Text Completion questions test the ability of test takers – to maintain a constant attitude of interpretation and evaluation, reasoning from what they have read so far to create a picture of the whole and revising that picture as they go – by omitting crucial words from short passages and asking them to use the remaining information in the passage as a basis for selecting words or short phrases to fill the blanks and create a coherent, meaningful whole.
- Passage composed of one to five sentences
- One to three blanks
- Three answer choices per blank (five answer choices in the case of a single blank)
- The answer choices for different blanks function independently; i.e., selecting one answer choice for one blank does not affect what answer choices you can select for another blank
- Single correct answer, consisting of one choice for each blank; no credit for partially correct answer
Tips for answering the questions with a greater accuracy.
Read the passage to acquire an overall idea of it. This helps to develop a firsthand understanding of the passage.
- Then, break the text into pieces, because, in most cases, assimilating the text as a whole is not a viable idea.
- Next, read actively trying to observe patterns and connections between ideas in the paragraph.
- Identify words or phrases that seem particularly non trivial, either because they highlight the structure of the paragraph (words like however or furthermore) or because they are important for understanding the context of the passage.
- Also look for the words that indicate the attitude of the author towards something that is mentioned in the passage. This helps you identify whether the word for the blank is negative or positive.
- Try to predict words or phrases that seem to complete the sentence, then see if words which convey the same meaning are present among the answer choices.
- Do not think that the first blank is the one that should be filled up first; maybe one of the other blanks is easier to fill first. Select your choice for that blank, and then see whether you can complete another blank. If none of the choices for the other blank seem to make sense, go back and reconsider your first selection.
- Also, look for synonyms – if there are any – in the answer choices. That could help eliminate the wrong answer choices because only one correct answer choice per blank is possible.
- When you have made your selection for each blank, check to make sure the passage is logically, grammatically and stylistically coherent.
- Finally, no matter what strategies you adopt, you will only be able to anticipate a word or phrase that completes the blank. However, those efforts would be undermined if you don’t know the meanings of words of the given answer choices. So, it is important to devote a significant amount of time to learn vocabulary not just with respect to knowing the synonyms but also the contextual meanings of words.