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Basic Tips & Rules for Fill In the Blanks

Basic Tips & Rules for Fill In the Blanks

Sentence completion questions are one of two types on the English section of the Competitive exams.  Questions will sometimes ask you to fill in one blank, sometimes two. The following  tips will help you score well when you have to answer these questions on test day:


(1) Make sure you read the sentence very carefully. Look for important words that indicate where  the sentence is going.  Is it going along the same train of thought? Or, is there a shift in direction.  Remember the following words and what they indicate and you’ll do better on the sentence completion portion of the SSC/BANKING:


  1. Words that indicate the correct word to fill in the blank will go along the same train of thought include: and, also, consequently, therefore, accordingly, as a result, thus, hence, so, for this reason


  1. Words that indicate the correct word to fill in the blank is a shift in direction include: but, yet, although, however, on the other hand, in contrast, differently, nevertheless, still, though, nonetheless, conversely, on the contrary


(2) Before you look at the answer choices, try to come up with a word you would use to complete the sentence.  When you’re doing this, you can try to use a big word, but it’s much preferable to use the first simple word that comes to your mind.  Once you think of a word that would complete the sentence, you can then check the answer choices to see if there’s either that exact word or one with a similar meaning.  (If you have a dual-blank sentence completion question, try to come up with words for both blanks.  If you cannot, coming up with a word for one of the blanks will help you then use process of elimination.)


(3) If you can’t figure out a word to put in the blank, determine if the correct word has a positive or negative connotation.  Look at the example below to see how this would work:


Rohan used to be so obsequious to anyone he felt threatened by, but now that he stands up for himself people think he’s ____________.


If you knew the definition of obsequious, you’d known it means “excessively eager to please or obey.”  It’s a negative word, and the word but in the sentence means there’s a shift in direction in the sentence.  Even if you didn’t know the definition of obsequious, you should be able to figure out that it’s a negative word by the context in which it’s used.


(4) Never choose an answer in a dual-blank question just because one of the word choices fits.  The test-makers deliberately put in an answer choice where one of the word choices fits perfectly while the other one is incorrect.  Make sure both words fit and don’t fall into this trap.


(5) Make sure you check all of the answer choices before you choose an answer.  Sometimes the test-makers provide an answer choice that could be correct, that is, if there were no better choices.  Most of the time, though, there will be a choice that’s perfect, not just OK.


If you follow these tips, you’ll do quite well on the sentence completion portion of the BANK/SSC Exam.

Here are Some Example Questions for practice and to understand these TRICKS in better/effective way.


  1. Although the warring parties had settled a number of disputes, past experience made them ………. to express optimism that the talks would be a success.


  1. rash
  2. ambivalent
  3. scornful
  4. overjoyed
  5. reticent


Explanation: Although” sets up a contrast between what has occurred–success on some issues–and what can be expected to occur–success for the whole talks. Hence, the parties are reluctant to express optimism. The common word “reluctant” is not offered as an answer choice, but a synonym–reticent–is. The answer is (E)


  1. Davis is an opprobrious and ………. speaker, equally caustic toward friend or foe–a true curmudgeon.
  2. lofty
  3. vituperative
  4. unstinting
  5. retiring
  6. laudatory

Explanation: And” in the sentence indicates that the missing adjective is similar in meaning to “opprobrious,” which is very negative. Now, vituperative–the only negative word–means “abusive.” Hence, the answer is (B).


  1. Because the House has the votes to override a presidential veto, the President has no choice but to ……….


  1. object
  2. abdicate
  3. abstain
  4. capitulate
  5. compromise

Explanation: Since the House has the votes to pass the bill or motion, the President would be wise to compromise and make the best of the situation. The answer is (E).


  1. His novels are ………. ; he uses a long circumlocution when a direct coupling of a simple subject and verb would be best.


  1. prolix
  2. pedestrian
  3. succinct
  4. vapid
  5. risque


Explanation: The sentence has no linking words (such as because, although, etc.). Hence, the phrase following the semicolon is in apposition to the missing word–it defines or further clarifies the missing word. Now, writing filled with circumlocutions is aptly described as prolix. The answer is (A).


