Preparation for B.A English (compulsory) Paper - Punjab University

English Language paper (compulsory) is usually a hurdle for most of the BA students. The result statistics of Punjab University show that majority of the failed-students in B.A exam are those student who do not qualify only the English Language paper.

What is the reason for this failure? The answer is: These students either do not work hard or do not work in proper lines for the paper. Remember there is no shortcut to success. Hard work is the key to success. Despite hard work, many students fail in the exam because they do not work in proper lines.

This article explains all the basic factors of success in English Language paper. Students must focus on these basic factors while preparing themselves for the paper.

The first thing, you require, is to understand the syllabus and format of the paper. Let’s start with understanding the format and syllabus of the paper:

As the new syllabus divides course contents equally in two papers for part-I and part-II, the preparation for each paper has now become comparatively easier than past.


The paper-I include questions on poetry and short stories. Read the short stories and One-act plays to understand the story. You will be asked question in these story. Some question can also be prepared from the guide-book having solved questions.

Read the poems thoroughly in order to understand their meaning. You must be able to explain the verses of poem in your own words correctly. You must know the name of poem as well as the name of the poet. You will write these names for explaining the given verses of poetry. Familiarize with the poems so much that by reading only the verses in the paper, you should get the idea of the name of the poem and name of poet.

You will be given a paragraph for Precis and Comprehension. You will have to re-write the given paragraph in shortened and comprehensive form. You will also answer the question given at the end of the paragraph. Do practice a few such paragraphs from grammar guides.

For translation from Urdu to English, you should understand the basic rules of tenses. Study the tenses to learn which form of verb and helping verb will be used in English for a specific sentence of Urdu.   


The paper-II includes two main course books ‘A selection of Modern Essays’ and ‘The old man and the sea’.  ‘A selection of Modern essays’ is collection of short lessons. Read the lessons to understand them and answer the questions given at the end of each lesson. You will be asked these questions in paper. You can also prepare these questions from a guide book.

‘The old man and the sea’ is an interesting novel. Read the whole novel at least once to understand the story. If you don’t have enough time read the whole novel, better read its summary from a guide. You will be asked question in various parts of this story i.e. What did the old man eat to restore his energy? You can answer this question if you have read and understood the story.

Essay question requires writing a comprehensive essay of 300 – 350 word on a topic. You are given wide choice in topics for essay. You have to make an outline. Outline is a sketch of main ideas of the essay. Write you essay in many paragraphs. First paragraph should be introductory paragraph. The next paragraph should elaborate the topic. The last paragraph should give a conclusion by summarizing the essay.  

Sentence-correction questions: These sentences have errors of verb, preposition, singular or plural nouns etc which needs correction.

For letter writing or application writing, you should learn the correct structure of writing a letter or an application. Correct structure of letter and application has its marks.

General Guidelines for the Paper

  1. You sentences should have no grammatical errors.
  2. Learn the basics of English grammar.
  3. Learn the basic rules of English Tenses. You would need them for translation question as well as for overall English writing.
  4. Increase your vocabulary.
  5. Write short sentences. Short sentences have less chance of errors in them.
  6. Learn the correct spelling of words.
  7. Learn three forms of verbs with regard to their correct usage in sentence.
  8. Learn the frequently used idioms and phrasal verbs.