Fill in the Blanks: Reading & Writing

Fill in the Blanks: Reading & Writing

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Part 2: Reading


Made Easy

  • Length of text: 100 - 200 words
  • Number of blanks: 4 - 5
  • Options in each blank: 4
  • Number of these tasks: 5 - 6
  • Total time for reading tasks: 29 - 30 minutes

Fill in the blanks: reading and writing tests your reading skills, as well as your general grammar and vocabulary knowledge used in writing.

Below is a text with blanks. Click on each blank, a list of choices will appear. Select the appropriate answer choice for each blank.

  • Reading
    up to 24 points
  • Writing
    up to 21 points

Top Strategies for Success in FIB : Reading & Writing

There are different ways to fill in each blank. Get into the habit of thinking about these three things.


Read the sentence with each option in turn. Which one seems to work best in context?

The fall in net revenue left investors feeling ____


The answer must be glum because it wouldn’t make sense for the investors to feel ecstatic (happy), idle (lazy) or dozy (tired) about the fall in revenue.


Is the missing word likely to be a noun, a past tense verb or an adjective?

There were a ____ of actors on stage


The blank must be a singular noun because it comes after a. The answer is therefore variety as it is the only singular noun.


What word often appears with the word before or after the blank?

He ____ the company from his home a thousand miles away


The answer must be runs because to run a company is a common collocation.

  • Practice Tips
    Follow To Succeed

Probably the best way to improve your vocabulary is with lots of reading.

• Practise by reading short texts from serious books, academic publications, news articles or magazines.
• Pay attention to what each sentence is communicating and the grammar choices that the writer has made. Make sure you recognise the tenses that the writer is using.
• Pay special attention to collocations and fixed phrases. Note that ‘pairs’ of words are not always right next to each other. There may be other words in between.
• Also learn which prepositions are used after certain adjectives, nouns and verbs (e.g. pay attention to, be aware of, think about, etc.).
• Guess the meaning of unfamiliar words from context. Then check the meaning in a dictionary.

Practise deleting key words: verbs, nouns and adjectives from the short texts you find online. Swap texts with someone else and try to guess the missing words. You can include options to choose from (remember to add four options if you use lists).

When you practise reading texts, try to spend no more than two or three minutes on each one, to help you get used to working quickly.

  • Language focus

👉 Expand your knowledge of collocations (words that frequently occur together, such as carbon emissions, or marine ecosystems).

• An excellent resource for this is the Pearson Academic Collocations List.

• Make your own list of collocations. You can make list according to a topic or a key word. For example, take a word such as climate and find words that frequently pair with it, such as climate catastrophe, climate change, cool climate, tropical climate, etc. You can also make a list based around a verb (e.g. provide an alternative, provide a solution) or around an adjective (e.g. physically active, active effort).

👉 To expand your vocabulary, find synonyms of the word using a thesaurus. Write down examples of how to use the new words. (e.g. do they appear in different collocations?).

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School


Read the whole text quickly for overall meaning.
• Don’t worry about the blanks yet. Just get a general idea of what the text is about.
• Look for key words that carry meaning.

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School


Read the text more carefully. At each blank, use the meaning of the text as well as your language knowledge to choose the best option.
• Pay attention to word meaning, collocations and grammar.
• Think about each of the unused options to make sure they’re not suitable. Decide why each unused word is incorrect, if you can.
• If you are unsure about a blank, move to the next one. The answer might be clearer when you return to it.
• If you’re having trouble using meaning and your grammar or vocabulary knowledge to choose options, then use your instinct. Read the full sentence with each option in turn and decide which one feels most comfortable.
• If you don’t know how to fill a blank, then guess. Guessing is better than leaving empty blanks.


Re-read the text quickly with the completed blanks, to check that the whole text and each sentence makes sense.

Feel free to make changes to your answers, but only if you really think you need to. Otherwise leave them as they are.

Remember, What To Do What Not To Do In FIB : Reading & Writing

Practise Summarize Written Text 2 here, if you want to try Read aloud without a time limit. Think about the strategies mentioned above. Then follow the task instructions.

Below is a text with blanks. Click on each blank, a list of choices will appear. Select the appropriate answer choice for each blank.

The bond formed between a mother and her baby is a particularly close one. New research has provided some 1……………. into the mechanisms around this attachment. During interaction, the brain waves of mothers and their babies can coordinate, and recent findings show that the extent to 2……………. this connection develops is dependent on the mother’s emotional state. The more positive emotions the mother expresses, the stronger a connection there seems to be between their brain and their baby’s. Babies’ brains are extremely adaptable in the early stages of their development, and their experiences during this phase significantly shape their progress. What this may result 3……………. is more efficient information-sharing between the two, which in turn can lead to higher levels of responsiveness. In other words, babies may be more receptive to learning from mothers who regularly share positive emotions with the baby, 4……………. enhancing their mental capacity early in life. The scientists further note that their research demonstrates the powerful effect our emotions have on our social connections, but such a connection is yet 5……………. in other forms of relationships, such as those between siblings, couples and in close friendships.

