State Bank of India has released the official notification for the recruitment of junior associates for various branches of the bank across the country. The SBI Clerk exam 2018 will test one’s ability to answer the general aptitude of the aspirants in all important sectors. In Prelims, 100 questions are asked from three different sections – Quantitative Aptitude (35 Questions), Reasoning Ability (35 Questions) and English Language (30). In the mains exam of SBI Clerk, 200 questions will be asked covering Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude, English Language, and General Awareness.

The English Language section often contains questions on the topics- reading comprehensions, cloze tests, error spotting, sentence correction, para jumbles, vocabulary, (including synonyms and antonyms) and paragraph completion. These are the most commonly found type of questions.

One of the most common of the type of questions among these are the ‘cloze’ tests. A cloze test is a passage, given to the candidates where he or she is expected to replace the missing words with the options (already given in brackets) and form a logical sentence of the passage. Understanding the flow and content of the passage with combined with a good command over the language, vocabulary and grammatical knowledge will help students score well in these questions. Correctly answering Cloze test questions also mean that the students have understood the sentence completely and perfectly.

Tips to Solve Cloze Test Questions in SBI Clerk Exam 2018

Cloze tests aim to test a specific area of knowledge. Therefore, the following can be the type of questions that you have to tackle in cloze tests.

  • Vocabulary- these types of questions are based on your understanding of the meaning of words and their contextual usage. They are with the aim of bolstering vocabulary usage and strengthening overall usage.
  • Grammar- test of usage of nouns, verbs, adverbs, articles and conjunctions. These are the most common type of questions that you find to test your fundamentals on the most basic aspects of grammar.
  • Inferential questions – This is perhaps the toughest of all types of cloze tests. These questions test intensive reading and your comprehensive understanding of the passage. This requires a proper knowledge of vocabulary and grammar combined with a proper understanding of the idea of the passage.

Things to keep in mind while solving a cloze test in the SBI Clerk Exam

Read the entire text of the passage

  • While answering a question on cloze tests, it is vital to read the entire passage before proceeding to answer the questions.
  • This helps you have a better understanding of the ideas and themes present and makes it easier for you to answer the questions.
  • Link all the sentences together when you read the paragraph.
  • This gives you the context of the paragraph- i.e., whether it is has a financial background, or a technical background or an environmental background.

Understand the tone of the paragraph-

  • Sometimes, as mentioned, the blank in the passage is more than just vocabulary or grammar.
  • In these type of questions, it is paramount to understand what the passage or the paragraph is trying to convey.
  • Certain phrases might be more suitable than the others.
  • The tone of the passage is relevant. For example, the overall tone of the passage might be humorous or narrative. Didactic or passive.
  • This helps in determining the correct word or phrase to be used in the passage.

Here is a commonly used example, to give you a better understanding

Jonah ____ down the stairs, bumping along like a quarter in a tumbling dryer.
A. tumbled
B. fell
C. dropped

Clearly, you can use either ‘tumbled’ or ‘fell’ in this blank. But the rest of the sentence is written in a humorous vein. So, we try to maintain the tone of the sentence. This is best accomplished using the word ‘tumbled’ as it recalls images of people falling funnily.

Use the options

  • The first step, of course, is to eliminate the options.
  • Out of the four or five options given, at least 2 of them are in no way related to the context of the paragraph.
  • Mentally strike those words off and work only with the rest of the options. This may sound difficult, but it is decidedly one of the easiest ways to arrive at the correct answer.
  • Secondly, go with the frequently used words. Often, while solving these questions, two answers will seem correct for the one blank there is. Times like, go with the more correct answer.
  • Sometimes, you will come across words like ‘happy ending’, ‘bad habit’, ‘take a seat’, ‘hardly ever’ etc, which are commonly used in the English language. This method will help you score good marks whenever you encounter such commonly used words.

General tips to solve Cloze Test Questions in SBI Clerk Exam

Practice

This is the most obvious advice to score better and the most vital. Speed, accuracy, vocabulary, recognising tones and everything else can be improved only if you practice as many cloze tests as there is. Time the tests that you are taking and note your accuracy. Understand your strong and weak areas, and work on them, specifically.

Know your nouns and tenses

Although, grammar is also a separate topic in SBI Clerk Junior Associates exam, I Absolutely cannot stress the importance of being thorough with the fundamentals of grammar while attempting these questions. Since most of us learnt our grammar basics in the middle school, it is advisable to simply pick up a Wren and Martin, (or any other known grammar textbook). Read the rules of every grammar topic there is. Understand them and try to apply them in questions. This, in my belief, is the easiest way to brush up grammar.

Work on the Vocabulary

Since cloze tests are especially tricky when it comes to vocabulary, it is vital to work on this. While practicing, write down words that you find difficult. Learn those words and their meaning, try to understand the context it was used in. use these words in sentences and while speaking, it helps you remember the words better.

Understand the tones

Attempting a cloze test without understanding the tone of the paragraph makes it difficult to score, in the least time-consuming manner. Usually, the most common tones are analytical, descriptive or critical. What does that mean? if the author adopts a ‘critical’ tone, he or she will use negative words to describe the subject. Reflecting and judging severely is also an element of a critical tone. The word ‘abysmal’ is an example of a word that can be used by the author adopting a critical tone

Well, that’s all folks. All these points may seem daunting at first, but really, it is not impossible to score in Cloze tests. Practice hard and answer smart. Good luck!

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