The comprehension cloze component is one of the trickiest in the Paper 2 section of the PSLE English paper. A student needs to fill in the blanks with nouns, verbs, conjunctions, prepositions etc. here are few tips on how a student can improve in this cloze passage.

Tips on how a student can improve in this cloze passage.

1. Learn the techniques

Yes, there is a method to the madness. A student should learn how to identify their contextual clues in the passage. Then, with the help of the clues, they should learn what to fill in the blank with. Is the word part of a phrasal verb? An adverb or conjunction? Is it part of a collocation?

Find out more about contextual clues in our previous post.

2. Regular Practice

For students to build confidence when tackling this component, they will need to practice it often. When they have learnt the techniques to find their clues to fill in the blanks, they can practice these techniques by doing close passages at home or with their tutors.

Resources are available at Popular bookstore or on websites such as this one

3. Change your reading habits

Cloze passages in Paper 2 are informational texts. They are taken from non-fiction books or newspaper articles. For example, the 2019 PSLE Cloze passage is an article about food wastage and the 2018 PSLE cloze passage is an article on the Walk Ride Cycle campaign in Singapore.

Non-fiction reading material is often not a favourite among students below 13 years-old. However, it is important to familiarise oneself with such reading material in order to tackle the cloze component competently.

By reading non-fiction material regularly, students will be able to familiarise themselves with the writing style and tone. They will also pick up vocabulary that is inherent in informational texts that they in turn can use when tackling cloze passages.

So, what types of reading material should P5 students start to read?

Newspaper articles are the best. I usually advise my students to read the HOME section of the newspaper, though World news is just as important when it comes to using what they have read for the Oral component.

Nowadays, newspaper articles are found online. Most of them are free. For students who use social media, I advise those students to follow the Straits Times and CNA IG accounts. Students can read newspaper articles on the go or when they are in the car or waiting for the bus or trains.

example article newspaper

Aside from newspaper articles, non-fiction books are great resources. Chicken Soup for the Soul is one such book.

illustration chicken soup for the soul

Magazines such as Readers Digest are also useful. Many schools take their cloze passages from these resources.

reader's digest magazine cover

Now, that you are armed with better knowledge of how to tackle the Cloze section in Paper 2, we hope that you will start using these tips to help prepare you for your next examination.

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