Comprehension Cloze passages are probably one of the most problematic parts of the English Booklet B of Paper 2. Many times a student is unaware of what to fill in the blank. For a P5 student, the long, sometimes complicated passage is a big contrast to the cloze passages he or she was faced with in P4.

The passages have transformed from a 5 blank quarter page passage to a one page, 15 blank passage. If a student is meticulous and willing to break down the passage and study the clues, then it would not take very long for them to achieve the techniques to work on comprehension cloze. However, not every student has the capacity for this and so guiding them from the start of the P5 year onward, on the proper way to score in this section should be part of the P5 learning process.

Learning the proper techniques is vital, as I have met students who have joined me in their P6 year, lacking in this skill and it took time to train them.

We feel that the P5 year is the time to learn the proper techniques of the new English components and PSLE year is the time to master all these techniques for paper 2

At Thinking Factory, we began teaching our P5s these techniques from Term 1 last year and will now go full speed in next 5 months as we prepare for the SA1. Some of the students have already started preparing for their upcoming CA1!

So, what do we look out for when filling in those blanks?

Knowing your types of words can be one way. Is the word a noun, an adjective or an adverb?

Another way is by identifying contextual clues in the passage. Contextual clues can tell you if the word is related to a synonym or an antonym in the passage. Does it show cause and effect? Or is it part of a phrasal verb?

When a student can spot the clues, then having a good vocabulary can help greatly. For example, knowing the phrasal verb or the correct collocation to fill in that blank is as important as identifying the clues.

Preparing these lists at home for your children can help them greatly in handling their comprehension cloze passages.

To help everyone get started, please find a list of common collocations below.

For those interested to find out more about our new Primary 5 class every Friday 5.30-7.30pm, please email for more information.

List of Common Collocations


  • Break a leg
  • Break a habit
  • Break a record
  • Break a promise
  • Break a window
  • Break someone’s heart
  • Break the ice
  • Break the law
  • Break the news
  • Break the rule


  • Pay a fine
  • Pay attention
  • Pay by credit card
  • Pay cash
  • Pay interest
  • Pay the bill
  • Pay the price
  • Pay your respects
  • Pay a visit
  • Pay a compliment


  • Make a difference
  • Make a mess
  • Make a mistake
  • Make a noise
  • Make an effort
  • Make furniture
  • Make money
  • Make progress
  • Make room
  • Make trouble


  • Take a break
  • Take a chance
  • Take a look
  • Take a rest
  • Take a seat
  • Take a taxi
  • Take an exam
  • Take notes
  • Take someone’s place


  • Come close
  • Come complete with
  • Come first
  • Come into view
  • Come last
  • Come prepared
  • Come right back
  • Come secondCome to a compromise
  • Come to a decision
  • Come to an agreement
  • Come to an end
  • Come to a standstill

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2024 P5 English Tuition Timetable

Bukit TimahMON3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahFRI5 pm to 7 pm
Bukit TimahSAT11 am to 1 pm
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