A Cloze reading test is an exercise where the candidates are provided with a passage which has certain words missing from it. It follows logically that to ace such an assessment, candidates must have a strong command over English language, along with a flair for grammar and a good vocabulary. More importantly, it is important to understand the flow and context of the passage. While the Cloze Test for IBPS PO is considered by many to be the toughest question type in the paper, there are some simple tips and tricks to solving these without being a Ph.D. in English Grammar.
Here is a small example:
Disregarding the news about impending bad weather, I decided to go out without a/an _______and ended up getting wet. I resolved thereafter to always take note of the weather ______.
The correct answers in the above scenario would be ‘an umbrella’ or ‘a raincoat’ for the first blank and ‘report’ or ‘forecast’ for the second.
Since many exams now administer the Cloze test to assess the level of English proficiency of their candidates, it is imperative that if you are appearing for such an exam, you have a clear sense of how and what to prepare. Here are some tips that could be of help-
You can see that the three options nearly mean the same thing. How do you decide which one fits the blank?
Sometimes in English, some words are used more frequently with some others. Like ‘bad habit’, ‘hardly ever’, ‘happy ending’, ‘take a seat’, ‘make room’ etc. In the same way, the words ‘quick’ and ‘word’ are used together frequently. So ‘quick’ should be your answer in this case.
6. Check Tone – The passage is usually written in a certain tone; sometimes narrative, sometimes critical, sometimes humorous. Pick words that fit in with the tone of the passage. For example –
Jonah ____ down the stairs, bumping along like a quarter in a tumbling dryer.
Clearly, you can use either ‘tumbled’ or ‘fell’ in this blank. But the rest of the sentence is written in a humorous vein. So we try to maintain the tone of the sentence. This is best accomplished by the use of the word ‘tumbled’ as it brings to mind images of people falling funnily.
7. Build up Your Language Skills– In terms of the general preparation you can do, read, read and read as much as you can. The more you read, the better sense you will have of what word goes where. It will also help build up your vocabulary. Both these things will go a long way in helping you ace the Cloze Test.
8. Practice makes a man perfect– In the end, there is no substitute for hard work and practice. Try to complete three to four passages each day while preparing and get an insight into your problem areas. Work on them and go deliver your best.