- Topic-wise breakup for SSC-English (tier I and II)
- Overall: SSC-English (Tier 1 And 2)
- English Grammar: Approach
- Comprehension + Sentence Arrangement
- Recommended Book for English Grammar
In the previous articles we saw how to approach
|General Awareness for Tier I||Click me|
|Maths / Quantitative Aptitude for Tier I and II||Click me|
|Reasoning/ General Intelligence for Tier I||Click me|
In this article, we’ll see how to approach English for SSC-CGL exam.
In the SSC exam, you have to face English at two stages
|Tier I (prelims)||50 questions
(other 150 question will come from GK, Maths and Reasoning)
|Tier II (mains)
|200 questions||2 hours|
- Negative marking: Yes
|Tier I||Tier II|
|Fill In Blanks||0||15||5||30||20||10|
|Tier I||Tier II|
Sentence Arrangement + Comprehension
|Tier I||Tier II|
|Tier I||Tier II|
- The SSC exams, the English questions usually come in the multiple of “fives” e.g. 5 question on synonyms, then 5 on antonyms and so on. (tier 1)
- Similarly in tier-ii, 10 questions on fill in the blanks, 20 questions on active passive and so on.
- Please do not live in overconfidence that “SSC is a “pappu” exam and I’m a master of English. so I don’t need to prepare anything for vocabulary or grammar.“
- If you observe the previous SSC papers particularly the tier-II papers of English, the vocabulary portion is not “pappu” at times, they ask meaning of words that are not used in the day to day English.
- Similarly, a lot of things that we say and write in English in our day-to-day life, are not grammatically correct. So you may not be able to tick the right choice in sentence correct/ improvement question.
First of all, get a fullscape notebook / diary. Divide it into two parts
- Vocabulary. (last 50 pages)
Vocabulary is of critical importance in SSC exam because of following reasons
- There are direct questions on synonyms, antonyms, idioms and phrases.
- You can read the passage faster, if your vocabulary is good, else you’ll have to pause and think.
- In comprehension passages, some questions are in the format of “what is the meaning of XYZ word in the sentence”
Apart from SSC, if you’re planning to appear for CAPF , LIC or PSU exams – they usually have a descriptive paper (précis, letter writing, essay etc.)
- If you’re planning for UPSC, or State PSC, both have compulsory English paper during Mains. Again (précis, letter writing, essay etc.)
- So, you’ll have to write English essay someday and without good vocabulary you can’t write a decent essay.
- There is no dearth of ready-made books in the market for “vocabulary”.
- Any Tom Dick or Harry can download a list of synonyms, antonyms, idioms and phrases from Google search and publish a book.
- But such books are useless because unfamiliar words don’t stay long-term memory.
From outside, the book looks very thick and heavy just like Manorama yearbook. But actually this book is written in a very lucid, easy, reader friendly language. You can read it like a storybook after-dinner.
Structure of the book
Basics of vocabulary
- Download free software called “WordWeb”: http://wordweb.info/free/
- It is also available for android phones, tablets etc. for free (links on the same site).
- Keep a habit of reading in English on daily basis- be it English-newspaper, magazine or some web-article.
- While reading such things, whenever you come across any difficult word- note down in your diary, along with the sentence in which it appeared. (please keep in mind that absolute words do not stay long-term memory. You have to connect them with a sentence or context.)
- Then lookup for its meaning in the Wordweb software, and write down the meaning back in your diary/notebook.
- Repeat this exercise, until you’re selected in some exam.
This pretty concludes the approach for Vocabulary.
Moving to the next topic:
In the SSC exam, you have to face English grammar in following areas
- Sentence correction
- Sentence improvement.
- Active passive
- direct indirect speech
- This is no-excuse topic. Because it relies on a set of simple rules, almost like math formulas.
- And usually Tier I has 10 questions on Voice+speech
- and tier-II has almost 40-45 questions on these two topics alone.
- Understand the grammar rules and practice maximum questions.
- In your “diary” note down any special/odd rules you come across- including example sentences.
To master sentence correction, you’ve to master two subtopics:
- Grammar rules
- Phrasal verbs
- First of all you need to know the grammar rules. But you don’t need to know all grammar rules!
- Because in competitive exam, sentence correction relies on certain specific mistakes only.
For example: The topic “verb” has lot of theory and classifications.
But for “sentence correction”, it boils down to very few rules for example
- Either, Neither, none, each and every is singular.
|Wrong||Each of the soldiers are disciplined|
|Right||Each of the soldiers is disciplined.|
Your task = first go through your grammar book, and note down such rules with example statements, in your note book. Revise these rules often (along with example sentences).
- Grammar rules are like maths. Universal valid.
- But Phrasal verbs are different game altogether. You need to know memorize the correct usage- case to case basis. For example:
|Correct phrasal verb||Wrong Usage|
|Dispose of= sell.||He has decided to dispose off his property.|
|Dispose to= willing, interested.||He is disposed in discussing that business proposition.|
- Both statements are wrong because phrasal verbs are incorrectly used.
- Many a times, candidates know the grammar rules very well, but they fail to detect the error in sentence because they’ve not prepared the phrasal verbs.
- Standard English has truckload of phrasal verbs. But you should at least know the top/common 200 of them. (can be goggled and also available in various grammar books).
- You next task: revise the list often and write down the very confusing ones into your diary: with example sentence.
Once this is done, try to solve as many practice questions as you can.
- Just one word: Practice.
- The best source for practice= old papers of SSC, IBPS.
Note: Arihant publication has released multiple books on English grammar and two of them have similar sounding names. So please donot mixup.
|General English for All Competitive Examinations by S.C.Gupta||S.C.Gupta||370||Not recommended because it contains mostly practice tests and very few rules on grammar= not comprehensive enough.|
|Objective general English by SP Bakshi.||S.P.Bakshi||730||This is the recommended book.|