  1. Because he did not want to appear_______, the junior executive refused to dispute the board’s decision, in spite of his belief that the decision would impair employee morale.


  1. contentious
  2. indecisive
  3. solicitous
  4. overzealous
  5. steadfast

Explanation : (C) and (E) are gone because they’re positive words. .(B)doesn’t work because the clue is “refused to dispute.” That doesn’t work with indecisive. For the same reason,(D) doesn’t work either. So the best answer is option A.


Q.The subtle shades of meaning, and still subtler echoes of association, make language an instrument which scarcely anything short of genius can wield with ____ and ____ .


A.confidence – aloofness

B.definiteness – certainty

C.sincerity – hope

D.conservatism – alacrity


Option(B) is correct

Explanation :The sentence suggests that language is something very difficult to handle; it almost requires a genius to handle it with skill. Therefore we choose two words that indicate ‘skill’ in an effective use of language. Also, the use of the word ‘subtle’ indicates that language is not obvious, and it is, therefore, hard to be precise – hence definiteness and certainty.

(aloofness = keeping apart, arrogant; alacrity= speed and eagerness; eloquence = ability to speak well)


  1. In keeping with his own ____ in international diplomacy, Churchill proposed a personal meeting of heads of government, but the effort was doomed to failure, as the temper of the times was ____ .


A.ideas – pluralistic

B.predilections – inimical

C.aversions – hostile

D.impulses – amicable


Explanation: Option(B) is correct

Read the sentence and see whether you can suggest a word of your own for one of the blanks. It sounds as though the meeting was doomed because the temper of the times was unsuitable. This would suggest that either hostile or inimical would be best for the second blank. Then it is unlikely that he would arrange a meeting in keeping with his own aversions; he would do so in keeping with his own inclinations



(pluralistic = including many aspects or cultures; predilections = tendencies, inclinations; inimical = hostile; amicable = friendly; maxims = short expressions of guiding principles; salacious = scandalous)


  1. Great saints believe that realisation of God will liberate man from ______ bondage and this state of release confers the privilege of serving the Lord in his ______ abode.


A.materialistic, permanent

B.earthly, transcendental

C.primitive, unique

D.spiritual, ethereal


Explanation: Option(B) is correct

The man has to be liberated from ‘earthly’ or ‘materialistic’ bondage and he should be united with ‘spiritual’ bondage, and hence ‘spiritual’ in option d would distort the sentence.


When man’s life is materialistic , God’s abode should be the opposite of ‘materialistic’. But ‘permanent’ does not suggest that. Whereas ‘earthly’ and ‘transcendental’ are antonyms and are the most appropriate word in the given context.


  1. The cricket match seemed ____ to our guests; they were used to watching sports in which the action is over in a couple of hours at the most.







Explanation :  Option(C) is correct

The part after the semicolon gives the clue. It states that they were used to watching things that get over fast, and therefore the cricket match seemed interminable (never ending). None of the other words is about the time factor except ‘evanescent’ which means short-lived and would not fit the sense.

(inconsequential = unimportant; implausible = cannot be believed)


  1. Wilson ____ that human beings inherit a tendency to feel an affinity and awe for other living things, in the same way that we are ____ to be inquisitive or to protect our young at all costs.


A.argues – encouraged

B.maintains – trained

C.contends – predisposed

D.fears – taught


Explanation: Option(C) is correct

The words ‘in the same way’ shows that we are looking for parallel ideas.

Hence, if we ‘inherit’ a certain tendency, then, in the same way, we will inherit another tendency. Either ‘predisposed’ or ‘genetically programmed’ would fit. But since the latter is paired with ‘demurs’ which means hesitates or refuses, this is inappropriate. Contents, which means ‘argues’ is a better choice.




Cloze test for SSC CGL, SSC CPO

Dear reader’s

In Cloze passages the candidate is given a text passage with some words removed. The candidate has to replace the missing words from the options given to solve the question correctly. A Cloze test consists of a text passage with some certain word removed (cloze text). Its a mixture comprehension and fill in the blanks type of questions, since you of  are provided with a passage with certain words missing from it. To solve cloze test correctly, you are expected to have a strong command over the language and grammar, along with good vocabulary.




