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Sentence Completions Practice, Exercises and Examples

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Sentence Completions for Exam Prep

The following includes Sentence Completions test prep review, Practice, Exercises, and Examples for students preparing standardized examinations and tests. This helpful guide will help you master any exam from the SSAT, ISEE, ERBs to the SAT, ACT, MCAT, GMAT and GREs.

Sentence Completions
They’re not so _____?


1.    Develop a better understanding of what’s tested on the SAT.

2.    Practice sentence completions and implement specific strategy.

3.    Learn ways to improve vocabulary.

Your mission:

“Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.”

·      Key words: “as a whole” – the word must make sense in context!

·      Most common mistake: picking a word that fits with part of the sentence but misses the overall point.

Sentence Completions on the Diagnostic SAT and ACT Exams

Section 4, #2 “Easy

Alfred Schnittke’s musical compositions are _____; phrases are clipped, broken into sections, and split apart by long rests.

(A) garnished

(B) improvisational

(C)  fragmented

(D) cautious

(E)   uniform

Section 4, #4 “Medium

Latoya’s _____ is shown by her ability to be _____: she can see her own faults more clearly than anyone else can.

(A) perceptiveness … self-centered

(B) objectivity … restrictive

(C)  cynicism … self-destructive

(D) open-mindedness … complacent

(E)   insightfulness … self-critical

Section 4, #7 “Hard

The politician’s speech to the crowd was composed of nothing but _____, a bitter railing against the party’s opponents.

(A) digressions

(B) diatribes

(C)  platitudes

(D) machinations

(E)   acclamations

More Examples …

One Blank:

•       After observing several vicious territorial fights, Jane Goodall had to revise her earlier opinion that these particular primates were always _______  animals.

Two Blanks:

•       Although its publicity has been ________, the film itself is intelligent, well-acted, handsomely produced, and altogether ________.

Transition Words

*Hint* Watch for transition words that give you clues about how the blanked out words relate to one another.

Words signaling that the meaning stays the same:

additionally, also, and, as well, especially, furthermore, moreover, not only … but also, similarly, so, therefore, thus

Words signaling that the meaning changes:

although, but, however, instead, on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, still, yet


•       Although Captain Scabby thought he was _____, he was in fact the most _____ pirate who ever lived, always sailing away from the slightest sign of danger.

•       Not only was Allen _____ of sharks when swimming in the ocean, but even the sight of a shark on TV made him _____; needless to say, he was not a fan of Shark Week.

Eliminate Answer Choices

Very often, you won’t know one or more of the words.

If you can narrow your choices down to two, you should guess!


When Sam’s mother caught him sneaking back into the house two and a half hours after curfew, she grew furious and _____ him for half an hour.

(A) congratulated  (B) reminded  (C) surprised

(D) excoriated         (E) defenestrated

Sentence Completion Strategy

1.  Find the definition in the sentence.

·      When you can’t define, play good word/bad word.

·      For 2-blank questions, look for transitions that give clues about the relationship between the blanks.

2. Think of your own meaning for the blank(s).

3. Eliminate clearly wrong answers.

4. Select from the remaining choices.

Sentence Completion exercises, continued...

A.    Find the definition of the blank in each sentence and circle it:

1.     Football linebackers require not only immense size but also great ____: the ability to accelerate to full speed in an instant is crucial in order for them to hit their opponents with full force.

2.     Sandy is the most _____ person I know: she has such a bubbly, cheerful personality that it seems impossible not to like her.

3.     Whether they loved him or hated him, critics all recognized the singer for his ____: he was never afraid to speak his mind.

4.     Many have criticized the author Charles Dickens for his _____, but filling novels with grandiose explanations and elaborate detail was in fact standard practice in his day.

5.     The new mailman quickly became known for his _____ nature, and he spent so much time chatting with the people he encountered along his route that some began to wonder how he ever had time to finish delivering them mail.


B.     Write out your OWN DEFINITION for the word in each blank:

6.     Gary’s 12 years of persistent flattery and fawning gained him no favor with his boss, who couldn’t stand such obvious displays of _____ behavior.

7.     The dictator, who was once a trusted ally of the United States, was eventually revealed to be little more than a petty _____ after his years of power grabs and cruel oppression of his people.

8.     At first, I was a bit _____ about the idea of snorkeling alongside 6-foot long nurse sharks, but I soon realized what _____ creatures they are when our guide seized one in his arms and let us pet its smooth back.

9.     Charles was a true _____: although his show merely aired on a local public access channel, he believed himself to be among the preeminent celebrities in his community, and was outraged when he was not recognized as a star and given preferential seating at local dining establishments.

10.  Not only was the professor distinguished in the field of geology, but he also had become an expert _____ through the years of climbing and exploring treacherous caves.


Do you need help with your sentence completions, verbal test prep, or want some advice on how to increase your SAT and ACT exam scores? 

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