GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions

GRE Sentence Equivalence Strategy

The GRE Sentence Equivalence questions are technically the shortest, as they are always just one sentence long and have just one blank to fill. However, to answer the question correctly, GRE test takers must select the top two words out of six possible choices that would best complete the sentence. As with Text Completion questions, there is no partial credit.

Similar to Text Completion questions, Sentence Equivalence questions test both vocabulary and sentence comprehension. Usually the choices are all the right type of word (all adjectives, for example) but several of the choices would be illogical based on what the sentence is aiming to say. The two choices will have similar definitions, but do not simply read the answer choices for synonyms. There may be more than one pair of synonymous words and it is important to pick the two words that make the most sense.

It is in many ways a reasoning exercise because the omitted word is often a pivotal word, and test takers must look for verbal clues elsewhere in the sentence to deduce what the sentence is trying to say. A good tip is to look for words that seems significant to understanding the sentence. For example the word "although" might indicate there is a contradiction in the sentence somewhere.