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English for Competitive Exams : Question, Tips, Grammar,

Written by  Rachit Agrawal, MBA

Published on Mon, December 23, 2019 7:49 AM   Updated on Fri, April 8, 2022 5:07 PM   9 mins read
Source: English Lessons with Adam – Learn English [engVid]

English is a major language which gives a major impact on competitive exams. While most Indian students are familiar with the quantitative sections of competitive tests such as the  GMAT, GRE, and IELTS, English for competitive exams remains a difficulty for many. With English for competitive exams receiving equal weightage, if not more, than Maths, it is critical to gain clarity about basic grammar rules, understand the skills required to crack the verbal section of competitive exams, and become extremely comfortable and confident with English for competitive exams. Does the “English monster” frighten you and make you question your ability to pass the competitive exam you’re studying for?

Check Out: 50 New English Words with Meaning and Sentences

General English for Competitive Exams

Most competitive tests assess applicants’ verbal abilities with questions covering areas such as Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Tenses, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Active and Passive Voice, Reporting Speech, Diction, and so on. Knowledge of these areas can assist you answer questions on competitive tests’ verbal sections. If you want to study abroad, taking IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE is a simple yet time-consuming process. If you want to learn more, visit our English Proficiency Tests blog.

The general English needs to be prepared for all competitive exams. 

  • English is required for all the competitive exams.
  • English is required for MNC placement exams.
  • English is required for online English test.
  • English is required for understanding and learning the basic skills.
  • English is required for job interviews.
  • English is required for learning current affairs.

Check Out: Best Books for IELTS General

English Grammar for Competitive Exams

The students who are preparing for competitive exams should have depth knowledge of grammar in English. English grammar is an important topic in competitive exams like bank, railway, SSC etc. There are some tips for improving English grammar-

  • Read the newspapers, articles, books, novels etc., this will improve the grammar in your English language.
  • Review the basics of the grammar of English. Search for the basic parts of the speech.
  • Get the manual of the English grammar for learning the skills of grammar.
  • Listen to those who have a good hand in English and understand basic grammar.
  • Practice English grammar by searching on the internet.
  • Write daily some topics of English. This will improve the grammar in the English language.

English Vocabulary for Competitive Exams

The English vocabulary needs to be strong for understanding the question in the exams. The meaning of vocabulary is the correct meaning of any word. The words of vocabulary are very important for understanding things and acquire knowledge.

  1. Adroit – Clever or skilful
  2. Debacle – a sudden and complete disaster
  3. Precious – of great value
  4. Appease – make peace with
  5. Brusque – rudely abrupt
  6. Cajole – influence or flattering
  7. Callous – emotionally hardened
  8. Circumspect – careful to consider potential consequences and avoid the risk
  9. Coherent – marked by an orderly and consistent relation in parts
  10. Decry – express strong disapproval of
  11. Elated – in high spirits
  12. Erudite – having and showing profound knowledge
  13. Fabricate – make up something artificial or untrue
  14. Furtive – secret and sly
  15. Gratuitous – unnecessary and unwarranted
  16. Hypocrisy – pretending to have qualities and beliefs that you do not have
  17. Infamy – a state of dishonor
  18. Inhibit – limit the range or extent of
  19. Impudent – improperly forward or bold
  20. Extol – praise or honour

Check Out: 50+ Difficult Words – Meaning, Synonym, Sentence

English Synonyms for Competitive Exams

The word synonym means that the word meaning is exactly same as the word. There are some questions in competitive exams that are asking for a synonym of the word. There are some synonyms with meaning:

  1. Acumen – awareness
  2. Abate – moderate
  3. Adversity – misfortune
  4. Awkward – rude
  5. Brittle – breakable
  6. Bewitching – charming
  7. Base – vulgar
  8. Benign – friendly
  9. Busy – active
  10. Capable – competent
  11. Callous – unfeeling
  12. Chaste – pure
  13. Comprise – contain
  14. Consequence – outcome
  15. Contrary – dissimilar
  16. Cunning – smart
  17. Decipher – reveal
  18. Demolish – ruin
  19. Denounce – blame
  20. Eager – keen

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General English for Competitive Exams Question and Answers

The general English in an important part of competitive exams. By practising the questions, you can get good marks in the English section of the paper. There is some question with answers for practices-

Q1: Select the part that has an error-  My sisters-in-law (a)/ who live in Bangalore (b)/ have come to stay with us. (c)/ No error (d)?
A: (a) ‘sister-in-law’ instead of ‘sister-in-laws’

Q2: Transporting goods by (a)/ air is cheaper (b)/ than land. (c)/ No error (d)?
A: (c) Add ‘by’ before ‘land’.

Q3: Bolt from the blue?
A: A complete surprise

Q4: Blue blood?
A: Member of the high-class society

Q5: When the principal entered the class, the student ……………… on the blackboard?
A: Was writing

Q6: She …………… The TV when her husband came?
A: Was watching

Q7: Jawaharlal spent his childhood ………… Anand Bhawan?
A: Across

Q8: Error identification- Vimal/was/murdered/by a knife.
A: By a knife

Q9: Idioms and phrases- to set the Thames on fire?
A: To try to do impossible.

