SBI PO PRELIMS Exam Analysis 2019 ( English)

Updated On -

Jun 10, 2019

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Simran Nigam

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SBI PO Syllabus 2019 for the English language is not well defined like that of Quantitative Analysis and Logical Reasoning. The questions are designed on testing the knowledge of Basic English grammar rules, spellings and vocabulary.

SBI PO exam analysis will tell you about good attempts, good score and minimum time required to attempt the questions. The english section of SBI PO Prelims can broadly be divided into 4 sections namely Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading Comprehension and Verbal ability.

As there is negative marking of a quarter mark for every incorrect answer it would be wise to check the tips and topics listed. This will help in identifying the important topics, scoring areas and less important topics.

SBI PO Prelims English Syllabus

The english section for SBI PO Pre Exam comprises 10 important topics. The following table states the topics a candidate needs to prepare 

Reading Comprehension Spotting Error
Fill in the blank Cloze test
Para-Jumbles Word Association Pair
Phrase Idiom Meaning Spellings

Sentence/ Paragraph Completion

Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction

Read more- SBI PO Prelims Syllabus

Exam Analysis ( English)SBI PO 2019 Prelims

SBI PO Preliminary exam got the rating of moderate difficulty level this year.  SBI PO Preliminary exam 2019 has been of same difficulty level as previous year but total number of questions were more.

SBI PO Preliminary 2019 English section analysis ( Day 1)

Topic No of Questions Difficulty level
Reading Comprehension 5 Moderate
Cloze test 5 Easy
Sentence correction 5 Easy
Error detection (grammatical) 6 Easy
Single Filler 7 Easy
Sentence formation( Match the following) 2 Easy
Total 30 Easy

SBI PO Preliminary 2019 English section analysis ( Day 2)

Topic No of Questions Difficulty level
Reading Comprehension 6 Moderate
Cloze test 5 Easy
Sentence correction 5 Easy
Error detection( grammatical) 5 Easy
Single Filler 5 Easy
Spelling error 5 Easy
Total 30 Easy

Every year some new questions come in SBI PO Prelims exam. The analysis is done on the basis of the following parameter:

  • Good attempts: Good attempts are a technical term coined to explain the approximate number of questions that can be easily attempted in the exam.
  • Good attempts help you score marks as there is very low possibility of marking any wrong answer in within the frame defined. For example, if good attempts are listed to be between 19-21 when the total number of questions are 35, it means a candidate can mark 19-21 questions easily from the pool of questions and it is assumed that candidate is knowing the answers to these questions clearly. So, no marks are lost because of negative marking.
  •  Good score: There an upper and lower limit defined on the score, which can be easily obtained in a section.
  •  It is expected that this score is obtained from the good attempts marked by the candidate. Example: if the good attempts are coming around 19-21 for a section, then it is expected that the good score can come around 15-17 or somewhere approximate. This depends also on the difficulty level of the exam.
Good attempts Number Good score Approximate time (minutes)
SBI PO prelims English 2019 30 22-24 15
SBI PO Prelims English 2019 17-19 15-17 15
SBI PO Prelims English 2016 17-21 14-20 18

Read about SBI PO Prelim Paper Analysis

SBI PO Prelims Preparation

Preparation makes all the difference in the performance in the exam. An effort must be made in increasing the number of good attempts in English section. The best way is to work with the sample questions for all the topics defined in the syllabus:

Nature of question Topic Expected questions
Scoring, easy Last minute scorer, High accuracy Fill in the blanks 0-5
Moderate time consuming High accuracy Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Cloze Test RC: 7-10 Para Jumbles: 0-5 Cloze test: 5-10
Moderately Scoring, Moderately Time Consuming, Moderate Accuracy Possible Error Spotting 5-10

Least important topics for SBI PO English section:

Topic Questions
Word Association Pair 0-5
Phrase Idiom Meaning 0-3
Spellings 0-3
Sentence/ Paragraph Completion 0-5
Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction 0-5

Topic 1: Comprehension

 The questions are designed to identify a candidate’s ability to infer or find the answer to a problem from the given piece of data. Sometimes, you may be asked to arrange sentences in order from the given set of information. Generally, the paragraph is of 300-500 words.

Preparation tips for fill in the blanks:

  1. It is designed to test your analysis abilities, vocabulary and grammar.
  2. Focus on time management on this section; do not waste your time in attempting all the questions.
  3. Build focus, so that all the important information in the passage in registered in your mind, in a single go.
  4. Identify relevant bits in the passage. 

Topic 2: Cloze test

Candidates have to fill in the blanks and find the most appropriate word to fill the blank; this is done on the basis of the passage defined. The test is designed to identify the ability to comprehend text. 

