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Posted on : 2011-04-08 

 
 
 

The Comprehension Cloze in the PSLE is an estimated 200-word long passage, excluding the 15 blanks that you have to fill in. This section constitutes a considerable 15 marks out of 95 marks for Paper 2. Thus, it is imperative that you do well in this section to attain an ideal grade in the subject.

 
The passage is usually an information report about, for example, an animal, or it could be a narrative. In a short sentence, there is usually one blank while a longer sentence could contain two to three blanks. However, you will notice that the first and the last sentences of the passage are complete sentences and do not have any blanks for you to fill in. This is because the beginning and the ending serves to paint a fuller picture of what the passage is about and will be helpful towards your understanding of the passage.
 
 
Before you even attempt to fill the blanks in, take some time to read through the entire passage once. Read through it again if you need to. Why do you have to do this? This is because you need to know what the passage is about. This is called understanding the context. Contextual clues play a very important role to getting the correct answer.
 
Take the example below:
 
 
The robber had short hair unlike his accomplice, whose _____ hair gave others the impression that he was a woman.
 
 
Is your answer ‘long’?
 
If it is, then you have most likely used contextual clues to obtain your answer.
 
 
‘Unlike’ provides the clue that the accomplice has to have hair that is different, in this case, the opposite of the description of the robber with short hair. Also, ‘the impression that he was a woman’ helps to paint a picture of the accomplice with hair that makes him look like a woman.
 
 
You will also notice that the clues come from the same sentence that the blank occurs. However, this may not happen all the time. Clues can sometimes be found in preceding or proceeding sentences, or even in other paragraphs. Thus, if you encounter a blank which you do not know the answer, refer to the lines or paragraphs before and after it to see if you can find any clues to help you obtain your answer.
 
 
There may be some blanks that you cannot find a suitable word for. Do not spend too long a time trying to think of an answer. Time is too precious to mull over a blank. Go on to the next one. After you have reached the last blank, go back to those that you had difficulty with and try to fill them in. Avoid leaving any blanks unfilled. After this, read through the entire passage to check if it makes sense and if it is grammatically sound.
 
 
To be confident in successfully handling this section, it helps to read widely. Reading just your favourite novel is not enough. Do widen your reading material to the newspapers, the encyclopaedia or even comics. As long as it is print, you never know when the information will come in handy. Sometimes, the context could be familiar because you have read it somewhere before. Thus, you would be able to make use of the vocabulary at the back of your mind.
 
You could also purchase the relevant books in the market to give you enough practice. Get the necessary exposure and Comprehension Cloze will be a breeze! 
 
You may want to take a look at the series 'Mastering Cloze' by EPH, which features more practice for Grammar Cloze, Vocabulary Cloze and Comprehension Cloze. 

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