1 perception / judgement / insight / observation
2 what / that / why / which
3 to / at / in / with
4 thus / besides / despite / when
5 to identify / being identified / to be identified / identified

1. Use the checklist below to decide what you did well and what you need to practise more. Set aside time to work on each area that you want to improve.

2. Check the answers given below. Were your answers correct? Try to think about how you could improve.

1 insight
2 which
3 in
4 thus
5 to be identified

Common Mistakes Problems Errors In FIB : Reading & Writing

Fill in the blanks (Reading) and Fill in the blanks (Reading and Writing) tasks look similar. However, Fill in the blanks: reading tests your overall understanding of the text, while Fill in the blanks: reading and writing tests your grammar or vocabulary choices.

The reading section of the test has 15-20 tasks that you need to complete. When you are satisfied with your response for a task, click ‘Next’ to move on to the next one.

Most Repeated FIB: Reading & Wriitng Questions in 2024

1. I am a cyclist and a motorist. I fasten my seatbelt when I drive and wear a helmet on my bike to reduce the risk of injury. I am convinced that these are…….(1)……. [ prudent / careless / reckless / impulsive ] safety measures. I have persuaded many friends to wear helmets on the grounds that transplant surgeons call those without helmets, ” donors on wheels “. But a book on’ Risk’ by my colleague John Adams has made me re – examine my…….(2)……. [ beliefs / conviction / stereotypes / convictions ]. Adams has completely …….(3)……. [ understand / undermined / underestimate / agreed with ] my confidence in these apparently sensible precautions. What he has persuasively argued, particularly in relation to seat belts, is that the evidence that they do what they are supposed to do is very suspect. This is …….(4)……. [ because / better / in spite / none ] of numerous claims that seat belts save many thousands of lives every year. Between 1970 and 1978 countries in which the wearing of seat belts is …….(5)……. [ required / compulsory / suggested / volunteered ] had on average about five percent more road accident death than before the introduction of law. In the United Kingdom road deaths decreased steadily about seven thousand a year in.

1. prudent
2. convictions
3. undermined
4. in spite
5. compulsory

2. Jean Piaget, the pioneering Swiss philosopher, and psychologist spent much of his professional life listening to children, watching children and…….(1)……. [ skimming / poring / reading / studying ] over reports of researchers around the world who were doing the same. He found, to put most…….(2)……. [ sincerely, skeptically, succinctly, successfully ], that children don’t think like grownups. After thousands of interactions with young people often barely old enough to talk, Piaget began to…….(3)……. [ know / understand / study / suspect ] that behind their cute and seemingly illogical utterances were thought processes that had their own kind of order and their own special logic. Einstein called it a…….(4)……. [ mystery / misery / discovery / success ] ” so simple that only a genius could have thought of it. Piaget’s insight opened a new window into the inner workings of the mind. By the end of a wide-ranging and remarkably…….(5)……. [ resulted / prolific / varied / collected ] research career that spanned nearly 75 years, from his first scientific publication at age 10 to work still in progress when he died at 84, Piaget had developed several new fields of science: developmental psychology, cognitive theory and what came to be called genetic epistemology. Although not an educational reformer, he…….(6)……. [ fashioned / designed / opened / guided ] a way of thinking about children that provided the foundation for today’s education-reform…….(7)……. [ movements / reforms / applications / regulations ]. It was a shift comparable to the displacement of stories of ” noble savages ” and ” cannibals ” by modern anthropology. One might say that Piaget was the first to take children’s thinking seriously.

1. poring
3. suspect
4. discovery
5. prolific
6. fashioned
7. movements

3. There were twenty-six freshmen…….(1)……. [ training / learning / specializing / majoring ] in English at Beijing Language Institute in the class of 1983, and I was assigned to Group Two with another eleven boys and girls who had come from big cities in China. I was…….(2)……. [ told / known / astonished / amazing ] that language study required smallness so that we would get more attention from the skillful teachers. The better the school, the smaller the class I realised that my classmates were already all…….(3)……. [ talks / talked / talking / talk ] in English, simple sentences tossed out to each other in their red-faced introductions and carefree chatting. Their intonations were curving and dramatic and their pronunciation refined and accurate. But as I stretched to catch the drips and drops of their humming dialogue, I couldn’t …….(4)……. [ perceive / understand / grasp / follow ] it all, only that it was English. Those words now flying before me sounded a little familiar. I had read them and tried to speak them, but I had never heard them …….(5)……. [ spoken / respond / talked / smiled ] back to me in such a speedy, fluent manner. My big plan of…….(6)……. [ fitting / living / beating / fighting ] the city folks was thawing before my eyes.