  1. The first step to solve a cloze passage is to read it slowly without filling up the blanks. This enables you to develop an idea about the topic. Slowly read the passage two to three times until you figure out what the text is about.


  1. After knowing the theme of the passage, complete the blanks you are 100% sure of. Remember only complete those blanks in which you are certain that you know the correct answer.
  2. Just like a comprehensive package, cloze test contains a passage with sentences that are logically connected to each other. Be cautious to not commit the naive mistake of treating each sentence individually and filling the blanks one by one. Instead think of logical connections that link up the sentences together.


  1. To find out the missing words in the remaining gaps, find out which among the following part of speech will fill in the gap: articles, nouns , pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions or verbs. Some sentences may have the following combinations:


: a  preposition following a noun, adjective or verb. (Example: good at languages)


-: a prepositional phrase. (Example: in spite of )


-: an adverb. ( Example: He moved to Mumbai two years ago )


-: a connector. (Example: First, he arrived; then he sat down; finally, he left.)


-: a conjunction. (Example: Although he is seven, he can speak eight languages)


-: a auxiliary verb . (Example: He has won 2 contests)


-: an article or some other kind of determiner. (Example: I have no time)


-: a pronoun , either subject or object. (Example : it is easier to know)


-: a comparative or superlative involved? (Example: she’s taller than me)


  1. There are many blanks which have multiple correct options. The correct way to solve is to first mark options of this kind and then try fitting them in the blank one by one. Then using the one which fit perfectly. Use words that fit appropriately with the given sentence as well as with the content of the complete passage.


  1. It may happen sometime that you are unable to decide between two words. In such cases, use that word from options which is used frequently with words around the blank. For example- Can we have a  ____ chat?
  2. swift
  3. quick
  4. prompt

All the three options are synonyms of each other. it may be difficult to do you decide which one is the correct answer?


In English language, some words are used more frequently as a combination. The words ‘quick’ and ‘chat’ are used together frequently rather than swift chat or prompt chat . Therefore ‘quick’ is your answer.


  1. Each passage is written in a certain tone: humour, serious, narrative and so on. Identify the tone and pick the words accordingly.  If the tone is funny/humorous try and use words which evoke fun and vice versa.


  1. Read as many sentences as you can to improve your language. When you read more, you tend to have a better idea of which words goes with the other words.


Try the above tips and tricks on the following Cloze test questions. Remember to tell us how many answers you got correct and did the above tips and tricks on cloze passage helped you understand and solve the problem easily.


Tibet  (1)   up images of a mystic land. Snow-capped mountain peaks pierce the blue sky and fierce chilly winds sweep the rolling grasslands. Maroon-robed Buddhist monks pray in remote monasteries and   (2)   horsemen pound the rugged earth. People in this high plateau perform punishing rituals like prostrating hundreds of miles in tattered clothes on pilgrimage. Spirits, spells and flying apparitions are part of the Tibetan world. In short, Tibet remains an exotica. Such images are largely the result of books by Western travellers and explorers in the last century, which helped in keeping the mystique alive. And when the Communist rulers took over Tibet in the 1950s and began  (3)  Chinese language and culture on the people, Tibet’s own history started to  (4)   in the background. Thus, the only books available in English to Tsering Wangmo Dhompa as a young girl growing up in India and Nepal as a refugee  (5)  those written by Westerners, and so she came to view the country as a forbidden land, a place where fantasy and fable collaborated against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, black magic and people with strange customs and appearances.


  1. (a) makes             (b) conjures    (c) puts          (d) toil.
  2. (a) sturdy             (b) wobbly      (c) handsome  (d) herculean.
  3. (a) implementing  (b) evading     (c) imposing    (d) experimenting.
  4. (a) amplify           (b) stretch      (c) die             (d) recede.
  5. (a) are                 (b) have been  (c) was            (d) were.







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