GRE Text Completion - Two and Three Blank Questions

Some of the GRE text completion questions will contain two or three blanks with three answer choices for each blank. Your job will be to determine which of the provided answer choices best fit into the various blanks, given the overall meaning of the passage. The fact that there are multiple blanks can make understanding the overall meaning of a passage more difficult. Thus, you'll want to consider the following:

  • At first, do not look at the answer choices. As with the single blank text completion questions, mentally try to come up with word choices for each blank that would make the passage grammatically, stylistically, and logically correct.
  • Remember that each blank has individual answer choices, and those answers do not affect the choices for the other blanks.
  • Focus on one blank at a time (do not feel like you have to go in order—blank two or three might be the easiest to fill first).
  • Employ the tactics that you use on single blank text completion questions. Look for key words to help you point out any change or continuation of mood, style, evidence, etc., and make sure that the overall meaning of the passage, when supplied with the answer choice that you select, is correct.
  • Read the passage with the selected answer choices to get a larger picture of the text, to see if it all makes sense in meaning, grammar, and style. If one answer choice seems incorrect and seems to throw off the meaning of the passage, look at the answer choices for that individual blank again, and try out the other choices.

Consider the following sample GRE text completion question:

She was rumored to be the biggest (i)_______ in the school. She teased, flirted, and made advances at all of the bachelors, but when asked if she wanted to begin a serious relationship, she (ii)_______ refused.

Blank (i) Blank (ii)

Here's how you should reason about this question: The object of the passage is a person who flirts, teases, and makes advances at bachelors, but refuses to engage in serious relationships. What type of person does that? A tease, perhaps? An escapade is a prank or an adventure; is somebody ever labeled as an adventure? No, that doesn't make sense, so eliminate the first choice. A coquette is a flirt, so that could work. Does a devotee refuse to engage in a serious relationship? No, quite the opposite. Let’s try coquette for the first blank. Now to the second blank. Again we need to remember the object of the passage—the flirt who refuses to engage in serious relationships. With this knowledge, we know we can eliminate willingly because "willingly refused" sounds contradictory. Vehemently means with much vigor, so when somebody is a flirt, then he or she vehemently refuses to be engaged in a serious relationship. That most likely fits into the second blank. But just to make sure, let’s look at contiguously. Contiguously means touching, so does somebody refuse touchingly? No, that's that doesn't make sense. Vehemently it is.

To double-check your answers, read through the passage, inserting your answer choices into the text, to see if the passage makes sense as a whole. Make sure the words work grammatically and stylistically.