ENGLISH PRECIS AND COMPOSITION

The assessment for English Precis and Composition subject will entail a comprehensive examination paper, which carries 100 marks. This paper is designed to evaluate the candidate’s proficiency in various essential skills, including, not only limited to Precis Writing, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Construction, Translation, Grammar, and Vocabulary. The objective is to gauge the candidate’s aptitude and competence in these areas, which are fundamental for effective communication and language mastery. Through this evaluation, the candidate’s ability to demonstrate command over precise and concise writing, comprehend complex texts, construct grammatically sound sentences, translate between languages, and showcase a strong vocabulary will be assessed.

 

Also Read: Best Recommended Books and Tools for Grammar and Precis in CSS Preparation

Now, let’s discuss each segment or section, which is to be assessed, in the English Precis and Composition subject in detail.

Precis Writing

Precis Writing is an integral component of the CSS English Precis and Composition paper. It is a specialized skill that tests a candidate’s ability to comprehend and condense lengthy passages into concise and coherent summaries. This exercise evaluates the candidate’s aptitude for effective reading comprehension, language proficiency, and logical thinking.

In Precis Writing, candidates are presented with a given passage, usually an extract from a larger text, and are required to extract the central ideas, main arguments, and key details from the original content. The challenge lies in capturing the essence of the passage while maintaining its core meaning and logical flow. Candidates must exhibit a strong command of vocabulary, sentence structuring, and the ability to discern between essential and non-essential information.

In the CSS English Precis and Composition paper, the Precis Writing section holds significant weightage, with a total of 20 marks allotted to this question. However, it is important to note that within this section, the marks are further divided between two aspects: 15 marks for the Precis itself and 5 marks for suggesting an appropriate title.

The purpose of Precis Writing in the CSS examination is to assess the candidate’s analytical skills, writing style, and capacity to express complex ideas concisely. It demands careful reading, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize information effectively. Mastering this skill allows candidates to showcase their ability to comprehend complex texts, distil important information, and communicate it with precision—a valuable trait for civil servants who need to process and summarize vast amounts of information in their professional roles.

Overall, Precis Writing serves as a crucial assessment tool in the CSS English Precis and Composition paper, emphasizing the candidate’s capacity to extract key information and communicate it succinctly and accurately. Developing this skill not only contributes to success in the CSS examination but also enhances one’s ability to comprehend, summarize, and articulate ideas effectively in various professional and academic contexts.

Precis Writing

 

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension is a vital component of the CSS English Precis and Composition paper. This section assesses an aspirant’s ability to understand and analyze written passages, draw inferences, and extract relevant information. It measures not only their comprehension skills but also their critical thinking and reasoning abilities.

In the Reading Comprehension section, candidates are presented with a series of passages, typically consisting of informative or argumentative texts. They are required to read the passages carefully, absorbing the content and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the main ideas, supporting details, and the author’s tone and purpose. The questions accompanying each passage challenge candidates to demonstrate their comprehension by answering specific inquiries related to the text.

Within this section, there are typically five questions, with each question carrying 4 marks. These questions test various aspects of reading comprehension, such as identifying main ideas, making logical inferences, interpreting implied meanings, and evaluating the author’s arguments or perspectives. Candidates must carefully analyze the passage and select the most appropriate responses based on their understanding of the text.

The Reading Comprehension section not only evaluates an aspirant’s reading abilities but also their critical thinking, analytical skills, and ability to draw connections between different pieces of information. It emphasizes the importance of actively engaging with a text, extracting key information, and comprehending complex ideas effectively. Developing strong reading comprehension skills enhances one’s ability to grasp and interpret written materials, an essential competency for civil servants who need to process and analyze vast amounts of information in their professional roles.

Reading Comprehension

 

Grammar and Vocabulary

Grammar and Vocabulary play a crucial role in the CSS English Precis and Composition paper, carrying a weightage of 20 marks. This section evaluates a candidate’s understanding and command of the English language’s structural elements, as well as their proficiency in utilizing a diverse range of words and expressions.

