Completions: Introduction, Part 1
everybody! In this lesson, we will learn to understand sentence completions. These
are the second most coachable questions on the verbal section of the GRE.
general, sentence completions are easy when the vocab is really easy and when
the sentence structures are not very complex.
GRE makes sentence completions hard by using difficult vocab, complex sentence
structures, and difficult ideas.
is a Sentence Completion?
decided to cancel the picnic since the weather was ------.
one, huh? Can you figure out which word would best fit in the blank? If you are
like most people, you would say something like bad or some other word with
a negative meaning since we are canceling a picnic because of some type of weather.
Of course, you will probably never see such an easy question on the GRE,
but the idea is the same.
look at some answer choices you might have for the example that we saw above:
if you are like 99 44/100% of all the other people doing this exercise, you would
choose bad since we already figured out that bad weather would be
a good reason to cancel a picnic.
look at the answer choices!
is good practice not to look at the answer choices when you are doing sentence
corrections. It is very easy to be tricked by the answer choices when you are
doing the sentence completions, and GRE pros can anticipate the answer choices
before they even look at the answer choices.
is kind of hard to come up with an example that will prove to you that it is important
not to look at the answer choices, but I have tried. So, please understand that
I am trying to teach you something, and try to bear with me if you think this
example is too easy.
look at these answer choices:
point here is that you now have some sort of idea of what the following sentence
might mean. Now, before you read the question stem, I want you to try to notice
how your preconceptions of the answer choices interfere with your ability to understand
the sentence. One final point, please keep in mind that I have used very simple
language so that we can focus on the structure of the questions, not on the vocab.
read the sentence:
ferocious tiger that we encountered while we were lost in the jungle was surprisingly
you feel that you already had the idea that the ferocious tiger would be dangerous
or vicious? If you can imagine this question with harder vocabulary and more complex
sentence structure, then you might be able to understand how you might be easily
tricked if the sentence had been harder to understand. Anyway, the best answer
here is docile, which means easily controlled, because the word
surprisingly tells us that the adjective to describe the tiger is unexpected.
In this case, it would be a surprise to find out that the tiger was docile.
do some practice.