|EE-022b| B2: First – Reading and Use of English [Part 2B: Open Cloze]

Hello Exam Seekers,

I know I’ve been away for a while and I am very sorry for that. As I mentioned in one of my latest posts, I’ve been working on a project to complement the work I’ve been doing here. So I’ve been juggling things… But, let’s see if I can balance the work on both projects, right?

So, for today, I bring some exams to analyze.

Cover for B2 First Exam FCE

If you are getting ready for the B2: First – Reading and Use of English Exam, you have probably checked the exams below:

Today, I am going to go over Part 2: Open Cloze [Sample 2B].

First thing, you should be asking yourself “What is an Open Cloze test?” According to Cambridge Dictionary:

Vocabulary Open Cloze (Dictionary)
Vocabulary Open Cloze (Dictionary)

As for “open”, in this case, it means that you are “free” to guess the words – no options to choose from. Therefore, an Open Cloze Test is a test with missing words that you have to fulfill with specific vocabulary, but no alternatives are provided. It differs from Multiple-Choice Cloze because “multiple-choice” means that there are options from which you have to choose.

Now that we know what an Open Cloze Test means, let’s talk about the B2: First Reading and Use of English Part 2 – Open Cloze.

Sample of Open Cloze activity
Open Cloze Test

This exercise has eight gaps in total. Each correct answer accounts for one mark. The main focus of this part is to test your knowledge of both grammar and vocabulary. Therefore, just like Part 1, it is essential to pay close attention to verbs and prepositions that go together and structures that require a specific word for the formation.

Here is a sample of the Open Cloze Test.

part 2 fce use of english 2

Since options are not provided, it is pretty important to go through the text to get a more general idea of it before delving into the spaces to complete the text. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what comes before and after the gap, then you can choose the best words and increase your chances of getting them right.

The first gap is already fulfilled, but let’s understand it:

“In the 15th century, Europeans knew nothing of the chili pepper, but they held black pepper in high regard and had used it in cooking (0)_____________ Greek and Roman times”.

The sentence begins with “the 15th century” and ends with “Greek and Roman times“. So we are talking about a situation that happened during the 15th century but had been used for cooking by the Europeans before, and has been used ever since. So we need a word that connects this past and present time and the word required is… “SINCE“. “Europeans had used it since Greek and Roman times“.

Now let’s go for the second gap:

“Ships traveling east brought the black pepper from the Spice Islands in South East Asia, but this (9)_____________ a long time“.

In this sentence, we continue talking about periods of time. For the pepper to arrive from Spice Islands to South East Asia, it “lasted” a long period. The word to express this journey cannot be other than… “TOOK“. “But this took a long time“.

Usually, for these sentences, there are not many options, but only one that fits perfectly. The blank number 11 on the other hand offers more than one alternative, let’s check:

“In 1492, Christopher Columbus was asked to find a shorter route to the Spice Islands, going westwards (10)_____________ than eastwards, and so he set (11)_____________ from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean”.

Let’s skip number 10 and go straight to number 11. As we know, Christopher Columbus went on a ship from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean. How can we say that in other words using the word “set” as a complement?

Since we have “set”, we can think of some phrasal verbs like: “set off”, “set out”, and “set about”. But we need to understand the meaning of these phrasal verbs and see if they fit:

As the sentence is “set ________ from Spain…“, ‘set about something‘ doesn’t seem to fit here. Columbus started a journey, so “set off” would be the first phrasal verb I would think. And you can understand this journey as an activity with a particular aim. So for this gap, I could write “OUT”, “OFF”, and I could also write “SAIL” since he is sailing through the oceans:

  • “… so he set (11) OUT from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean”.
  • “… so he set (11) OFF from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean”.
  • “… so he set (11) SAIL from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean”.

As you can see, something that may come in handy before sitting for the exam – and even for the day you take it – is to analyze critically the language you are learning. Get familiar with the prepositions that come after verbs and words that are always together. It is also a good idea to keep a notebook with new words so that you can look back and review them every now and again.

Now, challenge time! It’s your time to read the text and complete it! Be sure to read the whole sentence before attempting to complete the gaps.

are you ready
Are you ready?

After finishing it, you can write in the comments how well you did. 🙂 Also, if you want any other samples, comment down below!


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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OBS: All samples provided by Cambridge.

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