SBI Clerk 2018: How to Prepare for English Language


The SBI Clerk exam will tentatively be held in the month of March / April 2018. With roughly two months to go for this highly competitive examination, it’s a great time to kick-start your preparation for the English language section.

Many candidates find preparing for the English language section difficult. And it’s only valid! Unlike numerical ability or reasoning ability, English does not have a fixed syllabus.

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To help you structure your preparation for this otherwise vast subject, here we bring to you a detailed preparation strategy for the same. In this article we would be looking at the following:

  • Exam pattern
  • Important topics for English language
  • Preparation tips

 SBI Clerk 2018 Prelims Exam Pattern  

SBI Clerk 2018 has introduced sectional time limits in the prelims paper. This will warrant a change in both your preparation strategy for your exam as well as you question selection & exam attempt strategy. Following picture shows the pattern of SBI Clerk 2018 prelims exam.

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One can notice that the SBI Clerk prelims 2018 paper has essentially become 3 separate papers of 20 minutes each. That said, having an effective question selection strategy becomes of utmost importance. Making the most of these 20 minutes and attempting the maximum possible number of questions with a good accuracy factor is what will decide your fate in the examination.

And to do this, the only thing required is a thorough preparation, which means:

  • Clarity of concepts : develop a stronghold over your basics
  • Knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses : space out your mocks attempts evenly throughout the course of your preparation and devote a good amount of time analysing your attempts
  • Build your own question selection and attempt strategy

SBI Clerk 2018 Syllabus for English Language

Let us first take a look at the detailed syllabus for English language in SBI Clerk 2018 prelims. Following are some important topics:

  • Vocabulary – Antonyms and Synonyms
  • Sentence Completion
  • Basic English Grammar
  • Tenses, Articles, Prepositions, Subject-Verb Agreement, Parts of Speech etc.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Error Spotting
  • Cloze Test
  • Sentence Rearrangement
  • Para Jumbles
  • Phrases and Idioms
  • Fill in the Blanks

As we mentioned in the previous section, SBI Clerk prelims will have sectional time limits for each section. Thus, it’s important to understand that it’s imperative to make good use of the 20 minutes that you will be spending on this section to achieve a good score. In the following section, we will be discussing the preparation strategy for the English language section.

SBI Clerk 2018 Preparation Strategy for English Language

  • Grammar forms the basis of important question types such as: sentence re-arrangement, idioms & phrases, error spotting, sentence correction etc. So build on your grammar by referring to helpful books such as: Wren & Martin. You can also refer to custom made e-books such as:100 important idioms. These help you with your preparation as they cover exactly what is covered in the exam.
  • Use the following tips as a guide to prepare for or to attempt RC questions. A good reading speed gives you an edge to score well in the exam, so make sure while preparing for RC you also work on your reading speed.

Read how to increase your reading speed here.

  1. Strictly stick to what is given in the passage and assume NOTHING else; even if it is true in day today situations. Do NOT make any assumptions whatsoever.
  2. It is essential to balance speed and accuracy to score well in any competitive exam. The best way in which you can gauge this is via practicing multiple mock tests. Mock tests not only condition you for the real time exam but also help you analyze your areas of strength and weaknesses.
  3. RC passages can range from a variety of topics such as: Philosophy, Psychology, Economics, Politics or even Science. We never know what might come our way. Hence, it is important that we establish a level of comfort with all such genres by reading from multiple sources. Newspapers, especially the editorials and the weekend specials are a good place to start.
  4. A major problem that all candidates face while solving RC questions is that they get confused between 2 options. This happens because we read to understand only what the statements say; whereas the RC questions demands our understanding of the writer’s/author’s perspective as well (this is known as reading between the lines).
  • Just as for grammar, vocabulary is tested both directly and indirectly in the exam. There might be difficult words in the passage that may make it difficult for you to understand what is being talked about (indirect testing of vocabulary). There may be direct questions on synonyms, antonyms. Hence, reading from a variety of sources is a must. Make sure you add at least 10 new words every day. You can also attempt FREE vocabulary quizzes

Remember the mantra for successful preparation strategy:

Build Concepts –> Practice Daily –> Revise Weekly –> Give 1 mock test / week –> Spend time on analysis –> Strengthen your strengths and improve on your weakness –> REPEAT

 About The Author





 Mr. Abhishek Patil,

CEO & Co-Founder, Oliveboard

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