English language questions in CET entrance examinations

Most MBA Entrance exams take you to take tricky verbal questions. The CET is different because English boosts your score.

Today, let us understand the English Section. The 50 marks of CET English are approximately divided as: You needed 182 marks out of 240 to get admitted to JBIMS last year. Since English is an easy section, it has to yield the highest score. Hence, if you are a JBIMS aspirant, you should target 42 marks out of 50 in CET English. We are now a few weeks away from the actual CET. At this point, serious students should be attempting mock tests. During your mock tests, try and achieve this target in your English section. Since all MBA entrance exams are speed tests, you need to score these 42 marks in a maximum of 35 minutes.

Let us look closely at the question types in the English section:

Reading comprehension: Since 2005, CET reading comprehension comprises of a page long passage followed by 15 questions. This unusual pattern is justified, as only nine of these questions test your comprehension of the passage. The remaining six questions quiz you on the synonyms / antonyms of specific words found in the passage. Since you know the context in which those words were used, guessing the correct response is not too difficult.

The key to success in CET reading comprehension lies in giving the passage a moderately paced single read with high concentration. Unlike other question types where speed up is the success mantra a fast examination of the reading comprehension passage results in the need for re-read. That is criminal waste of time. So, read as fast you can, provided you restrict yourself to a single read.

Vocabulary: In addition to the test of vocabulary embedded in reading comprehension questions, there are several other vocabulary questions in the CET. The most common is paragraph completion. In this question type, you are given a paragraph with several words missing. You have to fill these blanks with the best choice fro those provided. The missing words tend to be simple words – for, from, an, because etc. Despite this, students lose marks in this section owing to the cascading effect of one wrong answer leading to several others going wrong.

Verifying your answer during the CET is a definite no. There just isn’t enough time. But in the case of paragraph completion, it is worth to read the paragraph once again after filling in the blanks.

Another common vocabulary question is one that tests your spellings. Even students with a good grasp on spellings can get confused in the face of closely misspelt variants.

Grammar and usage: Usually there are maximum of 20 grammar based questions in the CET though CET 2008 has 25 grammar questions. These questions assume many forms. Two of the most common are error spotting and sentence correction. Error spotting divides a sentence into parts. You have to identify the part that has an error. Students regard error as the easiest grammar question in the CET. Sentence correction, on the other hand, tricks the best of students. Here, you are given multiple versions of the same sentence. If you are good at grammar, you have developed your instincts over many years. When you read a sentence, you know whether it is grammatical error free solely based on how it sounds. You do not have to get into the elements of linguistics: adverbs, modifiers, clauses and other awful stuff. The problem occurs when you find more than one of the given versions to be correct. That is when you slip into the linguistic mode and get confused. A way out of this is to reject the wring answer rather than select the right one. This process of elimination identifies the error in each erroneous sentence. The most important tip regarding preparing for the CET in general and the CET English section in particular is: Do not prepare for the CET using study material meant for other exams. All exams are different, the CET all the more so. For instance if you are preparing for CET English using CAT English tests, you are doing yourself a great disservice as the expected percentage of accuracy in CET, English is about twice that of the CAT. Do not forget to visit the MHT-CET section of eduactiontiems.com.

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