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preparation strategy, tips, booklist, analysis Mrunal


[Studyplan] SSC-CGL English Vocabulary, Grammar and Comprehension: preparation strategy, tips, booklist, analysis
1. Introduction 2. Topic-wise breakup f or SSC-English (tier I and II) 3. Overall: SSC-English (Tier 1 And 2) 4. Vocabulary? 5. English Grammar: Approach 1. Task #1: Active Passive (voice) and Direct-Indirect (speech) 2. Task #2: Sentence Correction+Improvement 6. Comprehension + Sentence Arrangement 7. Recommended Book f or English Grammar

Introduction
In the previous articles we saw how to approach General Awareness f or Tier I Maths / Quantitative Aptitude f or Tier I and II Reasoning/ General Intelligence f or Tier I Click me Click me Click me

In this article, well see how to approach English f or SSC-CGL exam.

In the SSC exam, you have to f ace English at two stages


Tier I (prelims) 50 questions (other 150 question will come f rom GK, Maths and Reasoning) 200 questions 2 hours

Tier II (mains) Paper II

2 hours

Negative marking: Yes

Topic-wise breakup for SSC-English (tier I and II)

Vocabulary
Tier I 2010 Antonym Synonym/Substitution Idioms Spelling Fill In Blanks Vocab Subtotal 5 10 0 5 0 20 2011 5 5 5 5 15 35 2010 5 10 5 5 5 30 Tier II 2011 5 10 5 5 30 55 2010 5 10 5 5 20 45 2011 3 15 10 3 10 41

Grammar
Tier I 2010 Sentence Correction Sentence Improvement Direct-Indirect Active-Passive Grammar Subtotal 5 5 5 5 20 2011 5 5 5 0 15 2012 5 5 0 0 10 Tier II 2010 20 20 25 20 85 2011 20 20 25 20 85 2012 20 22 27 20 89

Sentence Arrangement + Comprehension


Tier I 2010 Sentence Arrangement Comprehension Subtotal 5 5 10 2011 0 0 0 2012 0 10 10 Tier II 2010 10 50 60 2011 20 50 70 2012 20 50 70

Overall: SSC-English (Tier 1 And 2)


Tier I 2010 20 2011 35 2012 30 Tier II 2010 55 2011 45 2012 41

Vocabulary

1. Synonyms 2. Antonyms 3. Fill in the blanks (single statement) 4. Fill in the blank (huge paragraph) 5. Spelling mistake 6. Idioms and phrases 7. One word substitution (similar to synonyms)

Grammar

8. Sentence improvement 9. sentence

20

15

10

85

85

89

correction 10. Active passive 11. Direct-indirect

Comprehension

12. Comprehension 13. Sentence Arrangement

10

10

60

70

70

Total

Grand Total

50

50

50

200

200

200

T he SSC exams, the English questions usually come in the multiple of f ives e.g. 5 question on synonyms, then 5 on antonyms and so on. (tier 1) Similarly in tier-ii, 10 questions on f ill in the blanks, 20 questions on active passive and so on. Please do not live in overconf idence that SSC is a pappu exam and Im a master of English. so I dont 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 lif e, 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 f ullscape notebook / diary. Divide it into two parts 1. Grammar 2. Vocabulary. (last 50 pages)

Vocabulary?
Vocabulary is of critical importance in SSC exam because of f ollowing reasons 1. T here are direct questions on synonyms, antonyms, idioms and phrases. 2. You can read the passage f aster, if your vocabulary is good, else youll have to pause and think. 3. In comprehension passages, some questions are in the f ormat of what is the meaning of XYZ word in the sentence Apart f rom SSC, if youre planning to appear f or CAPF , LIC or PSU exams they usually have a descriptive paper (prcis, letter writing, essay etc.) If youre planning f or UPSC, or State PSC, both have compulsory English paper during Mains. Again (prcis, letter writing, essay etc.) So, youll have to write English essay someday and without good vocabulary you cant write a decent essay.

How to improve vocabulary?


T here is no dearth of ready-made books in the market f or vocabulary. Any Tom Dick or Harry can download a list of synonyms, antonyms, idioms and phrases f rom Google search and publish a book.

But such books are useless because unf amiliar words dont stay long-term memory.

