With the IBPS PO Mains exam coming up very soon, it becomes priority for most aspirants to practice their weakest sections in order to clear the higher sectional cut-offs that have raised the bar this year. One section in which many exam-takers have a lot of queries and confusion is the Verbal or the English section. This section is the easiest for those who are adept with grammar and the most confusing for those who are a little weak in that area. However, since there is not much time to learn the entirety of English Grammar before the Mains exam, aspirants have to resort to some shortcuts which will enable them to easily identify the correct answer.
The English Section consists of 40 questions of one mark each, with a quarter deducted for every wrong answer. There are four main topics within the English section – Reading Comprehension, Cloze Passages, Para-jumbles and Sentence completion. Of these four topics, the first two hold the highest weightage. Therefore, a 70% accuracy in these two types of questions will significantly help clear the sectional cut-off.
Reading comprehensions are extremely easy for people with good comprehending ability. But those without can also gain almost full accuracy by following certain ‘rules’ per se. Firstly, it is required that you read the questions properly, before reading the passage. Next, look for the key words in the questions within the passage and you will be able to find the answer. If synonyms or antonyms are asked, then always understand the meaning of the word in the contextual sense.
In cloze passage test, it is required for the test-taker to first read the passage first along with the blanks, without trying to solve it. This will provide an idea as to what the passage is about, further facilitating a better understanding as to which words can fill the blanks without looking at the options. Next, look at the options and identify the synonym which you thought might be a good fit for the blanks and select that option. Understand prepositions and articles adequately, and half the problems in the cloze and sentence completion passages will be solved.
Sentences given in the wrong order which when rearranged to form a sensible paragraph are known as parajumbles. Here, the key is to identify transition words: the last word of a sentence which might fit with the first word of any other sentence. Sentences with pronouns and demonstrative pronouns usually come in the subsequent sentences; the same is true with abbreviations. If the expanded form of an abbreviation is present, then that sentence usually arrives in the first or second place. Finally come the sentence completion tasks, which hold the lowest weightage of the lot. The key in sentence completion tasks is to understand the logic of the sentence and fill in the word that you think is the most appropriate for the blank.
To conclude, the possible expected cut-off for English is expected to be 12-15. So by revising grammar and vocabulary as much as possible before the exam and going well prepared is thoroughly advisable, you should be able to sail through with ease.
The article is written by Samhita Atrey, Education Consultant at www.MockBank.com, a Bengaluru based online test preparation company for government/PSU jobs