SBI PO Mains English Exam Pattern based on Previous Year Question Paper

Today, we are sharing the English Language Exam pattern for SBI PO Mains 2017. SBI PO Mains exam is just around the corner as it is going to be conduct on 4th June 2017 for recruitment to the posts of Probationary officers. It is the crucial time for all the SBI PO aspirants to start preparing for this exam in full swing if they want to confirm their seat for the next round. 

Since SBI PO Mains 2016 Exam, pattern of English Language  has been changed. The new type of questions has been introduced in the current pattern.It can be a scoring subject if you give it proper time during your preparation.Now this section does not follow the set pattern of reading comprehension , cloze test , spotting error and fill in the blanks etc. Some new types of questions has been introduced which are Para completion , Para summary , Statement fillers , Sentence Connector , Odd one out , Phrase Replacement etc.

SBI PO Mains 2017 Exam Pattern :  English Language

The Objective Test has 155 questions and it is spread over 4 sections – General Awareness (Banking + Economy), English Language, Data Analysis & Interpretation Reasoning + Computer Aptitude. The exam duration is of 3 hours. 
Name of the Test Number of questions Maximum marks Time allotted
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude 45 60 60 minutes
Data Analysis
& Interpretation
35 60 45 minutes
English Language 35 40
35 minutes
General Awareness
about Economy/ Banking
40 40 40 minutes
Total 155 200
3 hours

Below is a detailed pattern & syllabus of English Language sections which will help you to prepare better for the upcoming SBI PO Mains exam.
In SBI PO Mains Exam, the English Language section contains 35 questions which is of 40 marks
Below is the detailed pattern of all topics of English Section -

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension is given in the exam to judge the capability of understanding the passage and to analyze the problem in correct perspective. The questions will not come direct and hence have to understand the passage to answer. Candidates should have good reading ability for attempting these questions.
Two Sets of RC will be asked in Mains Exam. One Long RC will consist of 10 Questions & other short RC will consist of 5 Questions.

Para jumbles

The objectives of these types of sentences are to rearrange the sentences in the original sequence. It consists of a group of sentences that have been jumbled up. Five or Six sentences are given in a random order and you have to place them in correct order of their occurrence.
For Ex –
Directions (Qs. 1 - 3): Rearrange the following six sentences (A), (B), (C), (D), (E) and (F) in the proper sequence to form a meaningful paragraph; then answer the question given below them.
  • A. However, the reported cases may well be only the tip of the iceberg.
  • B. Nonperforming assets and frauds are the biggest threats faced by the banking sector; fraudulent deals amounting to ₹28,000 crore were reported over the last five years.
  • C. It has come at a time when incidents of bank fraud have been increasing, the most recent being the foreign exchange scam of over ₹3000 crore at the Bank of Baroda.
  • D. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan’s doubts about the efficacy of fraud detection systems in banks are pertinent.
  • E. However, other than in some high profile cases, banks have rarely taken swift deterrent action against insiders involved in fraudulent deals.
  • F. According to Deloitte’s 2015 Banking Fraud Survey, a staggering 93 per cent of respondents admitted that there has been an increase in the incidents of fraud in the banking industry over the last two years, with more than half estimating an increase by over 10 per cent.
1. Which of the following will be the Fourth sentence?
(1) A               (2) B                      (3) C        (4) D                  (5) E
2. Which of the following will be the First sentence?
(1) A                (2) B                      (3) C       (4) D                   (5) E
3. Which of the following will be the Last sentence?
(1) E              (2) D                      (3) C         (4) F           (5) A

Correct Sequence: D C B A F E
1. (1)
2. (4)
3. (1)

Cloze Test

This is a scoring topic of English language section. Five questions are asked from this topic and candidate can score 3 to 4 marks easily, if he had good reading and grammatical sense. Candidate has to choose correct meaningful word according to the passage and complete the sentence.
For Ex –
President Obama’s decision to veto a $612 billion defence spending bill sets the stage for a fight that could force Congress to put an end to an __1__ of fiscal mismanagement. It is a battle the president, who has vetoed only four other bills may lose. But it’s one well worth __2__. Mr. Obama and Congress agree on the funding level for the Pentagon’s budget for the 2016 fiscal year. But the White House is rightly rejecting an irresponsible device lawmakers want to use to __3__ spending caps __4__ by a deficit-reduction mechanism that has been in effect since 2013. Both parties would like to bust through the caps, known as sequestration, but the president has __5__ that spending on domestic programs be raised at the same time and that the process be open and free of gimmicks.
1 (2)
2 (4)
3 (1)
4 (3)
5 (2)

