[APFC] How to Approach English Section (Part A) of Assistant Provident Fund Commissioners’ Exam? Topicwise Analysis and Booklist

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  1. Structure of APFC written exam
  2. Part A: English: Topicwise Breakup
  3. Verdict
  4. How to approach the English Section of APFC Exam?
  5. Sentence Correction
  6. Vocabulary: Synonyms, Antonym and Idioms
  7. Expanding Vocabulary through Newspaper reading
  8. Where to get practice for English section of APFC exam?
  9. Booklist for APFC Exam (English Section)
  10. Warning

So far in the APFC series, I had written about

  1. Study plan for APFC
  2. Previous years’ Question Papers for APFC exam (2002 and 2004)

Go to the Archive page http://mrunal.org/apfc  in case you missed anything.
Now thanks to the question papers provided by Mr.CSL180, here is the updated strategy/studyplan/booklist for approaching Part A (English) of APFC Question paper.

Structure of APFC written exam

  • The paper contains 120 questions, and has negative marking (-0.33) for incorrect answers.

Part A: English: Topicwise Breakup

APFC ExamNumber of Questions
asked in Each Year
Types of Questions20022004
Sentence Arrangement05
Sentence Correction65
Fill in the blanks (grammar)20
Match words with Meanings50
Idioms50
Reading comprehension75
Synonyms45
Antonyms35
Total3025

Verdict

  • English portion is minimum system requirement. Because there will be many candidates who can tick in the range of 25-28 answers correctly. So if you’re awesome in English, that won’t make you a winner but it’ll definitely save you from failing.
  • Donot be overconfident about English section ki “Mujhe toh English aataa hai” because In the questions of sentence correction / fill in the blanks, sometimes we feel our answer is right according to the day to day real-life English, it be may not correct according to the actual rules of grammar and vocabulary. And they’ve negative marking system.
  • if you’re from Non-English / Hindi/ Gujarati /Marathi etc medium, donot feel inferior. It is never too late or never too difficult, to master English for competitive exams.

Some people think:

I’m not good in at English, so I’ll just ignore that section and concentrate more on General studies (GS) and Aptitude topics.

^it is again a wrong approach, because there will be some really serious players who’re masters of both Part A (English) and Part B (GS+Aptitude). So instead of running away from your fear (English) you must face it.

How to approach the English Section of APFC Exam?

Sentence Correction

  • For Sentence correction and fill in the blanks questions, you must know the rules of grammar.
  • Tata-Macgrawhill Publication has a really good book “Compulsory English For Civil And Judicial Services By A. P. Bhardwaj” covering the topics in a lucid manner.
  • If you donot have the time or money to buy this separate book, you may consult the IBPS Manual of either Arihant or Disha Publication.
  •  (ya some people would say for grammar consult Wren and Martin, I think that’d be an overkill)

Vocabulary: Synonyms, Antonym and Idioms

  • For Synonyms, Antonym and Idioms: You’ll get list in the same AP Bhardwaj / IBPS manuals but know that such lists are never complete. So use google search to get as many words as you can.
  • To deal with Synonyms and Antonyms, you must have a large vocabulary; so for time pass you may use a book Word Power by Norman Lewis.  It is not that you’ll get direct questions from it, but it’ll definitely improve your vocabulary and the way you look at words.
  • Donot get demotivated by the size of his book, just try to do 4-5 chapters per day and you’ll be done in no time. Also force your younger brothers and sisters to read this book. Because English is essential for everyone irrespective of his career ambition.

Expanding Vocabulary through Newspaper reading

  • You must read either The Hindu or Indian Express for APFC exam (for GS and Current Affairs), so whenever you read it, note down the difficult words in a diary. Install a freeware called “Wordweb” in your computer and then check the meaning of those words and write the answers in the same diary. Keep revising it every 15-30 days. [There is no need to buy a dictionary]
  • Reading comprehension requires practice. You’ll get it in the same IBPS manuals / you can download the Compulsory English papers for UPSC Mains exam from my site.

Where to get practice for English section of APFC exam?

  • In the questions of sentence correction / fill in the blanks, sometimes we feel our answer is right according to the day to day English we use in real life, BUT it be may not correct according to the actual rules of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Therefore you must practice as many questions as you can, otherwise you’ll get trapped in the negative marking.
  • Similarly Reading comprehension too demands practice else you’ll end up wasting many minutes reading a stupid paragraph.
  • Plenty of mock question papers  for IBPS (Bank PO), GMAT, CAT available online and on pagalguy forum. Use their verbal ability section. Whenever you get fed up and bored reading GK and current affairs, switch to practicing such questions on English.

To sum up,

Booklist for APFC Exam (English Section)

  1. The Hindu OR Indian Express (MUST, No excuse.)
  2. A diary / notebook to note down the difficult words from newspapers (MUST, No Excuse.)
  3. Wordweb software (MUST, No Excuse.) (Note- softpedia page says “Demo” but Demo runs for infinite time so you don’t have to buy it.)
  4. Compulsory English by AP Bhardwaj (TMH Publication) OR IBPS Manual of Disha/Arihant Publication. (ofcourse there are many other decent books for English grammar, so if you already have any other good book, donot hesitate from using it.)
  5. Wordpower made easy by Norman Lewis (optional but recommended)

Warning

Buying more books won’t serve any purpose unless you’re going to read them atleast twice before the exam and solve all the mock questions given in them.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 68 Comments posted

  1. diksha

    Sir i have s.p bskshi for eng. Dat will b enough

  2. UPASANA

    COMPULSORY ENGLISH BY A P BHARDWAJ SUGGESTED BY YOU REALLY PROVED A BOON FOR TO CRACK ALL EXAMS.
    THANKS MRUNAL , TMH AND A P BHARDWAJ . SIR I CAME ACCROSS NOE MORE VERY GOOD BOOK BY SAME AUTHOR GENERAL ENGLISH PUBLISHED BY PUBLISHED

  3. UPASANA

    ONE MORE BOOK GENERAL ENGLISH BY A P BHARDWAJ PUBLISHED BY PEARSON IS VERY GOOD BOOK FOR
    BANKING , INSURANCE ,, RAILWAYS , DEFENCE , POLICE AND SSC EXAMS

  4. UPASANA

    ONE MORE BOOK GENERAL ENGLISH BY A P BHARDWAJ PUBLISHED BY PEARSON IS VERY GOOD BOOK FOR
    BANKING , INSURANCE ,, RAILWAYS , DEFENCE , POLICE AND SSC EXAMS . it is the correction in previous comment

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