Understanding and practising cloze procedure - part two
By Emma at Galore Park
07 Nov

In the first part of the blog we explained what cloze procedure tests are, what skills they test and worked through the most common type of question you child might encounter.

In this second part, we'll be working through more examples of cloze procedure.

There are a number of questions that test children’s understanding of word meaning and these are covered in Chapter 2 of the Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide: Understanding word meaning. Working through the chapter can help your child to improve their ability to respond to cloze procedure questions under pressure since they are testing the same skills in different ways.

Here are some examples:

Synonyms and antonyms
Questions that test the ability to spot words with a similar or opposite meaning (synonyms and antonyms) are extremely common in verbal reasoning tests.
Although these questions can be designed to select children with a wide range of vocabulary, these questions are generally testing skills in comparing words.

Choose two words, one from each set, that are similar in meaning.
(fly, glide, flame) (grow, wasp, red)
(cry, rage, whisper) (anger, sage, sing)
The vocabulary used in the above examples is quite simple although the concepts are less so. Often these questions include homonyms (words that have two meanings), as in the first example. ‘Fly’ can be either a verb (to fly) or a noun (an insect). In this sentence the noun is the meaning that gives the clue to the answer (fly/wasp). The verbs in the question are used to distract from the answer.
The second question is testing a more subtle understanding of meaning. Children often find these questions that link emotions (rage, anger) more difficult to spot.
Match the meaning
These questions can be more challenging as there are three sets of words to compare. They also test the ability to spot homonyms and words from different classes (such as verbs, nouns and adjectives), so encouraging children to consider different word options when answering cloze procedure questions.

Find one word from the left that has a link with the words in both sets of brackets.
warm, light, glow, shade, soft   (fair, pale) (lamp, lantern)
Again, the words here don’t appear to be challenging. However, the question expects children to understand that ‘light’ has two meanings: used to describe something soft in colour but also something which illuminates. Practising these different question types is important since there can be a tendency to choose the wrong answer if a child is used to practicing synonyms and antonyms.
Order the sentence
These questions provide a jumbled sentence to reorder, often with an extra word that isn’t needed. A good grasp of word order and grammar is being tested as well as vocabulary when more challenging words are used.
There is an extra word in this muddled sentence. Write out the sentence that uses all but one of the words and circle the extra word.
wry The grandson a frail his the with octogenarian smile greeted.
The frail octogenarian greeted his grandson with a wry smile.
Although the vocabulary is not straightforward here, children are taught to look for clues within words by breaking them up into manageable parts. For example ‘octo-‘ would be familiar from maths, to mean ‘eight’ so this would give a clue to the meaning of ‘octogenarian’ together with the words ‘frail’ and ‘grandson’ suggesting an old person. Reordering sentences under time pressure when words are unfamiliar is challenging and so these questions are excellent preparation for the cloze tests.

Developing skills in cloze procedure with Galore Park

To help parents focus learning and practice, the teaching content in the Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide and three Workbooks are all broken into clear sections, with the teaching and practice linked to cloze procedure collected into the second chapter of each book, titled: Understanding word meaning.
All cloze procedure tests are clearly marked in the Study and Revision Guide (at the end of Chapter 2 and at the end of the book) and in the two sets of Verbal Reasoning Practice Papers (tests 2, 4, 6 and 8 in Book 1; tests 12, 14 and 16 in Book 2). These papers are divided into multiple choice or standard format to give children practice in the different exam styles they may encounter. Multiple-choice tests are also helpful for children taking online tests.
Simple diagrams are included in the Verbal Reasoning Study and Revision Guide to illustrate how the question link to the skills your child has already worked on in English lessons (and further work on these areas can easily be found in the equivalent sections in the 11+ English Revision Guide).

To ensure all verbal reasoning skills are thoroughly reviewed ahead of the exams, check out the Galore Park verbal reasoning range.


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Tags: 11+, cloze, procedure, reasoning, verbal

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