We get lots of e-mails and messages in which students share their problems regarding English section. Most of their problems were related to sentence completion/ fill in the blanks/ Cloze test. Though English is the most marks-securing section, but students are unable to secure much in this. The reason is the lack of basic knowledge syntax system of the sentence arrangement. Sometimes the options are out of the box and you don't know the meaning of some words. Therefore, we are here to share some tips and tricks so that you will be able to solve the cloze test easily.
1. Passage Reading
Whenever you start doing cloze test, pause for a couple of minutes and read the passage. This will help you to get a clear idea of the main theme, the tone of the author and the major ideas given in the passage. Once you get these things clearly, it will be easier for you to fill the gaps between the passage.
2. Establish Links
While filling the gaps you must establish the links between two sentence. Each sentence given in the passage is the part of the paragraph. Never assume that you have to treat a sentence as a single entity. Whatever word you will fill in the gap must build a relationship with the next sentence. If you fail to do so, your answer may lack to create a logical sequence.
Cyber criminals have two objectives: find targets that will yield high payoff for their ____ (1) __ and attack those high payoff targets that offer the least resistance. Their business model is simple: the least efforts for the greatest ___ (2) __ gain.(1) (a) efforts
(2) (a) moral
Here in blank (1) the sentence is related to cyber criminals. These criminals want high payoff for their efforts obviously because there is no point of filling the gap with other options, there is no logical reason to fill "order, past, pardon or reference". Now in the second sentence, you must have to keep in mind that the passage is about criminals and criminals have nothing to do with moral, educational, social gain. Nominal gains are never the aim of these criminal. All they need is financial gain. So, by establishing the links between first and second sentence, we came to know that the correct answer of blank (2) is financial.
3. Types Of Words
Each and every language follows a sentence pattern which is called syntax. Like an adjective comes before a noun and an adverb always follows a verb. We always need an article before an object. Ordinals like 1, 2, 3 fifth, sixth tenth always are always followed by a noun/pronoun. Lets understand it with some examples
(a) Teena is girl.
Now here the sentence looks incomplete.
Teena is a girl.
This is a complete sentence. Here, the article "a" completed the sentence.
(b) Teena is a girl good.
Good is an adjective but it is placed incorrectly because an adjective comes before a noun.
Teena is a good girl.
Now the syntax is correct.
(c) Teena slowly walks.
Slowly is an adverb but the placement of adverb is incorrect. As we have discussed that an adverb always follows a verb. So
"Teena walks slowly" is the correct arrangement of the words.
4. Elimination Technique
When the passage is too confusing and you find it completely out of your hands to solve the passage or a sentence, go with the elimination method. Here, you start eliminating the most extreme answers according to the context of the passage. Eliminating options one by one will lead you to the most appropriate answer.
ExampleThese cyber attackers are highly motivated, well organised and ___ (5) ___.
Suppose you can't find the answer of blank 5. Here the cyber attackers are highly motivated well-organised and ...
fussy is particular
No cyber attack is particular because the main motive of the cyber attack is just to gain money and it can be targeted to anyone. So, option eliminated
c. is beneficial: can any cyber attack be beneficial for anyone? No!! Option eliminated.
d. Cyber attackers are not trustworthy. So, we eliminate the option and as long as the option (e) is considered no cyber attack can be honoured.
So, we are left with unpredictable as the answer which is the most appropriate answer according to the context.
5. Tone Detection
Reading the passage can give you a clear view of the passage and this can help you to fill the gap with the accurate answer. Sometimes the passage is of comic tone, intense mood and ironical topic. If you can sense the tone, there is nothing better than this. Even each sentence represent some tone.
ExampleHaving searched my pockets in vain for stray coins and having found I was ___(10)__ penniless.
Here, in this sentence, the person is hopeless because his search of money ends in vain, so the tone is tensed. Truly/partially/mostly are out of the context because the pocket has no coin so it can't be partially filled. Truly and mostly cannot be the in the context of money. So the only option we are left with is Utterly; utterly is more intense than totally so we will choose utterly as our answer.
6. Use of Common Words
Sometimes a blank appears in the cloze test that has all the correct answer on your point of view. Whenever this kind of situation arises, chose the most commonly used phrase or word for that blank. Never try to be smart by choosing any other option because you find it suitable too. These sentences are given to test your general knowledge of the language.
I had a______ word with him.
Here, all the options are synonyms of each other and all the options seem appropriate according to us. Right? But hang on a moment. What is the most commonly used word here? Right!! It is quick. Without thinking twice just mark option (c) as your answer.
7. Read & Practice More!
Nothing is more valuable than practice and reading. Reading books, journals, magazines and newspapers will clear your doubts regarding sentence structure and will build your vocabulary. Strong vocabulary will give you the strength to use the words in their various forms. Moreover, magazines will teach you some new phrases every day.
So, this is all we could share with you. I hope you will find this article worth reading. Keep working hard and practice more every day. Keep your eyes and ears alert to catch minute details and information from your daily life.
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