PAPER: ENGLISH (PRECIS & COMPOSITION)
PASSING MARKS: 40
The examination in this subject will be based upon a paper carrying 100 marks to Test the
candidate’s abilities to handle Precis Writing, Reading Comprehension, Sentence
Structuring, Translation, Grammar and Vocabulary, etc.
I. Precis Writing (20 marks)
A careful selected passage with an orientation of generic understanding and enough flexibility for compression shall be given for précising and suggesting an appropriate title. Out of the total 20 marks allocated to this question, 15 shall go to précising the text and 5 to suggesting the title.
II. Reading Comprehension (20 marks)
A carefully selected passage that is rich in substance but not very technical or discipline-
specific shall be given, followed by five questions, each carrying 4 marks.
III. Grammar and Vocabulary (20 marks)
Correct usage of Tense, Articles, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Punctuation, Phrasal Verbs, Synonyms
and Antonyms etc.
IV. Sentence Correction (10 marks)
The sentences shall be given each having a clear structural flaw in terms of grammar or
punctuation. The candidates shall be asked to rewrite them with really needed correction only,
without making unnecessary alterations. No two or more sentence should have exactly the
same problem, and 2-3 sentences shall be based on correction of punctuation marks.
V. Grouping of Words (10 marks)
A random list of twenty words of moderate standard (neither very easy nor utterly
unfamiliar) shall be given, to be grouped by the candidates in pairs of those having similar or
opposite meaning, as may be clearly directed in the question.
VI. Pairs of Words (10 marks)
Ten pairs shall be given of seemingly similar words with different meanings, generally
confused in communication, for bringing out the difference in meaning of any five of them by
first explaining them in parenthesis and then using them in sentences.
VII. Translation (10 marks)
Ten short Urdu sentences involving structural composition, significant terms and
figurative/idiomatic expressions shall be given, to be accurately translated into English.
SUGGESTED READINGS For English (Precis and Composition) Paper
|1.||English Grammar in Use||Raymond Murphy (Cambridge University Press).|
|2.||Practical English Usage||M.Swan (Oxford University Press).|
|3.||The Little, Brown Handbook||H. Ramsey Flower & Jane Aaron (The Little, Brown & Co; Harper Collins.)|
|4.||A University English Grammar||R. Quirk & S. Greenbaum (ELBS; Longmans)|
|5.||Write Better, Speak Better||Readers Digest Association.|
|6.||Modern English in Action||Henry Christ (D.C. Heath & Co.)|
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How to Prepare for English (Precis and Composition) Paper?
Changing trends do need continuous alterations to the strategies so that one may tackle new difficulties that surface with the passage of time. Same is the case with this paper where the case with the old syllabus was abstraction but that of the new one is an explanation. So, the candidates must also make significant changes to their plans so that they attempt the paper in a way that they may get the highest scores.
As the new Précis & Composition paper has adjudicated to separate the subjective and objective sections, yet the position of the subjective section is still the same that it leaves the evaluation of a candidate’s performance at the mercy of examiner’s mood. Nevertheless, following strategy to prepare for this crucial paper can be effective for the students:
This paper should be divided into four parts:
It consists of the mathematical portion which the FPSC has introduced with the intention to give confidence to the candidate that he can get good scores. It is like the objective portion of the precious paper which has a great potential to yield a good score. This section can be further divided into two parts:
a. Grouping of Words. This section is modelled on the pattern of analogy section that is based on standardized tests like SAT, NAT, GRE, etc. It may also contain similar and opposite relationships between different pairs of words.
b. Pairs of Words. This section can be prepared from the dictionary and other useful books.
First of all, it contains the Précis question; the most important segment of this paper. This single question leaves your lasting impression on the examiner. It would not be wrong to say that this question is the soul of CSS. As they say “Practice makes a man perfect,” this is the only strategy to crack this question and also to get a good score in it. So, do practice précising as much as possible during preparations.
This portion in English (Precis and Composition) Paper consists of Reading Comprehension. This also has been a part of the Précis paper and most students would be quite familiar to its requirements and the strategies to crack it. Here again, practice, practice and practice!
This portion which consists of Grammar and Vocabulary, Sentence Correction and Translation, can serve as a windfall for the students.
It is to be noted here that the short essay (comprehensive note) has been omitted in the current syllabus. It was a great source to enable a candidate to build solid foundations for writing long essays. Nevertheless, its replacement with the Translation and Grouping of Words may add to the productive capacity of a candidate.
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