English for Competitive Exams

This article on English for Competitive Exams will help you understand the role of English from the point of view of taking up an exam. Proficiency in English language particularly on English grammar is a must when planning to take up competitive exams. It is important to understand the functional aspects of grammar. Having strong foundation of the basic grammatical concepts can help you immensely in clearing the exam. Knowing how individual language components work in different contexts is a skill that needs to be focussed. To understand and master this, you need to have great amount of exposure to reading and identifying how vocabulary works in context. Unless reading becomes part of your daily routine, learning grammatical and contextual use of language will be a challenge.


Grammar besides its undisputable role in communication, it is also vital for competitive exams. Whether you are fond of it or not, if you have the idea to appear for any competitive exams, the first recommended step is to learn and practice as much grammar exercise as possible until you become confident of major topics. Thoroughly learning the rules of grammar and its applications will help you to crack competitive exams and fine-tune your communication skills in the long run. It is important that you spend sufficient time to practice all major topics one by one. A clear evaluation of previous years’ question papers will give you a good idea about what to expect.     


Now, it is time to know what comprises in the test of English language. To be precise, the language part of any competitive exams focuses on a special section called as Verbal Ability. This includes questions from the following major areas namely Grammar, Vocabulary and Comprehension. There are several books that you can depend for preparation. I personally use these two text books for my training needs: Objective English by Edgar Thorpe and Objective English by Hari Mohan Prasad.

You have to understand that the nature of questions in terms of sourcing will vary from exam to exam. Questions are taken from almost all available resources including subjects such as literature, philosophy, science and technology, medicine and other areas as well. Similarly, you will be able to see questions at varying levels of difficulty. The one thing that remains same is the choice of topics, it is always based on the three major areas mentioned above. Refer to my posts on Verbal Ability and Verbal Ability Tests to know more about how the language section in a competitive exam would look like.


From an examination point of view, preparation for any competitive exams irrespective of the subject, the learning needs to be practical in nature. There is no use if you just read the theory and appear for the exam. You have to solve ample questions before taking up the real examination. The challenge is not just about finding the right solution, it is in choosing the appropriate answer within the given time-frame. Knowing how to manage time, how to comprehend and respond to questions, prior knowledge of the exam pattern, lastly taking up as much practice tests as possible will help you to increase the readiness for the actual competitive exam.    

Author | Dr Rajesh Bojan

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