The Key Problem to Cracking Competitive Exams & its Solution

English is not just a language today; it has evolved and has evolved for the better. The ‘global language’ tag has helped it come out of the classrooms of the nation’s schools and become one of the most sought after strata (part) of the current society. May it be for communication, for recognition, for success, et al., English has escalated to new heights and glory.

Studying English has always been a task to reckon with (surely, speaking it didn’t require half the efforts). The same goes for an examination (whichever it may be!), when the nails were bit the maximum…and the toilets visited frequently

Now imagine a sorry sight of ‘English’ in ‘Examinations’…the double ‘E’ torture becomes a nightmare in no time, with the ‘ghosts of grammar’ haunting us.

But on the other hand, if it’s for a government job (‘gormint’ for some), an entrance exam or even a departmental test…we start preparing the ground (read preparation).

In competitive exams, the technicalities of English are asked in a tricky manner, which often fluctuates in the degree of hardness. A plethora of sections are covered within the scope of English, which makes it stand out as quite a hurdle to successfully crack a competitive examination. It is not just the proficiency in the language which matters, but also the art of effectively managing the time, to attend all the questions, which is to be learnt. In English, the questions mainly fall under the following divisions:

  1. Error detection
  2. Comprehension
  3. Vocabulary (synonyms, antonyms)
  4. Narrations
  5. Voice
  6. Articles &
  7. Sentence Arrangements

The Issue: Though, grammar plays an important part, one needs extra skill and a sound mind to be able to play with words, comprehend the meanings and choose the best from the given alternatives. It may happen that a question of vocabulary will have four alternatives which appear more similar than a pair of identical twins. Another situation will be where the sentences given for being arranged correctly, will all look good in the second or the third spot. A third instance may arise where a comma can play spoilsport in the error detection arena. It can also be a gargantuan (read large, just like the word, eh?) passage from where small answers would have to be sneaked out. One may end up either nibbling at the nails or scratching the hair till it falls off…but the answer just wouldn’t come.

The Solution: Learn. Practise. Learn. Practice. Repeat. (Did you notice that the dual spellings for practise?) It might take a week, a month or even a year, but continuous efforts will make you a master of the language, and it is always preferred to be learning a language under no one but an expert, which will give the necessary exposure and a chance to be supervised thoroughly, making sure that the mistakes are rectified and a whole new level of the language is explored…be it just for an exam. I repeat, no amount of question papers and practise test papers will save you, if the same is not being scrutinized and corrected, in a good manner.

As the Bhagwad Gita rightly quotes, “Your world is a perception based on your prejudices, shaped by your fears and fuelled by your ignorance.”

Let us all better not be ignorant about the language…*whispers*…and our futures.


Bikku Jacob Kuriakose

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