English for Bank Exams Preparation: IBPS and SBI PO. Well… Clerk, too!
Most of the time we find students perplexed over the syllabus of the IBPS and SBI Bank Exams. And most of the time either the study material for English is too vast, or too scarce. For this, the Bankers Ambition team decided to put forward the best material of English for Bank Exams Preparation in PDF you can get online. (Free Download link to the PDF at the end of the post)
Before we begin with the course, let’s go through a few points that we believe are essential for English Preparation for IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exams.
- The questions asked are mostly regarding archaic English Rules. These rules were valid in yesteryear’s Queen’s English. But, these rules find no place in today’s world. However, Indian Exams still stick to the same old rules. Whatever may be the reason, we have to study the rules.
- Nobody expects you to attempt the complete English Test Paper. The Online English Language Test is just a section you have to attempt to increase your overall score, rather than get 40/40.
- The passage is there only to fool you. Honestly, think for a while. In 2 hours paper, you are given 200 questions. If you are the maker of the English Question Paper (Test), would you expect anyone to the read the complete passage. Obviously NOT! The passage is there to test your strategy. For 99% students, attempting easy questions like synonym/antonym from the passage and moving on, would be the best strategy.
Ok! Now that we are over with the basics, let’s move on to the basic English for Bank Exams Prep.
There are 5 things that you need to cover for the English Preparation for IBPS and SBI Bank Exams:
- Cloze Test
- Sentence Rearrangement
- Financial Awareness (for comprehension passages)
Let’s start with grammar tips. To test your grasp over the English Language, SBI and IBPS asks a variety of questions ranging from easy to quite tough. The key is to move on without attempting the tough one. Trying to guess your way through the exam is a bad strategy, and not worth taking the risk at all!
SBI AND IBPS PO English Grammar Preparation
You need to be well versed with all grammar essentials to be able to score fabulous marks in IBPS and SBI Bank Exams. While the English for Bank Exams is just about average in terms of the English Language Test, PO English Language Test is on a whole different level. This is where you need to understand the balance between your knowledge and time.
ARTICLES: “An Article is a word used with a noun to indicate its (noun’s) type of reference”. Depending on the type of reference, Articles can be categorized as
- Definite Articles – When you refer to a particular noun. Example -“The”
- Indefinite Articles – When you refer to any noun. Example – “A”,”An”. As a general rule, nouns starting with vowels (a,e,i,o,u) have the article “An”. Nouns starting with consonants have the article “A”.
To have a basic understanding of Articles, visit here. To understand the usage of article ‘A/An’, visit our post here. We have also posted an elaborate explanation on the usage of article ‘The’ on this page. In many error correction questions, you’ll be asked about the omission of the article ‘The’. We have posted an elaborate case study for the omission of article ‘The’ on this post.
NOUN: A Noun is the name of a person, place, animal or thing.
This is one of the most simple definitions of Noun. That being said, it’s also the correct one. Almost anyone can understand the usage of nouns with this definition.
Moving ahead, let’s see the types of Nouns.
- Proper Noun – name of a particular person, place, animal, or thing. Example Ramesh, Delhi, etc.
- Common Noun – name of a generalized person, place, animal, or thing. Example City, Queen, Desk, etc.
- Collective Noun – name of a group or collection. Example Platoon, Class, Jury, etc.
- Material Noun – name of a matter or thing. Example Gold, Silver, Glass, Iron, etc.
- Abstract Noun – name of an attribute, state, emotion, or quality. Example Honesty, Soul, Love, Happiness, etc
Nouns behave sometime in singular manner and sometimes in plural manner. For complete case study on Noun’s behavior, visit our post on the same on this page. However, once your done with the explanation, you’ll need to know various rules regarding nouns to be able to solve error correction questions. We have posted rules of noun as asked in IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exams here.
