The first task in Reading and Use of English is a text with 8 gaps and 4 answers for each gap. We’ve all seen in before – you do it, you check your answers, done. Well, not really. Not when you are studying for the exam I mean.

1) It’s not just the gap, it’s the whole expression that surrounds it that counts. If you want to write it down somewhere, do it the way they do in dictionaries – include the object, the preposition, everything.

2) If you write down the whole phrase, you could also notice what kind of phrase it is (and maybe have separate sections for different kinds of phrases in your notebook). Is it a verb phrase (verb+preposition, verb+ing etc.)? A noun phrase (noun+noun, noun+preposition etc.)? A grammar structure?

3) Look for other phrases when you’re unhurriedly reading other texts.

4) It’s a good idea to know exactly why the other three options were wrong. Was it just because it’s the way it is (for example we say “bigger than”. not “bigger as”) or were there small but important differences in the meaning of the four words?

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