What is a Cloze Deletion Test and How Does It Affect Readability?

In the educational world, reading and comprehension are two of the most critical skills to be developed. In order to make sure that students fully understand what they read, educators have developed the cloze deletion test. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cloze deletion tests and how they affect readability as well as how to improve readability with free tools available online.

What is a Cloze Deletion Test? 

A cloze deletion test involves deliberately removing specific words or phrases from a passage, which then forces the reader to fill in what’s missing. By strategically leaving out certain words or phrases, students need to think about how to accurately close the gaps. 

For example, one potential question on a cloze deletion test could be: 

The main pigment responsible for photosynthesis in plants is _______

The answer is chlorophyll, but in reading the sentence, the reader would need to understand photosynthesis as well as how plants receive nutrition. There are a lot of clues in the surrounding text that point to the answer, but it still requires a great degree of understanding outside the context of the sentence itself to answer. 

Cloze deletion tests come in a wide range of formats. Single words can be deleted or several words can be missing which tests not just their understanding on the surface but also a deeper understanding of the context being communicated. 

How Do Cloze Deletion Tests Affect Readability? 

With certain strategic words missing, you can imagine how cloze deletion tests can affect readability and understanding. The difficulty of what’s missing challenges learners to use quite a bit of cognitive effort to fill in the blanks, and use critical thinking skills to analyze the context in full. 

Beyond the missing terms themselves, there are several other factors that can affect the readability of cloze deletion tests, including: 

  • Sentence structure - Complex sentences can prevent comprehension and hinder readability
  • Incoherent grammar - Incoherent grammar affects readability and understanding.
  • Strange syntax - Depending on the extent of the missing content, strange syntax can cause misunderstandings.
  • Complexity of vocabulary - Vocabulary that falls outside of the learner’s proficiency level can cause confusion and a lack of context clues.
  • Long passages of text - The longer the text, the more likely it is for the reader to stay focused and understand the overall meaning. 

How To Enhance Readability in a Cloze Deletion Test

There are several ways to improve readability in a cloze deletion test without sacrificing the key objectives of learning and reading comprehension, including:

  • Clear, concise sentences that promote comprehension.
  • Context clues to fill in the gaps
  • Enough contextual information to understand what the sentence is asking
  • Appropriate vocabulary to leverages familiar, relevant words rather than causing friction and distracting the learner

Without a doubt, it’s a delicate balance to maintain the challenge of incorporating words that are engaging without being overwhelming, while matching the reader’s fluency and proficiency level. 

Because readability and cloze deletion tests are so closely intertwined, it’s important to carefully consider all of the moving parts that go into creating such a test. By looking at things like sentence structure, complexity of vocabulary, surrounding context and passage length, it’s possible to create cloze deletion tests that are challenging but not overwhelming and confidence-boosting without being frustrating. 

Test Your Document’s Readability with Originality.AI

Originality.AI does more than just detecting AI-written content and plagiarism. Although these features are at the heart of our machine language and NLP-driven platform, we also strive to make readability and content more accessible for everyone. 

That’s why we’ve developed a free Readability Checker that can help you determine the approximate reading level of your content in just a few simple clicks. 

With Originality.AI’s free readability tool, you can check the readability of your content across a number of professional and academic scales, including: 

  • Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning Fog Index
  • SMOG Index
  • Powers Sumner-Kearl
  • FORCAST Grade Level
  • Coleman Liau Index
  • Automated readability index
  • Dale-Chall Readability Grade
  • Spache Readability Grade and
  • Linsear Write grade

You can also see important statistics about your text, any particular issues and even the keyword density of the content without having to pay separately for a search engine optimization tool 

Originality.AI’s readability checker is free to check up to 10,000 words making it a great alternative to paid readability checker tools. Simply copy and paste your potential cloze test questions and measure their readability as well as the appropriate grade level for each according to the scale you prefer. 

Try it now for free! 

All Readability Tests:

Here is a list of all readability tests.

Sherice Jacob

Plagiarism Expert Sherice Jacob brings over 20 years of experience to digital marketing as a copywriter and content creator. With a finger on the pulse of AI and its developments, she works extensively with to help businesses and publishers get the best returns from their Content.

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