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Sentence Completion Tests

  1. Lauren Farwell,
  2. Alissa Sherry

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0845

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Farwell, L. and Sherry, A. 2010. Sentence Completion Tests. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Texas at Austin

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Sentence completion tests (SCTs) are among the instruments most commonly used by clinicians to facilitate personality assessments. Most people recognize SCTs as largely fill-in-the-blank sentences about any number of psychological cues. The overall purpose of SCTs is to assess respondents through their written and expressed answers to sentence fragments. Examples might include, “My mother ____________” or “One thing that really bothers me is ____________.” A sentence completion test is generally considered a projective or performance-based measure in personality assessment. This means that the manner in which individuals respond to the relatively unstructured task of completing these sentence fragments reveals latent aspects of their personality. Although identification of SCTs as projective in nature implies that SCTs are interpreted by the clinician and loosely scored by any objective standard, SCT responses are actually quite versatile in how they can be used. They can be used to facilitate interviews or establish rapport, for example, and they can be interpreted either projectively or as objectively scored by the clinician as part of a larger assessment battery.


  • sentence completion tests;
  • personality assessment;
  • projective testing;
  • Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank