I. Sentence Completion
There are four types of questions in the verbal portion of the exam: antonyms, analogies, reading comprehension, and sentence completion. This section will provide strategies for the sentence completion problems portion of the exam.
I. What are sentence completion problems?
Sentence completion problems test your vocabulary skills as well as your reading ability. Unlike the reading comprehension questions, which require you to read long passages, these problems contain a single sentence expressing a complete idea that can be understood without any additional information. Each sentence contains one or two blanks, indicating that one or two words are missing. You are then presented with five words or phrases, or five pairs of words or phrases if there are two blanks in the sentence. From these choices, you need to select the words or phrases that fit into the blanks to best complete the sentence. To make the correct choice, you will need to be able to understand the main idea of the sentence and the logical structure of the sentence. Next, you will need to know the definitions of the words in the answer choices.
Successfully solving the sentence completion section of the GRE is primarily a matter of perceiving the relationships within the sentence as indicated by the presence of equivalents, analogies, parallel sets, contraries and lexical groups. Sentence completion questions are more difficult to answer than reading comprehension questions, for in a sentence, the contextual field is severely limited. Solving the sentence completion section will draw on your familiarity with antonyms and synonyms, your understanding of parallel sets, and the breadth and depth of your general vocabulary.
In general, the development of your vocabulary is extremely helpful in preparation for the sentence completion problems, as well as for the entire verbal portion of the GRE. In addition to improving your vocabulary, however, there is a strategy to understanding these problems. If you apply this strategy to figure out the type of sentence completion problem you are given, it will better enable you to select the correct choice, even if you don't necessarily know the definitions of all the words in the sentence. We will next outline this general strategy using examples of sentence completion problems.
II. General Strategy for Sentence Completions
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