Some most common Grammar errors in Psychological Test: SSB Interview

Psychological Tests (PT) are an opportunity to spellbind the Psychologist with pen and paper. The PT is a series of tests like WAT, TAT & SRT where you have to express yourself through writing. The responses in Tests will reflect your thinking, attitude, personality, etc. All you need is to express yourself correctly. Some say grammatical errors do not matter in PT but why don’t just write correctly when you can do so with a little practice. They are not the mistakes that will kill anyone (well in grammar there are no such mistakes, I agree) these are just silly ones which can be avoided and that will help the Psychologist to understand you more clearly.

Some common mistakes which candidates make but can be avoided by you are:-

1) Helping Verbs:- The agreements between subjects and verb is a must. E.g. you can’t put “am” with any subject other than “I”.

2) Passive Voice – Use of passive voice shows your weakness in the English Language. In Passive Voice, the sentence starts with an object rather than the subject.
Example: He plucked the flower. – Active Voice
The flower was plucked by him. – Passive Voice.
Write sentences in active voice during Psychological Tests.

3) Referring to a brand – A brand is not plural so do not refer to it as “They”. Use “It” for referring it.
Example: Raymond is my first choice for formals dressing. They are best.
Raymond is my first choice for formal dressing. It is best.

4) The simple difference to remember:- We are talking about ‘they’re’, ‘their’ and ‘there’. First is a contraction of ‘they are’. 2nd refers to ‘possession by them’ and third refers to a place. We can understand the difference as:-
They’re afraid to send their children there.
The same thing goes with ‘Your’ and ‘You’re’. ‘Your’ refers to ‘belonging to you’ and ‘you’re’ is just a contraction of ‘You are’.
Example: Your brother said you’re leaving tonight.
Another difference is between ‘Its’ and ‘It’s’.

5) Dangling Modifiers:- Trust me, the concept is not as confusing as the name. A modifier is a phrase which provides more clarity to a sentence. Normally it describes subject but when it is wrongly placed in a sentence, it becomes a dangling modifier.
Example: Having decreasing for two semesters, she has finally improved her grades this semester.
Here the modifier talks about the grades but is wrongly placed, the right sentence will be:-
“Having decreasing for two semesters, her grades have finally improved this semester”.

6) Apostrophe:- Its use can be tricky. The rules for using apostrophe are:-

  • If the noun is singular and does not end with ‘s’, then the apostrophe is placed before ‘s’ e.g. rabbit’s carrot, puppy’s tail, etc.
  • If the noun is singular but ends with ‘s’, then put the apostrophe after ‘s’. e.g. dress’s design, etc.
  • If the noun is plural then put the apostrophe after ‘s’. e.g. kids’ toys, etc.
  • 7) Use of homophones:- Homophones are the words which pronounce same but the meaning is different e.g. Taste vs. Test, etc.

    8) Use of correct verb:- This is also a very common mistake. Use the correct form of the verb for present, past and future tense.
    Example: I see her walking towards me.
    We walked to the garden last night.
    She will be walking down the aisle tomorrow.

    9) Use of ‘i.e.’ vs. ‘e.g.’:- These two can confuse you easily. ‘i.e.’ or ‘that is’ is used to clarify the meaning further.
    Example: The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday i.e. tomorrow.
    ‘e.g.’ or ‘for example’ or ‘example is given’ is used when giving further examples.
    For Example: I love outdoor sports e.g. Football, basketball, etc.

    10) Double Negatives:- Use of negative words twice in a sentence.
    Incorrect:- She promised me she will not do it never again.
    Correct:- She promised me to not do it ever again.
    Then vs. Than: Than is a conjunction simply used for comparison e.g. My dress is better than yours.
    Then is used to indicate actions in time e.g. We went to watch the play and then headed for dinner.

    11) Use of Commas:- Commas are used to separate elements in a series or an introductory word or phrase or to separate independent clauses.
    Example: He took his cell phone, wallet and jacket before walking out of my place.
    In the beginning, I didn’t understand why I was doing it.
    Sandra is pretty, she is popular in school.

    12) Use of Semi-colons:- They are used to connect two independent clauses which are closely related.
    Example: Meet me tomorrow at school; I will prove it to you then.

    Well, the errors we talked about are just a few. There are some other common errors like use of farther vs. further, use of between vs. among, use of few vs. less, use of too vs. to, use of into vs. into, etc. Every language has its fair share of tricks and rules but by paying a little attention you can overcome them. At the end, it is just a language. Write as best as you can and avoid mistakes as much as you can.
    Good Luck!

    Also visit SSB interview notes with solved examples.

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