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GRE Text Completion Quiz

The text completion can sometimes be a little puzzle that you have to unravel. For all of the parts to work, the blanks have to work together to create a coherent meaning. Sometimes, the most difficult text completions are those in which a coherent meaning only forms once all three pieces drop into place.

With the following text completion, you have three blanks in one sentence. There are a few clues for any blank, so see if you are able to answer correctly. Good luck!

1. That the comedian was so (i) ______ as to be unable to (ii) ______ the effect she had on others was not lost on her audience, who quickly stood up to leave, hoping their action would at least (iii) ______.

(A)  coarse(D) discern(G)  serve as an uncommon retort
(B)  oblivious(E)  mitigate(H) send an unambiguous message
(C)  presumptuous(F)  ignore(I)  provide a cryptic counterpoint



To take apart this text completion, you should try to put in your own words what is happening. The audience has walked out on the comedian, who was not able to notice the effect she was having. Notice is my own word for the second blank. The word that is the closest is (D) discern.

The first blank should be the opposite because she was “so _____ as to be unable to notice the effect.” Oblivious (B) is a good opposite.

As for the third blank, the crowd is aware that the comedian is very oblivious, and so they hope that they can finally do something so she will take notice (they choose, in this case, to walk out). They hope that “their action would send a clear message”. The answer that best matches up for the third blank is (H).

To make sure that all the pieces ‘fall into place’, try plugging in those answers to see if they make sense. This final step will help you make sure that the sentence has coherent meaning. In this case (B), (D), and (H), the answers, make sense.

If you chose a different answer, say (A), (E), and (G), try plugging them into and reading the sentence. Does that make sense? If you say kind of, which is often the case with wrong answers (they kind of work), try to see if there is a different interpretation. In this case, that interpretation is the one above.


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