English language plays a very determining part in any government exam. If you’re aspiring for any such examination, you need to have a good command over English language.
There are some examinations, where questions are provided in Hindi or Regional languages also, but the fact remains, that there is a separate section in every exam where your knowledge of English is tested. This section carries no option for any other language, so you are kind of stuck in it.
To ease this difficulty, you need to lay down special emphasis over your language preparation so that you don’t lose marks due to lack of knowledge of English. Now, if you’re someone who is not too good at English or is average in studies, you need not to worry. Just follow some tips and keep up the hard work, soon you’ll have the knowledge that you seek. So, let’s get started!
- Grammar- Grammar is the main essence of any language and to know a language you must have command over grammar part. The day you realize that you need to prepare for English, the first step you should be doing is, to ace its grammar. To understand the question or to answer the question, you need to know about how sentences are formed and what they mean. Do not directly go for heavy-heavy books of grammar, start with basic school books. Start with learning Part of Speech, Tenses, Narration and Voice. At first learn the rules then try to apply them in practical life. Once you start getting familiar with the rules, focus on things like Modals, Prepositions, Adjectives, Gerund, and Infinitive etc. In a few months, you’ll notice a change in your orientation. You will have knowledge of rules and their application. Then you can try some standard books of grammar such as Wren & Martin or S.P.Bakshi.
- Vocabulary- Once you get an idea about the grammar, you must go for Vocabulary. Start with learning the words which you use daily, try to know the name of things that you use daily. Grab any dictionary and try to learn as many new words as you can. But remember to revise and use those words, otherwise you’ll forget them soon. A very good source of learning new words can be newspapers. I would also suggest you to listen to English Songs, Podcasts and videos; they introduce you with new meanings everyday. Apart from this, you can search for specific pdfs of Vocabulary for your exam; there are plenty of those available on the internet. A very standard book for Vocabulary is “Word Power Made Easy “by Norman Lewis. This book covers 85% of your vocabulary if you grasp a hold on it. Always prepare Synonyms and Antonyms for every word, some questions are asked on this part also.
- Bonus Tips for Vocabulary- Every person has capacity of learning new words. Some find it difficult to retain a lot of words. Here are two things that you can do-
- (1) Divide the words in negative or positive tone. For example- Optimistic, Sanguine, Buoyant etc. are words which denote something positive, whereas Acerbic, Scanting, Vicious, Caustic etc. are the words which give negative tone. You can just remember the tone of the word. When such word comes in a passage, you can easily determine whether it is saying something positive or negative.
- (2) Try to learn root words, for example- such as ‘Bene’ means good, ‘Bio” means life, ‘Aqua” means water and ‘Mal’ means bad. Whenever any word starts with these root words, you will automatically get the meaning.
- Comprehension- In many exams, we see unseen passages and paragraphs for comprehension. You have to read the passage thoroughly and understand what it says. Then the passage is followed by some questions, which you have to answer. In these questions, they can ask you to give general answers or to give the title of the passage or they can ask meaning of some words. To attempt these questions perfectly, you need to practice comprehension daily. Buy any book for practice or check on internet for daily passages. Try to attempt them in as less time as possible. Read the passage thoroughly and then move to the questions. Do not miss the central idea as it helps you to decide the title. Watch English Movies for better understanding of context, it also helps.
- Spellings- Do not underestimate spellings in any examination. Sometimes questions are asked to correct the spelling, and the options are very confusing. To attempt such questions, you must memorize the spellings very well. Also, when you write subjective answers, you are judged by your spelling too. Bad spelling makes a bad impression upon the examiner.
- Newspapers- A lot of people would have suggested you to start your preparation of English language by reading newspapers. However, I would suggest that one must know the grammar and the vocabulary first, so that when you start a newspaper, you understand it better. As a beginner, start by some light news papers such as Economic Times and gradually move towards The Hindu or The Indian Express. Look very carefully at the new words that you find in the newspaper, and learn how to create better sentence structure. Do not read too much in a day, read only that much which you can memorize in a day. Continue this for about 6 months, and you’ll see a drastic change in your English.
- Write what you learn- When you learn a new word, or you learn a new way of sentence formation, always make short notes of that thing. Because when we write something, we memorize that thing even better. You can make some flash cards or you can write those words in a notebook. Either way, don’t forget to write them.
- Shape your knowledge- Once you learn plenty of words, grammar and rules of English language, it’s time to shape your knowledge. You might be thinking, that ‘How I’ll shape my knowledge”? Well! Recognize the area which requires work and revise the portion which you know the best. For example- if you have good command over grammar, but are weak in vocabulary, give less time to grammar and focus more on vocabulary. Make a routine and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know that how much have you covered and how much is left, you’ll know how to cover those left things.
Hopefully this article guides you in some way!