Text completions are one of the new question types on the GRE. There can be multiples sentences in a text completion – some even are a paragraph long and can have anywhere between 1 – 3 blanks. For 1 blank Text completions you will have 5 answer choices and for 2 or 3 blanks you’ll get 3 choices for each blank.

Now that we know a bit about them here are 3 examples of each type of text completions i.e. one, two and three blank questions. Try and solve these on your own and then match your strategy to the ones we have given below.

One Blank

Sophocles, who wrote the play Oedipus Rex, was one of the most __________ playwrights of ancient Greece, completing 123 plays in his lifetime double that of any of his contemporaries.

A. famous
B. bombastic
C. critical
D. prolific
E. eclectic

Two Blank

Her performance review noted that Jill suffers from a lack of (i)_________, and often makes insulting remarks despite her best efforts to be polite; worse, the review went on to point out that it happens regularly, even though she has no intention of (ii)_________ anyone.

Blank I
A. frankness
B. tact
C. deference
Blank II
D. exacerbating
E. rewarding
F. denigrating


Three Blank

Brand loyalty plays a(n) (i) _________ role in many consumers’ buying habits. Market research shows that consumers are likely to spend more on a product they grew up using than they are to try a generic brand that offers the same (ii) __________ at a lower price. The question is, just how much more are shoppers willing to spend for (iii) __________?

Blank I
A. speculative
B. quotidian
C. appreciable
Blank II
D. constituents
E. accolades
F. idiosyncrasies
Blank III
G. nostalgia
H. paranoia
I. quality

Here are the 4 most important tips and strategies to attack text completions effectively.

Break the Text into parts

Sometimes text completions comprise of multiple sentences and even are a paragraph long. This means that you can get confused and lost in them very easily. Therefore it is always recommended to divide the longer text completions into pieces – understand each piece and then move on to the next. Once you are done breaking the sentences down then apply the next step.

Come up with Your Own Words

Always rephrase the sentence in your own words. This is because it is easier to understand something if in our own words. Even for the blanks, try and come up with your own words so that you have some idea of what the blank is about before moving to the options.

Any blank in any order

Sometimes we have a tendency to do things in order. However it doesn’t always work like that. For text completions with multiple blanks it is not a good practice to force oneself to do blanks in order of occurrence. Infact do those first which you know or for which you a come up with your own words easily. If you can’t do the first ones, then work with the ones you know.

Never fill a blank in silo

When you’ve finally chosen your two/three answers, plug them back into the text completion. Does the completed text completion make sense with how you earlier paraphrased it? Take into account the whole sentence. Read it to your self – does it make sense? If it does, move on. Never try to answer a blank in isolation – always keep the whole context in mind.

Seems easy? Well, try the 3 sample questions using these techniques. After all, the best way to improve is by applying what you’ve learned.