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Vocabulary in competitive exams

For competitive exams, good vocabulary will prove to be a double-edged tool. If you develop proficiency in the usage of the vocabulary, then not only would it equip you to handle English language tests with ease, but also enable you to present the other subjects with clarity. 

English language tests in Civil Services, Banking and a whole lot of other competitive examinations are designed to test your reasoning power and logical aptitude.

What does vocabulary have to do with reasoning power, you may ask?

Your total performance revolves around vocabulary. Mainly, there are two sections in the examinations, which tests your reasoning power- sentence completion and analogy tests. 

I will deal with these sections at a later stage. Now let me give you a few tips on how and with what to equip yourself to face the English language tests in competitive exams.

*** First you should develop a good vocabulary base 
(as explained in previous chapters)

*** Then you should develop the ability to use the vocabulary appropriately

*** Develop communication skills- both oral and written- through continuous practice.

*** Speed is the key to your success in competitive examinations. 


Hence, you should develop the ability to think fast and answer fast. If you are proficient, you will understand the question in just one reading and your response mechanism will be faster. It all depends a lot on how you have tuned yourself to the language. 

Now, coming back to the sentence completion and analogy sections in competitive examinations. Why do you need reasoning power and logical aptitude answer these sections?

Sentence Completion

In Sentence Completion you should be able to reason out the exact missing word to make the sentence logical and appropriate. 

Let me give you a few examples in Sentence Completion. 

In sentence completion you have one-worded and two-worded completion. You have to select the most appropriate word to fit in the sentence from the four clues given to you. Here is an example of one-word sentence completion

I was so stunned to hear the news that it took a few
moments for me to ________ from the shock

Select the appropriate word from the four clues given below

a) Come
b) recover 
c) revive 
d) wake

The answer is recover. 

I was so stunned to hear the news that it took a few moments for me to recover from the shock The shock has put me in a certain mental and physical state. Hence I can only recover from that state. 

Here is an example of two-worded sentence completion

We have to be always on the __________ to 
ensure __________ in life

a) Move, success 
b) top, wealth 
c) top, success 
d) way, wealth

The answer is Move, success

We have to be always on the move to ensure success in life. 

Many times you find that all the clues are nearly appropriate. Here you have to use your reasoning powers. There may be word/words that prove to be tricky, but again the word/words may not fit in grammatically or structurally. So elimination and selections of word/words in sentence completion involves logical and grammatical exercises.


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