Spotting Error

This type of questions require good grammatical sense. Candidate has to find the grammatical error in the sentence. Four to five questions are expected to come in the SBI Mains Exam.
For Ex –
1. He confess (A)/ that he had made (B)/ a lot of mistakes (C)/ in the course of his life. (D)/ No error. (E)
2. Given the complexities of the Indian economy (A)/ and its inter-connections with the outside world, (B)/ a rate reduction by the monetary authority alone (C)/ would not suffice at the present juncture. (D) No error. (E)
3. Her strong interpersonal skills (A)/ and keenly sense of perspicuity (B)/ make her an irreplaceable asset (C)/ to the interview team. (D)/ No error. (E)
1 (A) Replace confess with confessed.
2 (D) Replace would with will.
3. (B) Replace keenly with keen.

Fill in the blanks

Five questions with double spacing is expected to come in exam. Candidate has to fill in the blanks with a correct word from the given options.
For Ex –
1. It is indicative of the slow pace of________ in the frontier State that the BJP’s successful campaign, three decades on, was also________ on a promise to solve the foreigners’ issue, and usher in all-round development.

1) retreat, imbalance
2) progress, mounted
3) regret, disproportion
4) decline, differ
5) perpetual, different

Ans (2) progress, mounted
2. The anti-immigrant________ during campaigning at times virtually________ Muslims with illegal immigrants.
1) simplest, exasperated
2) difficulties, exercise
3) shortness, dishonesty
4) rhetoric, conflated
5) conciseness, dishonored 
Ans (4) rhetoric, conflated

Paragraph Completion Question

In this new types of questions ,There is a paragraph of  4-6 line and  a blank would be given. That blank can be at any place in the paragraph. It can be at the starting of the paragraph , or  in the middle of the paragraph , or it can be as the last line of the paragraph. From the given options , the candidates are required to choose one option , which can fill that blank appropriately according to the paragraph and which can complete the sense aptly matching the theme of the paragraph.

Ex -

Direction: The following question have a paragraph form from which the last sentence has been deleted. From the given options, choose one which fills in the blank and completes the paragraph in the most appropriate way.

Two forms of paper art originated with the invention of paper in the Han Dynasty. The invention of paper during the Han dynasty spawned two new Chinese arts. Chinese paper cutting originated as a pastime among the nobles in royal palaces. The oldest surviving paper cut out is a symmetrical circle from the sixth century found in Xinjiang, China. __________________
  • A )Chinese Shadow theater is a form of puppetry that is performed by moving figures made of animal skins or cardboard held behind a screen lit by lamplight.
  • B)From the founding of the Republic of China in 1911, when China began modernizing until the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, the art of Chinese knotting was almost lost.
  • C)The art of Chinese paper folding also originated in the Han dynasty, later developing into origami after Buddhist monks introduced paper to Japan.
  • D)Original writings by famous calligraphers have been greatly valued throughout China's history.
  • E)The earliest Chinese painting was decorative, consisting of the geometric patterns and animals painted on Stone Age pottery.
Solution : All options are talking about the various forms of Art in China but since the lines before the blank talk about the Chinese paper cutting and Han dynasty, Hence C is the most appropriate answer.

Paragraph summary questions

In this type of questions , a paragraph is given . The candidates are required to find out the summary of that paragraph. You have to check which option suits best as the essence of the paragraph and then mark your answer accordingly.


Direction : Read the following paragraph carefully and choose one option that summarizes the paragraph best.

Nineteenth-century liberals recognized that democracy comes in various forms, and dreaded the version advocated by Rousseau, in which an inspired lawgiver interprets and implements the will of the people. Nowadays such fears are dismissed as elitist. But the old-fashioned liberals grasped a vital truth: popular government has no necessary connection with the freedom of individuals or minorities. Of course, liberals today will say this can be remedied by installing the rule of constitutional rights. Such systems are fragile, however, and count for nothing when large sections of society are indifferent or actively hostile to liberal values. Where this is the case, democracy means not much more than the tyranny of the majority.