Preparation tips for cloze test:

  1. Read well and try to grasp the idea of the text provided.
  2. Link the sentences together and then find the most appropriate answer.
  3. Work on the usage of noun, pronouns and articles.
  4. Eliminate options less suitable to gain clarity.
  5. Check the tone of the passage.
  6. Build up your language skills.

Topic 3: Paragraph Jumbles

There will be a set of sentences given and they have to be rearranged in the meaningful form. All sentences will form part of a single question. The passage is on the general topic. It is best to use conjunction/ connectors to identify the meaning.

Preparation tips for Para Jumbles:

  1. Identify the subject, verb, predicate and objects.
  2. Learn to identify the central theme of the para jumbles.
  3. Sentences never open with connectives.

Topic 4: Fill in the Blanks

There can 1 or 2 blanks in each of the sentences given. Answers can be picked easily by elimination method and understanding the context of the text.

Example 1: He __________a map of the Caribbean next to the letter, to trace the ship’s _______.

1. Unfolded, plan

2. Unfurled, course

3. Unrolled, course

4. Unrolled, fate

5. Used, course

Answer: 2.

Example 2: She noisily _________ the water, _________ half of it onto her chin.

1. Drank, dropping

2. Inhaled, spilling

3. Gurgled, slopping

4. Gurgled, dropping

5.Gulped, trailin

 Answer: 1

Topic 5: Error Spotting

Spotting error in long or short sentences on the basis of vocabulary, tenses, idioms, parts of speech, preposition, Sentence Construction, Degree of Comparison, Conjunctions, Finite and Non-finite verbs. Such questions require practice, too much of guessing can spoil your score.

Preparation tips Error spotting:

  1. Nouns usage creates confusion, some nouns are always used in plural form, eg: scissors, trousers, thanks are always used in plural form.
  2. A noun preceding measurement, length, money, number or weight will not have its form changed, till it is followed by another noun. Eg: million, pair, meter, etc cannot be used in the plural.
  3. Pronoun “one” is used only once, throughout the sentence. Eg: ‘one must respect’s one’s elders’ is incorrect, the correct form is ‘one must respect his elders’.
  4. ‘less’ is used to denote quantity and ‘fewer’ is used to denote number.

Topic 6: Word Association Pair

There will be 4 words given in the option and candidate will have to identify the use of synonyms, antonyms, the relation between the words.


1. Synonym of PROPEL:

  • Jettison
  • Drive
  • Burst
  • Acclimatize

2)  Antonym of abstain is:

  • Withhold
  • Starve
  • Continue
  • Refrain

Topics 7: Phrase/idiom meaning

The meaning of the phrase/ idiom given has to be identified.


  1. The car ran over the sleeping homeless, in the middle of the night.
  • Drove over
  • Narrow missed
  • Escaped from
  • Got filled with
  • Got spoiled by

Answer: Run over 

  1.  Savita looked up to Isha who was her role- model
  • Observed
  • Saw over her head
  • Thought less of
  • Respected
  • Search

Type 8: Spellings

Identify the correct spelling from the pair of spellings given in the questions. Easily confused words like affect and effect can come, where the pronunciation is same and meaning are different.

Type 9: Sentence/ paragraph completion

A part of the statement is given and the other part has to be selected from the set of options given. Select the sentence or paragraph semantically.


There are many industries where India has an advantage because of relatively lower Costs of all forms of manpower-whether it is professional or factory labour. However, while this can give initial advantage, it should not be taken for an enduring advantage due to the following reasons. One, as products become more sophisticated, labour as cost factor becomes less and less important. Two, the differences in costs are narrowed down through higher level of automation. There, in processes that require large number of cheap labour, the industry is bound to shift its operation along. The line of the ever-declining scale of proper countries. So a poorer country than India can eventually overtake us with yet cheaper labour. Therefore, when one has established an export market on the basis of cheaper manpower……………..

1. One has to be vigilant to make sure that one builds up other advantages to compensate for the inevitable loss of this temporary advantage.

2. One has to be vigilant to make sure that this advantage should not be given away

3. One needs not be vigilant as there is no competition in near future

4. There is need of caution to see the variations in labour charges of other countries

5. There is need to build this cheap labour on regular basis

Answer: 2

Topic 10: Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction

The questions generally come on the construction of sentences, the order of words, phrasal verbs, homonyms, etc.

  1. Spot out the redundant information.
  2. Identify the forms used.
  3. Effective use of adverbs to find the correct information.
  4. Identify the change in the degree of tenses.

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