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To create a cloze test that provides significant information about student knowledge, all words of a specific part of speech from an appropriate sample of writing are left blank. For example, the teacher may chose to leave blank all prepositions, or all verb tenses. Students are asked to provide the correct word from the specific part of speech each blank space. In another example, all small functor words could be eliminated.

Cloze tests must be planned so that there is never any ambiguity about a correct answer.        

Some sub-skills which can be tested in a cloze test are:

  1. specific parts of speech
  2. the correct verb form
  3. the correct verb tense
  4. definite and indefinite articles

Hints for planning and taking a cloze test

  1. The tests are planned carefully so that there is only one possible correct answer for each blank space.
  2. Teachers should determine the particular sub-skill required in the test.
  3. Students should be able to determine what sub-skill is being tested.  


A cloze test can test knowledge of subject pronouns. 

Every day, thousands of people jog. Why has jogging--running slowly for long distances--become so popular? Donald Robbins, who is forty-two years old and works in an office, began jogging a few years ago because he felt  ____ was too fat. At first ____ could only run about 100 yards. ____ took him almost three months to be able to run a full mile. Two years later,  ___ ran in the Boston Marathon, over twenty-six miles. Do ___ jog, too?  If ____ decide  to jog,, be sure to ask your doctor  for advice. Does jogging cost much? No, ____costs almost nothing. Most people agree that  good running shoes are very important. ____ protect your feet and legs from the shock of running on hard surfaces. If ____ start jogging, ____ could make your heart stronger and also help ___ feel better about yourself.    

There are four pronouns that need to be added: he  it  you  they.  

Read the article carefully and add the correct pronoun in each blank space. 


Multiple choice cloze tests can assess a variety of language sub-skills.  A careful decision must be made by the teacher if the test is to evaluate an element of grammar (for example, verb tense,) or the appropriate vocabulary.  

The answers in a multiple choice cloze test are enclosed within a parenthesis. 

The following test  evaluates a student's ability to choose the correct vocabulary.



          Once the bodies (told/were /said) removed, the Greenville police (sealed/put/said) off the area around the ruins (because/however/and) kept the crowd away. Within hours, the (premises/songs/spoons) were given to an FBI team from Jackson, and before dark a demolition unit was (eating/sifting/dancing)  through the rubble. Dozens of FBI agents (solemnly/happily/totally) began the tedious (task/bag/meal) of picking up every (gigantic/tiny/careful) piece, examining (them/it/him), showing it to someone (other/false/else), then (pulling/packing/filling) it away to be fitted (together/within/sadly) on another day. An (angry/empty/hungry) cotton warehouse on the (top/cold/edge) of town was (showed/demolished/leased) and became the (repository/plate/work) for the rubble. 

          With time, the FBI (had/is/would) confirm what it initially (assumed/tried/put ). The killer had used dynamite, a timer, and a few wires. The weapon had been just a basic bomb (blocked/fished/hooked) together by a hack lucky enough not (to have/to do/to be) killed himself.

John Gresham, The Chamber