PRONOUNS: Once you are over with Nouns, it’s time to move on to the Pronouns section. A pronoun is a word that can function as a noun phrase used by itself and that refers either to the participants (e.g. I, you ) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g. she, it, this ).
Types of Pronoun
- Personal pronouns (e.g., he, they)
- Demonstrative pronouns (e.g., this, these)
- Interrogative pronouns (e.g., which, who)
- Indefinite pronouns (e.g., none, several)
- Possessive pronouns (e.g., his, your)
- Reciprocal pronouns (e.g., each other, one another)
- Relative pronouns (e.g., which, where)
- Reflexive pronouns (e.g., itself, himself) Intensive pronouns (e.g., itself, himself)
To completely understand the Pronoun cases, visit our elaborate explanation on the cases along with ample examples on this page to clear all your doubts.
VERBS: A verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.
Types of Verb
- Transitive Verbs
- Intransitive Verbs
Transitive Verb is an action verb that has an object to receive that action. Example
- The innocent boy wrote a letter to the God. (here the object is letter)
- Sachin hit the ball with all his might. (Here the object is ball)
Intransitive Verb is an action verb that doesn’t has an object to receive that action. Example
- We would like to stay longer, but we must leave.
- Let the children sleep.
- He laughed.
To understand all the rules related to the verbs, visit this page.
ADVERBS: Now that we know about the verbs, let’s try to understand what adverbs are. Adverbs are words that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. For Example, “He drove slowly.” Here, the adverb slowly modifies the verb drove. Lets take another example. “He drove a very fast car.” Here, the adverb very modifies the adjective fast. An adverb tell where, when, how, in what manner, or to what extent something is done. Most adverbs end with ‘-ly’. Example slowly. But some adverbs do not follow this rule. Example fast.
Types of Adverbs
- Adverb of Time
- Adverb of Place
- Adverb of Manner
- Adverb of Frequency/Number
- Adverb of Degree
We have posted an in-depth explanation on adverbs complete with sufficient examples on this page to help you completely grasp Adverbs. Next in line are the Adjectives.
ADJECTIVES: An Adjective is a describing word that qualifies a noun or a pronoun. An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words.
There are five kinds of adjectives.
- Possessive Adjective
- Descriptive Adjective
- Numeral Adjective
- Demonstrative Adjective
- Interrogative Adjective
Possessive Adjective is the adjective which is used to point out the noun that is in possession of someone. These are My, Your, Our, Their, His, Her and Its.
- This is my car.
- Your seat is reserved.
Descriptive Adjective is the adjective that is used to tell the quality of a noun.
- He is a tall boy.
- She is a beautiful lady.
Numeral Adjective is the adjective which is used to show the number of noun.
- Taj Mahal is the seventh wonder of the world.
- She has a few pictures. (few is an indefinite numeral adjective)
Demonstrative Adjective is the adjective which is used to point out the noun. They are this, these, that, and those.
- That lady is very beautiful.
- These muffins smell good.
Interrogative Adjective is the adjective that is used to ask the question. They are where, what, which, etc.
- Which animal do you like?
- Where is the doctor?
Now, we have seen the types of Adjectives. Lets see the forms of Adjectives. Depending on usage, Adjective can be as follows
- Attributively – Adjective placed before noun/pronoun
- This is a juicy mango (juicy placed before mango)
- This is a shining car (shining placed before car)
- Predicatively – Adjective placed after noun/pronoun
- This mango is juicy (juicy placed after mango)
- This car is shining (shining placed after car)
We have adequately explained Adjectives and it’s important rules, usually asked in English for Bank Exams, on this page and continued on to this page. Hope that these pages explain the adjectives to the core.
TENSES: Tense is a form of a verb used to indicate the time, continuation or completeness, of an action in relation to the time. The word Tense comes from a Latin word tempus which means time. Tenses are categorized under three types:
- Present Tense
- Past Tense
- Future Tense
Tenses in an extremely vast topic and frankly we have covered each of the topics separately on separate posts. The rules and explanation on Present Tense is covered here, the one about Past Tense is covered here, and the one on Future Tense is covered here.
