Cracking English Section for Banking Exams

Navigate through the English Section Preparation Guide for Banking Exams:

A] English Weightage in Banking Exams

B] English Section Syllabus for Banking Exams

C] Preparing for English Section in Banking Exams


A] Weightage of English in Banking Exams

Exam Weightage to English Section (Objective Questions)
Prelim Mains
SBI PO 30/100 40/200
SBI Clerk 30/100 40/200
IBPS PO 30/100 40/200
IBPS Clerk 30/100 40/200
IBPS RRB 40/200 40/240
RBI Grade B 30/200

As can be seen above, English forms a very core component of any banking exam. Candidates should aim to score maximum possible marks in this section. Next, we take a look at the components of English Section in these exams and the kind of questions asked.

B] English Section Syllabus and Pattern for Baking Exams

Broadly speaking English section can be subdivided into 3 categories – Reading Comprehension, Grammar and Vocabulary. Let us take a look at some of the questions that can be asked under these headings.

Category Question Types
Reading Comprehension Vocabulary based such as Synonyms/Antonyms, Gist of the Text, What is the Author Trying to Convey, Theme of Article
Vocabulary Cloze Test, Fill in the Blanks, Word Association (Odd One Out/Pairs), Synonyms/Antonyms, Phrases and Idioms
Grammar Error Spotting, Sentence Improvement, Paramjumbles

C] Preparing for English Section in Banking Exams

1] Reading Comprehension

  • Ease of reading and quick understanding of a text comes only with daily reading practice.
  • It is advisable to commit to reading at least 2-3 editorials per day from a well established paper such as The Hindu or The Business Standard. This will also help you stay up to date with general awareness.
  • The trick is to understand the meaning of the text without giving too much emphasis to every line in detail.
  • Understand the theme of the article and what the author is trying to convey.
  • When you come across unfamiliar words, first try and figure out the meaning of the word only from the given context. You can then cross-check your guess with the dictionary which will help you get the hang of interpreting words without knowing their exact meaning.

2] Vocabulary

  • For good command of vocabulary reading is crucial. Editorials will prove to be a valuable source as these words often get asked in vocabulary based questions. The Hindu editorials are a good option to pick up new words. Create a daily list of 5 to 10 words and update and revise the same everyday.
  • In vocabulary there may be 2 types of questions, either context based or specific. Candidates must definitely try and score maximum marks in the contextual questions as an exact knowledge is not necessary.
  • A good source for preparing vocabulary for any exam with English section is Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.
  • Practice Cloze Test exercises to get better at elimination and interpretation.

3] Grammar

  • Though candidates find this to be a difficult section, it is possible to attempt at least a few questions from this section simply by having a good hold on conjunctions, prepositions and basic subject verb agreement.
  • In error spotting, look for errors in singular and plural and verb conjugations as most errors appear from here.
  • While solving Parajumbles, preposition and conjunctions are very important. For example look out for key words like “instead, however, although” as they are often linking words. On the other hand, look for the lines that introduce and conclude the topic as arranging the middle sentences then becomes much easier.
  • For picking up a few key concepts in Grammar, one may go through the book by Wren and Martin.


Note: Overall, a recommended source for practice would be the book Objective English by S.P. Bakshi. Apart from this it is advisable to practice past year papers and mocks to build confidence while solving this section. Once this is supplemented with daily newspaper reading, candidates will be able to easily solve and score well in English section for Banking Exams.