Within the Grammar and Vocabulary section, candidates are assessed on various aspects, including the correct usage of tense, articles, prepositions, conjunctions, punctuation, phrasal verbs, synonyms, and antonyms, among others. Demonstrating a strong grasp of these fundamental elements is essential for effective communication and writing. It showcases the aspirant’s ability to construct grammatically correct sentences, employ appropriate word choices, and convey their thoughts with clarity and precision.

The correct usage of tense ensures that candidates accurately convey the timeframe and sequence of events in their writing. Articles, prepositions, and conjunctions aid in constructing grammatically sound and coherent sentences. Punctuation is crucial for indicating pauses, emphasis, and sentence structure. Phrasal verbs, synonyms, and antonyms add richness and variety to one’s vocabulary, allowing for more nuanced expression.

By focusing on mastering grammar rules and expanding their vocabulary, candidates can enhance their writing skills and effectively convey their ideas in a concise and articulate manner. A solid foundation in grammar and vocabulary not only ensures success in the paper of English Precis and Composition in CSS examination but also paves the way for effective communication in various professional and academic contexts.

Grammar and vocabulary

 

Sentence Correction

Sentence Correction is a crucial component of the CSS English Precis and Composition paper, carries 10 marks. This section assesses a candidate’s ability to identify and rectify grammatical and punctuation errors in given sentences. It tests their proficiency in applying the rules of grammar and punctuation to ensure clarity and coherence in written communication.

In the Sentence Correction section of English Precis and Composition paper, candidates are presented with a series of sentences, each containing a clear structural flaw in terms of grammar or punctuation. The task is to rewrite the sentences with the necessary corrections, addressing the specific errors without making unnecessary alterations. It is important to note that no two or more sentences will have the exact same problem, adding a level of diversity to the exercise. Additionally, 2-3 sentences will focus specifically on the correction of punctuation marks.

This section of English Precis and Composition paper challenges candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of grammar rules, including sentence structure, verb agreement, tense usage, subject-verb agreement, and proper placement of punctuation marks. It requires careful attention to detail and a solid understanding of the conventions of written English. By successfully identifying and correcting the errors, candidates showcase their ability to produce grammatically accurate and well-structured sentences, reflecting their command over the language.

Developing proficiency in Sentence Correction not only ensures success in the paper of English Precis and Composition in the CSS examination but also enhances overall writing skills. It emphasizes the importance of precision, accuracy, and attention to detail in written communication. By practicing sentence correction exercises, candidates can sharpen their grammatical skills, refine their proofreading abilities, and become more effective writers in various professional and academic contexts.

Sentence Correction

 

Grouping of Word

The Grouping of Words section in the CSS English Precis and Composition paper carries a weightage of 10 marks. This section evaluates a candidate’s ability to categorize and organize words based on their similarity or opposite meaning. It tests their proficiency in understanding and discerning relationships between words, showcasing their lexical knowledge and cognitive abilities.

In this section, candidates are presented with a random list of twenty words of moderate standard. These words are neither too easy nor extremely unfamiliar, striking a balance to challenge the candidates without overwhelming them. The task is to group these words in pairs based on their similarity or opposite meaning, as directed in the question.

The Grouping of Words section assesses the candidate’s vocabulary, logical reasoning, and understanding of word relationships. It requires a comprehensive knowledge of word meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and contextual usage. By successfully grouping the words, candidates demonstrate their ability to perceive patterns, draw connections, and exhibit a nuanced understanding of language in English Precis and Composition paper.

Practicing word grouping exercises can enhance a candidate’s vocabulary, expand their knowledge of word relationships, and improve their overall language proficiency. It encourages critical thinking, linguistic analysis, and the development of a broader semantic framework. Mastery in this section not only contributes to success in the CSS examination but also equips candidates with valuable language skills applicable in academic, professional, and everyday communication.

Grouping of words

 

Pairs of Words

The Pairs of Words section in the CSS English Precis and Composition paper holds a weightage of 10 marks. This section aims to test a candidate’s understanding and proficiency in distinguishing between seemingly similar words that have different meanings. It assesses their ability to effectively communicate and avoid common mistakes caused by confusing these words.

