When it comes to FIBs, the word that does not appear is the key to the meaning of the sentence. The words that do appear offer clues to the missing word. If you can find out how the words that appear are connected, you can find the correct answer. This means that you must know more than just the meaning of the words involved. You must also understand the logic of the sentence. Here is a sampling of strategies:
Read the entire sentence saying “blank” for the blank(s). This gives you an overall sense of the meaning of the sentence and helps you figure out how the parts of the sentence relate to each other. If an answer occurs to you before you even look at the choices, you may have a synonym for the answer or the answer itself.
Pay special attention to introductory and transitional words—but, although, however, yet, even though—because they are key to forming the logical structure of the sentence. Be sure your choice is both logical and grammatically correct.
If you don't know some words, use elimination and educated guessing, which means you are able to eliminate one or more of the choices as definitely wrong; or guessing from context when you know a related word. There are several types of sentence completions:
D. Cause and effect
Here is an example of a cause-and-effect FIB question:
Ex 1: After a brief and violent ______ that ousted the president, General Monsanto declared himself the dictator of the country.
Sol: The answer is choice b. A coup (n.) is a sudden and decisive change of leadership illegally or by force, a takeover. What (the cause) led the general to declare himself dictator (the result)? Something brief and violent, that ousted the president, a coup.
Here is an example of a restatement question:
Sol: The answer is choice c, byzantine, an adjective that means “highly complicated and intricate.” Here, you are looking for a restatement of the clue words complicated and out-of-date, and for something that needs simplifying.
As you practice sentence completions, you may discover signal words and phrases—clues that help you choose the correct answer. Here are common signal words and an example for each kind of question:
Restatement: namely, in other words, in fact, that is
Ex 3: The pickpocket was a trickster, in other words, a ______.
(The answer, which restates “trickster,” might be knave or scoundrel.)
Comparison: likewise, similarly, and, just as, as ______ as, for example, as shown, as illustrated by
Ex 4: Anna was cleared of all charges; similarly, Sam was ______.
(The answer compares to being “cleared of all charges,” so perhaps Sam was vindicated.)
Contrast: though, although, however, despite, but, yet; on the other hand, but, however, despite, or on the contrary
Ex 5: Although the tiger is a solitary beast, its cousin the lion is a ______ animal.
(The answer is something that contrasts with “solitary,” such as gregarious or sociable.)
Cause and effect: thus, therefore, consequently, and because and phrases such as due to, as a result, leads to
Ex 6: A truck stole her parking spot; consequently, Sally's ______ look showed her displeasure.
(The answer would be a look caused by someone stealing Sally's parking spot, maybe scowling or sullen.)
These threads made us learn some of the best methods & tricks for solving CAT questions.