Just like Essay paper, my dear aspirants, there would be many questions in your mind regarding English Précis and Composition paper. Given below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) along with their answers couched in extremely simple words for your better understanding:
Q: What should be the ideal strategy to prepare for the ‘Précis and Composition’ paper?
Ans: First of all, you should bear in mind that this paper is as important as English Essay paper. Preparation for Précis and Composition paper should be started right from the day you decide to prepare for CSS exam. Generally, it is advisable to join regular classes with some seasoned mentor. As there are different sorts of questions in this paper, different preparation plans need to be devised, keeping in view the caliber of the aspirant. Much of the time should be spent on learning vocabulary, précising techniques and comprehension skills. Time of, at least, two hours a day should be reserved for the preparation of this paper.
Q: How much important is it to learn vocabulary? What are the good sources for this?
Ans: It is highly important to prepare well in terms of vocabulary. Passing Précis and Composition paper without performing well in vocabulary-related questions is almost impossible. Vocabulary-related questions give full marks in case the answers are correct. Besides, good vocabulary helps a lot in essay paper by creating a very positive image of the linguistic skills of the aspirant on the examiner. Aspirants should start memorizing vocabulary from the very start of the preparation phase and go on with it till the exam is over. As far as the sources of vocabulary are concerned, they are many; aspirants should never rely on any single source. GRE lists, newspapers, magazines live JWT, journals, dictionary, novels, in all, everything that gives a new word is important.
Q: How can one become expert at précis writing?
Ans: Practice is the only key to learning the art of précis writing. You should write précis of at least 60-70 paragraphs before sitting in the examination. Simple paragraphs in various books can be helpful in this regard. Besides, the editorials of some good English newspapers can also be used for practice. Importantly, one should get his précis evaluated by some experienced mentor for honing the précising skills.
Q: What are the qualities of a good précis?
Ans: A good précis is approximately one-third of the original paragraph. It, in fact, is the summary of all the essential points of the given paragraph. It boils down the length of the original text without compromising on the basic information provided in it. A good précis is marked by many qualities like clarity, brevity, coherence and, of course, simplicity.
Q: What should be done to polish comprehension skills?
Ans: Extensive reading can be very much helpful in this regard. English is such a language that the more you read in it, the more you become familiar with its intricacies and labyrinths. Aspirants should develop habit of reading English-language books, essays, journals and magazines. Frequent interaction with the language sharpens the understanding skills of the reader. The major cause of getting poor score in comprehension-related question is failure to comprehend the paragraph properly.
Q: What should be done to prepare for translation of paragraphs from Urdu into English?
Ans: One should be equipped with sufficient vocabulary and enough number of idioms. If you don’t know the exact translation of a particular Urdu word, try to translate it in the most suitable word. The overall message of the sentence should not be tempered at any cost. Usually, all aspirants find difficulty in translating one or the other word; therefore, panic is to be averted. In this particular question, you are not required to produce the ideal translation for passing the exam: you are just required to perform better than your fellow aspirants. So, be relaxed all the time and try to do your best.
Q: Any other tips for the aspirants?
Ans: Yes, some other things would be helpful to great extent. For example:
- Spelling mistakes should be avoided to the maximum possible extent.
- Aspirants should focus on the improvement of their handwriting. This quality alone can earn you 50-60 marks in CSS exam overall.
- Simple yet grammatically correct English is, surely, another key to success in this paper.
- “Précis and Composition” paper can never be passed without having good command over grammar. Aspirants should not waste time in searching for shortcuts; instead, they should work hard to improve their grammar.
- Be vigilant with reference to time management. Aspirants are generally confronted with shortage of time while they are attempting last question of this particular paper.
- Questions, which are not time-consuming e.g. correction, direct and indirect speech, translation and vocabulary, should be solved prior to précis and comprehension of paragraphs.
- Don’t waste time on any single question if you get stuck somewhere! Just move forward to cover the maximum things.
- Never get panic if you are unable to understand the paragraphs in first or second reading. A thing difficult for you is difficult for all. Just try to perform better than the others.