How to Solve Cloze Test – Tips & Strategies
Today we are presenting you a short note on How to Solve Cloze Test – Tips & Strategies. Every competitive exams routinely have a cloze reading test as part of the English section of the test. This comprises about 10 marks in all. A cloze test is presented in the form of a passage with various blanks that you must fill up with the given multiple choices. It is a test of your command over the English language, grammar and vocabulary. It is also a test of your understanding of the tone, flow and accent of the passage.
Once you understand the flow of the sentence, you will be able to easily score in this section. Here are some tips to help you ace the cloze test.
Read The Passage Thoroughly
It is best to go through the passage, as soon as you come across it, to understand the tone and flow of the passage. It is important to remember that the blanks are not in isolation. Hence, use the clues given in the other sentences of the passage. Ensure that you connect the meaning of different sentences before choosing the appropriate word. This will help you make your choice more effectively and accurately.
The poor old man ___________ picked up the loaf of bread that would form his morning meal, thanking his stars for the bit of unexpected luck.
Here, all the words grammatically fit into the sentence as they are all adverbs. However, it is evident from the second part of the statement that the man is happy and grateful to have found the loaf and hence the feeling he experiences is positive (tone of the sentence). This immediately eliminates choices ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ and ‘e’. The correct answer is ‘a’ therefore, ‘cheerfully’.
Identification of Part of Speech
Understand what part of speech is being asked for. Sometimes, even if the idea expressed through two different choices is the same, the challenge will be in choosing the correct part of speech.
The affluent socialite did not mind _____________ her brooch as much as the thought of someone else wearing her designer piece.
Here, the first word ‘loosing’ is not a real word. Loose can become loosening, not loosing. Finding is not consistent with the meaning of the sentence and does not fit here. The meaning conveyed is that the socialite lost or missed her brooch, hence (b), (d) or (e) could convey the meaning but the clue ‘wearing’ (a gerund i.e. a verb ending with ‘ing’ to form a noun) points to the fact that to make the sentence consistent, a gerund must be used again. Hence, the word losing (b) is the most apt word.
It is important to be able to understand the meaning of the answer choices given to eliminate or choose appropriate words to fill in the blanks.
To improve your vocabulary,
i) Make a list of words you have come across for the first time from articles you have read recently.
ii) Apart from this, go through word lists and memorise word meanings and their common usages.
Your vocabulary will improve over time. So ensure you are regular and learn a few words every day.
There is no substitute for being well-read. It would help to read many different write-ups from newspapers, periodicals, magazines, textbooks and internet sites.
Read a lot and make an effort to understand everything that you read. You may read magazines like India Today, Frontline, Reader’s Digest, miscellaneous Business Magazines, etc.
Being aware of current affairs can also familiarise you with current hot topics and hence make you well-versed in identifying common phrases and proverbs as well as contemporary usages.
There is no shortcut to success.
The more you practice, the more you will get the hang of filling in these blanks. Work out as many practice worksheets as you can and you will see the difference in your speed, confidence and understanding.
Regular practice will ensure that you are able to make an intelligent guess, at the very least, with reference to context.
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