A well planned approach and lots of practice


 Associate Professor in English, Hyderabad.


English for IBPS exam seems to be the easiest subject; however it contains the trickiest questions similar to other sections. There are many candidates who have ants in their pants to solve this part; this happens if proper preparation is not done. A well planned approach and lots of practice gives the confidence to solve this section. The best part of this portion is that it takes less time if you have proper skills and strategies to clear this section. It contains 40 questions whose weightage is 20 percent of the complete paper. With proper skills and knowledge candidates can complete this portion faster and easier. Listed below are some of the sections which are important. Tips to crack these sections are suggested with examples.



 Error Correction


 sentence Rearrangement

 Fill in the Blanks with Modals, Articles etc

 Comprehension - answering questions based on Unseen Passages


 Vocabulary etc.



 Synonym is a word which has the same meaning as the given word. Let us see some tips to crack this part.

 1.In sentence question make sure the meaning of the overall sentence does not change.

 2.Don't jump to the answer, always evaluate all the given choices. You never know if you will find a better answer in other choices

 3.Read as much as you can from newspapers, magazines, old and new literature.

 Directions: In this section you find a number of sentences, parts of which are italicized. You may also find a group of words which are in italics. For each italic part, five words/phrases are listed below. Choose the word nearest in meaning to the italic part and blacken the corresponding space on the answer Sheet.

 1.A conscientious worker is always admired by his employers.


 b) skillful

 c) sincere

 d) obedient    

 e) dexterous



 2.She is really a fantastic girl.

 a) intelligent

 b) beautiful

 c) charming     

 d) wonderful

 e) amiable

 Answers: 1. A; 2. D




 An antonym is a word which has the opposite meaning of the given word. Let us see some tips to crack this part.

 1.Note that the given word and the answer must belong to the same parts of speech.

 2.The given word and the answer must belong to the same tense form.

 3.Make sure that the given word and the answer are in the same voice.

 4.A favourite trick as we have seen with the synonyms is in the alternatives given a synonym may be given to confuse the candidates.


 Directions: In this section each item consists of a word or a phrase which is italics in the sentence given. It is followed by four words or phrases. Select the word or phrase which is closest to the opposite in meaning of the word or phrase in italics.


 1.Under the circumstances, such pejorative comments should have been avoided.

 a) soothing     

 b) critical

 c) appreciative     

 d) sporting


 2.Who would be such an impudent fellow?

 a) civilized

 b) cultured

 c) respectful

 d) humble

 Answers: 1. C; 2. C


Error Correction:

 In this section errors can be in any component of grammar, overall knowledge is required to answer this part.

 1.Figure out what is being tested through the question.

 2.Sentence might contain more than one error. Hence, look for multiple errors.

 3.Eliminate answer choices that are themselves grammatically incorrect or alter the intended meaning.

 4.The meaning of the sentence should remain the same.


 Directions: Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical error or idiomatic error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The number of that part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is (4) (Ignore errors of punctuation, if any.)


 1.The young child (1) singed (2) a very sweet song. (3) No error (4)

 2.We worked (1) very hard (2) throughout the season. (3) No error (4)

 Answers: 1. (2); 2. (4)



Sentence Rearrangement:

 Sentences that have full names mentioned are either the starting or come in the first few sentences of the paragraphs.

 Similarly, the sentences that have 'they', 'him' or 'her' or the short names would only come after the proper introduction of the person.

 If there are pronouns in the sentence, then it simply means that they have already discussed about the subject. So in maximum cases it won't be the first sentence. (I and You are exceptions for this rule).

 Sentences that begin with 'and', 'but' etc usually follow the central theme with an explanation to the same or give additional information.

 A central theme around which the passage is framed. Identify the central theme, which is usually the first sentence.

 A logical sequence is present which usually describes the central theme.

 In maximum cases last sentence ends with some conclusion.

 Directions: Rearrange the following six sentences (A), (B), (C), (D) (E) and (F) in the proper sequence to form a meaningful paragraph. Choose the correct order from the given options.

 (A)    At one point, he bent over with a big smile, showing me a single gold tooth.

 (B)    On vacation in Tangier, Morocco, my friend and I sat down at a street café.

 (C)    Soon I felt the presence of someone standing alongside me.

 (D)    Finally a man walked over to me and whispered,

     "Hey buddy ……….this guy's your waiter and he wants your order"

 (E)    But this one wouldn't budge.

 (F)    We had been cautioned about beggars and were told to ignore them.

 The proper sequence should be

     1. ABCDEF    2. ABDCEF

     3. BCFEAD    4. BACDEF

 Answer: 3




 Unseen Passage:


 1.Read the passage carefully to know what the passage is about.

 2.Read the whole passage before attempting questions.

 3.Identify the main points.

 4.Analyze, interpret and infer the ideas in a text.

 5.Deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words.


 Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.

 Gift can necessarily be having costlier items such as gold etc, but even a post-card would do to complete its meaning. There is a golden rule for gift-"What we don't want should not be given as a gift to anybody". If we follow the same we would be having clearer choice against three choices.

 1.The golden rule of gift is

 a) Difficult to follow

 b) easier to follow

 c) having more worth

 d) that it is a mere formality


 2.The postcard in passage means

 a) A message of good wishes

 b) a cheapest gift

 c) a photograph printed on a post-card

 d)    an unused stationary which can be further sued.

 Answers: 1. B; 2. B




 Tense is a category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place. Tense is normally indicated by a verb form, either on the main verb or on an auxiliary verb. Though a separate section exclusively on tenses is not a part of the exam model a few questions will be given on this component. For a good understanding of English grammar and writing, you need to distinguish between different verb tenses and know when to use each tense.

 1.Be Mindful of Shifting Tenses.

 2.Know the Verb's Proper Form for Each Tense.

 3.As with most things, the key to getting the right tenses is to practice them.

 Directions: Fill in the blank in each of these sentences with the appropriate choice given from the options

 1.Although the police ______ every precaution, the robber managed to escape.

 A) Take     

 B) takes

 C) has taken

 D) had taken


 2.The boys ______ television every night unless they have homework.

 A) Watch

 B) watches

 C) watched

 D) watching

 Answers: 1. D; 2. A


 Vocabulary Learning:

 Vocabulary development is an integral part of language development. Enhancement of vocabulary helps in cracking many components in the examination like, synonyms, antonyms, phrasal verbs, analogies, idiomatic expressions, etc,.


 1.Read, Read, Read!

 2.Improve your context skills.

 3.Make up as many associations and connections as possible.

 4.Get in the habit of looking up words you don't know.

 5.Take vocabulary tests.


 Ultimately the success 'mantra' is Practice, practice, practice!

 Directions: Which of the phrases (1), (2), (3) and (4) given below each sentence should replace, the phrase printed in bold in the sentence to make it grammatically correct? If the sentence is correct as it is given, and no correction is required mark (5) as the answer.

 1.The film was rubbish. I mean really_____

 1) disappointing

 2) suitable

 3) disturbed     

 4) disappointed

 5) awesome


 2.He is not a paid employee of the government but works for an NGO.

 1) is a paying     

 2) has been a paying

 3) is neither a paid     

 4) is not being paid

 5) No improvement


 Answers: 1) 1; 2) 5


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