How Do You Answer Sentence Completion Questions?

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How Do You Answer Sentence Completion Questions?

Are you ready to start filling in some of those blanks? The following six steps will help you answer sentence completion questions:

Sentence Completions: Getting It Right

Read the sentence carefully.

Guess at the answer.

Scan the answer choices for the word you guessed. If it’s there, mark it and go on. If it’s not, go on to Step 4.

Examine the sentence for clues to the missing word.

Eliminate any answer choices that are ruled out by the clues.

Try the ones that are left and pick whichever is best.

Now, let’s try out these steps on a couple of sentence completion questions:

Those who feel that war is stupid and unnecessary think that to die on the battlefield is ____.

(A) courageous

(B) pretentious

(C) useless

(D) illegal

Following the steps outlined above:

Read the sentence.

Think of your own word to fill in the blank. You’re looking for a word that completes the logic of the sentence. You might come up with something like dumb.

Look for dumb in the answer choices. It’s not there, but useless is. That’s pretty close, so mark it and go on.

If you couldn’t guess the word, take your clue from the words stupid and unnecessary in the sentence. They definitely point toward some negative-sounding word.

The clues immediately eliminate choice (A), courageous, which is a positive word.

Try the remaining choices in the sentence, and you’ll see that useless fits best.

Unruly people may well become ____ if they are treated with ____ by those around them.

(A) angry ... kindness

(B) calm ... respect

(C) peaceful ... abuse

(D) interested ... medicine

Read the sentence. This time there are two blanks, and the missing words need to have some logical connection.

Think of your own words to fill in the blanks. You might guess that the unruly people will become well-behaved if they are treated with consideration.

Now look for your guesses in the answer choices. They’re not there, but there are some possibilities.

Go back to the sentence and look for clues. Become signals that the unruly people will change their behavior. How that behavior changes will depend on how they are treated.

You can eliminate choice (A) because a negative behavior change (angry) doesn’t logically follow a positive treatment (kindness). Likewise, you can eliminate choice (C) because a peaceful behavior change is not likely to follow from abuse. Finally, you can eliminate choice (D) because interested and medicine have no logical connection.

The only remaining choice is (B), which fits the sentence and must be the correct answer.

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