Hello Exam Seekers,
For the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about the Cambridge English A2 Key (former KET). The Cambridge A2 Key Reading and Writing Exam is divided into seven parts.
- Part 1 – Multiple Choice;
- Part 2 – Multiple Matching;
- Part 3 – Multiple Choice;
- Part 4 – Multiple-Choice Cloze;
- Part 5 – Open Cloze;
- Part 6 – Guided Writing;
- Part 7 – Picture Story.
Today, I’m covering Part 4 – Multiple-Choice Cloze.
Before we dig into the Multiple-Choice Cloze sample, let’s review what a Cloze Test means. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a cloze test is
This means, that this part of the exam, consists of a short text with six numbered spaces. These spaces should be filled with one of the three provided words. Each correct answer will provide candidates with one mark.
This part tests understanding of words within a context. The main focus is on vocabulary, but a small amount of grammar may also be tested.
There are some ways to take this test, you can either skim the text to find out the topic and general meaning, only then reading carefully the sentences around the spaces to figure out the word needed or go straight to the blanks and read the sentences around to choose the correct word to complete the gap.
I personally usually go straight to the gaps to avoid wasting time. I read the sentences carefully and read the alternatives, to choose the one that I believe fits the space correctly only then going to the next space. So, let’s go straight to the sentences. Here is a sample test:
As you can see, the first gap is on the second sentence, so we need to read the first sentence to understand what is needed. So here is the first paragraph:
William Perkin was born in London in 1838. As a child, he had many hobbies, including model making and photography. But it was the (19) ………… of chemistry that really interested him. At the age of 15, he went to college to study it.
The alternatives for the first gap are: 19 A class B subject C course
If we hadn’t read the first paragraph, we could think that chemistry, mentioned in the sentence, could be a class, subject, or course. However, by reading what comes before, we understand that we are talking about a period of time when people have chemistry as a school subject – as underlined above “as a child“. Not a class, nor a course. Therefore, the correct alternative is subject – alternative B.
Let’s go to the next gap:
While he was there, he was (20) ………… to make a medicine from coal. This didn’t go well, but when he was working on the problem, he found a cheap (21) ………… to make the colour purple.
In this sentence, there are two gaps. The alternatives for the first gap are: 20 A thinking B trying C deciding.
If we think about dependent prepositions, we can eliminate the first alternative, because only trying and deciding collocate with “to”, thinking collocates with “about”. Moreover, the following phrase, “this didn’t go well“, tells me that there was a failed attempt, which means that the word that fits the gap is trying – alternative B.
As we continue, we need a noun to fit between “cheap ____ to make“. The alternatives are 21 A way B path C plan.
The best word to fit this space is solution. However, this is not an alternative, so we need a synonym for “solution” in this case.
We cannot use the word “plan”, because, even though “plan”, means “to think of something you can do to solve a problem”, we don’t “find a plan”, we “make plans”. Therefore, the word “plan” is not the alternative.
The words “path” and “way” are synonyms, but the best one to use in this case is “way” – find a way -, as a means to “find a solution” and “find an alternative” – alternative A.
Well, this is how I would fill in these gaps, now it’s your turn to try. I hope that by showing you how I would do it, it helps you to try and do it by yourself.
If you have problems, make sure to let me know in the comments. You can always buy the A2 Key books with practice tests to help you. The links are here:
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Have a great week,
OBS: All samples provided by Cambridge.