[For the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam, the Combined Higher secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL Exam, SI Delhi Police and CPO Exam, Stenographer Exam, or any other similar exam like Grade-II DASS Exam, etc.]

When we talk about English papers of any competitive exam, especially exams conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), English plays a huge role in one’s selection. But I have not seen people concentrating on the English section/papers as is required, Generally they prefer to rely on their intuitions and cramming type of attitude forgetting the importance of basic facts/concepts/rules, which is the real core of scoring good marks in English.

Broadly we can divide the questions on English in two parts i.e. vocabulary based and grammar based. There is no denying that there is a good part of vocabulary based questions in any competitive exam, but you can’t ignore the other part i.e. grammar also as this only can help you understand English well and do questions with more ease, remember almost 70% of the questions in an exam are grammar based or that you can’t do them comfortably without understanding the basic English and its grammar.

The role of reading a newspaper and magazine here becomes very significant as they really help one very much not only to strengthen one’s vocabulary items such as synonyms, antonyms, spellings, idioms/phrases, phrasal verbs, one word substitution but also to improve one’s grammar as well as comprehension passages etc.

If you are in the habit of reading a newspaper, a magazine, etc. regularly you do not need to cram the things, rather they improve automatically. Books written by Maha Gupta are especially designed for the exams conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). I hope they help you enhance your knowledge of both grammar and vocabulary very much leading you to score fairly high in exams.

1. Maha English Grammar (for competitive exams)

2. Maha English Practice Sets (for competitive exams)


How to do Comprehension Passages

1. Read the passage first; not the questions. If we’ll read the questions first our whole concentration then will divert on finding the answers of those questions, and thus we’ll be unable to understand the passage, which is so important. Without understanding the passage well we can’t answer the questions well.

2. Read the passage 1-2 times to grasp it well; only then you’ll be able to answer the questions comfortably.

3. Read questions one at a time and answer it immediately after. If you are not getting the answer, leave it to attempt it at a later stage, and go to the next question. As you have read the passage already you will get some idea of the location in the passage of material that answers the question.

4. After doing all the questions of a particular passage read the left out questions carefully, they might be analytical in nature which requires the analysis of a certain part of the passage, and you might need to use your logical mind.

NOTE-I: For both comprehension passages and cloze tests your basic understanding of English language should be right. Without this, things are going to be really difficult. For comprehension you should have sharp and quick mind. If you want your comprehension of a passage improved you should read the passage very carefully 1-2 times and keep in mind the content of the passage so that while answering questions you do not need to go back to it time and again.

Students normally think that reading the passage 1-2 times is a sheer wastage of time and won’t fetch them desired results. But in my experience – and when I say experience it comes from thousands of students and a decade of time that I have been in this profession – reading the passage first is the best strategy as it not only will save your time but also will help you get more and more marks.

When you are through with the passage and its contents you are ready to read the questions and answer them without ambiguity and with complete clarity of what the examiner is asking. That read between the lines concept works very well in comprehension while answering the questions, and that can only be developed by investing a couple of extra minutes by going through the same passage at-least 1-2 times.

NOTE-II: In an objective exam the speed is very important, and it can only be improved by doing sufficient amount of practice. So read sufficient number of passages and cloze tests from a good source well in time.


How to do Cloze Tests

1. In a question on CLOZE TEST you are given a text passage with some words missing; and you have to replace the missing words from the given options. For this one needs to have a strong command of grammar along with good vocabulary.

2. In order to fill in the missing words, you should read it slowly 1-2 times first without filling up the blanks. Certainly this will help you to develop an idea about the topic and figure out what the text is about.

3. Once you are known with that you should fill in only those blanks you are 100% sure of. This process will enable you to fill in the remaining blanks well.

4. A Cloze Test is a passage with sentences that are logically connected to each other, so we should keep in mind that we must not treat each sentence individually while filling in the blanks. Instead we should think of logical connections that link up the sentences together.


How to do questions on sentence rearrangement (P, Q, R, S)

1. In a question on SENTENCE REARRANGEMENT (PQRS) we are given a jumbled paragraph or sentence, but the sentences or parts of a sentence are not in right order. We have to rearrange the order so that it makes a logical sense. Whenever you solve such questions apply the following tricks.

2. There are four jumbled sentences/parts of a sentence in each question; try to link any two of them in proper order. Then see that order (PQ, PS, RP, or any that you find right) in the answer options. That answer option will be the correct one. However, if such pairs are more than one in the options, you should check the adjoining choices also to know whether their order is sensible.

3. Once you are successful in doing that you are also advised to check the order of all the choices in the option you selected.

4. For this we need to have fair knowledge of nouns, pronouns, relative pronouns, verbs, modals, etc. as they help greatly in establishing the link logically.



I’d advise you that you should not spend much time on antonyms and synonyms. The reason is that they are endless in number and therefore you can’t learn them much. Any word could be there in the question paper, so it will be better if you utilize that precious time in making your other areas of the paper stronger.

Dear friends, word power can’t be made strong just by cramming words for a few months; rather it’s a long term process that starts from one’s school days itself. I mean only to say if you are behind words more than the actual requirement, output won’t be that good.

The same thing applies to IDIOMS/PHRASES and ONE WORD SUBSTITUTION, but here you can spare some of your time for going through them from a good source/study material.

NOTE: In addition to the above mentioned points remember to practice exam style questions from the previous as well as practice/model papers regularly well.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)