Q10: She decided that she would get this job by hook or by crook.
A: By any means, right or wrong.

Idioms in English for Competitive Exams

The meaning of idioms is as they are the expression of human behavior, reactions on certain things like social traits, habits etc.

  1. Rank and file – ordinary people
  2. By fits and starts – in short periods
  3. A wee bit – a little
  4. Under his thumb – under his control
  5. Burn the midnight oil – work or study hard
  6. Hoping against hope – without hope
  7. Hit the nail on the head – do or say the exact thing
  8. To get rid of – dispose of
  9. Rain cats and dogs – rain heavily
  10. Na avail – without any results
  11. Keep one at bay – keep one at a distance
  12. Like a cat on hot bricks – very nervous
  13. Cry for the moon – ask for impossible
  14. Be in a tight corner – in a very difficult situation
  15. At arm’s length – keep at a distance
  16. Out of the way – strange
  17. Sitting on the fence – hesitate between two decisions
  18. In cold blood – deliberately and without emotion
  19. Like a fish out of water – in a strange situation
  20. In high spirits – very happy

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One Word Substitution in English for Competitive Exams

The one-word substitution is important for competitive exams. There are some examples through you can practice:

  1. One who is not sure about God’s existence – Agnostic
  2. A person who deliberately sets fire to a building – Arsonist
  3. One who does a thing for pleasure and not as a profession – Amateur
  4. One who can use either hand with ease – Ambidextrous
  5. One who makes an official examination of accounts – Auditor
  6. A person who believes in or tries to bring about a state of lawlessness – Anarchist
  7. A person who has changed his faith – Apostate
  8. One who does not believe in the existence of God – Atheist
  9. A person appointed by two parties to solve a dispute – Arbitrator
  10. One who leads an austere life – Ascetic
  11. One who does a thing for pleasure and not as a profession – Amateur
  12. An unconventional style of living – Bohemian
  13. One who is bad in spellings – Cacographer
  14. One who feeds on human flesh – Cannibal
  15. A critical judge of any art and craft – Connoisseur
  16. Persons living at the same time – Contemporaries
  17. One who is recovering health after illness – Convalescent
  18. A girl/woman who flirts with a man – Coquette
  19. A person who regards the whole world as his country – Cosmopolitan
  20. One who is a Centre of attraction – Cynosure

English Grammar for Competitive Exams free books

 There are some books for preparing English grammar for competitive exams. The names of some E-books.

Best Youtube Channels for English Competitive Exams

There are some YouTube sources through which you can learn English. 

  1. English point
  2. English by Aman Vashishth Sir
  3. Wifi study
  4. Dear sir
  5. Competitive English

Check Out: CELPIP

English for Competitive Exams Books

There are some books for competitive exams in English. The students can prepare English by these books for competitive exams.

  1. Objective Grammar English – This book is a question bank for different competitive exams. The author of this book is RS Aggarwal, Vikas Aggarwal.
  2. English for bank exams – This book is specially designed for English which comes in bank exams. S. Chand Publishing is the publisher of this book.
  3. Objective General English – The author of this book is SJ Thakur, SK Rout. The books cover a wide variety of topics of the English language.
  4. Descriptive English – The author of this book is Richa Sharma, SP Bakshi. This book is helpful for descriptive paper for competitive exams. This will help in writing skills and descriptive English sections.
  5. Wiley’s ExamXpert verbal ability and reading comprehension – The author of this book is Captain AK Kalia and Wiley. The books contain various topics of English and verbal reasoning section of MBA, CAT exams. 

English Comprehension for Competitive Exams

The comprehensions in English are the full story from which you have answered some questions by reading the passage. There are some ways of improving reading comprehension.

  • Discuss reading comprehension
  • Practice the comprehensions daily
  • Discuss each assignment and work with different comprehensive assignments
  • Assign summarise 
  • Recognize the story structure
  • Generate and build questions
  • Make inferences

Articles in English for Competitive Exams

The English should always contain questions on Articles. The students should practice articles as much as they can. An article is a word used to change the noun. The articles are ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’.

Q. She wants to become a…… engineer.
A: an

Q. He hopes to join ……. University soon.
A: a 


What are the topics covered in the general English language?

Ans. General English includes nouns, tenses, articles, suffixes, etc.

What are the sources for learning English for competitive exams?

Ans. E-books, general English books, youtube videos, etc.

How to prepare English for competitive exams?

Ans. By practicing, reading, writing, and discussing the English language.

Why vocabulary is important for English competitive exams?

Ans. For understanding the questions properly.

How we can score good marks in the English section?

Ans. By doing the practice of English grammar, comprehensions, idioms, and articles as well as vocabulary.

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About the Author & Expert


Rachit Agrawal

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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