Vocab: Basics
Most of the so-called books on English vocabulary, written by Indian authors, and merely rephrasing the concept of Norman Lewiss book Word Power made easy+ copy pasting some synonyms-antonym list f rom google search. My advice: Use this book called Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis T his book does not merely contain meaning of words but also helps you guestimate answers and probable meanings of unf amiliar words. Because Norman Lewis explains how English vocabulary has evolved f rom certain roots. He has also explained the spelling rules. Once youre selected in some exam, gif t this book to your siblings, f riends or cousin. Really helpf ul f or everyone, irrespective whether he/she is appearing in some competitive exam / not.

How-to approach Norman Lewis?


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 f riendly language. You can read it like a storybook af ter-dinner.

Structure of the book


T his is subdivided into About 40 sessions (mini-chapters). Try to f inish 3-4 sessions per day. Complete all the exercises given at the end of each session.

Basics of vocabulary

Appendix

In the appendix, he has given meaning of all the words you learned in above sessions. I suggest you go through this list at least three times. Why? Because while going through old papers of SSC, I realized that sometimes theyve directly lif ted words f rom this book in synonyms question!

Vocabulary: Advanced

Download f ree sof tware called WordWeb: http://wordweb.inf o/f ree/ It is also available f or android phones, tablets etc. f or f ree (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 dif f icult 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.) T hen lookup f or its meaning in the Wordweb sof tware, and write down the meaning back in your diary/notebook. Repeat this exercise, until youre selected in some exam. T his pretty concludes the approach f or Vocabulary. Moving to the next topic:

English Grammar: Approach


In the SSC exam, you have to f ace English grammar in f ollowing areas 1. Sentence correction 2. Sentence improvement. 3. Active passive 4. direct indirect speech

Approaching Grammar Task #1: Active Passive (voice) and Direct-Indirect (speech)
T his is no-excuse topic. Because it relies on a set of simple rules, almost like math f ormulas.

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.

Task #2: Sentence Correction+Improvement


To master sentence correction, youve to master two subtopics: 1. Grammar rules 2. Phrasal verbs

Grammar Rules
First of all you need to know the grammar rules. But you dont need to know all grammar rules! Because in competitive exam, sentence correction relies on certain specif ic mistakes only. For example: T he topic verb has lot of theory and classif ications. But f or sentence correction, it boils down to very f ew rules f or example 1. Either, Neither, none, each and every is singular. Wrong Right Each of the soldiers are disciplined Each of the soldiers is disciplined.

Your task = f irst go through your grammar book, and note down such rules with example statements, in your note book. Revise these rules of ten (along with example sentences).

Phrasal Verbs
Grammar rules are like maths. Universal valid. But Phrasal verbs are dif f erent game altogether. You need to know memorize the correct usagecase to case basis. For example: Correct phrasal verb Dispose of = sell. Dispose to = willing, interested. Wrong Usage He has decided to dispose off his property. 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 f ail to detect the error in sentence because theyve 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 of ten and write down the very conf using ones into your diary: with example sentence.

Once this is done, try to solve as many practice questions as you can.

Comprehension + Sentence Arrangement


Just one word: Practice. T he best source f or practice= old papers of SSC, IBPS.

Recommended Book for English Grammar


T here is no dearth of books on in English-grammar in the market. Some people might even advise you to use Wren and Martin etc. but such books are written f rom board exams/ academic point of view. And f or the competitive exams, we dont need to study everything of English grammar, we just need a set of rules and practice questions. If you already have some IBPS Manual/ some English grammar book (R.S.Agarwal, A.P.Bhardwaj) etc. use it. If you dont have any book, I suggest you go f or objective general English by SP Bakshi (Arihant Publication). He has given direct rules and example-sentences f rom competitive exam point of view. =makes it easy to handle sentence correction. Plus, the book also contains good list of phrasal verbs, idioms and vocabulary. While most English grammar books cost f or around Rs.300, SP Bakshi is half that price. (Around 150) and yet coverage is same, including number of pages. And it has Universal application f or all exams: IBPS, LIC, PSU, CDS etc.

Note: Arihant publication has released multiple books on English grammar and two of them have similar sounding names. So please donot mixup. Author Pages (approx.) 370 Comment

General English f or All Competitive Examinations by S.C.Gupta Objective general English by SP Bakshi.

S.C.Gupta

Not recommended because it contains mostly practice tests and very f ew rules on grammar= not comprehensive enough. T his is the recommended book.

S.P.Bakshi

730

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