Insights Into Reading Part 6

Cambridge B1 Preliminary Level

When it comes to reading comprehension skills, most English learners, when reaching the B1 level, find it pretty challenging. Alongside an increase in length of the reading texts, a change which requires a longer attention span, the difficulty to get a good score is largely due to not fully understanding what the focus is in each of the reading tasks, as well as not being familiar with successful reading techniques that do the trick. 

We have previously explored the how-to for the Reading part 2 of the B1 Preliminary exam. Today, we are going to see how B1 Reading part 6 works.

Once you have unveiled its “machinery”, you will definitely take to Reading part 6 like a duck to water!

B1 reading part 6

B1 Reading Part 6 STRUCTURE

Reading Part 6 is an open cloze task. Candidates must do the following:

  • Read a short text
  • Complete the six gaps in the text

There is a total of six marks.

B1 Reading Part 6 FOCUS

Reading Part 6 tests candidates’ control of grammar. The missing words belong to the following groups:

  • Auxiliary verbs, e.g. do, be, have (past, present and future forms)
  • Articles, e.g. a, an, the
  • Conjunctions, e.g. so, and, but, etc
  • Determiners, e.g. this, those, etc
  • Modal verbs, e.g. can, may, should, etc
  • Prepositions, e.g. in, to, for, etc
  • Pronouns, e.g. we, she, them, etc
  • Quantifiers, e.g. some, lot, few, etc
  • Relative pronouns, e.g. who, which, etc

These types of words are called function words. Such words have very little meaning and they mainly help to connect words like nouns, verbs, and adjectives. These are called content words. Content words do carry meaning and without them, we wouldn’t be able to understand anything.

Remember, focus on function words in B1 Reading part 6!

B1 reading part 6 tips

B1 Reading Part 6 STEPS

When doing the Open Cloze, you should follow the following steps:

  1. Read the text for gist to understand the main subject.
  2. Read the text again carefully.
    • Read the sentence before and after the one with the gap.
    • Check the words before and after the gap.
    • Think what type of word is missing.
    • Answer every question.
  3. Read through the text again with the words in place to make sure it makes SENSE.
  4. Check if the added words are spelled correctly.
  5. Make a sensible guess in case there are answers you don’t know. NEVER leave empty gaps.

B1 Reading Part 6 TIPS

When you stop at each gap and think about what type of word is missing, remember the following:

  • The answer is always a single word. So, no contractions!
  • The gap is after a verb?  You might need a preposition! E.g. to, off, on, in
  • The gap is after a comma? You might need a relative pronoun! E.g. who, which
  • The gap is at the beginning of the sentence? You might need a conjunction (linking word)! E.g. however, although, so
  • The gap is before a noun? You might need an article! E.g. a, the
  • If you need an auxiliary verb form, check the following:
    • Is it singular or plural?
    • Do we need its present, past, or future form? 
    • Is there an active or passive form?

The hardest of all is when the missing word is part of a fixed phrase or a linking word. You must know the fixed phrase, and you must understand the context.

B1 reading part 6 test

B1 Reading Part 6 PRACTICE

Read each sentence. Complete each gap with one word.

B1 Reading Part 6 TEST

The Northern Lights

If you live north of the equator, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. These natural “lights”, which appear in some northern areas of (1)  _____ Earth, often appear as wide green or red lines across the sky. But how (2) _____ they created?

When tiny particles escape from the Sun and meet solar winds, a (3) _____ of these particles mix with gases which surround the Earth. This produces a beautiful light show in the sky.

People are more likely to see the northern light (4) _____ they live in a northern country such as Iceland or Canada. However, during times of increased solar activity, (5) _____ is sometimes possible to see the lights in countries further south, though the colours may not be (6) _____  bright as they are in the north.


  1. THE
  2. ARE
  4. IF
  5. IT
  6. AS

How’s it been? I am sure you have tried your very best in the quiz and in this B1 Reading Part 6 task. Remember to constantly practice if you are planning to take an official exam. You will definitely get the hang of it. I am sure you will ace it!

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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