In this section, candidates are presented with ten pairs of words that appear similar but possess distinct meanings. These pairs are often sources of confusion in communication. The task is to explain the difference in meaning for any five of these word pairs. Candidates are required to provide concise explanations in parentheses, followed by the correct usage of these words in sentences.

The Pairs of Words section of English Precis and Composition paper challenges candidates to delve into the nuances of word meanings and choose the appropriate word based on context. It evaluates their command over vocabulary, understanding of subtle distinctions, and ability to communicate with precision. By effectively differentiating between similar words and using them accurately in sentences, candidates demonstrate their language proficiency and linguistic finesse.

Practicing this section for English Precis and Composition paper not only enhances a candidate’s vocabulary but also sharpens their ability to choose the right word in different contexts. It promotes clarity in written communication, ensuring that messages are conveyed accurately and precisely. Mastery in this section contributes to the development of strong language skills and the cultivation of effective written expression.

Pair of words

 

Translation

The Translation section in the CSS English Precis and Composition paper carries a weightage of 10 marks. This section evaluates a candidate’s ability to accurately translate Urdu sentences into English, considering structural composition, significant terms, and figurative or idiomatic expressions. It tests their command over both languages and their proficiency in maintaining the essence and meaning of the original sentences.

In this section of English Precis and Composition paper, candidates are presented with ten short Urdu sentences that encompass various aspects of language and expression. The task is to translate these sentences into English while preserving the intended meaning and capturing the nuances of the original text. Candidates need to demonstrate a deep understanding of both languages, including their grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idiomatic expressions.

The Translation section assesses a candidate’s linguistic skills, accuracy in translation, and proficiency in inter-lingual communication. It requires a strong grasp of the intricacies of both Urdu and English, as well as an understanding of cultural and contextual factors that influence translation. By successfully translating the sentences, candidates showcase their ability to convey meaning across languages and effectively bridge the gap between different linguistic realms.

Practicing translation exercises helps candidates refine their language skills, expand their vocabulary, and develop a deeper understanding of linguistic nuances. It enhances their proficiency in both Urdu and English, enabling them to navigate various forms of written communication. Mastering the Translation section not only contributes to success in the CSS examination but also equips candidates with valuable language competencies that are applicable in academic, professional, and cross-cultural settings.

Translation

By looking into the past papers you will grab a very clear idea about the syllabus and English Precis and composition paper preparation. You can download Past papers from here: CSS English Precis and Composition Past Papers

SUGGESTED READINGS

The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) recommends a set of books to aid candidates in their English Precis and Composition paper preparation. These books, carefully selected to enhance language skills, are highly regarded resources in the field of English grammar and usage.

The suggested books for English Precis and Composition by FPSC are:

  1. “English Grammar in Use” by Raymond Murphy, published by Cambridge University Press. This comprehensive guide provides in-depth explanations and exercises to improve grammar proficiency. You can download from here.
  2. “Practical English Usage” by M. Swan, published by Oxford University Press. This authoritative reference book offers practical insights into English language usage, helping candidates refine their language skills and overcome common pitfalls. You can download from here.
  3. “The Little, Brown Handbook” by H. Ramsey Flower & Jane Aaron, published by The Little, Brown & Co; Harper Collins, is another valuable resource suggested by the FPSC. Known for its clear explanations and practical examples, this handbook covers various aspects of English grammar and composition.
  4. “A University English Grammar” by R. Quirk & S. Greenbaum, published by ELBS; Longmans. This book provides detailed explanations of grammar rules and structures, making it an essential reference for CSS aspirants.
  5. “Write Better, Speak Better” by Readers Digest Association
  6. “Modern English in Action” by Henry Christ, published by D.C. Heath & Co.

These books offer practical tips and techniques to improve writing and speaking abilities, equipping candidates with effective communication skills and ace English Precis and Composition paper in CSS exam. By following the recommendations of the FPSC and utilizing these renowned books, CSS aspirants can strengthen their English language proficiency and enhance their chances of success in the examination especially in English Essay & English Precis and Composition papers.