  1. Inspired lawgivers in liberal democracies are better equipped to interpret and implement the will of the people than in illiberal democracies.
  2. Nineteenth-century liberals believed that democracy means not much more than the tyranny of the majority.
  3. Constitutional rights are fragile and ineffective in ensuring protection of the freedom of individuals in any democracy.
  4. Popular governments in illiberal democracies use the power of the majority to clamp down on the freedom of minorities.
Solution: Option 4 sums up the main idea or the summary  of the paragraph best. In illiberal democracies, where the majority is indifferent or actively hostile to liberal values, popular governments use the power of majority to clamp down on the freedom of minorities.

Statement Fillers

Statement fillers or double fillers is also a new kind of question for the bank exams .These questions require good observation skills. The candidates are required to identify one word from the given options , which can be fill suitably and aptly in both the sentences. One word completes the sense of both the sentences  appropriately 

Direction: Two statements with a blank in each have been given. These statements are followed by five alternatives. Choose the one which fits into both the statements aptly.

A) Governments in these countries should create education system since______ good schools the bulk of people entering the world force will not have the skills they need. 

B) We cannot process colour, details of rapid changes in our surroundings __________ the cone shaped cells packed around the centre of the retina.
  1. Without
  2. Black
  3. Cabsence
  4. Dmissing
  5. Efficient
Solution : Here, without means absence of. Hence , Option 1 is correct. 'Without' completes the sense of both the sentences aptly.

Sentence/phrase Connector

Sentence connector is the new type which has recently been introduced in bank exams. There will be two or thee sentences given . The candidates are required to find out which of the given option connects the given sentences in an appropriate way. To get more familiar with this type , look at the example below :   

Direction: Select the phrase/connector from the given three options which can be used to form a single sentence from the two sentences given below, implying the same meaning as expressed in the statement sentences. 

Pick out the option which when used to start a sentence combines both the given sentences in one.

The cabinet approved the proposed merger of State Bank of India and five subsidiaries. This will create the first Indian lender to rank among the world’s top 50. 
a) Creating the first 
b) The merger has brought about 
c) The approval of
(1)Only a
(2)Only b
(3)Only c
(4)Only b and c

Solution : The cabinet’s approval has led to the proposed merger of SBI and the five subsidiaries. Approval is the main word here. Hence c is the correct choice 

New Sentence: The approval of the proposed merger of State Bank of India and its five subsidiaries by the cabinet will create the first Indian lender to rank among the world’s top 50.

Odd One Out 

This is also a new type of questions for the english section of bank exams. In this , the candidates are required to select one option that seems differnet from all other options. You need to identify the theme  and then identify which sentence is not matching that theme. 


Direction : in the following question , four sentences follow a similar theme

(1)The rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) is likely to be delayed by two or three months
(2)The government is yet to lock down a date, but is likely to settle for either 1 June or 1 July
(3)States like Kerala and West Bengal had sought a delay in the implementation of the tax
(4)Though its implementation would have been easier from the beginning of a fiscal year, it can be implemented anytime
(5)The move has dashed hopes of consumption jump in Asia’s third largest economy

Solution : Option 5 is the sentence which does not match correctly with the theme of other sentences. All other sentences are about a similar theme i.e. GST .

Phrase Replacement

This types of questions has been introduced in SBI PO Prelims 2017. These are similar to  'sentence correction' questions. In this , the candidates are required to select the option which is grammatically and idiomatically correct according to the given sentence in question. Look at the example below to understand the ype of questions asked in this topic.

Meditation has used in every part of the world.
(1) has useful
(2) has been used
(3) has had used
(4) may have used
(5) No correction required
Solution : 'Has been used' is the correct option to use.

I’m looking forward at the meeting . It’s going to be a good opportunity for me.
(1)looking forward from
(2)looking forward to
(3)looking at
(4)looking upon
(5)No Correction Required
Solution : (2) 'Looking forward to' is the correct option for the sentence given , which means await for something with pleasure or counting the days for some event with a good hope.

Also Read -
  1. Data Interpretation Pattern of SBI PO 2017 Mains Exam
  2. SBI PO Mains English language Exam Pattern
All the best for you exam
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