This question type is one of the two fill in the blanks types in the PTE Reading section. Your score in this question type depends on how well you can understand the theme of a written text and then identify how certain words and phrases fit into the context. Only if you understand what a sentence means in the context of the whole text can you pick the right options for the blanks in that sentence.
You will see a text which will have certain blanks in it. Below the text you will see a pool of words, which are the potential answers. You will have to drag the right options from the pool and drop them in the appropriate blanks. Remember, there are more words in the pool than there are blanks. So, some words in the pool will be left unused.
First, the basics:
|Number of questions||4~5|
|Scoring||Contributes to the Reading score.|
|Time to answer||No time limit for individual questions. Only the overall Reading section time limit applies.|
Fill in the blanks question in PTE Reading depend upon how well you can understand the grammar relations between different parts of the sentence and how familiar you are with common language usage. Improving the Reading skill can take a bit of time, but a daily reading practice combined with focused study of vocabulary and collocations can help make these questions easier.
Always start with the first blank. Look at the blank and notice where it appears in the sentence. Ask yourself, what kind of information is missing from that sentence? Does the sentence need a person, place, an action, an event, etc.? You can also go by the grammatical rules and ask yourself it the sentence needs a noun, verb, etc.
Then look at the given options and shortlist the ones which might fit into that blank. Next, you should put each in the blank and see if the sentence makes sense. If you are not able to shortlist any blank, you have no option but to try out all options one by one. However, if you find any one blank too difficult, just move on the next one. Ones you have filled in other blanks, you will be left with fewer words in the pool. This will make it easier to identify the remaining blanks or even make a guess if you have to.
Keep your eye on the overall timer. Don’t spend too much time on one blank. And also do not spend too much time on one question as a whole.
Once you have filled in the blanks review the passage with the blanks filled in. It should make logical sense as a whole. If you feel there is a word left in the pool which can be a better fit for a blank, now is the time to replace it and see the effect.
Here are a few simple tips and tricks that you can follow to maximize your score in this question type.
Fill the easy ones first
There are always some blanks which are easier than the others. Instead of getting stuck at a difficult blank, move on the next and try to fill in all the ones which you find easy. This has two advantages. First of all, you are assured of some marks. Second, this will reduce the number of options remaining, making it easier to fill the other blanks.
Try to pick missing grammar pieces
Look at a blank and then see where it appears in the sentence. What does the sentence need in that place? Is it a noun? a verb? For this it is important you brush up your grammar basics.
Go with simple logic
If you are not confident of your grammar, you can still fill in the blanks by following simple logic. Read the sentence with the blank and ask yourself what kind of word is needed to complete a sentence. For example, if the sentence describes an action, then ask yourself what is needed? Maybe what’s missing is the person who performed that action or the way that action was performed. Then look at the words in the pool and pick the ones which fit that criteria.
Evaluate options one by one
A simple approach is to just pick options from the pool, one by one, put them in a blank and see if it completes the sense. Does it make sense? Is the meaning logical? You will be able to fill in a lot of blanks using this approach.
Read something everyday
Make it a habit to read something every day. A newspaper of a general website is preferred because it can expose you to a variety of topics. If all you read is fiction or scientific articles, you will be exposed only to one kind of vocabulary. The more you read, more familiar you will become with different sentence structure and word usage patterns. Your mind will pick on these in the exam and you will find fill in the blanks much easier.
Go through the word list
A good vocabulary is essential for any English exam but is especially useful in this question type. Check out the academic word list if you haven’t already done so. In the Sure Way English PTE Course, you have a whole module on vocabulary. Make the most of it!
Get to know collocations
A collocation is a group of words which frequently appear together. They are often used in the fill in the blanks questions. You will have one word from the collocation missing. So, if you are familiar with this list, you will find such questions easier to handle. Grab it from here!
Time to see how many fill in the blanks can you answer correctly! Keep the tips and tricks in mind, as you attempt this authentic practice test!