Sentence Completion Basics

05 min read

Sentence completion questions test your capability in the domains of verbal ability, reasoning and usage. These questions measure how skilled an individual is in determining the flow of thought, applying the elements of grammar and using appropriate words for the given context.

The common question types include
1. Fill in the blanks - single sentence
2. Fill in the blanks - paragraph
3. Paragraph - missing link
4. Paragraph completion

The first type has two variations- single blank and paired blanks. In case of paired blanks, there are two words in each option and both should fit into the theme of the sentence.

Before you look at the choices, take a look at the sentence and think of (a) word/words that can actually complete the sentence. This helps in understanding what the sentence is about to some extent.

Look at all possible choices before deciding upon a final answer. In double-blank sentences, try fitting the first word to the blank and eliminate the answer choices based on that. Signal words can play a key role in identifying the right choice. Keep looking out for them.

These can include

• Cause and effect signals – accordingly, so..that, thus, when...then etc
• Support signals – furthermore, also, likewise etc
• Contrast signals – although, despite, in spite, rather than etc

In case of complex sentences or paragraphs, break them down in to simpler components. This makes answering the question much easier and less time consuming.

In paragraph completion questions, most of the options will grammatically suit the given blanks when individual sentences of the paragraph alone are looked at. So first read the entire paragraph to get a rough idea of what it is about and then look at the answer options.

‘Missing link in a paragraph’ type questions involve testing your reasoning skills. A paragraph is given with a missing link. You have to choose the alternative that best fits the paragraph logically. Read the entire paragraph then and try fitting in each of the given options in the blank. Similar to this type, paragraph completion type questions require you to read the given paragraph and choose the sentence from the given choices which best completes the paragraph.