Published: 10th June 2022
CUET prep giving you the jitters? This book will surely help. Plus, bonus tips to ace the entrance exam
CUET — How to Excel published by McGraw Hill will help students understand the exam pattern and excel, but they must know their subjects otherwise too
Whenever anything new happens for the first time, one always feels the need to go the extra mile. Surely, the same is the case with CUET or the Common University Entrance Test which will be held for the first time this year for admission to undergraduate programmes, and now postgraduate too, across all the central and few participatory universities as well.
So, all jitters, be gone! As the book, CUET — How to Excel published by McGraw Hill ensures all those nerves are quelled. Released on May 25, consider this book your friend, philosopher and guide through your preparation for CUET.
Though the examination date of the CUET entrance test will be announced soon, what we all know is that it'll be in the first or the second week of July. So we might as well get a headstart, right? This brings us back to the book!
The book has 2,700 questions, 20 practice papers, ten each from English from Section IA and General Test of Section III and a lot more. So deep dive into CUET prep while you hold on to this book tightly to see you through the exam. Excerpts from our conversation with the author of the book, Madhukar Kumar Bhagat.
Since when has the publication of the book been in the works? How long did it take to write it?
As soon as the news reports started flowing in about the examination, the research to prepare ourselves for this segment also began. Concerted efforts were made from the month of January onwards with subsequent efforts post the announcement of the exam in the month of March. It took overall four to five months of rigorous effort to complete the title.
Since this is the first time CUET is going to be conducted, what were the sources you referred to in the absence of no previous question papers and so on.
The book is broadly based on the syllabus brought out by NTA. These are specified as per the list in the notification dated March 26, 2022. The syllabus of these subjects is to be broadly based on the syllabus of Class XII.
Detailing the syllabus succinctly brought out that comprehension skills, and grasp of the language (grammar and syntax) besides vocabulary, would be the core areas of evaluation.
Different types of questions, types of passages and how to tackle them, are explained with illustrative examples, in Chapter One of this book on reading comprehension. Besides, nearly 200 comprehension passages with hundreds of questions are included in the exercise sets. These are designed keeping in mind the nature of the passages as mentioned in the notification of CUET, the passages appearing in the previous year’s papers of the CUCET (conducted by the NTA) and comprehension passages of other aptitude tests.
Chapter Two of this book titled, Language, Literary Aptitude & Vocabulary brings out the different categories of questions likely to arise and explains the approach to solving them with lucid illustrative examples. An annexure of nearly 400 words, their meaning, antonyms and synonyms, and another annexure of 125 idioms with illustrative sentences indicating their usage, have also been provided. Further, an exercise set containing 225 questions of varied nature (based on past CUCET papers and other aptitude examinations) is also provided.
General Knowledge and Current Affairs chapter contains 200 practice questions, which emanate from current affairs as well as the general knowledge portions. These are specified as per the pattern and standard of questions appearing in the previous CUCET papers.
This book aims at striking this balance by offering the optimal preparation material for the sections required in the preparation for the CUET exam.
Since the Internet is a bottomless resource for any information and is becoming more and more accessible as days go by, how did you make sure that this book doesn't just contain easily digestible information but is also interesting when it comes to the presentation?
As far as information on the internet is concerned, it is very generic and wide. For CUET preparation, a precise and comprehensive preparation strategy is required.
To make it interesting, illustrative examples, tips and tricks approach adopted to solve problems and ample amount of practice questions are given making it comprehensive and precise.
This book offers comprehensive guidance for the test of English for Section IA and the General Test of Section III. It brings out the specific requirements of each of these test domains, the nature of questions to expect, the material required to study and how to go about the preparation. Over 2,700 questions, 20 practice papers (10 of each of the two sections) to give an indicative time frame hints and solutions to the challenging problems and many illustrative examples are included in it.
The hallmark of the book can be said to be quality, preciseness, and optimality.
These practice books help students understand their strengths and weaknesses in a systematic way and prepare according to specific competitive exam patterns. Practice helps even students who are weak to brush up and do well finally in an exam.
There is an emphasis on offering numerous examples and illustrations to enhance understanding and retention. Can you give us an example of illustrations?
Numerous answers and illustrations with respect to how to answer and tackle different types of questions have been given. For instance, In Reading Comprehension Chapter 1, categories of comprehension passages and questions. These are based on the pattern of the different aptitude tests and the nature of the questions of the previous CUCET papers, the comprehension passages and questions which are likely to arise. Several categories around which questions in the exam can be framed have been detailed.
The primary criticism against CUET is that state board students will face disadvantages. What suggestions would you offer to these students?
It is wrong to say that state board students will face disadvantages. In fact, the exam will offer a common platform for students across the country and help them get admitted to good colleges. It is a single examination for admissions to the central universities, for all candidates coming from central and different state boards. The added benefits are: a level playing field, wide reach to the seats of the prestigious universities and relief from the vagaries of differential marks awarded in different boards
We believe the candidates should be serious with their studies and know their subjects well before appearing for the exam. This book will help them understand the exam pattern and excel, but they must know their subjects otherwise too.
Do also share your opinion about CUET, in general, and if it, indeed, levels the playing field for students aspiring to gain admission to central universities.
The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores would determine the admissions to 50 prestigious central universities for the undergraduate courses for the academic year 2022–23. Many private and deemed to be universities also decided to accept these scores for admission to their respective undergraduate courses. With these, nearly 75 universities and lakhs of college seats would fall under the ambit of CUET in its very first year of launch.
Thus, what CUET offers is a single examination for admissions to the central universities, for all candidates coming from central and different state boards.
Do share tips and tricks to excel in CUET specifically.
The year 2022 being the first year for CUET, the candidates did not get the expected time to prepare for the examination. Considering the expanse of coverage required, a period of at least six to eight weeks may be needed for an average aspirant to reasonably cover the topics of Section 1 and Section III. This book has accordingly been designed. Here is what should be done in this period.
Prepare a plan/schedule for preparation, ear-marking days/weeks for specific topics and sections. Check your progress regularly. Keep the last two weeks prior to the examination free for solving practice question papers, working on weaker areas and revision. A well thought out preparation plan helps to keep your preparation on a tight leash and prevents you from becoming complacent and going astray.
Thorough practice and solving practice papers with an indicative time frame is a crucial strategy to prepare for this exam.
Need for concentration
Concentration is a key virtue for being successful in any examination and it is more so in an aptitude test. In a test of a specific subject, what is important is whether or not you know the right answer or the technique to solve the question. But in an aptitude test, even if you know how to solve a particular question, your focus and attention will be pertinent in enabling you to pick the right choice and sticking to the time schedule. Techniques like pranayam, relaxation exercises, and so on, are tested methods to improve concentration
Coping with anxiety
During the entire course of preparation, some degree of anxiety and nervousness is likely to take place. A bit of anxiety is normal and even helpful, as it peps up our system and prevents us from becoming casual and complacent. But it is important not to let anxiety besiege us. Techniques such as taking walks, listening to light music, mild exercising or simply taking a break from studies for a short while, can be helpful to some. One has to find what suits and helps him or her. But, it is important to build in some activity in your daily routine which helps you to cope with your anxiety and helps you relax.