A cloze test also known as Fill in the blanks is a Sentence Completion Test where you are given with a passage having some blanks. Actually it’s a combination of fill in the blanks and comprehension. Options are provided for each of the blanks and you have to complete these with words provided in the options.
This test analyses your understanding of the passage, i.e. reading comprehension, at the same time assesses your vocabulary and grammatical skills.
The best thing about a cloze test is that, it is a highly scoring part of the English Language section and if you master it, you can easily fetch good marks. Another good part about it is that on an average, one question of cloze passage will take less than 30 seconds to solve, against 1-1.2 minutes for reading comprehension. All you are expected to have is good command over the English language and a flare of grammar, along with good vocabulary. While cloze tests are considered to be toughest by many, we are providing some simple and handy tips and tricks.
Since almost all the exams like SSC, IBPS PO, SBI PO, CAT etc. throughout the year, use the cloze test to assess the English proficiency level of their candidates. So if you are appearing for any such exam, you should have a clear sense of how and what to prepare. Following are some tips that you should keep in your mind:
Government job English preparation Strategy: Cloze test
1) Read Slowly and Thoroughly–
The first step to solve any cloze test question is to read it slowly and understand what it is about. It will help you to develop an idea about the topic. That is why, read the passage slowly at least twice. It will help you understand the theme of the passage. Once the theme of the text is clear, everything is downhill from there. After doing this, you can choose the best possible word out of the given choices.
2) Link the Sentences Together-
The second thing you should keep in your mind is that it is not a set of individual statements, but a passage with sentences that are connected to each other. So attempt the questions keeping this in mind, otherwise there will be a very high chance of committing some silly mistakes. There will definitely be some logical connection between the sentences. Just try to understand that connection, your chances of selecting the write option will become high.
Let us take an example.
Greenhouse gases are only ______ of the story when it comes to global warming. Changes to one part of the climate system can cause additional changes to the way the planet absorbs or reflects energy.
In the above example, we can see from the next sentence that first sentence is talking about only a part of the story. So the correct option should be ‘part’.
3) Eliminate Options:
Well this is the most crucial point. Often we have seen that candidate comes across a situation where he is unable to find the correct option. In such a scenario, first read all the options carefully. Out of these eliminate the choice that is least likely to be correct. This process is called Process of Elimination (POE).You can try this by fitting each option one by one in the sentence. Then check the consistency of these options not only with respect to the given sentence but also in context of the entire passage. Review the options again. In this way you can easily eliminate 2-3 options. There is always a great chance of spotting an answer by eliminating all the doubtful options.
My father waved me goodbye and the bus ______. The man sitting next to me was an engineeer and was going to Kannur, to participate in a workshop
Let us check the options one by one.
‘Going’ does not fit.
‘Arrived’ does not make sense as good bye is never done when someone arrives.
‘Started’ is thus the apt word.
4) Go with Frequently Used Words/ Phrases
Sometimes it happens that, you are confused and unable to decide as to which of the given options to choose. In such a case, try to see the options again. If you see any word/phrase which is more often used than others, then you may go with that option. It could be a verb, an article, a preposition and so on. If your grammar is strong, it will help you a lot.
Can I have a ____ word with you?
All three options are having the nearly same meaning. So which one to decide? In English language, certain words are used more frequently. Like “hardly ever” the words ‘quick’ and ‘word’ are also used together frequently. So answer should be ‘quick’
5) Understand the Tone of Passage
Try to think like you are the author of that passage. Understand the tone of the passage. Only then, try to answer the questions based on the author’s perspective. Key is to remain neutral and not letting your opinion and prior knowledge of the topic hamper the theme of the passage. Passages are written in particular tone. They could be narrative, critical, humorous etc. Pick the words that fit in with the tone of the entire passage.
Humpty ____ down the hill, bumping along like a quarter in a tumbling dryer.
We can see that the tone is humorous. So we should choose an option which is humorous. In this both ‘tumbled’ and ‘fell’ are conveying the meaning but “tumble’ is more humorous. So our answer is ‘tumbled’
6) Develop linguistic skills by Reading
This is a general tip. It will help you in all the topics that are asked in the English language section. You can and must read as much as possible. If you read more, you will have a good vocabulary, better knowledge of the nitty gritties of the language. Both of these things will help you a lot in the long run.
7) Practice makes a man perfect
Last but definitely not the least, practice as much as you can. There is no substitute for hard work and practice. Practice at least 4-5 passages every day. Attempt the passage in which your accuracy is less than others. After attempting the questions, devote some time in analysing the questions.
This was all about tips and tricks to solve cloze test. So try the above tips and tricks on the cloze test questions.