BCS Written English Preparation. Know the comprehensive guide. The Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) exam is the gateway to joining the civil service in Bangladesh. It is conducted by the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC) and is considered one of the toughest examinations in the country.
The written exam has several components, including Bengali, English, Bangladesh Affairs, and optional subjects. Performance in the written English section is crucial as it carries 200 marks, the highest for any subject in this exam. Candidates aspiring to clear the BCS prelims and get shortlisted for the main exam need to have excellent English language skills.
BCS Written English Preparation – You Must Know [Detail Guide]
In this comprehensive guide, we will provide tips and strategies to ace the BCS written English exam.
Why is Written English Important for BCS?
- It carries the highest marks (200) of any subject in the BCS preliminary exam. A good score here can make up for average performance in other sections.
- English is an official language in Bangladesh government offices. Civil servants need to draft letters, memos, reports, and policies in English. Strong written English skills are essential.
- In the BCS main exam, the viva-voce interview has questions in English. Candidates’ responses are evaluated for subject knowledge as well as language fluency.
- As a BCS cadre, you will frequently interact with foreigners. The ability to communicate effectively in written and spoken English is imperative.
Check out the BCS Written Exam (English) Syllabus
|Reading Comprehension||An unseen passage dealing with a topic relevant to our times will be set. Candidates will be required to answer (a) a number of thematic questions that will test their understanding of the passage (30 marks), and (b) a number of questions related to grammar and usage.||60|
|Passage Summary||Candidates will be required to write a summary of the given passage in their own words within 100 words.||20|
|Writing letter to Newspaper||Candidates will have to write a letter relating to the thematic issue of the given passage to the editor of an English newspaper.||20|
|Essay Writing||Candidates will be required to compose an essay on a topic related to an issue of topical relevance. The essay must conform to the word limit set and must convey a candidate’s ability to express his or her ideas clearly and correctly in English as well as reflect and analyze a topic of contemporary interest.||50|
|Translation (Bangla to English)||Candidates will be required to translate a short passage from Bengali into English.||25|
|Translation ( English To bangla)||Candidates will be required to translate a short passage from English into Bangla.||25|
Sections in BCS Written English Paper
The written exam has 200 marks divided across the following five sections:
1. Reading Comprehension (60 Marks)
- A long reading passage followed by 10 multiple-choice questions
- Questions test your understanding of the passage content, vocabulary, and author’s intent
- Read actively, highlight key points, guess meaning from context
2. Précis Writing (20 Marks)
- Summarize the comprehension passage from Q1 in about 100 words
- Capture the essence, stick to word limit, use own words
3. Composition (50 Marks)
- Essay writing on a social, political, economic, or ethical topic
- Plan structure; introduce topic; present arguments cogently; conclude appropriately
- Adhere to word limit; use good vocabulary, variety of sentence structures
4. Letter Writing (20 Marks)
- Short letter to the editor of a newspaper on a contemporary issue
- Follow standard letter format; be creative, persuasive and solution-focused
5. Translation (50 Marks)
- Translate a short passage from English to Bengali (25 marks)
- Translate another short passage from Bengali to English (25 marks)
- Convey the correct meaning using natural language
How to Prepare for BCS Written English Section
Here are some key tips and strategies to prepare effectively for the written English section of BCS prelims:
Build a Strong Vocabulary
- Maintain a vocabulary notebook. Target learning 20 new words daily.
- Refer to word lists like Saifur’s Vocabulary for BCS by Muhammad Saifur Rahman.
- Read editorials and articles in English newspapers. Note down unfamiliar words and their meanings.
- Learn roots, prefixes and suffixes to help you guess meanings of new words.
- Revise words periodically to retain them in your active vocabulary.
- Read English newspapers, magazines, novels, etc. regularly
- Note down nice expressions, idioms, phrases to enhance your writing style
- Reading helps build vocabulary, exposes you to good writing structures
- Refer old BCS passages to become familiar with the exam pattern
- Translate Bengali passages from newspapers daily into English
- Similarly, pick English passages and translate into Bengali
- Compare your translation with original to spot errors
- This will develop an intuitive feel for both languages
- Practice writing well-structured essays on various topics
- Write letters and reports using formal language
- Join online forums and write posts on different subjects
- The more you write, the more comfortable you will be
Learn Grammar Rules
- Study basic English grammar rules related to tenses, clauses, reported speech etc.
- Refer to grammar books like Wren and Martin’s High School English Grammar
- Correct repeated grammar mistakes in your writing
Analyze Question Patterns
- Go through previous years’ BCS English question papers
- Understand the types of comprehension questions asked
- Practice answering questions against time
- This will help you strategize question attempts better
Appear for Mock Tests
- Take mock tests periodically under exam conditions
- Analyze your mistakes and areas of weakness
- Continue practicing questions of difficult types
- Assess speed and accuracy; make improvements
Frequently Asked Questions on BCS Written English Preparation
Here are some common questions asked by BCS aspirants about preparing for the written English section:
Q1. How many months are required to prepare for BCS written English?
Answer: If you already have a basic grasp over English, 4-6 months of dedicated practice is sufficient. Focus on vocabulary building, grammar, reading and writing daily. Appear for mock tests regularly.
Q2. What kinds of topics are given for essay writing in BCS exam?
Answer: Essay topics are usually based on contemporary social, political, economic or ethical themes. Some examples are climate change, brain drain, female education, social media impact etc. Candidates can expect a generic title or quotation to frame the essay.
Q3. How important is learning grammar rules for BCS?
Answer: You need not get into intensive grammar studies. But having a working knowledge of basic grammar like tenses, clauses, active-passive voice helps you write better. Learn only relevant rules and correct repeated mistakes.
Q4. Is BCS English paper very difficult to clear?
Answer: With diligent preparation over 4-6 months, the English paper is very achievable. It tests fairly basic English skills – vocabulary, comprehension, summary writing, letter writing and translation skills. Consistent practice will help you succeed.
Q5. Which books are best for BCS English preparation?
Answer: Recommended books are Wren and Martin for grammar, Saifur’s Vocabulary for word power, past 10 years’ question papers, model test papers and guides published by various coaching institutes.
BCS written English demands a smart and focused preparation strategy. Prioritize vocabulary building and extensive reading. Practice writing across various formats like essays, letters and translation. Analyze previous years’ exam patterns and take mock tests. With regular practice for 4-6 months, you can master the skills to clear this critical BCS exam section. Believe in yourself and work diligently towards your goal.