29 Oct

Fill in the blank

A cloze test is somewhat similar to fill in the blank questions. However, it must be remembered that in a cloze test, the blanks when filled will give you a complete paragraph. The sentences, wherein the blanks need to be filled, together comprise a paragraph. A cloze test can be a great scoring opportunity for any candidate appearing in a Govt. job exam. The best part about it is that it does not require cramming any formulae or learning many rules.

Yet, many candidates find cloze test a challenging task. Quite often their concerns are low accuracy level and the inability to consistently score well on cloze test. Keeping these in mind, the centre for Best SSC Coaching in South Delhi has discussed below an effective approach to tackle the cloze test. The approach is as follows:

(I) Understand the tone of discussion – Make an active effort to follow the tone of discussion. It will give you a fair idea regarding the kind of words that can be used to fill the blanks. Any word that is not in sync with the general mood of the paragraph should be avoided. Words that have a similar tone provide flow to the style of writing used by the author. There is a high probability of such words being used in the same paragraph.

Common Tones

(II) Keep in mind the context given – It is a must to understand the context of the paragraph. You must not try to approach the cloze test mechani cally. Your approach should be such that it takes into account the theme of the paragraph and the thoughts expressed in it. Such an approach will be instrumental in greatly improving your accuracy rate.

context matters

(III) Take help of prepositions – The knowledge of how prepositions are used will surely come in handy, while attempting the cloze test. There are times when looking at prepositions alone can take you in the right direction. If there is a preposition immediately before or after a blank, it must be checked whether the word you have chosen agrees with that preposition or not.


(IV) Look at what comes before & after – It is always beneficial to look at the sentences that come before and after the sentence that has the blank in it. By doing so, quite often you’ll get a confirmation or some sort of clue regarding the most appropriate word to fill in the blank. On many occasions you’ll find similar words being used in preceding or succeeding sentences. Keep a track of them.

Before and After

(V) Eliminate the options – Before marking the answer, make it a point to compare all the options. Only after a comparative analysis, wherein you eliminate all the inferior options, should you take the final decision. It is here that you must focus on the meanings of all the words and carefully check how they differ from one another. Options that fall outside the scope of discussion should be eliminated for sure.

Eliminate the options


The cities are ………1……….up and urban unemployment is on the rise. In all probability, there’s a similar measure of ……….2……… in the countryside. The poorest quarter of our population in developing lands …….3…… being left almost completely behind in the vast …….4……… of the modern hi-tech society. The “marginal men”, the ……5…….strugglers for subsistence on the ……..6………..of village and city, may ……7……. more than 1.5 billion. Can we ……8…… any social order surviving with so ……..9……..a mass of ……10…… piling up at its foundation?

  1. 1. (a) Piling
    (b) Filling
    (c) Growing
    (d) Developing
  2. 2. (a) Worklessness
    (b) Shortage
    (c) Imbalance
    (d) Diversity
  3. 3. (a) Believes
    (b) Condemns
    (c) Suffers
    (d) Risks
  4. 4. (a) Struggles
    (b) Surface
    (c) Result
    (d) Transformation
  5. 5. (a) Brave
    (b) Aged
    (c) Wretched
    (d) Ultimate
  6. 6. (a) Fringes
    (b) Ground
    (c) Surface
    (d) Background
  7. 7. (a) Number
    (b) Project
    (c) Extend
    (d) Mount
  8. 8. (a) Hope
    (b) Suspect
    (c) Question
    (d) Imagine
  9. 9. (a) Little
    (b) Far
    (c) Gross
    (d) Long
  10. 10. (a) Population
    (b) Misery
    (c) Generation
    (d) Humility


1. (b) Filling
‘Filling’ is the right choice as it logically conveys that since the cities are getting overcrowded that is why unemployment is going up. ‘Up’ can’t be used after ‘developing’. ‘Piling up’ conveys the meaning of one on top of the other, which does not make any sense as cities are being discussed.

2. (a) Worklessness
In the first couple of sentences the context of discussion is unemployment. ‘Worklessness’ is synonymous to ‘unemployment’ and is in sync with the prevailing context. It helps strike a comparison between the level of unemployment seen in cities and villages.

3. (d) Risks
There is a possibility (risk) that the poorest quarter may be left behind. However, it has not happened as yet. ‘Suffers’ which is a close option can also be eliminated because ‘from’ must follow ‘suffers’ and in the given sentence ‘from’ is absent.

4. (d) Transformation
The prevailing risk is that the poorest quarter may get sidelined and not become a part of the ‘transformation’ happening in our society. ‘Transformation’, which means a ‘makeover’, is appropriate to express the idea that the society is going through a phase of complete change.

5. (c) Wretched
Look at the phrase ‘strugglers for subsistence’ which comes after blank number 5. Those who have to struggle for their survival can only be called ‘wretched’. ‘Wretched’, which means miserable and unfortunate, suits the tone of expression better than any other option.

6. (a) Fringes
Look at the phrase ‘marginal men’ which has been used at the start of the sentence. ‘Fringes’ which means ‘margins’ and ‘sidelines’ is the best fit; it furthers the idea that the ‘marginal men’ are at the risk of being sidelined.

7. (a) Number
By looking at the figure of 1.5 billion, it is easy to understand that the number of marginal men (the people comprising the poorest quarter) is being talked about. ‘Extend’ may seem to be a close option, but it can also be eliminated. It means ‘to put off; prolong and postpone’. A number / figure such as 1.5 billion can’t be prolonged or postponed.

8. (d) Imagine
It is difficult to even ‘imagine’ that any social order can survive in such miserable conditions as have been discussed in the paragraph. It is difficult to ‘imagine’ our social order remaining intact if conditions of such great imbalance were to continue.

9. (c) Gross
‘Gross’, which means ‘big’ and ‘bulky’, has been used to describe the mass of misery. It in fact talks about the magnitude of problem which exists. Since the size or magnitude is being referred to, that is why ‘gross’ is superior to ‘long’, which refers to the length of something.

10. (b) Misery
‘Misery’, which means suffering, is in line with the concerned and anguished tone of discussion. The extent of suffering that the poorest quarter is going through has been described in the last sentence.

Finally, if you are among the many students enrolled in one of the Top Bank Coaching Institutes in Delhi, the contents of this article will undoubtedly be of immense relevance to your IBPS Exam Preparation. However, the learning from this article must be supplemented with consistent practice in order to achieve a higher score.


A comprehensive approach for solving questions based on cloze test has been described out here. However, in case of any doubt or difficulty, you can write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com and seek guidance from Vidya Guru faculty members.

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