English Language for Bank Exams – uphill battle or a facile course?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

English Language is a major disconcerting segment for a large number of students when it comes to bank exams. SBI PO Preliminary Exam result was announced some time back and English Section once again proved to be achilles heel for many. We saw a number of students who got through the overall cutoff but failed to clear the English sectional cutoff of this exam.

So what is it about English Language section that daunts students? This has varied reasons. For some, it may be their educational background, while for others, it may be the fear of external language that they don’t use normally.

English Language for Bank Exams – uphill battle or a facile course?

A crucial question that arises is, How to improve your English Section? The major requirement in order to improve this section is, Strengthening your basics. And how do you do that? English Language relies on 2 major factors. These are Grammar and Vocabulary.

Before we delve further into these parameters, understand one thing. IBPS PO Exam will be conducted in October this year. Given the level of exam and difficulty, you cannot rely on a 2 month study, especially for English section. Many of you face difficulty in this section, and will continue to do so, if you do not strengthen your basics. And the only way to do that is start working on it right away. Procrastinating will only ruin your chances of clearing this exam. The aim of this post is to help you identify and understand the ways to make strides in this section. Let’s begin then!

We will now go back to the key factors of this section that we mentioned earlier. Let us see how you can ramp-up these sections in the time that you have.


This is a very crucial segment for English Language. A decent vocabulary will definitely help you score more in the exam. How do you strengthen your vocabulary? You can’t simply mug up 100-200 words for this. This process takes time.

  • The best shot to work on your vocabulary is Reading. Nothing will help you learn new words on regular basis than this practice.
  • Reading is not necessarily restricted to Newspapers, although it is the most efficient way. You can start this with novels or magazines as well.
  • Devote at least 1 hour of your day to reading something new. You’ll come across various new words once you do that.
  • Look up their meaning. You can also maintain a separate notebook for this and create your own dictionary this way.
  • This exercise doesn’t end here. Make sure that you go through the words that you learnt on the previous day. Make up sentences from those words on your own to understand the context that they can be used in.
  • This is essential because simply mugging up the words won’t help you understand. But once you have an idea of the context that they are used in, you surely will remember them.
  • Converse with your family and friends in English and try to use the words that you learn in your communications (obviously wherever relevant). Don’t shy away from speaking in English
  • You can also take help of books like Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis to enhance your vocabulary.


Grammar, again like Vocabulary, plays a significant role in English Language. Understanding this segment is imperative, since a good hold over grammar will help you in almost all the topics that are asked in the English section in exam, for instance sentence improvement, spotting errors etc.

  • In order to have a good understanding of grammar, you need to clear your basic concepts first.
  • For this, try to figure out following first-
    (a) Parts of speech refers to?
    (b) What is the basic structure of a sentence?
    (c) What is Subject-Verb Agreement?
    (d) What are compound sentences, conditional phrases and clauses?
  • Once you grasp the above mentioned concepts properly, understanding the grammar rules which govern sentence formation becomes quite easy.
  • You can take help of ‘Wren and Martin’ to strengthen your grammar basics.

As already mentioned, do not rely on a 2 month study for your exam preparation. If you are serious about improving your English section, you need to start working right away. Yes you may find this quite monotonous at the beginning but once you overcome the initial 1-2 weeks phase, you’ll get used to this practice. You’ll even find it interesting, when you’ll see yourself learning something new everyday.

What are you waiting for then? Let this post be your today’s dose of something new. Go through the new words that you came across here and don’t forget to add them in your wordlist!


The expert in anything was once a beginner!

So, begin today, if you wish to master this subject before your IBPS PO exam. Make sure that you follow our series, Shape up your vocabulary from Newspaper Wordlist and Roots of English regularly to enhance your preparation. Do let us know in the comments if you wish to follow some specific study plan for English Language and we will ry to work on it at our end.

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All the best for your exams..

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