How to Solve Cloze Test in English Section in Competition Exams?

Many aspirants of CAT, Bank and SSC exams feel difficulty in solving Cloze test in the exam, so here we are providing some tips so that you can easily solve in the exam. However, there are no short tricks to solve cloze test if you really want to mastery in Cloze test then you have to make your Vocab and English Grammar strong. If you are not good in memorising new English words then you have to use some short tricks so that you can easily memorise new words of English.

What is a Cloze Test in English? 
A cloze test is an assessment of a student’s comprehension abilities which includes a piece of text, from which a number of words have been removed. The student is required to insert the missing words according to the context. Cloze tests necessitate the ability to understand context and vocabulary in order to identify the correct words or type of words that belong in the deleted passages of a text.
How to Solve Cloze Test in English Section in Competition Exams?

Cloze tests are regarded as very efficient and an objective means of measuring students’ integrative competence in the English language because they involve the skills of thinking, understanding, reading and writing based on the learners’ underlying knowledge of reading comprehension and writing sub-skills such as grammar and sentence construction.

How to Cloze test? 
Words or group of words can be deleted from the text in question either mechanically or selectively, depending on precisely what aspect it is intended to test for.

Difficulties students face while attempting cloze test: 
The difficulties the students have in cloze may be the reflection of their difficulties in reading.
The first difficulty students have with cloze tests may be their inefficient reading rates. It is found that fluency in reading is essential during the process of completing a cloze test. Students first need to skim the text to gain a global comprehension before focusing on the deletions, because understanding the gist and thinking about the coherent meaning of the cloze text can help students to complete the cloze deletions. However, the students may fail to read fluently and rapidly. Their fluency may be hindered because of a great number of unknown words.

The second difficulty may be the learners’ inadequate reading skills. For example, students may have insufficient background knowledge for reading the text. Prior reading skills are of extreme importance for the reading comprehension.

The third difficulty may be the students’ inability to use context clues. Many researchers indicate that the processes of completing a cloze test require the use of a wide range of context clues. This is one reason why cloze test is given to the students. The students must attempt to think in all the possible ways and must avoid thinking only in one direction. Again reading becomes quintessential.

Cloze Test Example: 
If you want to have first-hand information on how to do a cloze test, here’s an example:

An Inter-School Football Match __1__ between our school and City Junior High School. The match __2__ on the 18th July 2013 in our school grounds from 5 p.m. onward. Students __3__ to assemble in the school grounds __4__ the match and cheer the team.

Now you have to complete the passage by choosing the most suitable word/phrase from each list to fit the corresponding gap. 
1. (1) has organised (2) is being organised (3) is organising (4) have been organised 

2. (1) would be played (2) are played (3) will be played (4) will play

3. (1) are requested (2) were requested (3) are being requested (4) have been requested

4. (1) witnessing (2) witness (3) to witness (4) are witnessed 

In the above example, the event of cricket match is going to be organised on a future date, so the first option 'has organised' does not agree as it should have been in passive voice i.e. 'has been organised'. 'Is organising' is redundant as the Inter-School Cricket Match is not organising the match but the school. The fourth option 'has been organised does also not correspond as the match is in singular and it cannot take a plural auxiliary verb 'have'. Now your choice narrows down on option (b) is being organised which is the correct answer. In the same manner, gap (2), (3) and (4) are to be filled in with the correct filler
The cloze test is a test which is the most global and comprehensive test of language. Doing a cloze test requires an overall understanding of the meaning and of the language items that will fit into the particular context of the sentences. For instance, when the use of articles is made to understand a student in isolation, they cannot understand where a certain article needs to be used or omitted. It is only in the context that a decision regarding the use of an article is made. Hence, a cloze test is the best way to know if a student can gather from the context whether that article is to be used or not. The same is applicable to other items like prepositions, conjunctions etc.

Tips on how to do cloze tests:
• First, go through the text slowly without filling any of the gaps. Read it two or three times until you have a clear understanding of what the text is all about.
• Next, identify what the optional words to fill in the gaps are. Make sure which part of speech may fit in each gap (article, noun, pronoun, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, verb). Pay special attention to the grammar around the words in each gap.

Please note some of the gaps may include the following:  

— preposition following a noun, an adjective or a verb. (Ex: good at singing) 
— prepositional phrase. (Ex: in place of) 
— an article or some other kind of determiner. (Ex: I have no time) 
— connector. (Ex: First, he enters; then he sits down; finally, he leaves.) 
— conjunction. (Ex: Although he is five, he cannot walk. 
— auxiliary verb. (Ex: He has left for US) 
— a relative. (Ex: Karen, who I met at the concert, is my best friend) 
— a pronoun, either subject or object. (Ex: it is difficult to find out his address) 
— adverb. (Ex: He settled in Canada two years ago) 
— is there a comparative or superlative involved? (Ex: He's taller than me) 

You may also come across some sentences which may seem to be complete and contain gaps that appear to be unnecessary. If you find gaps like this, you will probably need the following:
— an adverb. (Ex: He is always late) 
— a modal verb. (Ex: She can sing very well) 
— a word to change the emphasis of the sentence: He's good enough to be the captain 

• Read the text once again. This time choose the correct answer from the four answers given.

• If you are unsure of any given answer, try reading the sentence with each of the four possibilities. 

• Now try to do away with two of the obvious false answers (usually two relatively false answers are given). When stuck between two answers, go with the one that sounds correct. 

• A few gaps may require a vocabulary item corresponding with the topic of the text; or a word which is part of an idiomatic expression (Ex: Touch wood!); or a word which collocates with another one (Ex: do a job); or a word which is part of a phrasal verb (Ex: I got caught in a traffic jam). 

• If you are about to finish with the help of above techniques and still have some gaps left, make a wild guess. If you are somewhere near your target, that will only give the impression that you have a good command of English grammar and vocabulary although the word you wrote in the gap is not the correct one or doesn't fully fit in the overall meaning of the text. 

• Also please note that you should not leave a gap blank and never fill in a gap with a word you know for sure is wrong. • Do not stop to answer questions on your first reading. 

• Always evaluate the overall meaning of the text (i.e., whether the text is negative, positive, etc.) to make sure that your option fits in the context. 

• Go with your intuition. If you feel a word is right instinctively, there is every chance of it being correct. 

The aim of cloze tests:

So, cloze tests are regarded as capable in measuring students’ integrative competence in the English language and have been used in the most important English tests. Cloze procedure involves the skills of thinking, understanding, reading and writing based on the learners’ underlying knowledge of reading comprehension and writing sub-skills such as grammar and sentence construction. Cloze exercises are routinely used by teachers to help improve students’ reading abilities. However, the majority of students perform poorly in cloze tests and they regard it as the most difficult part of their language assessment. 
The purpose of this study is to find out what particular problems students have with cloze tests or exercises and to determine whether these problems may overcome. According to some studies, these problems are associated with inefficient use of reading strategies. In fact, the problems the students have with the cloze procedure are related to their inefficient use of reading strategies as well as their lack of awareness of their own reading processes. In addition, the students do not get sufficient instruction on how to strategies to deal with cloze.