Tips to Score 20+ marks in English Section in IBPS PO Prelims 2018

Every year, lakhs of students appear for the IBPS exam, but only a few make it to the finals. This article will provide with a sure-fire recipe for success, and a methodical study plan for the IBPS PO Prelims 2018 English Section. Although many people clear the other sections, they struggle with the English section.

There are three main reasons:

  1. Lack of direction (What to study)
  2. Lack of supportive habits (How to study)
  3. Lack of timed testing (When to study and how long)

Lack of Direction:

Often times, IBPS aspirants fervently prepare for their exams without knowing what exactly they need to prepare on. You could spend hours studying every grammar rule possible, and still struggle with the questions if you don’t know what you need to focus on and what you can ignore. The key to effective preparation is methodical study.

Question patterns:

  1. First, go through the new question patterns
  2. Learn strategies that can be applied to question types, regardless of changes in the pattern.
  3. Learn the art of Elimination

Vocabulary:

  1. Learn words that are repeatedly used in newspapers
  2. Learn words used in political, financial and social news articles

Grammar:

  1. SVA
  2. Tense
  3. Prepositions
  4. Articles
  5. Possessives

Comprehension:

  1. Learn how to answer the usual questions on intended meaning, tone and title.
  2. Learn how to identify keywords and implied hints
  3. Learn how to guess word meaning from context

Lack of Supportive Habits:

  1. Spend time reading the news, learning new words and improving vocabulary
  2. Read the daily editorial
  3. Recall basic grammar rules everyday

Lack of timed testing:

  1. Time yourself when practicing mock tests or exercises
  2. Gradually improve your timing as you practise more everyday

Tips to score 20+ marks in English Section in IBPS PO Prelims 2018

The first step of preparation is to be familiar with the new question patterns that have been asked in the recent exams and familiarising yourself with it.

Expected Question Pattern IBPS PO Prelims 2018:

Question Type

No of questions Difficulty

Sources for Study

Reading Comprehension 10 Moderate-Difficult The Economist news articles
Cloze Test / Fill Ups 5/10 Easy-Moderate Mock Tests
Sentence Improvement/ Phrase Replacement 10/5 Easy-Moderate Mock Tests
Error Spotting 5 Easy-Moderate Mock Tests

Once you are familiar with the question patterns, you should focus on strategies that will work for various question types. Based on the question patterns seen in the recent exams, the expected questions in the upcoming exams are Cloze test, reading comprehension, error detection and phrase replacement. There are many grammar rules that can be applied to all question types. Here are the strategies for each of the expected question types:

Reading Comprehension:

When attempting reading comprehension questions, it is easy to lose track of time since the passages can sometimes be long and time-consuming. The best way to answer it is to read the questions and then read the passage, answering the questions as and when you come across the required information in the passage

  1. Read the questions first, and identify keywords. Then read the passage, while looking for keywords given in the question.
  2. Try to guess meanings of words you don’t know based on the context. Read the previous and following sentences to guess the meaning and eliminate options based on positive or negative context.
  3. Learn the difference between analytical, appreciative, critical, introspective, retrospective tone of the author
  4. Pay attention to implied meaning. Practise guessing implied meaning and analyse small passages. If you practise everyday, the amount of time taken to do this will gradually reduce.
  5. Do not learn random new words. Read news articles on economic and financial issues. Learn the difficult words in those news articles everyday, and you will notice that many of the words are repeated in most of the finance related news. This will help you get the upper hand in reading comprehension, since most of the passages are taken from newspapers such as ‘The Economist’. You can use the daily editorials to learn the new words everyday.
  6. Practise guessing the meaning of words based on context by reading the previous line and the line following it. The context always tells you whether it is a positive word or a negative word. Based on the context you will be able to eliminate wrong answers and even guess the correct meaning. This will give you the upper hand in synonyms/antonyms questions in reading comprehension.

