Digital SAT Words in Context Practice Questions

1.  It was comical in a way, with the dramatic irony of a farcical play. He had studied through the lens of his microscope the waste of germs and infinitesimal parasites- invisible to most- that provoke such majorities of the world’s ___________. And yet, in so focusing his view, he had failed to perceive an affliction that towered before him for fifteen years on that to others was unmistakable.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical word?

A.  Happiness

B.  Suffering

C.  Failure

D.  Calamities

2.  In times of widespread economic distress, experts will sometimes turn to the outliers of a downtrend in order to study the features of their commercial, governmental, and social structures that have seemingly immunized them to financial meltdown. Recently, Sweden’s system has come under particular scrutiny due to the ____________________ of its economy throughout the recession that struck the majority of the Western world in 2007.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most precise phrase?

A.  Relatively stable condition

B.  Incredible crash

C.  Loss of the value

D.  Fragmentation

3.  As Mendeleev assembled the table, he had noticed several gaps in the pattern of properties which- cleverly- he hypothesized to be areas held by yet undiscovered elements. Apart from reserving space on the table for these elements, he went to far as to predict not only their existence, but their ______________ as well. Several years later, the spectroscopic discovery of one of these elements- specifically gallium- and the confirmation of Mendeleev’s predictions caused the popularity of his theory to skyrocket, and the periodic table quickly became a standard fixture in the study of chemistry.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word or phrase?

A.  Chemical properties

B.  Present locations

C.  Findings

D.  Theory

4.  Once this multitude is united into a body, an offense against one of its members is an offense against the body politic. It would be even less possible to injure the body without its members feeling it. Duty and interest thus equally require the two contracting parties to aid each other ________. The individual people should be motivated from their double roles as individuals and members of the body to combine all the advantages which mutual aid offers them.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?

A.  Completely

B.  Intermittently

C.  Hesitantly

D.  Mutually

5.  The columns, in true Mannerist style, are without function; crowded together chaotically in the corners of the room and crushed halfway into its walls. The pilasters at the sides of the windows are unaccountably tapered- further challenging the neat verticality of classical tradition- and ________ with capitals belonging to no established style whatsoever.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?

A.  Carved

B.  Found

C.  Crowned

D.  Felt

6.  As a whole, the vast exhibition displays how the modernist movement progressed across the three Latin American cultures using furniture as a microcosm of the three societies. Although many might find this to be ________________ of a complex phenomenon, few can argue that the exhibition is, at least, intriguing.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise phrase?

A.  a misunderstanding

B.  an oversimplification

C.  a failure to display the furniture

D.  an elaboration

7.  Millions of people carry the defective gene, but because it is a recessive disorder, an individual will contract cystic fibrosis only if he or she inherits two mutated genes from his or her parents. If the father and mother both _________ the mutated gene, the child will inherit the disease. However, if only one of the genes is mutated, the child will not contract the disease. If both parents carry the mutated gene, every child they have has a twenty-five percent chance of inheriting the disease and a fifty percent chance of passing it on.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?

A.  lack

B.  grant

C.  avoid

D.  donate

8.  One of the questions that Plato’s fifth book of The Republic grapples with is what role kinship relations play in the function of society. In The Republic, Plato attempts to create a blueprint for a just city-state in which its constituents prescribe to reason and live in communal harmony. In his construction of an ideal city-state, Plato reevaluates the kinship relations that comprise society. Plato believes that the kinship structure is a reflection of the social structure, and that the social and political structures that organize society are not biological or necessary, but rather __________ and subject to change.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?

A.  avoided

B.  unavoidable

C.  exemplary

D.  created

9.  Justice, it might be said, is when tenacity is met with opportunity, and that opportunity came on August 24, 2002 when the Dodgers finally called me up to The Big Show. I pitched that night in a home game against the Braves. The opposing pitcher was Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, and wouldn’t you know that I beat the son of a gun! After the game, my teammates congratulated me in the clubhouse, and, though I don’t remember all of the details, I remember it as one of the ____________ days of my life.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word or phrase?

A.  happiest

B.  most stressful

C.  nicest

D.  darkest

10.  Forsythe’s disposition, so recently buoyant and carefree, swiftly darkened to the extent that, were he to auscultate himself at that moment, the _____________ could only reveal an acute saturninity, or else some other sinister malady that corrupts the body and gives the mind a likeness of wetted ash.

Which of the following choices best completes the text with the most logical and precise word?

A.  doctor

B.  patient

C.  feeling

D.  diagnosis

Answer Explanations

1.  B. The character is studying germs and parasites. It is an irony that, though he studies these creatures, he didn’t realize when he himself was “afflicted” with one. It therefore follows that those germs and parasites would create the world’s “suffering” (B). It isn’t (A) as that is the opposite of what the germs and parasites would cause. It isn’t (C) as the world’s failures aren’t caused by germs or parasites.  It isn’t (D) as calamities can be caused by any number of natural disasters and man-made situations in addition to infectious diseases and parasites.

