PTE Reading & Writing: Fill in the Blanks

Learn about Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks questions in PTE reading with an overview, recommended strategy and practice question.

Overview

Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks questions test your ability to use contextual and grammatical cues to identify words that complete a reading passage.

Note: This question type is very similar to – but slightly different from – another question type: Reading: Fill in the blanks.

Here are some key points about Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks questions:

  • They assess both your reading and writing skills.
  • Each reading passage is up to 300 words in length.
  • You’ll need to complete up to 6 blanks in each passage.
  • For each blank, you’ll be presented with up to 5 answer choices.
  • You’ll answer 5–6 Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks questions in the reading test.

Example question

Here’s an example Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks question related to the topic of marriage.

To try this question, go to the practice section.

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

Almost every human behaviour, from shopping to marriage, is learned. In the United States, marriage is generally seen as an individual choice made by two adults, based on mutual feelings of love. In other nations and in other times, marriages have been arranged through an intricate of interviews and negotiations between entire families. In Papua New Guinea, almost 30 per cent of women marry before the age of 18, and 8 per cent of men have more than one wife. To people who are not from such a culture, arranged marriages may seem to involve risks of incompatibility and the complete of romantic love. But many people from cultures where marriages are arranged, which includes a number of highly populated and modern countries, often prefer the because it reduces stress and increases stability.

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“Introduction to Sociology 3e” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 3 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/introduction-sociology-3e.

Recommended strategy

Here’s my recommended strategy for answering Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks questions.

Before you read

  • Start by quickly skimming the text. This will give you a general understanding of what the text is about. Ignore the blanks at this stage.

While you’re reading

  • Start with the first blank. If you’re not sure what the answer is, move on to the next one. The more blanks you fill in, the easier it will be to answer any blanks that you’ve skipped.
  • Pay attention to:

grammar: if a blank requires a singular noun, for example, make sure that’s what you choose from the list of options.
connectors: words such as they and our can give you clues as to which word is needed in the blank. In addition to pronouns, there are often other logical connectors in the passages that can give you clues.
collocations: some words are often used together (e.g. completely satisfied, excruciatingly painful), so examine the words before and after each blank to see if it helps you.

After you read

  • Read the passage to make sure everything makes sense.
  • If something doesn’t make sense, it probably means your answer is wrong. Change your answer and then re-read the passage to make sure it now makes sense.
  • Guess if you’re not sure. There’s no negative marking for this question type, so you have nothing to lose by guessing.

Practice question

Now it’s your turn to practise. Answer the Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks question below using the strategy outlined above.

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

Almost every human behaviour, from shopping to marriage, is learned. In the United States, marriage is generally seen as an individual choice made by two adults, based on mutual feelings of love. In other nations and in other times, marriages have been arranged through an intricate  ✓ ✗ of interviews and negotiations between entire families. In Papua New Guinea, almost 30 per cent of women marry before the age of 18, and 8 per cent of men have more than one wife. To people who are not from such a culture, arranged marriages may seem to involve risks of incompatibility and the complete  ✓ ✗ of romantic love. But many people from cultures where marriages are arranged, which includes a number of highly populated and modern countries, often prefer the  ✓ ✗ because it reduces stress and increases stability.


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“Introduction to Sociology 3e” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 3 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/introduction-sociology-3e.

Feedback

Click below for the answers.
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Answers
Almost every human behaviour, from shopping to marriage, is learned. In the United States, marriage is generally seen as an individual choice made by two adults, based on mutual feelings of love. In other nations and in other times, marriages have been arranged through an intricate process of interviews and negotiations between entire families. In Papua New Guinea, almost 30 per cent of women marry before the age of 18, and 8 per cent of men have more than one wife. To people who are not from such a culture, arranged marriages may seem to involve risks of incompatibility and the complete absence of romantic love. But many people from cultures where marriages are arranged, which includes a number of highly populated and modern countries, often prefer the approach because it reduces stress and increases stability.