Text Completion Challenge

Text Completion Challenge - image by Magoosh
Text Completions are notoriously difficult—that’s even if you know all the words in the answer choices. Beyond vocabulary, you will need a lot of practice with this question type. Below are eight questions to help you gauge where you stand, as far as Text Completions.

To really get the most out of this challenge, you should use the following grading system. Give yourself (+1 for easy, +2 for medium, +4 for hard, and +6 for very hard). Next, on a scale from 1-5, ‘1’ being the least confident and ‘5’ being supremely confident, rate how confident you are with your answer choice. If you answer the question correctly, multiply your confidence level by the difficulty level of the question.

For instance, if you answer the medium question correctly and have a confidence level of a ‘5’ (before looking at the answers of course), you will get +10 points. Conversely, had you answered the medium question incorrectly, you would have gotten -10 points.

To provide another example, let’s say you answer the difficult question and have a confidence rating of ‘4’, yet miss the very difficult question and have a confidence level of a ‘3’, then you will end up losing 2 points: (4×4) – (3×6) = -2. If you decide to skip the question, you simply get zero points.

Finally, if you can finish all the questions below in less than 10 minutes, reward yourself +20.



1. Much of the consumer protection movement is predicated on the notion that routine exposure to seemingly _______________ products can actually have long-term deleterious consequences.

(A)  outdated

(B)  banal

(C)  litigious

(D) virulent

(E)  benign


2. The flood of innovation that has engendered many of last decade’s technological breakthroughs has also claimed some victims in its wake: companies once at the (i) ___________________ of such innovation have now become (ii) ___________________.

Blank (i)

(A)  brink

(B)  forefront

(C)  periphery

Blank (ii)

(D) remarkably pioneering

(E)  mostly obsolete

(F)  increasingly relevant



1. For a writer with a reputation for both prolixity and inscrutability, Thompson, in this slim collection of short stories, may finally be intent on making his ideas more ________________ to a readership looking for quick edification.

(A)  trying

(B)  prescient

(C)  palatable

(D) inaccessible

(E)  transcendent


2. That traditional forms of media—despite considerable variance in the quality of writing—tend to report on a range of issues (i) _________________ by the demands of the readership should (ii) ________________ those who believe that the demise of each media outlet signals a lamentable reduction in the scope of news reported.

Blank (i)

(A)  unbounded

(B)  circumscribed

(C)  sensationalized

Blank (ii)

(D) discourage

(E)  reassure

(F)  rile up



1. Rubens, for all his high-flown rhetoric, churns out book reviews that have come to seem _______________: from decades of critiquing other’s prose, he now relies on a familiar and tired formula.

(A)  scathing

(B)  perfunctory

(C)  erudite

(D) mawkish

(E)  draconian


2. Keane argues that the political conditions during the early years of the United States were, if anything, (i) _________________ to the formation of a nation united by one document: the Constitution. Rather, had it not been for a few men—Keane invokes the triumvirate of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison—to (ii) _________________ the Constitution, despite the seemingly implacable opposition of anti-Federalists, the central government would have had to (iii) _________________ matters of rule to the individual states.

Blank (i)

(A)  permissive

(B)  conducive

(C)  inimical

Blank (ii)

(D) challenge

(E)  champion

(F)  undermine

Blank (iii)

(G)  cede

(H) reintroduce

(I)    deny


Very difficult

1. With numerous exciting public works projects in the offing, residents are understandably (i) _______________ ; yet because such prodigious undertakings are inevitably plagued with numerous setbacks, much of the fervor is likely to be (ii) _________________ a heavy dose of reality.

Blank (i)

(A)  vexed

(B)  concerned

(C)  agog

Blank (ii)

(D) tempered with

(E)  intensified by

(F)  precluded by


2. For an actor who prepares so (i) _______________ for each role, the characters he chooses to portray are  (ii) _______________; nonetheless even the most nebbish persona he depicts on screen always appears on the verge of a(n) (iii) _______________, as though the actor’s suppressed agitation is ready to burst forth.

Blank (i)

(A) passively

(B) carefully

(C) feverishly

Blank (ii)

(D) curiously anemic

(E) totally irresponsible

(F) somewhat puissant

Blank (iii)

(G) breakthrough

(H) meltdown

(I) epiphany




  1. E
  2. B, E


  1. C
  2. B, E


  1. B
  2. C, E, G


Very difficult

  1. C, D
  2. C, D, H


Grading system:

150 points: Verbal Beast

You are a verbal beast who will most likely destroy the GRE verbal section.

130-149: Verbal Guru

You have a very solid grasp of the verbal section and will likely get most, if not all, of the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions right on the actual test.

100-129: Verbal Master

You are almost ready for success on the toughest section on the GRE. A little more practice and a few more vocabulary words should do the trick.

50-99: Verbal Apprentice

You have a strong verbal base. Learning TC strategies, practicing more questions, or simply building your vocabulary should help you become a Verbal Master, or better!

0-49: Verbal Tyro

Given that it is very easy to get a negative score on this quiz, you actually did well. Identify your areas of weakness and work at making those areas stronger.


Below zero:

Don’t worry—the GRE verbal section is not easy. A combination of concentration, vocabulary, reading speed, and sheer nerves are necessary to do well—not to mention knowledge with the question type. To learn about the best tips and strategies for breaking these questions down, go to gre.magoosh.com and check out our product.


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  • Chris Lele

    Chris Lele is the Principal Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh. Chris graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and has 20 years of experience in the test prep industry. He's been quoted as a subject expert in many publications, including US News, GMAC, and Business Because. In his time at Magoosh, Chris has taught countless students how to tackle the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (CARS), and LSAT exams with confidence. Some of his students have even gone on to get near-perfect scores. You can find Chris on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!