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SBI PO 2018: Preparation Strategy for English

With the SBI PO 2018 recruitment notification already released on April 21, it is now the time to accelerate your preparation in full swing as there are only a couple of months available before the exams. With that in mind, the SBI PO 2018 examinations have English Language in both parts of their examinations including the SBI PO 2018 Prelims and SBI PO 2018 Mains. Hence, it’s essential to have a good preparation strategy to tackle the English Language part efficiently and accurately.

Hence, we at Oliveboard have put together a guide for your preparation of SBI PO 2018 English Language.


With regards to the SBI PO 2018 in general, please note a few things –

  • English Language section usually has lengthy, time-consuming questions
  • Questions in this section test your grammar and vocabulary
  • Unlike other sections, English Language requires you to actively apply your knowledge to become better at it; hence, speaking in English is encouraged

SBI PO 2018: Examination Pattern

Before moving on to the SBI PO 2018 English Language preparation, let’s look at the SBI PO 2018 exam pattern for the SBI PO Prelims and SBI PO Mains.

SBI PO 2018 Prelims Exam Pattern

Sr. No. Subject No. of Questions Marks



English Language 30 Total Marks 100 20 Minutes


Quantitative Aptitude


20 Minutes


Reasoning Ability


20 Minutes


60 Minutes


SBI PO 2018 Mains Exam Pattern

Sr. No. Subject No. of Questions Marks



Reasoning & Computer Aptitude


Total Marks 200

60 Minutes

2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35

45 Minutes


General/Economy/Banking Awareness


35 Minutes

4 English Language 35

40 Minutes




180 Minutes

Therefore, for the SBI PO 2018 Prelims, about 30 questions are to be attempted in 20 minutes which leaves us with approximately 0.67 minutes or 40 seconds per question. In the Mains exam, 35 questions must be attempted in 40 minutes which provides us with approximately 1.14 minutes or 68.5 seconds per question.

SBI PO 2018 Mock Tests

SBI PO 2018: Topic-wise Preparation Tips

Given that English Language section already has time-consuming questions, one needs to be quick and accurate. Let’s see how we can do that –

Reading Comprehension

This is the lengthiest area in the subject; first read the questions and then skim through the passage. This way, you will be able to ‘pick’ out the answers from the passage as you go through it. If you are comfortable, try answering the vocabulary questions first.

Cloze Test

Practice is needed to familiarize yourself with more topics; when presented with the options, make sure you read each word that is given as an option and try fitting it in the sentence and seeing if it makes sense to you; that way by the method of elimination, you can remove the parts that you think are not a good fit for the sentences.

Sentence Rearrangement

Read through all the sentences to determine the gist or summary of the passage; look up the sentences independently and then think of how they come or match together. Then try arranging them separately or one-by-one; try to identify the first and last sentences of the passage, because that helps build a mental image or idea of how the rest of the sentences should be like.

Spotting Errors/Sentence Improvement and Correction

Read the sentence in its entirety and see if it makes sense to you; quite often, some error will be obvious and hence it will be easy to spot that out. If not, look for the options and see what appears to be the most logically correct choice.

Phrase Replacement

Once you read the initial sentence first, you shall be able to answer the question easily by eliminating the options. Ensure that your preparation and knowledge of grammar is at par, because often spotting a grammar error is one of the easiest ways to disregard an option.

Descriptive Test

SBI PO 2018 Mains have 2 parts pertaining to English: the objective English Language exam module and the Descriptive Test; the Descriptive Test has 2 questions to be attempted within 30 minutes and carry a total of 50 marks; usually, it includes 1 letter writing and 1 essay writing assignment. To practice for this section (descriptive writing), simply practice writing letters and essays on topics pertaining to banking and government (such as on schemes released by the government or on RBI’s notifications)

Of course, to do all this as suggested, one needs to practice regularly. Regular practice under exam-like conditions is the key of success in any exam, whether that is SBI PO 2018 or any other.


SBI PO 2018: Best Books for Reference

The SBI PO 2018 requires constant practice; should you consider supplementing your online preparation with books, here are some recommendations –

  1. Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi
  2. High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin
  3. Word Power Made Simple by Norman Lewis

All the Best!

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