English is essential for competitive exams
Almost all the competitive examinations nowadays test English skills. Basically, three important aspects are tested:
These aspects help the exam authorities to assess a candidate’s understanding, writing and analyzing skills. And why not? Afterall, the job may require candidates to interact with foreign clients/higher authorities who may not be comfortable in the vernacular. Having really good skills in English is one factor which may make a major difference in the final selection of your dream job. From the objective test to essay writing, from group discussion to personal interview, English reigns over your journey.
With the changing patterns of questions in the English section in different competitive exams, candidates often get scared on seeing altogether new types of questions. Be assured, whatever the type of question is, if your basics are strong and you have solved an ample number of different types of questions, it will not be difficult for you.
Gaining command over the language
There is no escaping the fact that nothing less than a solid knowledge of English will do if you want to get selected in a majority of the jobs. The question is how to start preparing for your English.
The newspaper is one source which will be helpful to you in a number of ways. Not only is it a good source of articles in really good English, but it also acts as a reservoir of current affairs. We recommend reading two newspapers on a daily basis: one national daily (The Hindu/The Indian Express) and one financial daily (Business Line/The Financial Express). The editorials of these newspapers should be given the first priority. You should read it thoroughly taking note of new words and understanding their contextual meaning. Revising the noted words on a frequent basis and trying to use it in your conversation will help you in understanding the sense a word conveys. Make notes of idioms & phrases as well and use them in your conversation. A keen reading also helps you in keeping tabs on grammar rules.
Competitive exams very often have a section on general awareness. Reading a newspaper on a regular basis helps you in staying updated and getting a good score in this section. Not just this, reading editorials helps you in building different perspectives on different issues which obviously help in group discussion & interviews. It’s obvious that newspapers go a long way in helping you clear a competitive exam.
While reading newspapers, you should keep a dictionary handy and refer to it whenever you come across new words. You can replace the dictionary with one in your mobile phone, provided it doesn’t distract you.
A book for grammar rules
There are several popular books on English grammar like Wren & Martin. Get hold of one and stay updated on the basic grammatical rules.
Apps on your phone
There are a number of mobile apps to help you with your English. Knudge.me is one such app to build up and test your vocabulary on a daily basis. Use technology to your advantage.
Start writing in English
Writing in English is probably one of the best ways to express your creativity. Moreover, it will help in essay-writing for which some of the competitive exams ask. It gives you an opportunity to use the newly learned words as well. Try writing the views expressed in the editorial you read and get it checked by a mentor.
Talk in English
Start taking calls from those pesky callers who offer you loans & credit cards. Ask for more details about their offers in English. You can always refuse their offer. Talk to your peers in English with an attempt at using the new words you learned. This activity will increase your confidence and will come in handy in group discussion and interviews.
To sum it up
If you keep practicing the above suggestions on a regular basis, it will definitely help you, be it any new format of the question. If any type of question is new for you, it is the same case for other aspirants. So keep your cool and try to understand how can the question be solved. As already advised, taking mock tests on a regular basis helps you face new types of questions in a simulated environment. Finally, keep working on the above suggestions and keep taking mock tests. We wish you all the best for your exam!