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SBI PO Main Exam Strategy for ENGLISH Section

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Congratulations to all who cleared the SBI Prelim. The job is not even half done so, without wasting any time lets cut to the chase.

  • You will be provided 40 minutes to attempt 35 questions in the Mains exam. It means that you have ample time to go through all questions. The target would be to attempt all the 35 questions. You should develop this habit (of attempting 35 questions in 40 minutes)by practicing mock tests. 30 is the minimum number of questions that you would attempt. (I am writing this as your target, it is not mandatory to attempt 30 questions).

After setting a target, let’s go deeper and strategize how to achieve this target.

Following are the different type of questions that appeared in last year’s exam – SBI PO Mains 2016. (Along with description of questions, preparation strategy for each has been discussed.)

Reading Comprehension(RC) – 2 sets with 6 questions each

Practice as many sets as you can. Be in touch with major developments in the last 6 months, both national as well as International (with main focus on ‘national’). If you don’t know that there is a trade deal called TPP, it would be very difficult to understand the passage on ‘Consequences of Trump revoking TPP’ or If you don’t know about the problem of NPA, you won’t be able to comprehend the passage on ‘Creation of Bad Banks’.

Click Here to try Reading Comprehension Quiz

It will also provide you fodder for Descriptive. Spend a lot of time on improving this portion. RC will always be a part of the questions in the exam. SBI might again trick everybody by asking newer type of questions but you will always find RC in the question set. This is the portion that is the most important and maximum time must be allotted to improving the RC.

‘How to attempt RC’ will be posted by tomorrow.

Synonym & Antonym – 4 each

Nothing much can be done on this part, considering we just have little more than 2 weeks’ time. Do not waste time on Mnemonics or any other trick to learn new words. Give it only a limited time.

  • Even if you learn 1000 words till the exam, there is very high probability that questions do not come from the 1000 words that you have learnt.
  • So, it would be a wise strategy not to give much time to this portion. Just visit previous quizzes of Synonyms and Antonyms on the website.

Sentence Completion (or Fill in the sentence) – 5questions

This is a test of your reading and comprehension ability. There is no particular trick to attempt such questions. Detailed strategy has been explained for cracking them, just visit the link. (

Click Here to attend Sentence Completion Quiz

Odd sentence out–5 questions

Direction: Five statements are given below, labelled A, B, C, D and E, among these, four statements are in logical order and form a coherent paragraph/passage. From the given options, choose the option that does not fit into the theme of the passage.

A.With this form of demonetization, citizens are given enough time to trade in the old bills for the new,
B.In these scenarios, there is minimal economic and social disruption.
C.When Lithuania left the litas and adopted the euro in 2015, its currency transition went smoothly.
D.As did Germany and France’s adoption of the euro in cash form in 2002, and so on with all 19 countries that have joined the eurozone.
E.A minor country in the grand scheme of things in Europe became a test case for a strategy that could be likened to rolling a snowball uphill.

These questions are easy to crack. You will just need some practice. Since it would be in our best interest to increase the score by mastering the easier questions, I will be posting the quiz on ‘Odd Sentence Out’ very soon along with detailed explanations.

Click Here to try Odd Sentence Out Quiz

I request you to refrain from the websites that provide trick for every type of questions. ‘Odd Sentence Out’ is just a test of your reading ability; how good you read and how good you comprehend. This portion will improve automatically if you read a lot (which you will obviously be doing while practicing RC). So, refrain from the websites which provide trick and tips.

Sentence Connectors – 5 questions

Direction: Select the phrase/ connector from the given three options which can be used toform 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 above 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

A. Only a  B. Only b      C. Only c   D. Only b and c   E. None of the above

This was the toughest type that appeared in last year’s exam. Lot of students could not understand the question even after reading the Directions more than once. Again, there is no particular trick to solve, but a few pointers could definitely be given. In the coming days, I will start posting questions on this particular topic along with detailed explanation. From the viewpoint of strategizing for maximum marks, we will cover this portion in the last.

Miscellaneous :

Since you have already cleared Pre, I hope that you must be adept at Cloze Test, Parajumble, Fill Ups and Spotting Error.

  • Given that we are strategizing the best way to approach the exam, it would be wise to attempt one quiz here and there of these topics as well, especially Parajumble (PJ).
  • I feel that PJ might come in the exam but unlike previous years, only 1 question will be asked from one PJ, with options being given like – CDEBA, DECBA, ACBDE etc. So, consider them as secondary topics but be in touch with them by attempting atleast a quiz daily.

Click Here to attend AffairsCloud English Quiz

I advise you to join a test series at the earliest and start giving mocks. Now, after giving the mock, it is imperative to analyze it (this seems like a very boring exercise but without analyzing you will not improve). It tells us of our weaker sections, how much time per question was spent etc etc. All in all, mocks will help improve our score. Do not give more than 1 mock per day.

Also, please refrain from websites which put worthless questions – this is a must. Only a handful of websites have good quality questions and even in those cases, the question is sometimes wrong. Sometimes a concept is explained in the wrong way and student moulds his/her thinking according to that, which creates problem in future. So, if you face any problem while attempting questions or feel that your answer is right unlike the answer given on the website, you may contact me immediately. Because if you keep learning wrong concepts, you will not be able to score in the exam.

Many websites would be posting 17 day plan or 18 day plan etc etc. I don’t condemn these plans but would suggest you to formulate your own plan.

If you are not able to differentiate between ‘is’ and ‘are’, if you have any kind of query, no matter how small, post it in the Comments Section and I will reach you at the earliest.

The task ahead is daunting, but I have faith in you. You are among the top 2% students in India who have cleared the exam – Give yourself a pat on the back. Keep yourself motivated, eat healthy, stay healthy, remain focused and together we will crack the exam.

The strategy or suggestions are not influenced by any person or source. They are based on my personal experience of clearing various exams – IBPS, SSC and CAT.

Team AC