RBI Assistant Mains Exam 2016-17 will be conducted on 24th January 2017. Today we are sharing some important tips for English Language Section that will help you achieve a good score in your upcoming RBI Assistant Mains Exam.

RBI Assistant Mains Exam Pattern 

S. No.
Name of Subject
No. of Questions
Maximum Marks
Reasoning Ability
Composite Time of 2 hours
English Language
Numerical Ability
General Awareness
Computer Knowledge


As mentioned, 40 questions would be asked in this section with a total of 40 marks. Many new surprises have been thrown in the exams by IBPS this year, especially in the mains phase. In this article, we will try to cover some new topics that might be asked in the RBI Assistant Mains given the changing level of banking exams now. However, do not forget to prepare the commonly asked topics as well.

Questions in English Language Section may be asked from the following topics in RBI Assistant Mains -

Reading Comprehension 

You can expect 1 passage from this topic. This is most likely to be based on Economy. While attempting comprehension based question, keep following things in mind -
  • Try to go through a few questions before you read the passage. This approach will help you mark out the answers in a better way.
  • Questions related to central theme of the passage are particularly easy and answer to these questions can be usually spotted by going through the first and the last paragraph of the comprehension.
  • If vocabulary based questions are asked within the passage, try to attempt the first. Go through the line containing the concerned word. This will help you understand the meaning of the word properly.

Cloze Test & Fillers 

10 questions were asked from this topic last year in RBI Assistant Exam. This topic of English Section is comparatively easy to attempt and takes up less time. While attempting questions from Cloze test, keep following things in mind -
  • Habit of reading 2-3 articles on a regular basis will help you in Cloze test as Reading Comprehension. You can also go through our articles for this purpose where we pick out articles from newspapers and also provide important words which will help you strengthen your vocabulary.
  • All the sentences in the passage of Cloze test are connected. So if you feel stuck at any point, move on to the next blank and once you are done with it, retry to identify the previous blank.
  • Try to eliminate options while filling out the blanks. You can do this by substituting the given options in blank. This will help you understand the correct option easily.
  • While attempting Filler based questions, same approach has to be followed, read the sentence properly and try eliminating options by substituting them in the given blank.

Spotting Errors / Sentence Improvement  

You can expect 5-10 Questions from this topic. This again, like Cloze Test can be attempted easily and consumes less time.
  • Read the sentence properly first. You can usually mark out the error in one go.
  • Look up for grammatical errors if the sentence structure is correct.
  • Try to go through basic grammar rules, for instance which verb form should be used with which kind of subject etc. Once you have a fair idea of it, you’ll be able to identify errors easily.
  • Same goes for Sentence Improvement, once you identify what is wrong with the given statement, you can use the options given to substitute the wrong part and form a logical sentence.
  • Pattern of Spotting Errors has been changed in some exams. Instead of a single sentence, different sentences are provided in the options and you need to identify which of the given options is correct or incorrect. However, remember, that the basic approach for such questions still remains same.
  • You can go through the link below to understand basic grammar rules for this topic -

Para Jumbles 

Normally a set with 5 questions is asked from this topic.
  • Pattern of Para Jumbles was changed in IBPS Clerk Mains Exam this year. Rather than a set, single questions were asked where you had to identify the correct arrangement.
  • Even though there was variation in pattern, approach to attempt such questions is still the same. In Fact this pattern is comparatively easier.
  • Identifying the first and last statement of the passage is usually easy because first statement is mostly independent while last statement usually carries the conclusion language. Once you identify them, you can look at the options given and see which arrangement fits most aptly.
  • In case para jumbles from previous pattern are asked, first step remains same, i.e. identify the opening and closing statement first.
  • Go through all the sentences and understand the gist of the passage. This will help you arrange the sentences logically.
  • Once you have arranged all the sentences, make sure that you go through the passage formed to ensure that it delivers logical conclusion.

These are the common topics that are usually asked in Banking Exams. Apart from these, few new topics were also introduced this year. We will now discuss such topics briefly.
  • Vocabulary based Questions - Instead of asking synonyms/ antonyms in the passage, individual words are specified in question and you need to identify the option that is most similar or most opposite in meaning to the given word. Such questions are particularly tricky because unless you understand the word completely, there is no way that you can attempt such a question. For this, you’ll need to work on your vocabulary. Read at least 2-3 articles regularly and identify new words. Look up their meanings and try to form sentences from these words on your own. Make sure that you practice it regularly.
  • Odd One Out based - In these topics, you are given a sentence/passage in question and different sentences in options and you have to identify which of the given option does not logically follow or conclude the given sentence of passage. While attempting these questions, carefully read the passage given and then through the options. You’ll be able to make out which sentence conveys different meaning once you go through the options. You can solve Para Completion or Paragraph Summary based questions in the similar manner.
  • Phrase Starter based - In these questions, 2 different sentences are given and you are provided with a set of starters. You need to identify a suitable starter with the help of which you can combine the two sentences so that it again forms a meaningful sentence. Here again you’ll have to eliminate options by using each option as starter and applying it to the sentences given.
  • Idiom Based - In these questions, an idiom/ phrase is provided in the question and different sentences carrying meaning of that idiom are provided in options. You need to identify which sentence best conveys the meaning of that idiom. In order to answer such questions, you should be well versed in this topic. Try to study 5-8 idioms on a regular basis in order to score well in such questions.

Key Takeaways 

  • If you come across any new topic/ question in the exam, do not panic because that will only waste your time. Give a minute to the question and try to understand it. If nothing clicks within a minute, move on to the next question.
  • Practice the above mentioned topics on a regular basis and analyse your performance daily.
  • Since sectional time has not been specified, try to divide the 2 hour time constraint among different sections and then practice each section within that time frame.

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