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11 Plus (11+) Cloze Tests

What is a Cloze Test?

A cloze test is intended to measure the reader’s vocabulary skills, grammatical knowledge, and general logic, along with the ability to use context clues. Cloze activities consist of a sentence, a few sentences, a paragraph, or multiple paragraphs, in which words and/or phrases are omitted. The reader must fill in the blank with an appropriate word or phrase.

Types of Cloze Tests

Cloze activities may take a variety of forms, in addition to various lengths, ranging from a single sentence to a full-length essay.

Cloze tests may be presented with:

  • Word Bank/Pool—some tests add a random list of answer choices to fill in the blanks. This technique is usually used with longer passages that have multiple omitted words/blanks.
  • Multiple Choice—some tests include three to five answer choices for each omitted word. This type of format is quite common because it works equally well with single sentences and longer passages.
  • Missing Letters—some tests eliminate random letters within the targeted word; sometimes only the first letter is given and the test-taker must figure out the rest.
  • No answer choices—some tests do not provide any clues to the omitted words. These, of course, are the most difficult cloze activities/tests. These types of cloze activities are most often used to test the student's knowledge/retention of the specific content vocabulary.

Test-taking Tips and Techniques

Read the WHOLE sentence(s) or passage(s) very carefully.

  • Highlight key words to get an overall sense of the theme and meaning. This will make it much easier to determine the missing word(s). Remember, in longer passages, all sentences are connected, and they should be considered as a whole, not individually.
  • Pay attention to the nearby words, phrases and/or sentences. These will give you pertinent information about the missing word(s).
  • Determine the tone, voice and point of view. The missing words will need to maintain and fit in with the overall context.
  • Do NOT look at answer choices yet.

Try to substitute the blank with a word you think will fit the structure and context.

  • Be sure this word fits the context of the surrounding sentences. Do the voice, point of view and mood match the other sentences?
  • Make sure the word you choose fits the structure of the sentence and is the appropriate part of speech, tone, meaning and form.
  • If there is no word bank or answer choices, write your chosen word in the blank. Reread the sentence to make sure your word fits and makes sense.

Now, if answer choices are provided, consider each one and eliminate obviously incorrect choices.

  • Substitute EACH answer choice in the blank. Do not just try one or two; be thorough, and you will greatly increase your chances for success.
  • Now you can eliminate the obviously incorrect choices. After doing so, you may find that you are still left with multiple options which could fit in the sentence. In this case, try to determine the BEST choice. If you are having difficulty choosing, pick the one that is MOST like the word you first considered.

Examples and Explanations

Example 1: Sentences

The brilliant, _______ and dazzling colors of the landscape-varying from raging red to gentle green-are absolutely amazing when the leaves change colors during the autumn season.

Right away, we can see that we need an adjective to complete this sentence. (brilliant and dazzling are both adjectives describing colors). So, you know that you are looking for an adjective that is a synonym for “brilliant” and “dazzling” that is also “absolutely amazing”. You might come up with words such as: bright, vivid, breath-taking, gorgeous, beautiful, exquisite, and so forth. If you are doing a basic fill in the blank, write the word that you choose.

If you have multiple choice answer, choose the answer closest to one you picked

1. Choose the answer that will best fit in the blank

A.  Horrible Antonyms Eliminate
B.  Curious Doesn't fill thr context Eliminate
C.  Flashy Synonym, fits context Maybe----YES
D.  Monochrome Mono=one,chrome=color Eliminate
E.  Rainbow Similar but not quite right Eliminate

Example 2: Paragraphs

Getting to know the Parts of Speech

To use the English language efficiently, you need to understand the most __(1)__ concepts: parts of speech and parts of a sentence. They are ___(2)_____ similar; in fact, one is built on the other. To _______(3)________ and analyse a sentence, you must recognise how each part of speech functions in that sentence. Some parts of speech can ____(4)_____in a variety of ways, depending on the sentence. For example, a noun may function as a subject, object or even an adjective. Look at how “Spanish” can be used four _____(5)_____ways:

  • Spanish is my favorite class. (Subject)
  • Have you tasted my Spanish rice? (Adjective)
  • I am learning to speak Spanish. (Direct object)
  • I love the lyrical sound of Spanish. (Object of the preposition)

1.

  1. Spanish is my favorite class. (Subject)
  2. Have you tasted my Spanish rice? (Adjective)
  3. I am learning to speak Spanish. (Direct object)
  4. I love the lyrical sound of Spanish. (Object of the preposition)

  • Explanations
  • To fill in this blank, you will need an adjective to describe “concepts”. The “ly” ending usually indicates an adverb and if you substitute the blank with answer choice A, it does not make sense. Eliminate A. The other four words are adjectives, and they all could describe “concepts”. A person would not need to “understand the most advanced or challenging concepts” in order to “use the English language efficiently”. Eliminate B and D. All a person needs to be efficient (good enough) is an understanding of the simple or basic concepts. So now try both words, one at a time: “the most basic concepts” OR “the most simple concepts”. The superlative form of simple is simplest NOT most simple. Eliminate E. So now there is one answer left. Read the sentence one more time just to be sure. “To use the English language efficiently, you need to understand the most basic concepts: parts of speech and parts of a sentence.”
  • Answer : C

2.

