English for competitive exams
English is a universal language. English is a common subject in all most all competitive exams. It is the most scoring section of any competitive exam because its questions can be answered in less time as compared to other sections like math and reasoning. If you know the rules of grammar and you are good at vocabulary then you can get high marks in General English for competitive exams.
General English is the favorite subject of students for competitive exams because they are familiar with English since school days. To solve the questions of English in the competitive exams you don’t need to memorize any formula or trick you simply have to apply the rules of grammar that you have been learning since childhood.
English for competitive exams
The General English of competitive exams involves both Objective and Descriptive sections. In the objective section, you have to answer, MCQ’s and in the Descriptive section, you have to write an essay, letter writing, précis writing, and application writing. We will discuss in a systematic way the syllabus of General English for competitive exams.
General English Syllabus for Competitive Exams
- Active Voice and Passive Voice:
In this type of question, a sentence is given in active or passive voice you have to identify out of the four alternatives the correct active voice or passive voice for the respective sentence in questions. This topic tests the grammatical knowledge related to active and passive voice.
- Cloze Tests:
In this type of question, a paragraph is given with empty blanks you have to fill the blanks after carefully reading the paragraph the four alternatives are provided for every blank below the question. The cloze tests test the students’ knowledge of comprehension with respect to grammar and vocabulary.
- Commonly Misspelled Words:
In this type of question, commonly wrong spelling of the word is given in the question and you have to identify its correct spelling out of the four alternatives. This topic tests the accuracy of spelling.
- Reading Comprehension:
In this type of question, a paragraph is given students are expected to read the complete paragraph thoroughly and answer the question based on it each question has four alternatives you have to identify the correct alternative. This topic tests the understanding level of the English language of students.
- Direct & Indirect Speech:
In this type of question, a sentence is given in direct or indirect speech you have to convert direct into indirect speech or indirect into direct speech and select the correct option out of the four alternatives. This topic tests the knowledge of rules of grammar related to Direct & Indirect Speech.
- Error Spotting:
In this type of question, a sentence is divided into four parts out of the four parts one part contains a grammatical error students are expected to spot the grammatical error out of the four parts and mark that part of the sentence as your answer. This topic tests the overall grammatical knowledge of students.
- Fill in the Blanks:
In this type of question, a sentence is given containing a blank you have to find the most correct word to fill in the blank out of the four alternatives provided below the question. This topic tests the vocabulary plus grammar skills of students.
- Idioms and Phrases:
In this type of question, a sentence is given containing Idioms in italic you have to find its correct meaning out of the four alternatives given below the questions. This topic tests the Vocabulary skills of students.
- Sentence rearrangement:
In this type of question. A sentence is divided into four parts and parts of the sentence are jumbled. Students are expected to correct the sequence of part of the sentence. And choose the correct order of words from the four alternatives given below the question. This topic tests the skill of sentence construction.
- Paragraph rearrangement:
In this type of question. A Paragraph is divided into four to five-part the first and last part of the sentence is correct. The remaining parts are jumbled. The student is expected to correct the sequence of sentences in paragraphs. And choose the correct order of sentences from the four alternatives given below the questions. This topic tests the knowledge of grammar rules and comprehension skills of students.
- One-word Substitution:
In this type of question, A phrase or sentence is given followed by four alternatives, which contain four words. Students have to find the word, which replaces the phrase of the sentence in question without changing the meaning. This type of question tests the vocabulary of students.
- Sentence Improvement:
In this type of question, a sentence is given part of which is italicized and the sentence is grammatically incorrect you have to find the correct alternative from the four alternatives given below the question which improves the italicized part and corrects the sentence grammatically. This topic tests the knowledge of almost all rules of grammar.
In this type of question, a single word is given in the questions. Students have to find the word, which is most similar to its meaning from the four alternatives given below the question. This question tests the vocabulary of the students.
In this type of question, a single word is given in the questions. Students have to find the word, which is opposite to its meaning from the four alternatives given below the question. This type of question tests the vocabulary of students.
Syllabus of Descriptive English in Competitive Exams
The Competitive Exams contain the following four types of descriptive questions
- Essay writing
- Letter writing
- Precis writing
1) Essay writing for competitive exams:
- Essay Writing Tips for Competitive Exams:
Select the topic wisely; you must have solid basic knowledge of the topic of the essay. Select a topic whose intro and conclusion are easy to write. You have limited time to write an essay take starting 5 min to create the outline of the essay in your mind. You can write bullet points of the essay on rough paper and then start.
The essay can be divided into three parts
i) Introduction: Introduction is the starting paragraph of your essay. It is said that the first impression is the last impression. The Evaluator will judge your essay by its introduction and then decide to go further. The introduction should be simple and attractive. It should in your own language. It should not be copied from some other resources. You should take references from other resources but you should not copy-paste the matter as it is. The Introduction should create curiosity and interest in the mind of the reader.
ii) Body: After the introduction, your essay should have a good body. Here you have to collect and arrange relevant ideas in proper sequence. Make a new paragraph body every new idea and maintain the proper sequence of ideas don’t jumble ideas together. The paragraph should be of appropriate size neither too long nor too small.
iii) Conclusion: Conclusion is the end of your essay. Here you have to analyze the entire essay and write your own opinion about the topic.
You should express your views impartially with the logic behind them and don’t take sides of a particular religion, political party, or institution. You should be neutral when expressing your views about the essay topic in conclusion. End your essay with positivity if there is a problem write how it can be solved don’t give the impression that nothing can be done to solve the problem. Summarize the essay in conclusion and express your views in short.
c)When writing an essay do not make any grammatical mistakes or spelling mistakes. It leaves a bad impression on the evaluator.
d)Avoid writing any controversial matter in your essay.
e) The length of the passage should not be too long because the evaluator does not have the entire day to read your essay.
2) Letter writing:
Tips to write a good letter:
- There are two types of the letter formal letters and informal letters student must identify the type of letter he is writing because formal and informal letters have different formats.
- The beginning and end of the letter must be according to the rules of letter writing. Formal letters must be open or closed in a professional manner but informal must be open and closed casually with a more personal touch.
- The language of the letter must be simple and lucid. Proper communication of ideas should happen through letters. Avoid confusing sentences and word your intention of writing a letter must be crystal-clear to the receiver.
- The formal letters should be short and precise informal letters are a little long its length depends upon the purpose for which the letter is written.
- Don’t make any spelling or grammar mistakes while writing letters.
3) Précis Writing:
In précis writing, you have to write a summary of the paragraph given in the question
The word count of précis should be 1/3rd of the paragraph
Tips to write Précis:
- Read the paragraphs completely understand the theme of paragraphs and then decide the title for your précis.
- Write down the main points of the paragraph on rough paper.
- Rewrite the main points of the paragraph in your own language. Delete extra information, which is irrelevant to not significant.
- Don’t make grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- The summary of the passage should not include your own opinion it should highlight the main points of the passage only in your own words.
English Quiz for Competitive Exams
Ans: We should build a solid foundation of grammar and its rules. We should enrich our vocabulary that we should read English newspapers, competitive exams weekly magazines. We should have a dictionary app installed on your smartphone. We should read good books on grammar and then practice using question sets.
Ans: It is the favorite subject of students because it is comparatively easy than other subjects to study and score. Students are familiar with English since schooldays and its question require very little time to answer as compared to other sections of competitive exams.
Ans: The list of good books for competitive exams is as follows.
1) Objective General English by SP Bakshi, Arihant publication
2) Word power by Norman lewis ( To improve vocabulary)
3) Descriptive English by SP Bakshi, Arihant Publication.