PTE Reading Fill In The Blanks: Overview & Helpful Tips

Posted on 04/12/2023 by Moni PTE Magic


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.

Keep scrolling.

Related:

Overview Of The Section

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

pte reading fill in the blanks

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

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.

definition entrepreneurs utilizes introduce
constitutes checks comprises businessman

Answer: 

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.

 

>>> If you want FREE questions to practice this task, visit PTE Magic today! <<<

 

Conclusion

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.

green iguana
Moni PTE Magic

My name is Moni, and I am a seasoned PTE teacher with over 6 years of experience. I have helped thousands of students overcome their struggles and achieve their desired scores. My passion for teaching and dedication to my student’s success drives me to continually improve my teaching methods and provide the best possible support. Join me on this journey toward PTE success!


More from PTE Magic

PTE Results On Hold: What Are the Reasons & Solutions?

PTE Results On Hold: What Are the Reasons & Solutions?

One of the reasons PTE reigns in its current popularity is the impressively quick booking period. It takes little time to schedule a date for the exam and even less to receive the results. Therefore, PTE results on hold longer than necessary are abnormal and might spread panic among candidates, especially first-timers. Our PTE Magic’s […]

Is PTE Rescore Possible? How to Request a Rescore?

Is PTE Rescore Possible? How to Request a Rescore?

Most of the time, PTE results effectively reflect test-takers’ English proficiency levels. However, there might be an off chance that some candidates are not satisfied with their scores. So, can you request a PTE rescore in this case? Or will it even lower your score? This guide by PTE Magic will tell you everything you […]

PTE Headphone & Microphone Positioning Best Practices

PTE Headphone & Microphone Positioning Best Practices

Despite being underrated by many, a headset greatly contributes to your PTE score, especially in the Listening and Speaking sections. Imagine sitting an exam with a poor-quality pair of PTE headphones and a microphone. You might end up missing all the important information in the audio or failing to record your full spoken responses. Months […]

How Should You Prepare And Study for PTE 90? Expert Tips

How Should You Prepare And Study for PTE 90? Expert Tips

PTE 90 is the highest score possible for this esteemed English proficiency test, opening the doors for thousands of career opportunities. Some consider this goal unrealistic, but in fact, many candidates manage a perfect 90 even on their first attempt. Our specialist team from PTE Magic has conducted thorough interviews with these students to discover […]

How to Study For PTE 79? Top 4 Tips For Success

How to Study For PTE 79? Top 4 Tips For Success

As PTE 79 indicates extremely competent English levels, it is understandable why many learners consider it their ultimate goal with the PTE exam. With such an impressive score in their profiles, most students do not have to worry about their future university or college entry. Seeking an Australian visa for both short- and long-term stays […]

How to Get a PTE 65 Score On Your First Try

How to Get a PTE 65 Score On Your First Try

A PTE 65 demonstrates your high level of English proficiency, allowing you to study at your dream universities or land your ideal job.  The good news is that anyone can achieve a 65 score on their PTE test with the right study plan and dedication, regardless of their starting point. Our team at PTE Magic […]