Fill in the Blanks: Reading

Fill in the Blanks: Reading

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Part 2: Reading


Made Easy

  • Length of text: up to 80 words
  • Number of blanks: 3 - 5
  • Number of these tasks: 4 - 5
  • Total time for reading tasks: 29 - 30 minutes

In Fill in the blanks (Reading) tasks, you show your overall understanding of a text by dragging and dropping words into blank spaces.

In the text below some words are missing. Drag words from the box below to the appropriate place in the text. To undo an answer choice, drag the word back to the box below the text.

  • Reading
    up to 18 points

Top Strategies for Success in FIB : Reading

Identifying key words
There are lots of ways to identify the missing words in a text

When you first read the text to understand its general meaning, it’s useful to identify the key words. These give particular meaning and context to what you are reading.

Look at the key words in bold next to the blanks. The key words are used in relation to art and artists: there was a change. The artists’ subject matter (the things they chose to make art about) changed. It used to be about the ‘real world’ of human activity and changed to being about the artist’s own mind. Also, their role in society changed.

Now think about what kind of words could fill the blanks.

The first blank needs a noun and is probably related to the topic of change. The second blank also needs a noun and is related to the topic of human activity. The third blank needs an adjective (because it follows the word more and is related to the topic of the artist’s role).

Difficult words

There may be some words in the paragraph that you don’t understand. Decide if they are important to understand. If they are, read around them and try to guess the meaning from context.

For example, look at the word surge and the words around it. From the context, it should be possible to work out that it has a meaning of sudden rise.

  • Practice Tips
    Follow To Succeed

Practise by finding a short text and trying to understand the main ideas. Do the following:

• Highlight key words and try to identify the purpose of the text and any conclusions.
• Write a short summary of the text in your own words.
• Delete some key words. These should be ‘content’ words (nouns, adjectives, important verbs) and not smaller words such as the, or with. They should be words that are important to the meaning of the sentence.
• Then, think of all the different words that could fit in the blank you created. They need to be words that would make sense and be grammatically correct in that blank.

  • Language focus

👉 Word endings can show what part of speech it is. For example, by looking at these suffixes, you can identify the type of word: celebrate (verb); activity (noun); political (adjective).

👉 Expand your vocabulary by practising changing the form of a word. Pay attention to the suffixes. For example, happy (adjective) ➔happiness ➔happily (adverb).

Increase your vocabulary by identifying synonyms of words you already know. Keep a list of words that have a similar meaning.

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School


Skim the text quickly to get an idea of the topic. Don’t worry about the blanks yet. Just try to identify the topic, the key words, and how the ideas progress across the text. Linkers such as however and for this reason are very useful for this.


Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School

Try to fill the blanks and think about the meaning of the whole text and of each sentence.
Use what you decided about the topic, the main ideas and how the ideas progress across the text.
If you are unsure about a blank, move to the next one. The more blanks you fill, the easier it will be to complete the other ones.

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School


Re-read the text quickly, with all the blanks filled.
• Check that the whole text makes sense.
• Check each of the three unused words to confirm your choices and make changes if necessary


Check your answers and fill in any you missed.
• Check that the word you put in each blank is the correct part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.), and whether it’s correctly singular or plural, countable or uncountable, etc.
• Check each of the unused words to make sure they’re not suitable. Decide why each of the unused words is incorrect, if you can

If you’re having trouble deciding what to choose, then use your instinct: read the full sentence with each unused 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 in this task.

Remember, What To Do What Not To Do In Fill in the Blanks: Reading

Practise Multiple-choice, choose single answer (Reading) 2 here, if you want to try Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers without a time limit. Think about the strategies mentioned above. Then follow the task instructions.

In the text below some words are missing. Drag words from the box below to the appropriate place in the text. To undo an answer choice, drag the word back to the box below the text.

Economics is all about the choices people make and the reasons they make them. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about choices around ____1____. It’s actually also about ____2____ such as how to spend leisure time, who should clean the house or where to go on holiday, even if no cash is involved. In other words, it’s all about balancing ____3____ against costs – not just financial costs but costs in terms of time, enjoyment of life and so on. 








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. money (this clause is contrasted with the next one, which says ‘even if no cash is involved’, suggesting the gap should be related to cash. Furthermore, the gap should contain an idea
that ‘popular belief’ says economics is about, and ‘money’ fits better than any of the other options.)

