How to Prepare English Section for SBI PO 2021?

Updated On -

Mar 10, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

The SBI PO Prelims exam consists of English, Quantitative Aptitude, and Reasoning Ability. The questions from the English Language include reading comprehensions, cloze tests, synonyms, antonyms and vocabulary tests. As per the latest updates, the interview dates has been released.Check SBI PO Latest news

A candidate will have 20 minutes to attempt the English Language section in the SBI PO Prelims exam and for each wrong answers, there will be a deduction of 0.25 marks. According to experts, the difficulty level of this section is moderate to difficult.

Read SBI PO 2021 Exam - Preparation tips for GD round

SBI PO English Language Highlights

  • Both paper-1 and paper-2 comprises English comprehension, error finding, paragraph completion, and cloze test, the essence of a paragraph, para jumbles, and spellings.
  • This section proves difficult for an average banking student in India as the questions are unique every year and require a basic understanding of English grammar and good vocabulary which most students’ lack.

Read SBI PO Mains 2021 Syllabus for better preparation

Topic-wise Weightage

SBI PO English Language: Topic-wise Weightage

The total number of questions that you get from English is 30 and the section is 30 marks. For the Mains, there are 35 questions and 40 marks. There are negative marks of 0.25 per the wrong question in both papers.

Every year, the questions are divided in the following manner for every topic-

Topic Name Number of Questions
Reading comprehension 7-10
Cloze test 5-6
Match the column 4-5
Fillers 5-6
Error Spotting/ Sentence correction/ Sentence Improvement 5-6
Phrase replacement 5-6
Sentence connector 3-4
Sentence completion 3-4
Sentence formation 3-4
Para jumble 5-6
  • All three sections have separate cut-offs which you have to meet in order to qualify the whole paper.
  • The question level of English is moderate to difficult in the SBI PO exam.
  • The average cut-off for the English language in paper-1 for the general category is 8.75 and for the reserved category, it is 5.75.
Prep Tips

How to Prepare English for SBI PO 2021

The English section for SBI PO prelims and mains can be broadly classified into four categories- comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and verbal ability.

Preparing for Reading Comprehension

The maximum number of questions come from this section. The questions are easy to moderately difficult, depending on the passage provided.

  • The questions are usually fact-based or vocabulary-based though occasionally questions that are theme-based are also asked.
  • It is quicker to take a look at the questions first and then read through the passage to find the relevant answers.
  • Practice at least 2 articles and related comprehensive questions every day when you have dedicated the time slot to the English language.
  • Keep the topics you practice diverse as there is no way to predict the exact passages you might be given in SBI PO 2021.
  • Try answering vocabulary-type questions first if it is your strength as they do not require skimming through the entire passage to be answered.
  • Often the questions are analytically based on your understanding of the passage. Read the section before and after the subject carefully to solve such questions quickly.
  • Even though this section has a significant marks weightage, solve it last, if it is a weak point for you.
Pro tip 1: Usually the passages in SBI PO are related to economy, banking, social issues, business and any trending news or situation- hence, you can pick up the mock-practice passages accordingly.

Preparing for Cloze Test

The standard set in SBI PO for the cloze test is moderate to difficult and very confusing. An entire passage is provided in which the missing phrases and words must be filled from the options. This is a new category of question-type that has been recently introduced in SBI PO.

  • This part tests the candidates reading skill, vocabulary and overall understanding of the English language altogether.
  • Since all the missing phrases are linked, one error at any point of the passage can lead to continuous error in the consecutive portion which makes this section harder.
  • Like reading comprehension, this section calls for regular practice. Also, make it a habit to skip the blanks you cannot figure out instead of marking an answer you are unsure about. This saves time and also reduces the chance of error.
  • Read each word given as an option for a specific blank and try to fit them in to determine the best match when you are not too sure about the grammatical technicalities.
  • Mark the sections which you are absolutely confident about first- this can often help you figure out the other sections too.
  • Check by the options- simply place the option in the relevant gap and check which matches to find out the right option- this is however a risky method and involves guesswork.

Preparing for Para jumble questions

A few sentences are given which you have to rearrange so they are coherent as a wholesome paragraph. These questions are moderate to difficult but it is advantageous and scoring.

