How to Prepare Spotting Errors Questions for CDS?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Spotting Errors Questions for CDS is a very important topic in the English section of the exam. Looking at the trend of the past year’s papers, it is safe to say that nearly 20-25 Spotting Errors questions for CDS can be expected in the Combined Defence Services exam. One can easily score on this topic if the basics are thorough. So, here are some important tips to prepare for Spotting Errors questions for CDS exam.

Spotting Errors Questions for CDS

Candidates are advised to read these Spotting Error tips for the CDS Exam to understand the correct approach to solving the Spotting Errors questions for CDS in less time in the written test of Combined Defence Services.

The following are some general rules for the preparation of Spotting Errors questions for CDS:

  • Error spotting usually comes in sentences or paragraphs. Thus, start with reading the sentence or the paragraph.
  • This helps in a better understanding of the context and meaning of the same.
  • Secondly, look at options after reading the sentence/ paragraph.
  • Eliminate quickly what seems to be the most unlikely answer. This process will help you answer the questions faster.

Error Spotting Tips for CDS Exam

Candidates can follow the tips mentioned below to solve the Spotting Errors questions for CDS:

1. Build Your Vocabulary – Vocabulary is an important part of English and can be asked in many forms. One of the most common ways in which vocabulary is utilized is, in questions of spot errors. So, here is how you can improve their vocabulary.

  • Make sure you read everything you can get your hands on. This can be articles, compendiums, journals, and of course, books.
  • Then, note down all the words that you find difficult.
  • Another way is to learn the origin of the words. This helps in building your memory of new words and much better retention of them.

2. Understand Tenses – Tenses are perhaps the most commonly asked Spotting Errors questions for CDS. Hence, it is imperative to be aware of all the tenses in the English language and their usage.

  • The best way to brush up on your tenses is to pick up a well-known grammar textbook and read all the rules pertaining to the different tenses.
  • There are three main tenses- Past, Present, and Future tense. Understand them properly and then practice questions based on them, in a time-bound test.
  • Here is an example of how tenses are used in these types of questions. Questions based on perfect tense usually prove to be the most difficult of all.
    As I reached the railway station(a)/I had found, a great rush of visitors(b)/whose relatives had left (c)/for the train was early. (d)/no error(e)
    Here, in the above sentence, “I had found” is the wrong tense. This is because ‘found’ is a word that is already in the past tense, there is no need to use present perfect in this scenario. Thus, “had found” can simply be replaced by the word “found” which is in simple present tense.

3. Learn Grammar Rules – It is important to know all the parts of speech, especially your conjunctions, articles, and prepositions.

  • An article, simply put, is a prefix or a word that is always used before a noun. The purpose of an article is to create a certain definiteness or an attribute about the noun that is used. Articles are usually classified into definite or indefinite. The three articles are “A” “an” and “the”
  • Conjunctions are important in connecting two sentences or phrases. It is important to note, that there can always be only one conjunction in a sentence or a phrase. Some of the popular conjugations are: as, after, altogether, as far as, as soon as, as, also, though, until, whenever, whereas, etc.
  • Prepositions are words used before a noun or a pronoun usually to show the relationship between them and the rest of the words in the sentence. they describe the position of something, the time when an event occurs. It can also be used to describe the manner in which something was accomplished.

The tricky part in each of these questions is that these parts of speech are used with certain other words in the sentence, for it to be correct. Therefore, it is important to practice these to get a better grasp and score more in these topics.

4. Lookout for Similarly Spelled Words – These are, in the English language known as homographs. This means that the word has the same spelling, but is used in a different context, and has a different meaning. Here is a simple example – The word “bow” can mean to bend in reverence of someone. It can also be referring to a knot or a loop on a shirt. Thus, the exact usage can only be determined by the sentence it is used in.

5. Keep a Check for Spelling Errors – Spelling errors are the easiest form of spotting error questions asked in the exam. However, a lot of people lose marks here. There is no shortcut to learning spelling. Moreover, most people forget to check for spelling errors in a question and check only grammar or vocabulary. Therefore, it is vital to keep an eye out for any misspelled words in the question, which would indeed be a possible error.

General English Rules for CDS Spotting Error Questions

The English language is not always bound by a set of rules. In fact, it has as many exceptions, as there are rules. The following are some general rules regarding Spotting Error questions for CDS:

  • Collective nouns can be used both as singular or plural depending on the meaning.
    For example: The Team is headed to the FIFA finals after winning the Semis. But, the trial Teams were happy with their presentations to the judge.
  • The team leaders encourages (a)/ the participants who have (b)/difficulty in performing (c)/ the assigned task. (d) no error (e)
    The subject here is ‘the team leaders (plural) therefore verb also should be plural. Hence encourage (plural) in place of encourages (singular)

Well, these are some of the things one must keep in mind while attempting Spotting Error questions for CDS. And as always, practice makes one perfect. An important thing to keep in mind is: practice in two ways- One, to increase your speed (the tests must be time-bound), and second, practice to increase your accuracy (get your hands on as many grammar books as you can).

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