Past papers of the CSS/PMS and syllabus should be consulted before preparing any subject.
For preparing English grammar and composition paper, one should have a practical strategy. In this paper, your English is counted first. So one should practise ‘English essay’ and ‘general writing’ daily for at least two hours. This will enable you to be fluent in writing practice and improve your expression and vocabulary. Usually, candidates do not practise even a single essay or writing and when the candidate sits in the exams he is uncomfortable to write the given essay or topic in the given time. So my advice is to write something daily. It can be an essay or general topics. The underlying idea is to write more and more. This technique will enable the candidates to get higher marks not only in English essay and precis but also in the optional papers.
For attempting precis, first read the passage carefully and then in the second reading, highlight important words. Make sure no important point should be missed. After that, write a precis by explaining the highlighted words. In this way, original words are minimised and your own vocabulary is outlined that is the requirement of precis. The precis requires your own words and the vocabulary given in the passage is avoided. Sometimes terms like psychosis or neurosis are used. These terms should not be changed and used as it is. When one writes the rough precis then one should count the words and check if one has not missed any important point. After that make a third and neat precis that is considered as final. The process of making the precis from the outlined words and then second draft and third and final draft will convince the examiners.
For proposing suitable title, the candidates should find it either in the beginning or in the end and sometimes in the middle. For further details read English Precis book written by me.
For expansion of ideas, candidates have to give thorough reading to a number of axioms. Like 100 marks essay, the format is same. The candidates should make first paragraph as introduction, in second, third and fourth paragraphs explain the expansion of ideas in examples, causes or according to the requirement of the topic. The last paragraph should be the conclusion because examiner wants 250-300 restricted words.
Preparing the first three questions – precis, comprehension and expansion of the ideas – candidates need to practise the CSS last 20 years papers and get these exercises checked by a CSS English teacher because nearly 60 to 70 per cent students are victims of English essay and precis and composition paper every year.
The remaining part like vocabulary should be prepared from GRE-Test. These 3000 to 3500 words are not only helpful in getting 10 marks in synonyms and antonyms but also in understanding the pair of words, difficult words in precis and comprehension and in grasping the topic of 100 marks essay topic. So preparing 3500 words of GRE vocabulary will pay you in the end. The best method to prepare the vocabulary is to memorise the meaning of difficult 10 to 15 words daily. After one week, revise the vocabulary and the confusing words or the words which the candidate is unable to memorise should be underlined and memorised again and again.
For preparing five marks correction, learn the rules of correction from these books: Exploring the world of English and Discovering the world of English. After going through the rules of the correction, candidate should solve the CSS past papers. Besides, one can solve PMS and Judiciary past papers.
Now comes pair of words. Prepare the list of pair of words from the above books and past CSS/PMS papers. Make sentences of these pair of words in two or three lines. Suppose if there is a word ‘Able’ and the candidate makes the sentence ‘He is an able teacher.’The examiners would not award marks for such a sentence. So make your sentence in two or three lines.
Usually candidates focus on optional and other compulsory papers ignoring English essay and composition and in the end these candidates fail in both English essay and composition papers.
For consulting CSS teachers, only contact those people who are experienced and take advice from a single one or two persons. Sometimes candidates take suggestions from too many people that result in utter confusion and lack of decision making.
In a nutshell, past papers of the CSS/PMS and syllabus should be consulted before preparing any subject. This will provide you the track and create awareness about the preparation one is doing for the exams.