There are several Competitive examinations such as Bank PO/ MT/Clerical, Insurance (LIC), Civil Services: CSAT, UGC, B.Ed/M.Ed, NDA, CDS, AFCAT, TET, Railways, PSU, SSC, and Police Department so on and so forth. The Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The UPSC conducts the SCRA for the selection of candidates for the Mechanical Department of the Indian Railways.
The SCRA Examination is conducted in 2 Parts, namely Part 1 comprises of a written exam that assess the applicant on 3 parameters General Ability (English, General Knowledge and Psychological Test), Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) and Mathematics. The marks allotted to the 3 papers is 200 each which brings the total to 600 marks in all. And Part 2 comprises of a Personality Test also of 200 marks. Most students usually look for tips that can aid and speed up the process of preparation when the examination is round the corner. Therefore, here are some tips that can assist aspirants in their exam preparation. This article will cover tips that are based on the different parameters assessed with useful tips for the same, importance of practice and maintaining your health.
Tip 1. General Ability: this section assess the candidates command over the english language, their general awarenes about the current affairs of the Government, their basic intelligence and their mechanical aptitude.
Tip 2. English Language and Comprehension: this section will be assessing the applicant’s proficiency in the English Language and grammar. The questions are designed to test the candidate’s understanding and knowledge of the English Language and will be based on error recognition, fill in the blanks (using verbs, preposition, articles etc), Vocabulary, Spellings, Grammar, Sentence Structure, Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Completion, Phrases and Idiomatic use of Words, etc. apart from these topics the question will include passages and comprehension of passages also. (The standard of the questions will be of 10+2 level).
- Grammar: A useful tool to improve your language skills is by referring to Wren & Martin. This book is a perfect guide for improving your grammar as well as your comprehension skills because it has explanations, exercises and examples for each topic. It also comes with a Key that you can refer; to verify if your answers are correct.
- Reading and Comprehension: ensure that you have a copy of the Wren & Martin whether in print or in pdf forms because it has very good examples for improving your comprehension skills. It has sample passages that contain questions on most of the aspects covered in the English section.
- Keep both a Dictionary and a Thesaurus with you: to improve your vocabulary it is preferable that you maintain a diary or a book to jot down words that you are unfamiliar with when you come across them as you read. Ensure that you have a dictionary and a thesaurus beside you at all times in any form you are comfortable with; either in print, on line, software. Look up words that you don’t understand and explore them by following the points listed below:
|Note Down the Words or Phrases used|
|Try to use it in a sentence the same day|
|Look for the Prefixes (un, in) and Suffixes (al, ion, ness)|
|Explore the verb, noun, adjective and adverb forms|
|Find Antonyms and Synonyms|
|Pay attention to the pronunciations of words given beside the word|
|Access an on line dictionary and hear the pronunciation of the word through the speakers or learn the pronunciation from a dictionary|
Tip 3. General Knowledge: to be able to crack this section, your knowledge about the recent happenings in India and its surrounding Countries is important. Apart from these aspects even the awareness of the environment, the Solar system and the earth, Seasons, Climate, Weather, Soil — its formation, erosion, Forests and their uses, Natural calamities cyclones, floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, Mountains and rivers and their role in irrigation in India, Distribution of natural resources and industries in India. Exploration of under—ground minerals including Oil, Conservation of natural resources with particular reference to the flora and fauna of India will also be tested.
- Information pertaining to sports, History, Culture, Geography, Economic Scene, General Polity, Indian Constitution, Scientific Research etc.
- Information about awards and honors (Literature, Sports, Service and Films) and current affairs (December 2012 – October 2013)
- Read newspapers, magazines (past issues from January 2012), journals, business and real estate supplements in newspapers
- Watch Educational channels that will boost your general knowledge
- to improve your knowledge of India visit www.india.gov.in as it has information about the latest happenings in the country
- Pay attention to the main events in the corporate world
- Information about organizations / associations like the UN and its associate agencies such as ASEAN , SAARC, NATO , BRICS etc.
- knowledge about the stocks and GK questions like Important National and International celebrations and dates, countries, capitals, currencies, inventions and discoveries in science.
Tip 4. Psychological Test: this section tests the applicants basic intelligence and their mechanical apptitude. The question on mechanical aptitude will be more application based; covering a whole range of topics such as sounds and heat conduction, velocity, gravity and force. The question on basic intelligence will comprise of verbal and non – verbal questions on analogies, similarities and differences, spatial visualization, spatial orientation, problem solving, analysis, judgment, decision making, visual memory, discrimination, observation, relationship concepts, arithmetical reasoning and figural classification, arithmetic number series, non-verbal series, coding and decoding, statement conclusion, syllogistic reasoning etc. In order to solve this section students should:
- Ask W / H questions (What, Why, When, Where, How) while reading a passage
- Practice difficult reasoning puzzles from mock papers and books on reasoning
- Solve puzzles from popular puzzle books available in bookstores
- Focus on lengthy puzzles on distribution involving lots of variables
- Practice problem figures and mirror images.
- The best way to crack this section is to practice mock papers of SCRA.
Tip 5. Physical Sciences: this section will cover questions on Physics and Chemistry (the standard of the questions will be of 10+2 level). But it is preferable that you focus more on the 12th syllabus. In Chemistry the question will be based on Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.
Tip 6. Mathematics: these questions are designed to test the candidates numerical ability therefore the questions are based on a wide range of topics such as Algebra, Analytical Geometry (two Dimensions), Trigonometry, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Differential equations, Vectors and its applications, Statistics and Probability (the standard of the questions will be of 10+2 level). Therefore it is essential to practice as many problems as you can to get acquainted with the types, formulas and form shortcuts for the same.
Tip 7. Personality Test: each candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career both academic, his awareness about current happenings, self awareness levels and their goals… They will be asked questions on matters of general interest. Special attention will be given to assess their potential qualities of leadership, initiative and intellectual curiosity, tact and other social qualities, mental and physical energy, power of practical application and integrity of character. So make sure you have your answers ready for such type of questions.
Tip 8. Practice: it is essential that students refer to previous years question papers and rely on mock tests, as this will make them familiar with the paper pattern and will give them an idea about the type of questions asked. Thus, students are better prepared for the examination. Also you can create a chart of all the formulas and the various chemical compositions so that it speeds up you revision on these topics.
Tip 9. Get your Basics Right: since this examination is designed to test both you mathematical abilities as well as physics and chemistry or for that matter even grammar principles it is absolutely essential for students to get their basics right because without a thorough understanding of the concepts and principle discussed practicing complicated problems will be tough.
Tip 10. Join Coaching classes: this will ensure that students practice regularly and are better prepared because they can resolve the queries that they might have about a particular topic.
Tip 11. Health Matters: it is important to ensure that you get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and most importantly exercise. It is important that you sleep in time, eat properly and exercise, if you wish to perform well in the examinations because both the body and the mind need to rest to function to its maximum potential.
If students focus on these tips and practice as much as they can, it will automatically help them to do well and their effort will yield good results. Thus students are more likely to perform well and get selected.