GRE Verbal Reasoning: Text Completion


The Text Completion questions involve an omitted word(s) within one or several sentences. The answer choices may have a single or multiple words. If there are two or three blanks, there will be three possible answers in the answer choices. If there is only one blank, there will be five possible answers. Note: you will not receive credit for partially correct answers. Yes, having more than one answer seems daunting. But, with the right practice, you can easily master them!


Tips and Tricks for Text Completion:

  • Identify conjunction words (i.e. although or however) that indicate relationships between clauses. Understanding the relationship between sentences will help you determine what type of word logically fits in the blank. For example, if the question reads: “Stan had hoped that the family weekend would be relaxing; however, it was nothing but ______. The “however” indicates that the missing words has some negative connotations (I.e. “however, it was nothing but tempestuous.”).
  • Fill in the blanks with your own words, making sure that they make sense in the context of the sentence and the passage. Then, look at the words in the answer choices to see if any of them closely resemble the one you picked.

Examples:

1. Fred was put in jail for his _______________ plot to overthrow the government.  

Blank (i)

mendicant

palpable

quietus

nefarious

nimble

Answer: D

Solution:
     The sentence indicates that Fred was put in Jail because of the plot to overthrow the government. Nefarious, meaning evil or wicked, is the only plausible answer that describes the "evil" nature of the plot and something that can lead to a jail sentence. Mendicant, meaning a beggar, does not make sense. Palpable, meaning something real and can be felt, is not correct either. Quietus, meaning a period of retirement or inactivity, is not a logical choice to describe a plot to overthrow the government. Nimble, meaning quick, also does not adequately describe a plot that can either overthrow the government or lead to Fred's incarceration.


2. Ben was so angered by the theft, he could not _________________ his ___________________ against those who had stolen from him.  

Blank (i)

Blank (ii)

peruse

rendezvous

wry

tirade

quell

persiflage

Answer: C and E

Solution:
     We know that we are looking for 2 negative words here. From the sentence we know that, Ben is angry and his anger is directed towards those who stole from him.
     Quell means stop or cease. Tirade means diatribe or haranguing or yelling at/about someone for a long time. Quell and tirade work together perfectly in this context and are both negative words. When inserted into the sentence, it reads "Fred was so angered by the theft, he could not quell his tirade against those who had stolen from him." He was so mad he couldn't stop yelling at/about those who had stolen from him.
     To peruse means to browse or look over. Wry refers to a deviation from the proper or correct thing. Both of these two words are not related to anything described in the sentence.
A rendezvous is a pre-arranged meeting place. Persiflage means banter. These two words are not negative. They also do not describe the actions of an angry person. Hence quell and tirade are the correct words in the sentence.