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How To Solve Spotting Error Questions In CDS 2018

Last Updated - February 08, 2018

CDS is held twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission. The main objective of this exam is to select deserving candidates for recruitment in Indian Defence Services - mainly for Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force, and Officers Training Academy

The sections covered under IMA, INA and AFA of CDS exam include English Language, Mathematics, General Knowledge. For OTA, candidates are required to attempt only two sections- English and General Knowledge. Check CDS Exam Pattern

English section serves as an integral part of the examination amongst the other subjects in competitive exams. One of the most important topics of English language section is spotting the errors. In this article, we will be focusing on how to solve spotting errors questions in CDS 2018.


How to Solve Spotting Errors Questions in CDS 2018

The English paper in CDS 2018 consists of 120 questions and the time allotted to attempt the same was 120 minutes. It is one of the easiest subjects and helps in boosting the overall score of the candidate in the CDS examination.

This paper is an amalgam of Grammatical and Non-Grammatical Questions which are described as follows:

Grammatical Section

  • Sentence Improvement,
  • Spotting Errors,
  • Fill in the Blanks, etc.

Non-grammatical Section

  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Para-Jumbles,
  • Synonyms,
  • Antonyms,
  • Cloze Test,
  • One-Word Substitution, etc.

Read How to Prepare for English Language in CDS


Tips to Solve Spotting Errors Questions in CDS Exam

One needs to have knowledge about the basic rules of grammar in order to excel in this field. Candidates who are good in this subject also tend to make silly grammatical errors sometimes. It is important to recognize the strategy involved in solving spotting errors questions.

Below are some tips on how to solve spotting errors questions which will most definitely be helpful during the CDS 2017. These are as follows:

Read the Sentence Carefully

Firstly, read the complete sentence carefully. Fill in the given options and mentally analyze and check the subject-verb agreement. If the subject is singular, then the verb should also be singular and vice-versa. Try to eliminate the given options by doing this.

If after doing everything, you are still unable to find the error, try reading out parts of sentences individually, and then you will surely be able to find the error

Make Use of Articles and Nouns

  1. Check for words which have silent letters and remember that the vowel following it will have ‘an’ as an article before it and not an ‘a’. For example: “It takes me an hour to reach the temple”.
  2. Certain nouns like foot, meter, pair, score, dozen, hundred, year, etc. that are used in reference to measurement remain unchanged in form when preceded by a numeral. For example: “The saree is nine yards long”.
  3. Collective nouns can be used both as singular ad plural depending on the meaning. For example:
  • The team is headed to the nationals after winning state finals.
  • The trial teams were happy with their presentations to the judge.

Check for Conjugations

Conjugations play a very important role in connecting two or more sentences or phrases. Always check conjunctions as there can be only one in a sentence at a time. Some of the popular conjugations are as,after, altogether, as far as, as soon as, as, also, though, until, whenever, whereas, in order to, since, because, before etc.

Difference between Much and Many & While and When

One should always be able to distinguish between “much” and “many”. This can be done by following the rule which says that, “many” is used before countable nouns and “much” before uncountable nouns.

Pay special attention to words like “when” and “while”. “When” indicates general sense whereas “while” indicates time during which some work is done. For example:

  1. While learning, one of the most important things is to concentrate.

Look out for Adjectives and Pronouns

A pronoun must always be in accordance to its preceding person, number or gender. For example:

  1. Every boy must bring his books.

The pronoun “one” should use ones. For example:

  1. One must complete one’s task diligently.

Comparative adjectives like prior, superior, inferior, etc. always have “to” after them. For example:

  1. I prefer dancing to singing.

Improve Vocabulary

Try to work on your vocabulary by reading good newspapers, books and magazines.  Reading is the best habit that you can adopt for excelling in competitive exams. Not only does it help in improving your English but also expands your knowledge.

Check for Spelling Mistakes

Check for spelling mistakes while attempting the questions. Sometimes, an error may have something to do with the spelling. So, it is advised that you should pay special attention to them while answering the questions.

Apart from all these tips for solving the paper the candidate should always strive to learn more by practicing a lot. Practice from various mock tests and question banks which are available online are a very important and beneficial step for all the students appearing for the exam.


Year-wise distribution of Questions on Spotting Errors

A candidate should score a minimum of 24 marks to qualify this section. He/she should set a target of minimum 60 answers.

A good number of 15 to 20 questions are asked from the topic of Spotting Errors. Therefore, owing to all these factors a candidate can judge the significance of this topic from point of view of examination.

Previous- year question papers and its analysis is highlighted in the table below:

YearNumber of Questions
2017 (2)25
2017 (1)25
2016 (2)20
2015 (1)20
2015 (2)15
2014 (1)20

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