English Language is a crucial section for almost all bank exams. Even if you are not good at the English Language Section, a proper strategy can help you get through the sectional cutoff in this section. SBI PO Prelims exam will start from 29th April 2017, which now leaves just 2 weeks to prepare for this exam. Huge number of students often stress over English Language Preparation, be it any bank exam. Today, we are sharing an article on the English Language Preparation Strategy, to help you all prepare for this section in a better way. 

First and foremost, it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the SBI PO exam pattern. SBI PO Prelims exam would consist of 100 questions with a total duration of 1 hour (60 minutes). It would comprise of the following -
  1. English Language - 30 Questions
  2. Reasoning Ability - 35 Questions
  3. Quantitative Aptitude - 35 Questions

All the questions would carry 1 mark. There is also a penalty of 0.25 marks for every incorrect answer. So it's crucial that you attempt questions with utmost accuracy, since you cannot afford to lose marks for the questions that you have answered correctly.

Preparation Strategy for English Language Section

Let us first have a look at the questions that were asked in the English Language section in SBI PO Prelims Exam last year -
  1. Reading Comprehension - 10 Questions
  2. Cloze test - 5 Questions
  3. Parajumbles - 5 Questions
  4. Spotting Errors - 5 questions
  5. Fill in theblanks - 5 Questions

Overall level of this section was Moderate to Difficult.
Apart from the above mentioned topics, you may also come across questions from -
  1. Sentence Improvement
  2. New pattern based Spotting Errors, Parajumbles, Fillers.
  3. Vocabulary based questions
  4. Sentence Connectors
  5. Odd one out based questions

Although the last 3 topics were asked in the Mains phase of exams, but it is better to have the basic approach of all the topics clear.

Now, first let us see how you should attempt the questions of English Language Section in the exam.
Sectional time division will not be provided in the prelims exam.
Ideally, you should devote 15 minutes to this section.
Undermentioned topics consume less time in exam, so it's better to attempt them first- 
  1. Cloze Test
  2. Spotting Errors
  3. Fillers
  4. Vocabulary based questions of RC (if asked)

If you still have time left, you can move on to the remaining topics like RC, Parajumbles etc.
Two crucial factors that you need to take care of while preparing English Section are -
  1. Vocabulary
  2. Grammar

If you manage to have a good hold over these parameters, attempting questions of the English Language Section becomes comparatively easy.

Vocabulary -

  • This parameter is important for any bank exam, since you come across numerous words in the questions and if you do not understand what they actually mean, you cannot expect to attempt them correctly.
  • Make sure that you read at least 2-3 articles from different newspapers regularly. You can use The Hindu, Economic Times etc. for this. Try to look up the meaning of the new words that you come across in the article.

You can also consult ‘Word Power made easy’ by Norman Lewis to improve your vocabulary section.

Grammar -

Having a clear understanding of the grammar rules is a must for the exam.
  • This will help you in numerous questions, especially Spotting errors.
  • You can go through Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi and Grammar book by Wren and Martin for this purpose.

Some important grammar tips to help you all in the upcoming exam - 
The verb in the sentence must be in accordance with the subject of the same sentence. A singular subject takes up singular verb, similarly a plural subject takes up a plural verb.
In case 2 or more subjects are connected with the help of ‘and’, then usually a plural verb is used with them.
When 2 singular subjects are connected with the help of  ‘either / or’ or ‘neither / nor’, then they usually take a singular verb. If either of the one subjects in the sentence is plural, then the verb will also be plural.
In case the subject is followed by certain words like, ‘besides’, ‘not’, ‘as well as’,’along with’ etc, then the singular verb  of the sentence will follow singular subject.
In case of sentences that start with ‘Each’, ‘Everyone’ and ‘Anyone’ , the subject will have a singular verb.
‘I’ and ‘Me’ are used differently-  Both of them are 1st person singular pronouns. The difference is I is a Subject Pronoun while me is an Object Pronoun.
Do not forget to look up for error of repetition, also know as redundancy.
Modifier related errors - Ensure that the participle in the sentence is not without the subject.
Difference in the use of few and less - Few is used for countable nouns whereas Less is used for uncountable noun.

Try to keep following things in mind while solving questions  of this section -
  • While solving Reading Comprehension questions, try to first have a look at 1-2 questions and then proceed with the passage. This approach will help you mark out the answers easily.
  • While attempting Cloze test, if you feel stuck on any blank, leave it out and move on to the next one. Once you are done with it, try to go through the previous blank. This might help since all the sentences of the passage are logically connected with each other.
  • While solving Parajumbles, first have a quick glance at the given sentences to understand the gist of the passage. And then look for the independent sentence, which usually is the first sentence of the passage.
  • Attempting Spotting Errors or Sentence Improvement based questions is comparatively easy if you have a clear understanding of all the grammar rules and the sentence structure.

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