The gap-filling task is one of the key components of the PTE Reading test. It evaluates your vocabulary and ability to identify the flow of arguments in a given text passage.
Time management is also the key to success. You would not want to spend five minutes struggling with one gap. It’s because the entire reading section lasts only 30 to 40 minutes.
In this guide, PTE Magic will share with you some tips for PTE Reading Fill in the Blanks successfully implemented by thousands of advanced learners.
Overview Of The Section
The gap-filling questions are usually placed first or second in the reading section. This part tests how you utilize grammatical and contextual clues to identify appropriate words that complete the original passage.
Note that these questions differ slightly from reading/writing gap-filling tasks, as your reading skill is the sole focus here without any writing components.
How Many Items of PTE Fill In The Blanks Are Included In The Test?
You can expect to encounter 4 to 5 reading/gap-filling items during the test.
What Is The Task About?
Most texts are quite short, only 80 words at maximum, and contain 3 to 5 blanks to fill in. Below the texts, a box displays 6 to 8 words to choose from.
As you can see, the number of given options is higher than the number of blanks. So, each candidate has to carefully assess the words’ meaning, degree of expression, and relevance to the sentence.
How Is It Scored?
PTE applies a Correct/Incorrect system for the task. Specifically, you will gain points for every correctly filled blank and zero points for wrong answers. There is no negative marking or point deduction for the latter.
6 PTE Reading Fill In The Blanks Tips
Tip 1: Manage Your Time
We suggest solving each item in 2 minutes or less. That should not be challenging, given that the passages are quite short. You can skim through them to grasp the general context and word type required. For instance, should it be a verb, adverb, adjective, or noun?
Tip 2: Monitor The Technicalities
While time management is crucial, there is no need to rush your answer. Make sure the word is dropped correctly into the gap, recheck whether it is filled, and confirm no blanks are left empty before clicking the “Next” box.
Note that once you hit “Next,” the answers cannot be changed – all the more reason to be cautious.
Tip 3: Use Your Grammar Knowledge
Contrary to popular belief that grammar knowledge is only important in writing or speaking tasks, it also plays a major role in gap-filling questions.
As mentioned, you can predict whether the word required is a verb, noun, or adjective based on the sentence’s structure. Other grammatical aspects also help speed up your process, such as:
- Tenses (present/past/past perfect, etc.)
- Word collocations, prepositions
- Singular and plural forms
- Countable and uncountable nouns (the latter do not require a/an)
Tip 4: Enrich Your Vocabulary During Practice
Passages and articles in PTE tests cover various topics, ranging from science and literature to humanities. As a beginner, you must have felt quite overwhelmed with the amount of academic words and terminology.
It is not too late; you can start building your vocabulary today.
Read academic journals and articles, find as many practice tests as possible, and note down all unknown words to look up afterward. Remember to search their synonyms and antonyms as well.
Tip 5: Use Elimination Strategy
Narrowing your options with the elimination strategy is also highly recommended. Pay attention to the contextual clues surrounding the gaps, then cross out all options that seem incompatible or clearly do not fit in.
Grammatical knowledge also helps here, especially if the box provides several words with seemingly similar meanings.
For instance, suppose you have to choose from “Predict,” “Foresee,” and “Forecast,” and you are unsure about the difference between their meanings and contextual usages.
In that case, eliminating the wrong answer based on prepositions will be a wise move.
Make Guesses If You Are Unsure
As mentioned, there is no negative marking for wrongly filled blanks. So, making educated guesses is much better than skipping the questions altogether.
An unfilled gap equals a zero score, after all, while even the wildest guesses could still earn you some points in the best scenario.
Let’s say you have already applied the elimination strategy or other techniques to narrow options. Chances of correct answers are still quite high, even when you are not 100% confident.
PTE Reading Fill In The Blanks Practice
It is time to apply the above strategies to actual practice! Spend about 7 to 10 minutes on this exercise, then check the answer keys below.
Fill in the blanks:
There are varied opinions regarding the ____ of entrepreneurship. Some people do not consider owners of small businesses to be ____, while others claim the two are not entirely different. For instance, if a business owner ____ an existing venture concept to ____ a service or product to new markets or regions, such activity still ____ entrepreneurship.
There are varied opinions regarding the definition of entrepreneurship. Some people do not consider owners of small businesses to be entrepreneurs, while others claim the two are not entirely different. For instance, if a business owner utilizes an existing venture concept to introduce a service or product to new markets or regions, such an activity still constitutes entrepreneurship.
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As a beginner, you might struggle with the PTE Reading Fill in the Blanks the first few times, but remember that practice makes perfect.
Keep the tips above in mind as you go, and read as many authentic materials as possible on a daily basis to familiarize yourself with academic words of varied topics.
Still need advice? Feel free to reach out to our support team anytime.