  • Carefully look at the sentences provided to decipher the topic it is about. This will help you to quickly detect the sequence.
  • Look for connective words like “instead”, “however”, “furthermore” and similar terms at the beginning of the sentences. This means these sentences will come in the middle order.
  • There will be one or two sentences in the set which will sound like an introduction to the subject and hence will be the first sentence of the sequence.
  • Look for independent sentences in the jumble and it is usually the first sentence of the set. If you can quickly detect the first sentence, determining the sequence becomes easier.
  • Often the concluding line is rather direct and hence, easy to recognize as the last sentence of the passage.
  • This questions are time consuming, compared to the marks allotted to them. Hence, unless you can quickly solve such questions (below 15 seconds), skip and mark it for review to attempt at last.

Preparing for Grammar Questions

Questions related to error spotting, vocabulary, double fillers and sentence improvement are altogether considered grammatical questions as they are designed to test your grasp of English grammar.

  • You will get two to three questions at most from each of these categories and together there will be 12-14 questions.
  • For double fillers, follow the same technique as solving the cloze test. This is easier than a cloze test as you are provided with single sentences and not an entire paragraph that will be coherent only if you fill-up the right options in the right blanks.
  • In case of error spotting, read the entire sentence provided and understand whether it makes sense. If you are unable to detect the error, check the options to cross-check which is the most sensible.
  • The grammatical sections are the area where candidates face a negative marking. However, if you are able to complete the reading comprehension, cloze test and para jumble sections perfectly, the minimum cut-off will be achieved.
  • Practice the error spotting section more as this is comparatively scoring among the grammatical questions.
  • Do not attempt questions related to vocabulary unless you are absolutely sure about the answer.

Preparation for Vocabulary

Vocabulary questions are mainly related to antonyms, synonyms, and spellings, idioms, the meaning of the word or selecting a word for a given phrase.

  • There is no specific formula to prepare these sections and if you are weak in English vocabulary, there is little you can do in a limited time to drastically improve it.
  • However, you can make a habit of reading at least a couple of months before the exam which will familiarize you with the different phrases and words used in spoken and written English.
  • Write 20 words with confusing spelling every day to memorize their spellings. This makes you familiar with these words.
Pro tip 2: Choose words that are unusual and have confusing spelling. Go through previous year questions to find out the type of words that are usually given.
Best Books

Best Books to Prepare for the English Language in SBI PO 2021

We have listed some of the best books you can use for preparing each and every topic that is elemental to qualify SBI PO English language.

Name of Book Publisher
High School English Grammar & Composition- Wren and Martin S.Chand Publication
Objective General English- S.P. Bakshi Arihant Publication
Objective English for Competitive Examinations (5th Edition)- Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha Mcgraw Hill Education
Word Power Made Easy- Norman Lewis Goyal Publishers
English for General Competitions: from Plinth to Paramount (Volume - 1)- Neetu Singh Paramount Reader Publications
Great Practices

Great Practices to Ace SBI Clerk English Preparation

The section-wise approach to SBI PO English preparation will be fruitful only when you follow certain study habits and patterns. These general practices and exercises for studying English are essential to make the maximum use of your time.

  1. Reading habit- Read anything and everything you get in English with a dictionary by your side.
  2. Subscribe to national newspapers- Newspapers like “The Hindu” and “Times of India” keep you updated with the current affairs as well as help to improve your vocabulary in English. Specifically, read the editorial pages of the newspapers.
  3. Make notes of unknown words- When you are reading any material and come across an unfamiliar word, note it down and look up its meaning. Go through these notes for last-minute preparation. Also, look up the synonyms, antonyms, and similar words as well as the correct spelling to stay well prepared.
  4. Attempt English at the beginning- As reading the comprehension needs focus and time, make sure you attempt it right at the beginning before doing any other section in the paper.
  5. Do not guesswork- Unless you are absolutely sure about the answer, do not attempt a question. If you have already qualified the subject-wise cut-off in this section, avoid such guess works.
  6. Practice with a time limit- While you practice the different sections in the English language, set a timer and do so to improve your speed at the same time.
  7. Practice from CAT books- English language section at CAT/MAT/XAT level examination is the toughest and hence, practising and able to accurately solve these questions will make SBI PO easier.

English language preparation for SBI PO 2021 gets easier when you follow a specific routine regarding your studies. Many banking students fail to qualify for the prelims because they are unable to meet the subject-wise cut-off for English. But regular practice and reading habits can help you overcome your weak spots in this subject.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.