How to ace the General English section in SNAP

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

How to ace the General English section in SNAP
While candidates prepare rigorously for CAT, they sometimes tend to overlook other important MBA entrance exams. Talking specifically of SNAP, it just went online last year and is expected to be the same this year too. The exam will be held in the second or the third week of December in a single session. SNAP consists of 150 questions of one mark each which are to be answered in 120 minutes with a penalty of one-fourth of a mark being applicable for each wrong answer. It is different from CAT in more ways than one. Apart from the fact that the GK section plays a major role, the nuances in the verbal section cannot be missed.

The General English section consists of 40 questions being majorly divided into 4 parts viz-Reading Comprehension passages (6 to 8 questions), Core Verbal Ability(8 to 9 questions), Grammar(5 to 6 questions), Verbal Reasoning(3 to 4 questions) and Miscellaneous. One needs to be conceptually strong in and clear with the basic fundamentals so as to apply them accordingly.

Reading Comprehension part in General English section in SNAP

Since most of the aspirants are already preparing for CAT, they don’t find this section very tough in SNAP. However, practicing reading on a regular basis is still very much required. Reading a newspaper daily (the editorial section, especially) helps a lot as it not only makes one accustomed to reading but also exposes one to new words on a regular basis. Also, it makes one updated with what’s going on in the world which fetches brownie points later in GDs and interviews. The questions typically emphasize the tone of the passage, a suitable theme for the passage and data based easy questions apart from one vocabulary question which essentially asks the meaning of a word or a phrase.

This is a high scoring section wherein the answers to data based questions seldom go wrong. Also, the options given for the “tone of the passage” questions are so different from each other that it is usually easy to arrive at the final correct answer.

Things to Do

  • Keep reading editorials, do not forget to make a note of new words (because you know- out of sight, out of mind!) and try to use them in your conversations.

Keep a track of the time you take to solve an RC and make sure it’s getting reduced day by day as speed is a very important factor in SNAP. RCs are perhaps the only part in the English section which take time and a good reading speed is always a bonus.

Error correction part in General English section in SNAP

This part is where your knowledge of basic fundamentals and concepts of English Grammar is checked. This involves questions on parts of speech, usage of tenses, phrasal verbs, syntax, clauses, reported speech, conditional sentences, and punctuations. The number of such questions can vary from being 6 to 8 which may be framed to find the incorrect part of a sentence, to identify the part of speech or filling in the blanks with correct forms of verbs and tenses.

Things to Do

  • Grammar is the plinth and the foundation of a language. If grammar is your forte, other parts of the Verbal Ability section like the RCs pose absolutely no threat to you as you can skim and scan through the passages easily.
  • Starting with keeping a good Grammar book really helps. I personally suggest the age-old “Wren and Martin” which can be resorted to if someone wants to start from scratch.
  • “Word Power Made Easy” by Normal Lewis can increase your vocabulary to a great extent apart from covering a few grammar sections as well.
  • Questions related to tenses and reported speech are asked very often and practicing exercises specific to these topics can increase your score by at least 3 marks.

Eg. Fill in the blanks

  1. It’s high time you________your homework. (finish, finished, had finished)
  2. Had the bus arrived on time, I _____________ early. (would reach, reached, would have reached)

Vocabulary and Analogy part in General English section in SNAP

Vocabulary is an indispensable aspect of the English section in SNAP. There are 6-7 direct questions asking the meaning/synonym/antonym of a word or a phrasal verb. Meanings of common idioms and phrases are also very often asked and you have the edge over others if you’re well versed with them.

Ability to solve questions on Analogy is directly proportional to one’s acquaintance with words. The more you expand your word-pool, the higher your chances of solving such questions. There are usually 3-4 questions wherein you’re asked to identify similarity/dissimilarity of words, a relationship between words/sentences and also homophones.

Things to Do

  • Learn at least 20 words daily along with their usages and synonyms.
  • Keep two dictionaries downloaded in your phone. I personally prefer Oxford Dictionary and Merriam Webster both of which give a “word of the day” daily. Merriam Webster also has a few games and quizzes aimed at increasing vocabulary.
  • Also, referring to “Word Power Made Easy” by Normal Lewis which is a great book that can enhance your vocabulary immensely.
  • Questions on analogy can be cracked by checking the pattern and forming small sentences to identify and verify the relationship between words. You may come across some words which are alien to you; try to break them and identify the root words.

Eg. Exothermic- exo (outside) + thermic (heat)

Ludicrous- this word arises from lude meaning play.

Apart from these sub-sections, a few questions on Verbal Reasoning aiming to check your critical reasoning can also be witnessed if they don’t turn up in RCs.

There are 150 questions to be answered in 120 minutes. So, time management imperative to get a good score. Solving previous years’ papers gives a fair idea of the difficulty level of the paper and also helps you figure your areas of strengths and the areas you lag in to define your scope of improvement. Reading and practicing is the key to acing the Verbal Ability section.

All the best folks!

This article was contributed by Juhi Parwani(SCMHRD BATCH 2018-2020- 99.8 SNAP 2017

You can also see:CAT Grammar: Introduction to Verb Tenses
CAT Grammar Basics – Parts of Speech
How to correctly use the punctuation marks in English

Other posts related to Verbal Ability

The Articles – A, An, The
What Sherlock Holmes can teach you about Parajumbles in CAT
Tips and Tricks to Solve Para-Jumble Questions for CAT Exam

CAT Questions related to Reading Comprehension

All questions from CAT Exam Verbal Ability
Verbal Ability – Summary
       Q1: To me, a “classic” means precisely the opposite of what my predecessors understood
       Q2: A translator of literary works needs a secure hold upon the two languages involved, supported by a good measure of familiarity with the two cultures.
       Q3: For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years.
       Q4: North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds
       Q5: Both Socrates and Bacon were very good at asking useful questions.
       Q6: A fundamental property of language is that it is slippery and messy and more liquid than solid, a gelatinous mass that changes shape to fit.
Verbal Ability – Parajumbles
       Q1: The process of handing down implies not a passive transfer, but some contestation in defining what exactly is to be handed down.
       Q2: Scientists have for the first time managed to edit genes in a human embryo to repair a genetic mutation
       Q3: The study suggests that the disease did not spread with such intensity, but that it may have driven human migrations across Europe and Asia.
       Q4: This visual turn in social media has merely accentuated this announcing instinct of ours
       Q5: The implications of retelling of Indian stories, hence, takes on new meaning in a modern India.
       Q6: Before plants can take life from atmosphere, nitrogen must undergo transformations similar to ones that food undergoes in our digestive machinery.
       Q7: This has huge implications for the health care system as it operates today
       Q8: Johnson treated English very practically, as a living language, with many different shades of meaning
Verbal Ability – Odd One Out
       Q1: People who study children’s language spend a lot of time watching how babies react to the speech they hear around them.
       Q2: Neuroscientists have just begun studying exercise’s impact within brain cells — on the genes themselves.
       Q3: The water that made up ancient lakes and perhaps an ocean was lost.
       Q4Although we are born with the gift of language, research shows that we are surprisingly unskilled when it comes to communicating with others.
       Q5: Over the past fortnight, one of its finest champions managed to pull off a similar impression.

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