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PTE Practice: Reading Fill in the Blanks

Need to improve your Reading score on PTE Academic? Make sure you follow these tips on the PTE Academic Task: Reading Fill in the Blanks.

The Reading Fill in the Blanks (not to be confused with the Reading & Writing Fill in the Blanks) is a task in the Reading section that tests reading skills. You are given a text with blanks. You must fill these blanks with words from the bottom of the screen. You are awarded one point for each blank filled correctly. You will be given 4-5 Reading Fill in the Blanks tasks.

To finish the Reading Fill in the Blanks task as quickly and correctly as possible, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Skim Quickly read through the text to get an idea of the topic. This will help you select the correct word for the blanks.

  2. Look for clues Starting at the first blank, look at the words surrounding the blank for clues or hints. Ask yourself: – Which option makes the most sense in this sentence? – What word form do I need? Adjective? Noun? Verb? What form of the verb? – Look at the words directly before and after the blank – is it a part of a collocation? A phrasal verb? Must it be followed by a dependent preposition?

  3. Check Once you have filled all the blanks (you will still have three options left over – don’t worry), read the text through again from the beginning. Does it make sense? If so, excellent – go to the next task. If you’re not sure, you can change your mind.


Don’t spend too long on this task. You need make sure you leave enough time to finish all questions in the Reading section. You should take about 1-2 minutes to complete each Reading Fill in the Blanks task.

Hot Tip!

To save time: if you change your mind and want to place a new word in the blank, you don’t have to take one word out and put another in. You can just drag and drop the new word into the blank and the previous word you chose will automatically go back below the text.


Now it’s time for some practice!

A “duel of honor” was a way of settling disputes between gentlemen over some injury or insult. The (1) ___________ had to be arranged privately because duelling was never (2) __________ , but it became common in the 17th century. A social code governed the duel of honor and, as long as the rules were (3) _____________ to, the survivor could usually escape without being punished by the law. Duels were fought with either pistols or swords, but pistols became the more usual (4) _____________ after swords went out of fashion at the end of the 18’h century.

For the answers, scroll to the bottom of the page.

More Preparation

For this task it is vital to increase your vocabulary and have good knowledge of grammar. In addition, it’s very important to practice and prepare for the PTE Academic test in general. At English Key you can enroll in a PTE Academic preparation course where you can get excellent PTE Academic training from our teachers, as well as access to practice tests. Contact us today for more information.


1. fight (A duel was a kind of fight)

2. legal (an adjective to refer to the fact that it was not lawful to fight duels)

3. kept (“keep to the rules” – idiomatic expression)

4. weapon (a noun to refer to swords and pistols.)

Example sourced from MacMillan Test Builder.

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