You can practise for reading comprehension everyday just by reading a newspaper article. Just go through an article and try to figure out whether the article is analytical, appreciative, critical, introspective, or retrospective. Watch our video on Reading Comprehension to learn how to accurately find the meaning of a word based on the context, how to figure out the implied meaning and how to identify the tone of the author.

Click Here for Important Tips to Answer Reading Comprehension Questions

By following these strategies you will definitely be able to score 7/10 in this section.

Cloze test/ Double Fillers/ Fill in the Blanks:

  1. Tense errors are seen in many question types, particularly the perfect tense. Make yourself familiar with the perfect tenses. All sentences with auxiliary verb have had or has is a sentence in perfect tense and the verb must always be in the V3 form. This is a very important rule to remember when solving fill in the blank and error detection question types.
  2. Prepositions are a very important part of English. Learn the basic rules of prepositions such as a preposition is always followed by a noun and only an adjective can be placed between the two. This rule is very important for any type of fill in the blank questions and cloze test. If there is a preposition before the blank and no noun after the blank, the answer has to be a noun. If there is a preposition before the blank and a noun after the blank, the answer has to be an adjective. Here is a list of commonly used prepositions with examples to help you study.
  3. Learn how to identify word class. If you can identify whether the word is a noun, verb or adjective, you will be able to eliminate wrong answers based on the simple grammar rules discussed above. By identifying word class you will also know exactly which word class should be used in the blank. For example, if a modal verb is present before the blank, the blank HAS to be filled with a verb. This will reduce the amount of time spent on this section. You can use our list of prefixes and suffixes to help identify word class.

Click Here for Important Tips to Answer Cloze Test Questions

Click Here for Important Tips to Answer Fill in the Blank Questions

By following these strategies you will definitely be able to score 7/10 or 3/5 in this section.

Sentence Improvement/ Phrase Replacement:

  1. Read the sentence and the options to see which part they have made changes in.
  2. Pay attention to meaning
  3. Identify nouns, verbs and adjectives in the highlighted phrase
  4. Learn common noun and adjective suffixes
  5. Familiarise yourself with perfect tense.
  6. Learn commonly used prepositional collocations. You can go through our list of the most common collocations to help you study.
  7. Learn the usage of the definite article ‘the’. You can learn the most important  rules of article usage by going through our guide to articles
  8. Learn the usage of common prepositions such as ‘on’, ‘at’, ‘by’, ‘of’, ‘in’. You can learn the most important prepositions, with examples and detailed explanations by going through our Guidelines for Prepositions

Click Here for Important Tips to Answer Phrase Replacement Questions

By following these strategies you will definitely be able to score 7/10 or 3/5 in this section.

Error Spotting/ Detection:

  1. Focus on Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA) and try to solve complex sentences. This will help immensely in error correction and detection. For example: The central theme in both Alice’s play and Joan’s play is deception. In this sentence, although two people are mentioned, the subject is ‘the central theme’ which is singular, hence the singular verb ‘is’ is used. Sentences like this can sometimes be confusing, and you should practise identifying the subject.
  2. Tense errors are seen in many question types, particularly the perfect tense. Make yourself familiar with the perfect tenses. All sentences with auxiliary verb have, had or has is a sentence in perfect tense and the verb must always be in the V3 form. This is a very important rule to remember when solving fill in the blank and error detection question types.
  3. Modal verbs are used to show lack of certainty and can be seen in many error detection questions. A modal verb (can, could, should, might, may, etc.) is always followed by the verb in its first form.  This rule is used mostly in error detection and correction.
  4. Articles are important for error detection questions. An article is always followed by a noun and only an adjective can be placed between the two. This rule is also used when answering fill in the blank questions and cloze test.

Click Here for Important Tips to Answer Error Spotting Questions

By following these strategies you will definitely be able to score 3/5 in this section.

By practising methodically and focusing on what is important, you will be able to prepare effectively without wasting time on unnecessary aspects of grammar. By following these simple strategies you can easily score 20+ on the English section. Make sure to practise everyday, and take mock tests once you have learned the most important grammar rules mentioned in this article. As always, remember to work hard and work smart.

 

Online Mock Tests 2019: