How to prepare for English language section for SBI PO prelims

Hello everyone,

You all know that your first target, SBI PO Prelims, is getting closer to you minute by minute. The exam is round the corner. I hope your preparation is in full swing. In this article today, we’ll discuss how to tackle English Language Section in the Prelims.

How to prepare English Language?

English language section carries 30 marks. It usually comprises a passage and related questions, a cloze test, error related questions, double blank questions and sentence rearrangement questions. Usually the cutoff is low. Generally, it ranges from 6 to 9 marks. This year it will probably be 8 or less depending upon the difficulty level of the exam. That means if the exam is easy, it could be 10. If the exam is moderate, it could be 8 or 7. Here we are talking about the SBI PO cutoff marks for the general category. For OBC, it could be the same. For SC/ST, it will be lower.

Now the question, that everyone on his/her mind has, is how to obtain more marks in less time. Usually, the candidates allot 15 minutes to this section which is somewhat ok for a beginner.  However, with a lot of practice, one can score more in 10-12 minutes. That means saving 3-5 crucial minutes. In these 3-5 minutes, you can solve additional 4-5 questions which will stand you in good stead and give you an edge over your competitors. These few marks will determine your future. Therefore, it is advisable not to overlook this phenomenon. Now, let’s see what to do with English language section so that you firmly remain in control of it.

How to approach topics of English Language?

First of all, let me start with reading comprehension. Usually, people are scared of it. This stands to many reasons. One, they are not in the habit of reading regularly. This is the reason why their reading skill is very poor. Two, they think it consumes a lot of time which is not always true. It does take a lot of time but for those who read slowly. The problem that you face is that you end up getting stuck in the passage.

The bigger challenge is how to deal with it. So, what they do, they simply leave this segment. However, the thing that they don’t know is that they can score quickly if they attempt the passage related questions.

Here, what I want you to understand is you don’t have to answer every question of the passage. What you need to do is, read the question, understand it accurately, find to which part of the passage it belongs to, read those lines which contain the answer, read them again if required. You don’t need to read the whole passage unless the question is about the title of the passage.

READ  Reasoning Practice Set for Banking Exams

You can leave that question if you wish. You will be surprised to know that out of 8-10 questions related to the passage, you can easily answer 5-6 without having to read the whole passage. You can practise and perfect this skill by taking mock tests. Many people will say, “oh yes, I agree. But, the passage is related to economy etc. which is difficult to read.” Well, this is an excuse and gives you another reason to feel victimized. It is very funny that people keep talking about the difficulty level but they do nothing about finding the solution. Do something about it. Trust me, you can do it. We regularly provide you newspaper picks which makes for a great reading exercise for you. First of all, appreciate it that we bring the best to you. Then, read them and understand them clearly so that you are able to answer anything about those articles. Frame your questions yourselves. This will get you on the right track.

Now, let’s see cloze test. It requires logic which is, sometimes, difficult. Logic doesn’t have any language. It naturally comes to you when you apply your brain in the right areas. A cloze test or a double blank question or any fill in the blank question has two things inherent in it. It has some information which you can read in the sentence and it has some information in the options. You need to piece these two together to form a meaningful sentence. You need to do it using your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. We are regularly providing you with the quizzes on cloze tests. Solve them.

Now, let’s come to Error related questions. It’s not easy to find the errors. This requires a good understanding of grammar and the words. Study them well. Work hard. Make your own notes. Notes made by others will not help you much. They help but only to a certain extent. For your convenience and given that there is not much time left now, I’ll tell you which topics to study. They are as follows:

  1. Time and tense
  2. Passive voice
  3. Subject verb agreement
  4. Conjunction
  5. Pronoun
  6. Adverb
  7. Preposition
  8. Verb

These topics will help you score 6-7 marks (if 10 questions are asked) and 3-4 marks (if 5 questions are asked). This way, you’ll be able to score more with less effort. There is a word of caution too. Leave the question if you are not sure about the answer. Don’t get trapped.

As far as sentence rearrangement is concerned, here is an article you can refer to. We’re also posting the quizzes almost daily for you to practise. Attempt them and check how far you have got.

This is a strategy that will take you towards your goal. Make it sure that you don’t falter because if you do, only you will be responsible. I recently read one quote by Swami Vivekanand. He once said, “There may be many people behind your success. But, there is only you behind your failure.”

If you wish to be updated regarding the upcoming exams, their patterns, syllabus and other details, you can try Gradeup App. It provides free study material, updates of upcoming exams and mock tests for various competitive exams.

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