2. decisions (this clause extends the previous one, which is about choices, the clue being ‘not just about … also about …’)

3. benefits (this gap should be the opposite of ‘costs’, the word ‘benefits’ is the opposite of costs when it has a more general meaning of ‘demands’ or ‘requirements’)

Common Mistakes Problems Errors In Fill in the Blanks: Reading

Fill in the blanks (Reading) and Fill in the blank: (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 ability to choose appropriate grammar or vocabulary.

The reading section of the test has 13-18 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 Fill in the Blanks: Reading Questions in 2024

1. Scientists make observations, assumptions and do…….(1)……. . After these have been done, he analyses the results. These…….(2)……. are compiled into…….(3)……. which gives scientists a clearer…….(4)……. of world around us.









1. experiments 2. results 3. data 4. picture

2. Over the last ten thousand years there seem to have been two separate and conflicting building sentiments throughout the history of towns and cities.…….(1)……. is the desire to start again, for a variety of reasons: an earthquake or a tidal wave may have demolished the settlement, or fire destroyed it, or the new city…….(2)……. a new political beginning. The other can be likened to the effect of a magnet: established settlements attract people, who …….(3)……. to come whether or not there is any planning for their arrival. The clash between these two sentiments is evident in every established city…….(4)……. its development has been almost completely accidental or is lost in history. Incidentally, many settlements have been planned from the beginning but, for a variety of reasons, no settlement followed the plan. A good example is Currowan, on the Clyde River in New South Wales, which was surveyed in the second half of the 19 th century, in expectation that people would come to establish agriculture and a small port. But no one came.










1. One 2. marks 3. tend 4. unless

3. Why are moths fatally attracted to the light?…….(1)……. is the old glib explanation that the moths are trying to use the flame to navigate. …….(2)……. does not tell us, however, why it is that in many species only males are thus attracted, and in a few, only females.…….(3)……. , if moths need to navigate, they must be from a migrating species.…….(4)……. most of the time such moths are not migrating. Indeed most species do not migrate at all and thus have no need of navigation.



More or less

This explanation

What’s more

The reasons

Each problem

One solution

1. One solution 2. This explanation 3. What’s more 4. Yet

4. Coffee is enjoyed by millions of people every day and the’ coffee experience’ has become a staple of our modern life and…….(1)……. . While the current body of research related to the effects of coffee…….(2)……. on human health has been contradictory, a study in the June issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, which is published by the Institute of Food Technologists, IFT, found that the potential…….(3)……. of moderate coffee drinking outweigh the risks in adult consumers for the majority of major health…….(4)……. considered.









1. culture 2. consumption 3. benefits 4. outcomes

5. A modern term for the…….(1)……. of traditional customs, superstitions, stories, dances, and songs that have been adopted and maintained within a given…….(2)……. by processes of repetition is not reliant on the written word. Along with folk songs and folktales, this broad …….(3)……. of cultural forms embraces all kinds of legends, riddles, jokes, proverbs, games, charms, omens, spells, and rituals, especially those of pre-literate societies or social classes. Those forms of verbal expression that are handed on from one generation or locality to the next by …….(4)……. of the mouth are said to constitute an ora l…….(5)……. .











1. body 2. community 3. category 4. word 5. tradition

6. The UW course descriptions are…….(1)……. regularly during the academic year. All announcements in the General Catalog and Course Catalog are …….(2)……. to change without notice and do not constitute an…….(3)……. between the University of Washington and the student. Students should assume the responsibility of …….(4)……. the appropriate academic unit or adviser for more current or specific information.









1. updated 2. subject 3. agreement 4. consulting

Quick Tips Strategies For Better Score!

Remember that some words often go together to form a familiar phrase. This is called 'collocation'. Using collocation can help you recognize the correct word for each blank.

For example, the phrase 'the general public' is a common collocation, so you can quickly see that 'public' might be a good choice for the first blank in the sentence below:

Read around the blank in the text and decide what part of speech the missing word is. In the example below, 'beginning to' tells you that an infinitive verb form is missing to + verb'. Next look at the answer options provided and rule out any words that are not the right part of speech, e.g., 'world' is a noun and 'formal' is an adjective. Also, rule out any verbs that are not in the infinitive form.

Finally, choose the word that has the correct meaning from the words that are left: 'view' and 'look' mean 'see', but we 'quote' or 'cite' references, so only 'cite' fits the blank:

Your response for Reading: Fill in the Blanks is judged on your ability to use context 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 only reading.
• Your listening, speaking and writing skills are not tested by this question type.
• For more information download the Score Guide.