CONJUNCTIONS: Conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause. The common conjunctions are :and, but, for, or, nor, yet, if, that, because, and so. Note: that you can also use the conjunctions but and for as prepositions.
Detailed explanation on conjunctions has been posted on this page.
PREPOSITIONS: Preposition is a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause. The most common prepositions are: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, but, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, over, since, throughout, till, to, toward, under, until, up, upon, with, within, etc.
A elaborate explanation on prepositions is waiting for you on this page.
We have also posted a list on Common Error in English Language. You may visit the page to get some commonly asked questions. If you want some questions to be listed on that page, please post on the comments sections; and we’ll update the same, thanking you in the process!
SBI AND IBPS PO ENGLISH VOCABULARY PREPARATION
Any talk on English Preparation for IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exam is incomplete without talking about vocabulary and comprehension passages. Before we talk about comprehension passages, let’s first talk about strategy to tackle PO and Clerk English Language Test Paper Separately.
PO Exam Comprehension Passages
Mostly about financial news, the comprehension passages asked in the PO Exams are usually quite tough. If you have ever read the instructions before beginning your online exam, you must remember point 2 in the instruction section. It very clearly says that do not spend too much time on single question. Now it should be noted, more than 95% students (approximately) will find it tough to solve the unseen passage just because the topic is related to financial awareness. It’s difficult enough to understand the passage, let alone solving the questions. If the passage had been a story or a tale, unseen passage would have been lot more scoring. Keeping in mind the time factor involved, the best strategy for English Preparation for IBPS and SBI is to build up your vocabulary and attempt the synonym/antonyms only.
Clerk Exam Comprehension Passages
It’s a different story altogether with the Clerk English Language Test. The passages are a lot easier and attempting passages depends on the overall paper. For example, if the puzzles or DI asked in the Clerk Paper is tough and time consuming, unseen passage can be a dynamic alternative. But like I said earlier, it all depends on the the paper.
- Start reading Financial Daily. Or better yet, The Hindu. I found The Hindu to be a lot better than The Times of India or other newspapers. Chances are you may find a passage from the Editorial section.
- When you encounter new words while reading the newspaper, start making a note of them. The reason is you’ll find many of these words being used quite frequently. When you’ll start encountering same words again and again, it’ll save you the trouble of mugging up the vocabulary.
- Go through the Barrons Frequency List. It’s highly recommended that you start glancing through the list on a daily basis. Slowly and steadily you’ll built up a vocabulary quite suited for such competitive exams.
- If at all, you have trouble memorizing a word, start building mnemonics. For Example. A word contrite comes and you are having trouble remembering the word. So build a mnemonics like contra-in-the-night to remember the word. The word contrite means to repent. So the mnemonics contra-in-the-night would mean something like “I played Contra the whole night and repented later in the exams next day”. However, I WOULD like to emphasize that such mnemonics should be used to a bare minimum. The more mnemonics you make, the more you are bound to confuse among them. So, use this tool with discretion.
SBI AND IBPS PO English Cloze Test Preparation
A Cloze Test is nothing but a simple text passage with words removed in between. Most of the time, you’ll find 10 questions from the passage, and that’s why it’s imperative to practice Cloze Test from time to time.
Cloze Test asked in SBI and IBPS PO and Clerk Exams are seldom complex. In fact, most of the time the passages itself is quite easy. However, it’s the options that may sound confusing, if you’re unsure of the message the passage intends to convey. Some of the options can rejected straight away, while other options may confuse newbies.Cloze Test can be considered the epitome of the English Language Test in IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exams, because it single handedly test the ability of a candidate to understand a passage, his vocabulary, and his command over the English grammar. Getting good marks means in Cloze Test is directly proportional to your cracking the English section and scoring good marks.
