How to Prepare English for Bank Exams

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Check out a complete guide to master English Section for Bank Exams. With plenty of exams to be conducted in the coming time, It becomes important for you all to prepare for it accordingly. The exams like IBPS PO, SBI PO, IBPS Clerk, LIC Assistant, IBPS RRB, RBI Grade B, and many more will be conducted soon in due course of time.

As we all know that with each day passing, the competition for getting a bank job is getting tougher. So, it is the need of the hour to be a master in all the sections of the banking exam. Interested candidates can go through the post to be conversant with how to prepare English for Bank Exams.

Purpose of English Section in Bank Exams

In the banking examinations, the English language includes three important sections which are Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension. Through this, the exam conducting authorities judge the English reading, writing, speaking, and analytical skills of the candidate.

Master Strategy to Prepare English for Bank Exams

Let us discuss some important tips to prepare English for Bank Exams:

  1. First of all, work on the basics of the English language and grammar and brush up on those skills.
  2. The vital tool to deal with this section is “Time Management”. You need to answer 25-30 questions in just 15-20 minutes.
  3. Apply the elimination rule in each topic of the English Section. In the elimination rule, go through the option one by one and try to identify which options are completely unsuitable for the blank. Eliminate such options one by one and in this way, you will reach out to the correct option.
  4. You need to gain accuracy and speed by daily practicing this section with a “StopWatch”. You should try to solve at least two sectional tests and one mock test every day until the day of the exam.
  5. Spend time studying basic rules of Grammar from the book Wren & Martin. These rules will help you clear many topics in the paper. Unlike Vocabulary, the rules and concepts are often repeated. So if you practice enough, you will likely secure 5-10 marks on the paper.
  6. Improving vocabulary is a daily task. Do not skip reading newspapers/useful articles and learning new words daily.
  7. It is advisable that if you start with the Vocabulary section first, you can get good marks in one go. Also, it is the fastest to get through.
  8. Solve the reading Comprehension section next. After a quick reading, make sure to attempt the fact and vocab-based questions in the RC before you attempt the theme/main idea-based questions.
  9. Attempt the cloze test, fill in the blanks, and para jumble questions after this. If your Grammar is weak, attempt it last as it might be a little tricky and hence will consume time.
  10. Read The Hindu newspaper on a daily basis. This will really help those candidates who need help and improvement with their written and spoken English skills.

Tips for Improving Vocabulary Section

Having a good hand on vocabulary will help you in solving the topics in an efficient manner. Follow the below steps to have a strong command over vocabulary –

  1. To build your vocabulary you have to act smart. Every new thing that you read, whether it be a newspaper or an article, or a book, you will come across so many important words. Just jot it down in your vocabulary notebook and make sure whenever you come across a new word look it up in a dictionary or Google it. Keep a notebook where you note down its meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and its usage. Later, try to use these words in sentences of your own to revise the meanings. This practice has the added advantage of helping you enhance your understanding of the context of the passage for Reading Comprehension or Cloze Test.
  2. Solve the Vocabulary sections from previous years’ papers and time yourself to understand where you would stand at your current level of preparation. Also, it will help you understand what levels of words are being tested. This is important as unlike Grammar rules, which are limited, Vocabulary is an infinitely vast subject. The best you can and should do is prepared at the level that is being tested.
  3. Try out Mnemonic Techniques to remember vocabulary. This is an incredibly powerful way to quickly remember the meanings of often-asked words in the exam. Relate the words and their meanings with images and some stories.
  4. Practice Vocab questions every day. Bookmark the questions that you got wrong and practice them later to achieve accuracy. Solve questions on Synonyms & Antonyms, and Word Association pairs to increase the knowledge of words.

