The banking exam is a three-tier exam that focuses on the different aspects of knowledge required for the complete preparation of the candidate. In the first couple of stages, the written test aims to test the knowledge of the candidate in the domain of English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning. This is a timed section that aims to check both; knowledge as well as the celerity of the students in the exam. This is the preliminary stage of the exam.
Upon qualifying the Stage 1 of the banking exam, you get to prepare for Stage 2 of the banking exam wherein most of the candidates are serious aspirants now, hence you can expect a tough competition. The mains stage or Stage 2 comprises of four different sections which are individually timed sections. The following table illustrates the pattern of the Mains exam along with the timing allocated to every section.
|S. NO||Name of Test||Number of Questions||Maximum Marks||Medium of Exam||Time allotted for
|1||English language||30||30||English||20 minutes|
|2||Quantitative Aptitude||35||35||English and Hindi||20 minutes|
|3||Reasoning ability||35||35||English and Hindi||20 minutes|
The above table shows that not only you need to have sufficient knowledge in one subject but you also need to diversify your preparation across all the subjects. A wide scope view also stresses the importance of the General Awareness section in which you can maximize your score as the direct questions make it highly scoring section. The timing of the exam can be a constraint hence it is recommended to prepare the question in a timer mode.
An interesting fact to note is that the Writing Section comprises of 25 marks in IBPS PO exam. Even other banking exams which aim for the post of Probationary Officer require the qualification in the writing section, failure of which you would stand ineligible for further rounds.
Stage 3 or the Personal Interview round has a very low selection ratio. In order to get into the PI round, an excellent score is mains is the criteria, but you need to make sure that your score is way above the cut-off score as the cumulative scores of the PI round and Mains exam is taken for preparation of the final merit list.
In this article, we would be focusing on the preparation strategy to ace the English section of the banking exam, which has started to become tricky even for the students with experience in the banking and government exams.
You cannot neglect The Hindu newspaper
The Hindu newspaper is the most important newspaper which will assist you to understand the following four most important aspects of the English language:
The banking exams follow a specific pattern wherein the English section is termed to be the most unpredictable section. The problem with the mindset of the students is that they attempt to predict the questions. Instead, focus on the subject will be more productive.
Though there can be a large number of questions that can be asked in the English section, we are listing down the most important questions in the English section that you must prepare for the Stage 1 or Preliminary stage of the Banking Exam.
The English section is of 30 marks in the preliminary exam. The question distribution can be as follows:
|Reading Comprehension||10 marks|
|Rearrangement of Sentences||5 marks|
|Cloze test||5 marks|
|Fill in the blanks*||5 marks|
|Phrase replacement*||5 marks|
|Fill in the blanks*||5 marks|
|Error detection*||5 marks|
Before you begin your preparation for the English of Mains section, you need to ensure that you do the following:
In stage 2 of the banking examination, you would understand the importance of newspaper reading as well as standard grammar books. As you prepare from the standard books, you practice every exercise and rewire the neurons of your brain as you learn a new language.
The English section of stage 2 of the banking exam comprises of the following question pattern, for most of the banking exams:
The above sections can be easily solved with the help of vocabulary. The essence of memorizing the vocabulary gets very useful in tackling such questions, wherein even the slightest knowledge of the word can help in scoring the question.
The above questions cater to no more than 5-10 questions which can be attained easily upon succinct preparation.
Another sub-section in the English paper includes sentence para jumbling. This set of questions is termed as the most difficult set of questions. From personal experience of giving multiple banking exams (and clearing a few); this section can be the make or break section when it comes to the English section. This is where your knowledge about the ordering of sentences and logical deduction of the meaning of the sentences comes into play.
If you have read The Hindu meticulously, this section will be a cakewalk for you. Since most of the questions in the section come from the current happenings; which makes it very natural for the newspaper readers to ace this section. If you are not a newspaper reader, it is suggested to practice sentence reordering questions regularly to get a grip on the question pattern which are asked in the paper.
After you are done reading the RC passage, make a 300-word summary about the RC in your practice sheet. It would help you in the following ways:
Precision: You would be able to know about the central theme of the passage in a succinct manner.
Logical thinking: Critical thinking develops as you try to read through the passage and develop the writing skills. You would understand the meaning and start to have an opinion about the passage, which ensures that you not only read the passage; but also enhance the thinking hat on!
Writing skills: Development of the writing skills can only happen once you start writing the RC passage often. In the beginning, it might not make much sense to you, but after you practice the same for 15 days you would start to see a change in your writing style. It will also help you to construct your sentence and improve your grammatical skills. Your vocabulary will also be enhanced once you write more.
Typing Speed: You cannot ignore the importance of typing speed in the exam. No matter how much you know about a particular topic, if you don’t have accuracy and don’t have fluent typing skills, you will not be able to complete the essay in due time. Practicing the essay typing will enhance your typing skills and increase your celerity.
Vocabulary Enrichment: When you read something once, you remember it for a week. When you write something, you remember it for a lifetime. Since the new words will be difficult to memorize, the best way to use them will be through writing essays and letters. You should enhance your vocabulary and make it rich and writing an essay a day is the only way to make it.
Current Affairs: The essays that are asked in the SBI PO mains exam have a large contribution from the topics of current affairs. If you have well-stacked data about the recent happenings in the world, you can enhance your essay by making it rich in data.
The writing section in the SBI PO section is the real test of your preparation. For the format of letters, it is suggested to refer to a currently used format and not an obsolete one. Refer to the formats of the formal letter as the chances of an official letter being asked is many times more than an informal letter. It is also suggested to go through precise writing as it will gear you for the uncertainties which might appear in the exam.