  1. quite
  2. somewhat
  3. overwhelmingly
  4. quiet
  5. interestingly

  • Explanations
  • To fill in this bank, you will need an adverb modifying similar. Remember to test each word. Answer choice “A. quite” will fit in the sentence. “They are quite similar...” but there may be a better answer, so let’s “put it on the back burner (save for later)” for now. Answer choice “B. somewhat” will fit the structure but not the context. If one thing is built on the other, then the two are more than just somewhat similar. Eliminate B. Likewise, answer choice “C. overwhelmingly” fits the structure but not the context/meaning. Overwhelmingly indicates an excessive amount, but there is nothing in the passage to support that idea. Eliminate C. Answer choice “D. quiet” does not fit the sentence structurally or contextually. Quiet is just quite misspelled. Eliminate D. The last answer choice, “interestingly”, easily fits the structure and somewhat fits the context, although it is an unusual word choice to modify similar. So, now you must choose the BEST answer: quite similar or interestingly similar.
  • Answer : A

3.

  1. embellish
  2. understand
  3. definition
  4. misinterpret
  5. comprehension

  • Explanations
  • Use context clues like “and”, which joins two similar things. In this case, it is joining the missing word and the word analyse. To complete this sentence, you will choose a verb that is like “analyse”. Answer choice “A. embellish” is a verb, so it does fit the structure of the sentence; however, embellish means to exaggerate, which is not the same as analyse. Eliminate A. Answer choice “B. understand” fits the structure and the context. It might be the correct answer, but let’s make sure. Answer choice “C. definition” is a noun (the suffix -ion usually indicates a noun), so it does not fit the structure or the context. Eliminate C. Choice “D. misinterpret” is a verb, so it fits the structure. However, it does not mean the same thing as analyse, so it does not fit the context. Eliminate D. The last choice, comprehension, fits the context; however, it ends in -ion which indicates it is a noun. Eliminate E. All answers are eliminated except B. understand. To understand and analyse a sentence, you must recognise how each part of speech functions in that sentence.
  • Answer : B

4.

  1. performance
  2. presented
  3. flourish
  4. compare
  5. function

  • Explanations
  • To complete this sentence, you need a verb that is like “to do”. Answer choice “A. performance” is a noun. Eliminate A. Answer “B. presented” is a verb, but it is past tense, and the missing word is present tense. Eliminate B. “Flourish” and “compare” (answers C and D) are both present tense verbs, but neither makes sense in context. Eliminate C. and D. It appears that the power of elimination leaves only one answer but check it to be sure. Some parts of speech can function in a variety of ways, depending on the sentence.
  • Answer : E

5.

  1. unusual
  2. similar
  3. matched
  4. different
  5. opposite

  • Explanations
  • In this sentence, the omitted word is an adjective meaning “not the same”. All the answer choices are adjectives, so you are looking for the best antonym (opposite) of the word “same”. Answer choice “A. unusual” is an antonym of same, so it may be the answer. Answer choices “B. similar” and “C. matched” are synonyms of same. Eliminate B and C. Answer choices D and E are antonyms of same. So, you must pick one of the following: unusual different or opposite to fill in the blank. Are these four functions unusual? Not really. And they are not the opposite of each other. The four functions are different from each other. Look at how “Spanish” can be used four different ways.
  • Answer : D

Example 3: Complete the following passage, using the word bank below.

have has had is was were
drink drank drunk resolving resolved resolf
whomever whoever whosever hisself himself itself
give gave given will may can

Excerpt from Call of the Wild by Jack London

He was glad for one thing: the rope was off his neck. That _(1)__ __(2)__ them an unfair advantage; but now that it was off, he would show them. They would never get another rope around his neck. Upon that he __(3)__ ____(4)____. For two days and nights he neither ate nor __(5)__, and during those two days and nights of torment, he accumulated a fund of wrath that boded ill for ___(6)___ first fell afoul of him. His eyes turned blood-shot, and he was metamorphosed into a raging fiend. So changed was he that the Judge ___(7)___ would not have recognised him; and the express messengers breathed with relief when they bundled him off the train at Seattle.

Explanations:

1&2 - This sentence needs an auxiliary verb and an action verb. The past (had) perfect (given) form of “give” is the only logical choice. (1) had (2) given
3&4 - This sentence also needs an auxiliary verb and an action verb. The most logical choice is the past perfect form of “resolve”: (3) was (4) resolved.
5 - The context clue “he neither ate nor…” contains a negative connector (neither/nor), which indicates the missing word is an antonym of “ate”. Drink is the opposite of eat, and ate is the past tense, so the past tense of drink is required. (5) drank
6 - This answer is an indefinite pronoun because the reader does not know who “first fell afoul of him” and it follows the preposition “for” so it must be in the objective case (object of the preposition “for”). (6) whomever
7 - This sentence calls for a pronoun that intensifies and identifies the Judge; thus, it needs a pronoun ending in “-self”. The use of “hisself” is a fairly common error, when in fact hisself is not even a real word. Itself is not appropriate because “it” refers to a thing not a person. (7) himself

Example 4: Use context clues and your knowledge of spelling rules to complete the following sentences by providing the missing letters.

1. Common nouns name general or non-sp_ _ _ _ _ _ people, places, things, ideas and e _ _ ti _ _ s.
2. Proper nouns name specific people, places, things, ideas and emotions and _ _ _ uld always be ca_ _ _alis_ _.
3. _ _ _ crete nouns name solid things that can be identified by one of the five s _ _ _ es.
4. Ab _ _ _ act nouns name ideas and emotions that cannot be per _ _ _ _ ed by one of the five senses.
5. Pro _ _ _ nouns should ALWAYS be capitalised, and Common nouns should NEVER be _ _ _ _ _ alised.

Explanations:

1. Common and general are NOT (“non“) specific. The other word is similar to ideas and begins with an “e”: emotions.
2. Proper nouns should always be capitalised.
3. The context clue here is “solid” which describes concrete and “five” identifies our common senses.
4. The context clue “one of the five senses” indicates the word “perceived” and abstract nouns cannot be detected or perceived by the five senses.
5. Proper nouns “should always be capitalised” while common nouns “are never capitalised”.