2.  A.   The first sentence of the passage says that during economic disasters, experts turn to outliers. Since the 2007 financial crisis was a recession, the outlier would need to be a country that didn’t experience that recession. Sweden being in a “relatively stable condition” (A) would make it of interest to economists. (B) and (C) are incorrect since if Sweden had crashed or lost value it would not have been an outlier. (D) is incorrect as there is no evidence that the Swedish economy split up into pieces, or fragmented.

3.  D. From the context we know that Mendeleev is predicting the existence of elements as well as something else about them. We know that he reserved spaces for them on the periodic table, so we wouldn’t repeat that he predicted their “present locations” therefore (B) is incorrect. Elements wouldn’t have “findings” or “theory”, so (C) and (D) are incorrect as well. This only leaves “chemical properties,” (A), for him to predict in addition to predicting their existence.

4.  D. In the final sentence we learn that “individuals should be motivated…to combine all the advantages which mutual aid offers them”. This context tells us that the author is calling for the “two contracting parties to aid each other mutually”. In other words, that each should help the other.  This rules out (B) “intermittently” and (C) “hesitantly” since those would both be less than the “mutual aid” the author is calling for. (A) “Completely” is not a word that can be used to describe aiding a person.

5.  C. A “capital” is the top part of a column which often flairs out from the column (or pilar) and is often engraved with a decorative motif. Be careful not to confuse this with a “capitol” which is the building in which a government meets.   Since “capitals” are at the top of a column or pilar, the best word to use in this sentence is (C) “crowned” which indicates that the “capitals” are at the top of the pilar. (A), (B), and (D) would not describe the placement of the capitals.

6.  B. The first sentence sets up a fairly complex topic- the advancement of an entire movement. It makes logical sense that trying to show this complex topic through a display of furniture might be thought to be “an oversimplification” (B) of the topic. There is no evidence that the display is a “misunderstanding” (A) of the movement. We know that the furniture was displayed, so it is not (C). “An elaboration” (D) would be the opposite of an oversimplification and is therefore incorrect.

7. D. In this sentence, the author is describing the process by which both parents must pass on the gene in question in order for the child to have cystic fibrosis. The answer which most closely means “pass on” is “donate”, making (D) the correct answer. If the parents lack or avoid the gene, then the child will not have Cystic Fibrosis, making (A) and (D) incorrect. “Grant” (C) does not fit the context of the sentence.

8.  D. We see in the context of the last sentence that this structure is “not biological or necessary” we are therefore looking for an answer that is the opposite of biological and necessary. “Created” (D) would be the best answer since things that are created can be changed and people can choose not to create them.  They are therefore not “biological” or “necessary”. (A), (B), and (C) do not fit into the context, even though they are grammatically correct.

9.  A. In this passage, the speaker describes the day in which he was given a huge opportunity and not only grabbed that opportunity, but managed to beat one of the best opponents he ever faced. The best way to describe such a day would be as the “happiest” (A) day of his life. “Nicest” (C) is not a strong enough word to describe such a day. “Darkest” (D) is not at all appropriate for such a momentous day.  While the day may have been stressful, the passages is overwhelmingly positive about the experience, so focusing on the negative stress (B) would be inappropriate.

10.  D. While you might not know what “auscultate” means in the passage, context shows that where he to auscultate himself, he was scared of finding a “sinister malady”. This makes “diagnosis” (D) the best option since it is a “diagnosis” that would show such a malady. Since he is auscultating himself, there wouldn’t be a “doctor” involved, so (A) is incorrect. It would be very odd for him to discuss himself in the third person as the “patient”, so (B) is incorrect. He is not looking at a “feeling” but rather at something that will show him something that will “corrupt the body”, making (C) incorrect.

Using Your PSAT Scores

The first Digital PSAT was administered to students throughout the United States in October of 2023. In past years, most students did not receive their results until December. This year, PSAT results will be available much earlier–some PSAT test scores will come out on November 6th, and some will come out on November 16th. How can you make the best use of your PSAT results?

See if you may qualify for National Merit Scholarship Recognition. Look at your National Merit Selection Index, which ranges between 48-228 and is calculated by doubling your Reading/Writing score and adding this to your Math score. Depending on the state or territory in which you live, the selection index is likely to be anywhere between 207 and 223. For example, New Mexico and North Dakota have lower selection indices, while New Jersey and Massachusetts have higher selection indices.

Use the BigFuture application to connect with colleges and scholarship opportunities. Go to to download the app. One of the biggest reasons for the PSAT is so that colleges can use the results to connect with students who may be a good fit for their student body. Be prepared to get plenty of emails from colleges who are interested in having you apply.

Do targeted review using Khan Academy. Be sure your College Board account is connected to Khan Academy. Here is an article on how to do this. Once your account is connected, Khan Academy can provide review materials for you based on the types of questions you missed on the PSAT.

Prepare for the Digital SAT that starts in March of 2024. The Digital PSAT gave you an excellent preview of the Digital SAT, since both tests have the same format, timing, and interface. Use your PSAT results to help you determine where you most need to focus your preparation leading up to the actual SAT. If you need help with your preparation, our highly trained Digital SAT tutors are ready to assist.