Fill in the Blanks for Competitive Exams Tier 1 Exam

The Fill in the Blanks sub-section in the English paper of SSC CGL Tier 1 exam can seem deceptively simple at first glance. Candidates are provided sentences with one or more missing words which they have to fill by selecting the most appropriate option out of four choices given.  However, this component tests much more than just surface level English knowledge.

Filling in the blanks correctly requires strong vocabulary, grammar skills and excellent comprehension of the context and meaning of the sentence. As such, mastering this section is crucial for aspirants aiming to score high in the SSC CGL exam and get into prestigious government jobs.

What Does the "Fill in the Blanks" Syllabus Cover?

Some of the diverse topics covered under the Fill in the Blanks syllabus are:

  • Phrases and idioms - Candidates have to identify the accurate phrase or idiom to complete the sentence.
  • Figurative language - Metaphors, similes, hyperbole and other literary devices may be tested.
  • Formal and informal English usage - Words fitting the tone and register of the sentence need to be selected.
  • Technical vocabulary - Terminology related to various academic fields and professions may come up based on the passage theme.

Why is it Important?

At first glance, the 1-2 mark weightage of this component may seem insignificant in the overall paper. However, the wide range of English proficiency it evaluates makes it important beyond the marks allocated.

Filling in blanks effectively tests your:

  • Vocabulary - A strong lexicon and knowledge of synonyms, antonyms is required.
  • Grammar - Parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, tenses etc. need application.
  • Comprehension - Grasping the context to choose the most relevant words is key.

Hence, a good score here acts as an indicator of your verbal ability, reading skills and language command - skills essential across the CGL exam.

Preparation Strategies and Tips

Use the following methods and tips to master the Fill in the Blanks component:

  • Build your vocabulary through newspapers, books, online resources. Use new words actively.
  • Sharpen your grammar with exercises, tests focused on tenses, clauses, prepositions etc.
  • Read sentences carefully before answering. Pay close attention to context.
  • Analyze all options for relevance, accuracy and coherence.
  • Practice previous years' papers and mock tests to understand the format.

Some sample questions for practice are:

Q1. The latest ordinance issued by the government has ------- the citizens.

a) compelled b) disturbed c) forced d) pressurized

Q2. The --------- of his hard work was the award he received yesterday.

a) population b) cultivation c) civilisation d) culmination

Q3. She is so------------ in her work that she often misses her breaks.

a) involved b) intrigued c) engrossed d) enveloped

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, acing the innocuous looking "Fill in the Blanks" in SSC CGL Tier 1 requires: 1) expansive vocabulary knowledge 2) grammar rules application 3) comprehending contextual meaning. With rigorous preparation, it can become a high scoring, confidence boosting area. Use the strategies shared above and leverage this opportunity to showcase your English proficiency and verbal ability to the fullest!


Q1: Why is fill in the blanks important in SSC CGL?

A1: Fill in the blanks tests a wide range of English skills like vocabulary, grammar, comprehension which are useful across the exam. Performance in this section acts as an indicator of verbal ability crucial for government jobs.

Q2: What kinds of words are tested in fill in the blanks?

A2: The words tested can be related to phrases, idioms, figurative language, formal/informal English, technical terms etc. based on the passage theme and sentence context.

Q3: How can I improve my performance in fill in the blanks?

A3: Regularly build your vocabulary, practice grammar rules and comprehension. Analyze the context before answering. Attempt ample mock tests and previous papers for exam readiness.

Q4: How are fill in the blank questions useful for other SSC CGL exam sections?

A4: The vocabulary, grammar and comprehension skills developed by practicing fill in the blanks aid in Section A reading comprehension, Section C general intelligence and Section D English grammar too.

Q5: What are some examples of fill in the blanks questions?

A5: Examples are identifying suitable idioms, phrases, technical terms to fill the blank appropriately based on grammar rules and sentence context.

Q6: How much time should I devote to the fill in the blanks section?

A6: 15-20 minutes of focused practice daily helps build strong vocabulary, grammar and comprehension skills crucial for this section.