What is part two
We saw in part one that you're given some text with gaps and a choice of four possible answers to choose from. Now in part two of the reading and use of English test you're given some text with gaps but only this time you aren't given any options and must think of the word yourself, and that's what open cloze means, in case you were wondering 😉
Note here as well that you must only write ONE word
What kind of words are tested?
For this part you are tested on grammatical type words, such as; articles, possessive adjectives, prepositions, auxiliary verbs, pronouns, linking words and phrasal verbs. There is also likely to be a few questions testing you on your knowledge of collocations.
Some general advice
- Read the title and the text quickly first, before you fill in the gaps. This gives you a general idea of what it's about
- Look at the grammar of the sentence and note what words are before and after the gap.
- Write only ONE word on your answer sheet in CAPITAL LETTERS
- Leave any questions blank. As I have written before in other articles, if you really don't know the answer you have nothing to lose by guessing!
- Write "don't" or "they'll" etc as these are two words. "Can't" counts as one word as it's the contraction of cannot
1. Ships travelling east brought the black pepper from the Spice Islands in South East Asia but this .......... a long time.
In the first question you're being asked to recall a common collocation with 'time'. As I'm sure most of you would have guessed, the correct word here is 'took'. You're expected to know the collocation 'take time'.
2.Columbus didn't succeed .......... finding the Spice Islands.
In this next example, you're expected to know that the preposition 'in' collocates with succeed.
3.but he .......... manage to discover the Americas
In the third example here, which follows on from our second example, you need to use a certain auxiliary verb to add emphasis to this part of the sentence. If you know it's an auxiliary verb, it's quite easy to rule out 'have' or 'will', and if you think about the meaning of the sentence you should be able to comfortably work out that it's 'did'. This auxiliary verb can be used in the present or past to add emphasis in a positive sentence.
And that's part two done!
B2 FCE Reading and Use of English Part Three
What is part three (word transformation)?
Like we've seen with parts one and two of the use of English parts of the test, you're given a text with gaps. Only this time you are given a word for each gap and you must transform it into either a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. You also need to consider what prefix or suffix you may need to use and don't forget your NEGATIVE prefixes! For example, transforming 'common' into 'uncommon' or 'agreement' into 'disagreement'.
Part 3 example
It's important to note that the word at the end of each line corresponds with the gap in that particular sentence. If you look at the example question you'll see that 'memory' was transformed into 'memorable'.
How to answer this question
With this question it's very important to look at the grammar of the words before and after the gap. This will allow you to comfortably decide if the word you need to put into the gap is either a noun, adjective, adverb or verb and what tense it should be in.
For example, in question 17 above:
The event .......... to be highly successful with over five hundred people attending.
Straight away you can see that the subject of the sentence is 'the event' and so immediately after we need a verb to say what the event did. If the word you're given is 'proof' then ask yourself, what is the verb form of this word?
The verb form of 'proof' is 'to prove'.
So if we put 'prove' into the gap would that be correct? No, because it needs to be put into the past tense.
So the answer is 'proved'.
Remember your grammar!
Adjectvies describe nouns.
The woman is beautiful
The dirty dishes
The black pen
Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives or other adverbs
He read the book quickly
He read the book very quickly
As mentioned before, you need to be careful when doing this part of the exam and consider if you need to use a negative prefix. This goes back to not looking at the meaning of the sentence properly. All too often do students write the positive form when they needed to use a negative prefix. So, analyse each sentence with laser-like attention to detail!
There were also some rather .......... bikes on display. One-wheelers, five-wheelers.. Usual
Most people can probably already see that you need to write 'unusual', because it's a commonly used word and it just seems right. Nevertheless, make sure you check questions like this! If you look at the words before and after the gap, as well as the sentence that comes after, we can see that when the writer mentions one-wheelers and five-wheelers, he is writing about something that isn't the norm. The word you're given is 'usual', so if you're going to transform this word, it can't be into the adverb form, 'usually', because the word after the gap is a noun (bike) and so immediately you should be thinking about the adjective form, 'unusual'.
Hopefully now you're able to see how to tackle this part of the test, below you will find an overall strategy to follow:
1. Read the title and the text quickly to get the gist of what the text is about.
2. Read the text again. This time stop at each gap and look at the word given for that line. Decide if the missing word is positive or negative, plural or singular, a verb, noun, adverb or adjective. Remember to look at the words before and after the gap, and perhaps the sentence after to understand the grammar and meaning.
3. Write the correct form of the word in the space.
4. After you've answered all the questions re-read the text again to check if your answers make sense and the words are spelled correctly.
5. Write your answers on your answer sheet.
Another worked example
Now we will go through another exam question and explain how to arrive at the answer, so keep scrolling and for each question see if you can answer it correctly before clicking the 'show answer' button.
We're going to work through the sample question below:
1.China is currently the largest .............. of garlic Product
So what have we got here? Before the gap is the superlative form of the adjective 'large', which should immediately tell you that the word after must to be a noun, because we know that only adjectives describe nouns.
There is another noun form of 'product', can you think what that is?
2. It is native to central Asia and has long had a history as a health-giving food, used both to prevent and cure ................ Ill
In this next question you're given the adjective 'ill'. Before the gap is the sentence 'used both to prevent and cure'. You should be asking yourself the question, prevent and cure what? Now that you've established that the word is a thing, this means it is a noun, but is it just any kind of noun? No, it needs to be a plural noun.
What's the plural noun form of the adjective 'ill'?
3.The forefather of antibiotic medicine, Louis Pasteur, claimed garlic was as ............. as penicillin in treating infection Effect
In the third question, you should be able to see that the word needed to go into the gap is part of a comparative sentence structure. So in the gap you're going to need either an adjective or an adverb. It can't be an adverb because the word before 'as' is 'was', so it must be an adjective.
What is the adjective form of 'effect'?
4.Modern-day ............ have proved that garlic can indeed kill bacteria Science
Here you are given a noun to transform. If we look at the the sentence the gap is in, it's part of a present perfect structure and before you have an adjective, which means the word in the gap needs to be a plural noun.
What is the other noun form of 'Science' that you know of?
5 and 6. In ............, some doctors believe that garlic can reduce blood .............
In number five, this requires you to rely a little more on your knowledge of preposition/noun collocations. You're given the verb form 'add', which must be turned into the noun form, do you know what this is?
For number 6, again you're given the verb form 'press' and you need to transform this into the noun form. Most of you can probably already guess what the answer is here without needing to look at the grammar. Did you guess it right?
7 and 8. The only ............. to this truly amazing food is the strong and rather .......... smell of garlic is not the most pleasant!
For number seven, you need to look more at the meaning of the sentence to realise what you need to do transform the word 'advantage'. The sentence describes the negative aspect of garlic, so the word in the gap can't be positive. You can see that we need to place a noun in gap too, but you're already given the noun form, so what do you think you need to add to the beginning of the word? That's right, add the negative prefix.
For the last gap, number eight, you're given a noun form again, 'spice'. You should be able to look at the grammar here and see that 'smell' is a noun, so the word in the gap has to be the adjective form. Spice is the ingredient you add to food to give a certain kind of taste, and so it's not too difficult to recall what the adjective form is.
That's part two and three over with! More posts to follow for the remaining parts of the exam.
Rob Hamburg is a trained English teacher from England who has numerous years of experience teaching English to young learners, teenagers and adults in Spain. He completed his bachelor degree in 2010 at The University of Manchester and obtained CELTA certification in 2015. As well as being an active teacher on Verbling, Rob teaches English online for SayABC and gives classes via Skype and Google Hangouts.