PTE Reading: Fill in the Blanks

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

Overview

Reading: Fill in the blanks questions test your ability to use context 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 & writing: Fill in the blanks.

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

  • They assess your reading skills only.
  • The reading passages are up to 80 words in length.
  • There will be 3–5 blanks in the passage.
  • At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a box with 6–8 words that you can use to complete the passage. There will be 3 more words than the number of blanks in the passage.
  • Partial credit scoring applies. This means that, if one or more blanks are filled in incorrectly, you’ll still receive points for the ones you did fill in correctly.
  • You’ll answer 4–5 Reading: Fill in the blanks questions in the reading test.

Example question

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

To try this question, go to the practice section.

In the text below some words are missing. Put words from the box below into the appropriate place in the text.

What people as entrepreneurship varies. Some strictly between entrepreneurs and small business owners. Others that a small business owner may also be an entrepreneur, making the point that the two are not mutually exclusive. For instance, a small business owner may a venture that is not a completely new idea, but it may still introduce a product or service to a new region or market. Such activity could be said to entrepreneurship.
argueconstituteregardanalysematch
denydifferentiatelaunch

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“Entrepreneurship” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 2 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/entrepreneurship.

Recommended strategy

Here’s my recommended strategy for answering Reading: 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: Fill in the blanks question below using the strategy outlined above.

In the text below some words are missing. Put words from the box below into the appropriate place in the text.

What people  ✓ ✗ as entrepreneurship varies. Some strictly  ✓ ✗ between entrepreneurs and small business owners. Others  ✓ ✗ that a small business owner may also be an entrepreneur, making the point that the two are not mutually exclusive. For instance, a small business owner may  ✓ ✗ a venture that is not a completely new idea, but it may still introduce a product or service to a new region or market. Such activity could be said to  ✓ ✗ entrepreneurship.


argueconstituteregardanalysematch
denydifferentiatelaunch

__________

“Entrepreneurship” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 2 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/entrepreneurship.

Feedback

Click below for the answers.
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Answers
What people regard as entrepreneurship varies. Some strictly differentiate between entrepreneurs and small business owners. Others argue that a small business owner may also be an entrepreneur, making the point that the two are not mutually exclusive. For instance, a small business owner may launch a venture that is not a completely new idea, but it may still introduce a product or service to a new region or market. Such activity could be said to constitute entrepreneurship.