- Read the passage and go with the flow. Get a rough picture in your mind about the message behind the passage.
- If you are unsure of an option, stick with the rule-the-odd-one-out strategy. Think of the logic behind the option. If it doesn’t make any sense, cross it out.
If there’s a dilemma over any options, better leave the question and move on. Don’t stick with your ego, and instead focus on scoring more marks.
Constant practice is the key to solving Cloze test quickly and accurately. A lot of websites now offer free Cloze Tests to hone your skills. Alternatively, some good books like Bakshi (Arihant) also provides ample material for practice. Practice regularly, ask questions and clear your doubts, and of course let us know in the comments section if you face any problem.
SBI AND IBPS PO English Sentence Rearrangement Preparation
When we talk about English for Bank Exams preparation, it is incomplete without talking about Sentence Rearrangement. Sentence Rearrangement is, more often than not, a hit or a miss case. There are several points that all adds up to a meaningful passage if followed properly. And it’s easy to miss a step and create another order. We, at Bankers Ambition, have actually seen few passages that, depending upon the author, could have been arranged in another order without actually affecting the meaning of the passage. So, like we said it’s more of a hit or miss case. Most of the time, however, you’ll be able to recreate the order without any problem if you follow the following steps.
- Understand the passage. If you can decipher the message behind the passage, you can quickly recreate the correct order.
- Make a pair of two sentences. For example, if 6 sentences are to be rearranged, then make 3 pairs each consisting of 2 sentences.
- Look for clues while forming a pair. More than often, there are some connecting words that forms a bridge between sentences.
- After identifying the pairs, all you need to do is to rearrange these pairs to make a meaningful passage. Here’s where the problem starts.
- The pair that looks like introduction should be placed first. The pair that looks like a result of the arguments, or provide a closure should be placed last.
- Go through the arrangement again to check the coherence of the pair, and see if the conveys a meaningful flow. If you think the sequence defies logic, rearrange again till you start seeing some logic.
Let’s look at an example:
- Another of his start-ups was sold to Google.
- He founded the first company to sell virtual reality products.
- But unlike most of his fellow technologists, he eventually came to feel that the rise of digital networks was no panacea.
- He was there, more or less, at its creation.
- Lanier has an unusual authority to criticize the digital economy:
It immediately clear that the first sentence of the sequence must be E. Every other sentence refers to ‘he’ or ‘his’, while E refers to the name Lanier. E says that Lanier has unusual authority to criticize. Now lets form the pair for this. The only sentence that is suited to form a pair with E is D. D offers the perfect explanation for the statement E. Lanier has authority on the topic. But Why? Because he was there at it’s creation.
The next pair would be B and A. B tells about his first company and A tells about his other start ups. So BA is logical pair.
So, ED and BA are two pairs. So, the final rearrangement can be EDCBA or EDBAC. Checking the flow of the passage, EDBAC offers a better uninterrupted passage flow. And like we said it’s a hit or miss scene. But with practice you’ll get better in making the guesses and option the correct sequence.
That’s all for the English Preparation for IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exams. Do let us know if you feel that some topics need to be elaborated more, and we’ll post an update to that. Also, feel free to leave comments below so that we know what you think about the article.
Download the PDF for the English Preparation for IBPS and SBI PO and Clerk Exams.
You may listen to the audio file for the above manuscript:
Some other good reads on the topic:
- Mrunal’s Blog on English Preparation
- Jagran Josh on Comprehension Tricks
- Gr8Ambitionz study material on English
- Free Cloze Test
- Cambridge’s Test Your English
Thanks again! And have a wonderful day! Ciao!
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I'm Dushyant Shrivastava, A Professional blogger from Hyderabad, currently in Bangalore.
My niche is teaching stuff about IBPS and SBI competitive exams. I mostly talk about preparation tutorials, and occasionally about some recent exam notifications. You may visit my site at BankersAmbition.com to get a glimpse of my writings.
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