Hello once again! I understand that many of you must be busy preparing for the end-of-year examinations. That is why in my post today I have decided to focus on tackling the Grammar Cloze section found in Booklet B. Most children may find this to be the easiest section to score in Booklet B. However, I hope the steps below will help you in scoring better for this section.
Grammar Cloze section in Booklet B
Similar to the Grammar MCQ section, this section tests your knowledge of grammar items. The questions could be testing you on subject-verb agreement, (is, are, was, were), pronouns (we, ours, myself), prepositions (in, at, off), connectors (and, but, or) and phrasal verbs (put up with, drop by, broke into).
More often that not, some questions also test how well you know your word collocations. These are two or more words that often go together e.g. ‘take a risk’, ‘a round of applause’ and ‘make a difference’. Knowing such phrases will help you look out for clues in the passage that point to the answer. To help you understand word collocations better, I have included the links to two websites below. I find that these websites explain word collocations clearly and even list down many common collocations:
The good news for the P3 and P4 children is that they are usually tested on pronouns and subject-verb agreement in two separate passages. This means that you can easily identify and target the area to work on in order to score. For the P5 and P6, all the components are tested in one passage. Therefore, you should polish up on your knowledge of all the above items.
Let’s now look at the 4 simple steps you can do to tackle the Grammar Cloze:
Step 1: Read the passage once through.
This helps you to understand the content of the passage as it helps you see how each sentence is connected to the next. As you read, your mind may already start to supply you with answers to some of the blanks. You can jot down these answers in pencil first as you go along.
Step 2: Start filling in.
You can start filling in the answers to the questions you already know. Remember the answers you have written in pencil? If they match the options found in the box, well done! You know you are on the right track. You can also cross out the options you have already chosen so that you know you cannot use them again.
Step 3: Locate the clues in the passage to help you with the answer.
How about the questions that you are not so sure of? Now is the time to use clues to help you. For instance, let’s look at the example below:
(Taken from P5 RGS SA2 2016)
You might already know the answer to Q29 because the clue is ‘neither’, which goes with ‘nor’, to show that the writer has no time or energy to read.
However, you might find Q30 harder to answer. In this sentence, the writer is trying to tell the reader that the process of her becoming a reader was a rather miraculous one. The clues are in the phrase ‘nothing short’ and the word ‘miraculous’ and the only answer that fits is (G) of because the correct phrase is ‘nothing short of’, which is used to emphasise how great or extreme something is.
Similarly, for Q31, the answer is (F) in because of ‘getting lost’ and ‘one book’, to show how the writer became interested in reading.
Q30 and Q31 are examples of questions that test your knowledge of word collocations. A student who has never seen these phrases will find it almost impossible to such questions. However, cancelling options that have already been used will be helpful in your choice of a reasonable answer.
Step 4: Read the passage again after you have filled in all your answers.
This is to check whether the answers make sense and are coherent with the rest of the passage. Make sure to check the tenses (Present/ Past) and agreement (Singular/Plural) for answers that require such clues e.g. is, are, was, were, have, etc.
I hope you find the tips in this post useful in tackling Grammar Cloze. I wish you all the best in your revision and if at any point you find yourself wanting to give up, remember that Helen Hayes (a famous actress who was one of 12 people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award!) once said, ‘The expert at anything was once a beginner.’ Keep on trying and good luck for the SA2s!
If you find the tips useful and you would like to find out more about attending the Lil’ but Mighty programmes, the 2018 schedule is out and there are classes available at both Clementi and Beauty World Centre. Do check them out now!
About the Author: Nora is an English Teacher at Lil' but Mighty. She is committed to providing students with a dynamic and nurturing environment in which they can grow and develop. One of her greatest strengths as an educator is instilling a love for the English Language in her students.