December 1, 2023

UPSC CDS II exam 2020: Most commonly questions asked in error spotting section

UPSC CDS 2 2020: On average, 20 to 25 questions based on error spotting are asked in the Combined Defence Services exam every year

UPSC CDS 2 2020: The second session of the UPSC Combined Defence Service examination is scheduled to be conducted in a few weeks. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) already announced to conduct the CDS 2 exam on November 8. As the date closes in, registered candidates are expected to give their heart and soul in last-minute preparations for the exam in fulfilling their dreams of becoming a commissioned officer in the Indian defence services.

UPSC has already released the CDS 2 admit card through the official website – The release of the admit card essentially marks the last few days left before the exam during which, candidates must skim sources for information that can help them gain a competitive advantage over other candidates. Knowing the type of questions asked in the exam is one such frequently searched information.

Referring to the pattern of the CDS 2 exam, one section of the question paper is entirely dedicated to the English subject. Even while the nation is witnessing an increasing trend of conducting online proctored exams, UPSC will conduct a pen and paper-based test with precautions.

There are 120 MCQ type questions in this section carrying a total of 100 marks. With a closer analysis of the previous year question papers and answer key of CDS, one can easily observe that error spotting type questions in the English section comprise significant marks. In CDS 1 held in February this year, at least 20 questions were asked from error spotting including 10 questions from spelling errors.

Reportedly, 20-25 questions based on error spotting are asked in the CDS exam almost every year. Besides spelling errors, sentence based error spotting is also asked. In order to prepare to solve these types of questions, having sound knowledge of English grammar, especially the correct use of terms like has/ had/ have etc. is crucial.

The syllabus of the CDS English section does not specify any particular type of question that may be asked. However, candidates can refer to books such as Wren & Martin High School Grammar as well as NCERT English books to get clarity on such concepts and rules of English grammar.

Another typical error spotting question is based on collective nouns which find usage in the English language as both singular and plural. Tricky questions based on such concepts are formulated by the UPSC and asked in the CDS exam to test the proficiency of the candidates in the language.

One of the easiest ways to get acquainted with such typical questions is to solve mock tests, refer to sample papers and previous year papers of the CDS exam. In this way, candidates who are toiling hard to appear in the CDS 2 2020 exam in November, can generate a very good idea about the type of questions that can be expected to be asked from error spotting.

We already highlighted that spelling error-based questions have also found a place in the CDS question paper. Generally, the questions can be solved with good vocabulary and word power. There are words that sound the same but spelt differently and there are words that spell the same but are read differently.

Based on such concepts and rules of the English language, error-spotting questions are common in the CDS exam. Once again, we would recommend practising from previous year papers, solving CDS mock tests. Even reading from diverse sources can also help increase one’s vocabulary.


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