How to Solve Sentence Improvement Questions in CDS 2016

How to Solve Sentence Improvement Questions in CDS 2016

How to Solve Sentence Improvement Questions in CDS 2016: The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) will conduct the CDS (II) written examination on 23rd of October. Every year huge number of candidates apply for CDS exam to join Indian Military Academy, Officer’s Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

Both the exams comprise of the subject English. It serves as an integral part of the examination amongst the other subjects. Moreover, it is a highly scoring subject as well. One of the most important topics of English section is Sentence Improvement. In this article, we will be giving complete information on how to solve sentence improvement questions in CDS examination.


How to Solve Sentence Improvement Questions in CDS 2016

The English paper consists of 120 questions and the time allotted to attempt the same is 120 minutes. English is most definitely, one of the most scoring subjects of CDS. This paper is an amalgam of Grammatical and Non-Grammatical Questions which are described as follows,

  1. Grammatical Section: Sentence Improvement, Spotting Errors, Fill in the Blanks, etc.
  2. Non-grammatical Section: Reading Comprehension, Para-Jumbles, Synonyms, Antonyms, Cloze Test, One-Word Substitution, etc.

Have a look at our analysis of last 5 years’ question papers to get a fair idea about this particular section.

Topic No. of questions
  2014 CDS-I 2014 CDS – II 2015 CDS – I 2015 CDS – II 2016 CDS-I
Sentence Improvement 20 20 20 25 20
Ordering of Words 11 11 7  – 15
Ordering of Sentences 10 8 10  – 10
Fill in the blank 4  –  – 10 10
Selecting words/ cloze test 20 20 20 25 20
Spotting Errors 20 25 20 15 15
Reading Comprehension 15 16 23 20 21
Synonyms 10 12 8 15 9
Antonyms 10 8 7 10  –
Word Substitution  –  – 5  –  –

A candidate should score a minimum of 24 marks to qualify for this exam. You should set a target of minimum 60 correct questions in this paper for yourself. A good number of 20 to 25 questions are asked from the topic of Sentence Improvement. Therefore, owing to all these factors we can judge the significance of this topic from examination point of view.

Thus, we can say that this topic can significantly affect your overall score. One needs to give equal attention to this topic and prepare accordingly. We are here to guide you through the same by formulating a plan on how to solve sentence improvement questions. Head to our next section for useful tips and strategy for sentence improvement topic.


Tips to Solve Sentence Improvement Questions in CDS 2016

Sentence Improvement is all about proper usage of grammar rules and exceptions. Even those who are proficient in English Language tend to make silly grammatical errors. This happens solely because of lack of practice and preparation plan. So, firstly, go through the below-mentioned tips to solve sentence improvement questions and also maintain a proper strategy in your mind regarding each topic of English paper.

Read the Sentence Carefully

In sentence improvement questions, the error part is heavily highlighted or underlined. Most of the questions have grammatical errors related to wrong usage of nouns, pronouns, prepositions etc. In some cases, questions directly have wrong usage of idioms and phrases.

First step is to read the sentence carefully and analyze the underlined section of the sentence. Check the subject-verb agreement. If the subject is singular, then the verb should also be singular and vice-versa. For Example:

  • Arun and I am going for a walk. (Incorrect)
  • Arun and I are going for a walk. (Correct)

Check for Tenses

Basic grammar rules follow correct usage of tenses and verbs. You should learn as many rules of grammar as you can for improving your chances of scoring well in this paper. Many people tend to use incorrect verb form which hampers the subject-verb agreement. For Example:

  • He didn’t knew about the syllabus. (Incorrect)
  • He didn’t know about the syllabus. (Correct)

So, you need to avoid these mistakes by properly learning the rules and exceptions as well. Improve your grammar by practicing from various books and mock tests.

Follow Parallelism Approach

Whenever you see a sentence, the balance or flow of the sentence will always follow the same grammatical structure. If it deviates in any way, you can easily catch the error and correct it by maintaining that structure. For example:

  • My teacher told me that I should go outside, follow a sport and I should maintain my fitness level. (Incorrect)
  • My teacher told me that I should go outside, follow a sport and maintain my fitness level. (Correct)

Look out for Repetition

In some cases, same thing is repeated twice in a sentence. This method of providing redundant information is followed in a lot of questions. You should be able to spot this error and rectify with the help of the subject provided in the sentence. For Example:

  • She returned back from Mumbai last week. (Incorrect)
  • She came back from Mumbai last week. (Correct)

Modifier Errors

Focus on the correct usage of modifiers i.e. adjectives and adverbs. Modifiers are essential to make a sentence sound correct and sensible. It is very important to focus on the subject of the verb and not leaving the participle alone. For example:

  • She visited the place where her grandmother died during her holidays. (Incorrect)
  • During her holidays, She visited the place where her grandmother died. (Correct)

Which vs That: “Which” is a non-essential modifier and “That” is an essential modifier. However, both of them refer to the noun that immediately precedes them. For example:

  • I know about this video which was launched 10 years ago. (Correct)
  • I know about this video that was launched 10 years ago. (Incorrect)

Correct Usage of Phrases

Whenever the whole sentence is underlined, remember that it means you need to arrange the order of the phrases or clauses. Instead of wasting your time on finding the error with the modifiers or parallelism, try jumbling the phrases to make sense of the sentence. You may come across a run-on sentence (sentence having two dependent clauses connected with a comma) which can easily be solved with logical thinking.

Improve Vocabulary

Try to work on your vocabulary by reading good newspapers, books and magazines.  Reading is the best habit that you can adopt for excelling in competitive exams. Not only does it help in improving your English but also expands your knowledge.

We hope all these preparation tips to solve sentence improvement questions will prove beneficial for the upcoming UPSC CDS (II) Examination. If there any doubts or queries, let us know in the comments section below.

How to Solve Spotting Errors Questions in CDS 2016Read: How to Solve Spotting Errors Questions in CDS 2016

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