” or “having a global outlook”?
    • Only D, “cosmopolitan”, has this meaning.
    • Answer: D
  • Question 7: What is the purpose of lines 1-38?
    • These paragraphs describe the author’s personal experiences that led her to develop her teaching philosophy.
    • Eliminate A; there is little here about developing a role.
    • Eliminate C; the grandfather’s words are not analyzed.
    • Eliminate D; there’s little about relationships.
    • Eliminate E; the author does not reverse this idea.
    • Answer: B
  • Question 8: What is the meaning of the quotation?
    • The author uses the quotation as the basis of her idea that words are magical, life-changing.
    • Eliminate B and C; this quotation is neither very scholarly nor related to Shakespeare.
    • Eliminate D and E; this quote is not funny, and it is not very pragmatic.
    • Answer: A
  • Question 9: What is the effect of both versions of the grandfather’s words?
    • Repetition is often used to create emphasis.
    • E is the answer that comes closest to this idea.
    • Answer: E
  • Question 10: What is the purpose of the comparison in lines 26-27?
    • The author compares the memory of the mind to the memory of the body and the memory of the heart.
    • Only Choice B deals with memory.
    • Answer: B
  • Question 11: How does the idea of dance play out in lines 29-34?
    • Eliminate A; the author does not mention awkwardness.
    • Eliminate C and D; the mention of dance doesn’t connect much to exhilaration or physical agility.
    • Eliminate E; the author is not playing with the multiple meanings of “dance”.
    • Answer: B
  • Question 12: What does “follow” mean in line 34?
    • If you replace “follow” in the sentence, the most likely replacement is something like “play along” or “fall into place”.
    • Only D, “join in”, carries this meaning.
    • Answer: D
  • Question 13: What do lines 39-62 reveal about the author?
    • In these lines, the author describes how she has turned an old acting principle on its head. That says she’s willing to do that!
    • Only C describes questioning established dogma.
    • Answer: C
  • Question 14: How do lines 39-70 represent the author’s argument?
    • This question focuses on the same section of the passage as Question 13. The summary you created there applies here too.
    • Eliminate A and B; this section does not celebrate either the old tradition or her early training.
    • Eliminate D and E; this section does not mention other actors or drama professors.
    • Answer: C
  • Question 15: What does the explanation in the fourth paragraph suggest about the “self-oriented method” in line 45?
    • The author criticizes this method as taught to young actors because it restricts them to the feelings and experiences they’ve already had at a very early point in their lives.
    • Thus, the method must assume that even such inexperienced actors have a full range of emotions at their disposal.
    • The only answer that matches this assumption is C.
    • Answer: C
  • Question 16: Which statement best captures the point in lines 54-56?
    • Eliminate A; it’s the opposite of what happened.
    • Eliminate B; the passage describes young students’ struggles with conveying character.
    • Eliminate C; the students’ opinions are not mentioned.
    • Eliminate E; the students’ hopes are not mentioned.
    • Answer: D
  • Question 17: What is the meaning of “home of the character” in line 60?
    • In this context, “home” is used to mean the basis or foundation for the character–the core of who the character is.
    • A, B, C, and D all talk about externalities–the outside of a character.
    • Answer: E
  • Question 18: What does “psychological reality” mean in lines 63-64?
    • Whatever it is, it’s something that the author wants to find in each character–probably something to do with that core character described in Question 19.
    • Choices A, B, D, and E all deal with things outside the character–exterior appearance and behavior, audience expectations, etc.
    • Answer: C
  • Question 19: How might one describe the “metaphors” in line 66?
    • These “metaphors” are the basis of character under the discredited method, and they come from the actor’s own life. Obviously, these are life experiences of some kind–what else in an actor’s life might provide the fodder for a character?
    • Choices A through C are off-topic.
    • While D is promising because of the word “memorable” (life experiences usually are), E is best because it uses the term “comparisons”–and metaphors are a kind of comparison.
    • Answer: E
  • Recommended supplementary material to view SAT questions featured in lesson answer guides: The Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board.

Answer Guide: Section 9 (Critical Reading)

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:11
  • Sentence Completions 0:57
    • Question 1
    • Question 2
    • Question 3
    • Question 4
    • Question 5
    • Question 6
  • Passage-Based Questions 3:46
    • Question 7
    • Question 8
    • Question 9
    • Question 10
    • Question 11
    • Question 12
    • Question 13
    • Question 14
    • Question 15
    • Question 16
    • Question 17
    • Question 18
    • Question 19