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Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks (FIB) questions have been a regular feature on the CAT and other examinations. Purpose of asking these questions is to check how much a student is comfortable with Vocabulary, and can s/he possess the reasoning ability required to check the compatibility between/among the words to be filled in the blanks.


There are different types of FIB questions asked on CAT. We will see it one by one:

Type 1: Single Blank Questions


Mostly, these questions are asked to test the vocabulary or preposition usage of a student. Usage of Vocabulary can be tested in two ways:

  1. Meaning of word,
  2. Appropriate usage of the word in the given context.

Example 1 :

He deals ________ vegetables these days.
(a) out
(b) to
(c) for
(d) in


This question requires the student to fill in the blanks the appropriate preposition. “Deals in” is the right usage. Hence, option (d) is the answer.


Example 2 :

Police ________ the thief red-handed.
(a) Apprehended
(b) Reprehended
(c) Comprehended
(d) Secluded


Students can solve this question either by selection of the right option or by eliminating the unlikely options. In any case, student is required to know the meaning of the words given.
Apprehension means “An act of seizure” (among other meanings of apprehension)
Reprehension means “find fault with” or “blame”

Comprehension means “understand the meaning of”
Seclusion means “isolation”.
Option (a) is most appropriate in this case. Hence, option (a) is the answer.



Not wanting to present an unwarranted optimistic picture in the board meeting, the CEO estimated the sales growth __________(XAT 2012)
(a) Strictly
(b) Liberally
(c) Fancifully
(d) Pessimistically
(e) Conservatively


This question is testing you upon the appropriateness of the word in the given context. You may also observe that the options given are quite “day to day” usage words.
Let us understand the tone of the statement – CEO does not want to present an unwarranted optimistic picture. So the estimates of sales growth should be explained by a word having “not – so – positive” connotation.

Options (b) and (c) can be ruled out on this ground. Option (a) can be ruled out because it is inappropriate. Estimates are conservative or optimistic or pessimistic. Conservative estimation is cautious estimation – not going overboard – this is what CEO wanted to do. Hence, option (e) is the

Type 2: Double Blank Questions


Consider the following question:

There are two blanks in the following statement, and options are given in the next line. Choose the options that fills in the blanks appropriately.

When I went to meet him on ____(a)______, he was playing____(b)___.

  1. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  2. Chess, Tennis, Football, Cricket.

What would be your answer?

This question can have any of the possible combinations as the answer as the two blanks are not logically related.

CAT and other B-school examinations will ask you questions to test either your vocabulary or reasoning ability to connect the theme.

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