India is the world’s second largest English speaking country. The on-paper statistics can be misinterpreted as it is only 10% of the Indian population which makes it the second largest English speaking country. It isn’t the education which is on a high rise, but it is mainly the population which breaks these records.
India has 50% of its population under the age of 25 of which the majority are undertaking some or other competitive exam to make a career for themselves and secure their future. Out of the 50% youth population, it is only 27% that speak English whereas the rest are not comfortable with it. Yet, competitive exams contain an English assessment section which requires verbal skills.
Learning English is not a one-time task, but it is a continuous process. Our main aim here is to get comfortable with the English language and qualify the competitive exams.
The first task is to assess yourself and realise where exactly your English-speaking stature fits amongst the others. The more conventional way here might be to take online tests and read novels, but if you are more unconventional, try watching English movies to bolster your linguistic skills. This exposes you to various forms of the language and adds to its versatility.
The next level of advancement in learning the language is interaction. Once you have heard enough of the language, try speaking it. Indulge in extensive conversations in English. Implement what you have heard in your interactions. You might also try to bring your thought process to be in English. Sooner or later, you will notice that you are getting better at it.
After getting a mediocre hold of the language, it becomes important to get back to our main aim, and that is cracking the competitive exams. Look at the pattern of the exam you are appearing for and depending on what is required, grammar, essay writing or comprehension, start practising each one of these as per their patterns. It is now that we have made the language a little more a part of ourselves that we can move on with the conventional methods of learning.
Start by reading newspapers and other materials in English. If your competitive exams require you to have a general awareness as well, instead of reading the newspaper in your regional language which you might be most comfortable with, shift your focus to English newspapers. This will serve a dual purpose of helping you get more comfortable with the language a well as polish your general awareness.
Note: Concentrate on online assessments since by now it is more important to improve on what you have learnt and gradually get better at it rather than trying to learn more and jeopardising what you have learnt thus far.
The final stage is building your confidence. Unless you are confident about what you have learnt, it is practically impossible to excel at it. So, read and write as much as you can but more importantly, guide others and help others learn too.
Expose yourself to different forms of writing styles and texts to add various dimensions to your language. Constantly work on improving and gaining relevant information. Familiarize yourself with the syllabus, identify your weakness and endeavor to overcome them.
Management institutes are looking for the soft skills assessment of the students before selecting for the final admissions. Soft skills are critical for the success in corporate world and business schools have realized it. There is weightage for the personal interview apart from your score in the competitive exams like CAT, GMAT etc.
These may seem like long and tiresome stages of the learning process, but once you start the process, they play along with the normal routine of life and learning English doesn’t feel like being pelted with stones. This process could help you in improving english for exams like UPSC, CAT, GMAT etc as well. Consistency and perseverance is the key to achieve the goal one desires and by following these simple stages, you can master the language.