Bank PO Exam: Tips for Cloze Test

One of the most prominently asked questions in Bank PO examinations, cloze test is tricky in its own way. Candidates are given a paragraph with 5-10 blank spaces that need to be filled to make the paragraph logically complete. Hence the term cloze (derived from ‘closure’) test.

Apart from word power and command over the language, your
ability to identify the context is key to getting the right answer. Read on to have
a few shortcuts up your sleeve to ace such questions with ease!

Points to remember:

1. Understand
the core subject/theme:
Get an idea of the general theme by reading
the paragraph and identifying salient points.

2. Connect the dots: Or in this case, sentences. In a
paragraph, points discussed are linked to each other. Hence, it is not wise to tackle
each sentence individually. Understanding the link between sentences will make your
hunt for answers easier.

3. Identify parts of
speech:
Sometimes, answer choices are a deliberate mix of nouns, adjectives,
verbs, etc. Hence, it is essential to know the kind of word that would go in.
This will help you in eliminating choices.

4. Eliminate choices: As mentioned in
many of the previous articles, having the knack to strike out unlikely choices
is an asset. Choices that do not suit the meaning and context, should be done
away with.

5. Choose an exact fit: You may come
across options with similar meanings. However, be sure to go with the one that
exactly fits the blank. The meaning should not only match with the sentence but
also the whole paragraph.

6. Know common word
combinations:
Frequently used two-word combinations that are a mix of two nouns or
adjective-noun are of great help to choose the right answer. For instance: fair
play, happy ending, double whammy etc.

Consider the following example:

In the paragraph given below, there are five blanks numbered
a, b, c, d and e. From the four options given for each blank, choose one that suitably
fits the sentence.

From the very beginnings of Christianity, blasphemy has been
condemned as a (a) _______ and a
crime and punished in accordance with Canon Law. Starting from the fourth
century and the recognition of Christianity as a state religion, blasphemy (b) _______ the Christian God, religion and
symbols, also started to be punished by Roman law. These laws were followed by
many others and the enactment of legal provisions and ordinances against
blasphemers (c) _______ steadily,
reaching its peak between the beginning of the 16th century and the middle of
the 17th century. Later it slowly started to decline, but in many European
states the existing laws on blasphemy were repealed only in relatively recent
times, although their enforcement had become less frequent since the second
half of the 19th century. Throughout these centuries, blasphemy was a crime if
directed against the tenets and symbols of the (d) _______ religion. Minority religions did not get any (e) _______; on the contrary, openly
propagating the tenets of a minority religion frequently exposed its followers
to accusations of blasphemy.

(a)
(i) mistake          (ii) flaw                    (iii) sin                   (iv) delusion

(b)
(i) against           (ii) of                         (iii) towards         (iv)
eulogising

(c)
(i) declined          (ii) waned                (iii) increase         (iv) rose

(d)
(i) majority           (ii) fringe                  (iii) significant      (iv)
offbeat

(e)
(i) credit                (ii)
reprimand         (iii) protection      (iv)
rebuke

Solution:

(a) The
answer for first blank is sin as
that is the only choice that matches in terms of degree with the word that
follows i.e. crime. While ‘mistake’ and ‘flaw’ are minor in terms of degree or
scope, delusion is contextually irrelevant.

(b) In
this sentence it is implied that some act with respect to ‘the Christian God,
religion and symbols’ has led to punishment. Quite obviously, the answer is against.

(c) After
the blank, words like ‘steadily’ and ‘peak’ have been used indicating a rise.
As per the tense of the sentence, the correct answer will be rose.

(d) This
is the easiest blank to tackle as we have a clue in the sentence that follows.
Unlike minority religions, blasphemy was a crime only against majority religions. While fringe and
offbeat almost imply opposite meanings, significant is not appropriate.

(e) Similarly,
as the phrase ‘on the contrary’ is used in the last sentence, it is opposite to
the previous sentence’s meaning, which implies superiority of the majority
religion. Thus, minority religions did not get any protection.

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