1. majoring
2. told
3. talking
4. understand
5. spoken
6. beating

4. Founded after World War the second by 51′ peace-loving states’ combined to oppose future aggression, the United Nations now counts 192 member nations,…….(1)……. [ including / consisting / engage / includes ] its newest member, Nauru, Kiribati, and Tonga in 1999, Tuvalu and Yugoslavia in 2000, Switzerland and East Timor in 2002, and Montenegro in 2006 United Nations Day has been…….(2)……. selecting / observing / observed / planned ] on October 24th since 1948 and celebrates the objectives and accomplishments of the organisation, which was established on October 24th, 1945 The UN …….(3)……. [ maintains / complains / engages / insights ] in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions conflict …….(4)……. [ production / revolution / dealing / prevention ] across the globe. Though some say its …….(5)…….[ influence / number / aim / success ] has declined in recent decades, the United Nations still plays a tremendous role in world politics. In 2001 the United Nations and Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the UN, won the Nobel Peace Prize’ for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world. Since 1948 there have been 63 UN peacekeeping operations 16 are currently underway. Thus far, close to 130 nations have contributed personnel at various times; 119 are currently providing peacekeepers. As of August 31, 2008, there were 16 peacekeeping operations underway with a total of 88,230 personnel. The small island nation of Fiji has taken part in virtually every UN peacekeeping operation, as has Canada.

1. including
2. observed
3. engages
4. prevention
5. influence

5. The most …….(1)……. [ verse / hilarious / verbal / vital ] ingredient in Indian cooking, the…….(2)……. [ giant / mosaic / basic / smart ] element with which all dishes begin and, normally, the cheapest vegetable available, the pink onion is an essential item in the shopping basket of families of all classes A popular saying holds that you will never starve because you can always afford a roti, a piece of simple, flatbread, and an onion But in recent weeks, the onion has started to seem an unaffordable …….(3)……. [ merchant / price / luxury / plain ] for India’s poor. Over the past few days, another sharp…….(4)……. [ urge / shortage / surge / siege ] in prices has begun to unsettle the influential urban middle classes The sudden spike in prices has been caused by large exports to neighbouring countries and a shortage of…….(5)……. [ furnish / afford / supply / tender ] With its capacity for bringing down governments and scarring political careers, the onion plays an …….(6)……. [ attractive / explosive / expressive / expensive ] role in Indian politics. This week, reports of rising onion prices have made front-page news and absorbed the attention of the governing elite.

1. vital
2. basic
3. luxury
4. surge
5. supply
6. explosive

6. In an attempt to…….(1)……. [ exclude / compulsory / introduce / lure ] new students, leading business schools, including Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago and Wharton, have moved away from the unofficial missions and…….(2)……. [ preface / coursework / prelude / prerequisite ] of four years’ work experience and…….(3)……. [ never / instead / further / thus ] have set their sights on recent college graduates and so-called ” early career “…….(4)……. [ employees / professionals / workers / officers ] with only a couple years of work under their belt.

1. lure
2. prerequisite
3. instead
4. professionals

Quick Tips Strategies For Better Score!

There is a passage with some missing words. Beside each gap, there is a button with a drop-down list. Left-click on this button to reveal the drop-down list of options for that gap. Select the option you think best fills the gap.

To change your mind, left-click on a different option.

Understanding the meaning of the whole text helps you choose the correct word for each blank. For example, if you skim the passage below, you will find key ideas and words which point to a main topic of 'change'.

When you click on the drop-down arrows, you may find options that are also related to the main topic. You can then check grammar and overall meaning to see whether the words fit the blanks:

The choices in the drop-down menus may look quite similar but will have different meanings and usage. Looking at the surrounding context will help you choose the appropriate word. In the example below, only 'access' fits in the phrase 'gained ___________ to technologies'; pick words that match the meaning (gain access) and grammar ('access to'). Reading either side of the blank will help you narrow down the choices you have to

Scan the text for the repeated words. Then read around them to find the answer more quickly:

Your response for Reading & Writing: Fill in the Blanks is judged on your ability to use contextual and grammatical cues to identify words that complete a reading text. If all blanks are filled correctly, you receive the maximum score points for this question type. If one or more blanks are filled incorrectly, partial credit scoring applies.

• This question type affects the scoring of reading and writing.
• Your listening and speaking skills are not tested by this question type.
• For more information download the Score Guide.