Tips for Improving Grammar

To improve Grammatical skills, follow the below steps –

  1. Go through the chapters of English Grammar one by one. Clear your basic concepts by understanding the rules and examples of the Grammar Chapters.
  2. Give proper time to understand the rules of Tenses. Tenses are the soul of English Grammar.
  3. Follow the standard books of Wren and Martin or School level Grammar books. Make sure to read error-free books by standard authors.
  4. Understand Subject-verb agreement. English sentences are structured following the subject-verb-object order (such as “Himani ran to the door,” not “Run to the door Himani”). In general, articles come before adjectives, and adjectives come before the nouns they modify. Modifiers should always be placed as close to their nouns as possible. For example Raman(subject) quickly(adverb) mailed(verb) the(article) long(adjective) letter(object).
  5. Focus on reading different genres and styles of writing, such as classic literature, textbooks, science fiction, science books, biographies, blogs, essays, and articles. Pay attention to how sentences are structured, word order, spelling, and creative variations the authors use.
  6. Learn the difference between confusing words.English has a lot of words that look, sound, and/or are spelled the same, even if they have very different meanings. These homographs (words that are spelled the same), homophones (words that are pronounced the same), heteronyms (words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently), and homonyms (words that are spelled and pronounced the same) cause a great deal of confusion and result in common errors. Remembering these common errors will help you avoid frequently made mistakes.

Evergreen Topics (Most Important) to Prepare English for Bank Exams

We have come up with individual strategies to prepare English for Bank Exams which are as follows:-


Reading comprehension is the most important topic in English Language Section. It accounts for 10-15 or sometimes 20 questions in the examinations. Check out tips to prepare English for Bank Exams here-

  • Good reading skills are the key to solving reading comprehension in minimum time
  • Good reading speed comes by reading regularly with dedication. Make a habit to read English newspapers, magazines, and articles on a daily basis
  • To solve reading comprehension questions, first read the whole passage at a glance and understand what is the summary of the passage. In this way, you will get to know ‘what is mentioned wherein the passage’. In this way, you will take less time while attempting questions of RCs
  • In reading comprehension, the questions will be directly based on the content of the passage, not outside of it. But you need to be very selective while choosing the correct option as sometimes 2-3 options may be similar
  • The questions will be mainly Fact-Based and Vocabulary based. Some questions can also be asked on the Main Idea & Theme of the Passage. You may also be asked to draw Inferences based on your understanding of the passage
  • Then attempt questions of Reading comprehension one by one by going through the particular paragraphs of the passage
  • For questions of ‘Most opposite’ and ‘Most similar words, you are not required to know the exact meaning of the word. Go through the passage and understand the sense of that word and mark your answer accordingly
  • Don’t spend much time on the single question
  • Practice comprehensions from various topics(one RC each day) because you never know what kind of topic you are going to face in the paper.

2. Error Spotting

This is a very scoring as well as less time taking the topic of the English language section. Check out tips on how to prepare English for Bank Exams here-

  • To score well in this topic, It is required to have good grammar knowledge. So, first, be well aware of the grammar rules
  • Learn all the error-spotting rules of each topic like articles, tenses, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc
  • In most sentences, there is an error of subject-verb agreement. Focus on this topic. Also if you have good reading habits then you will easily recognize errors of subject-verb agreement
  • In order to solve questions on spotting errors, the first step you should take is to read the complete sentence carefully. In most of cases, you will be able to detect the error in the first go itself
  • To solve questions smartly in exams, eliminate those options one by one, which are completely wrong according to you
  • Then among the remaining options, think that which option sounds right
  • If you can still not detect the error or you are still unsure of the correct answer, then you must read each individual part of the sentence and closely examine which part consists of an error

3. New Pattern Error Spotting

New pattern error spotting questions are being asked in recent bank examinations. Going through the exam analysis of recent exams and Practising the questions based on it will be of great help to be able to solve these kinds of questions with ease. Some new types of Error Spotting are given as follows –

  • A sentence will be given in such a question along with 2 bold parts. Students are required to identify the error in the parts which were not bold, considering the parts given in bold as correct, and modify them accordingly
  • In another type, a paragraph will be given. Then 4 sentences with one bold sentence are provided. Candidates need to find the correct sentence in accordance with the bold sentence
  • A statement will be given along with three sentences. The students are required to find the error in one of these sentences in accordance with the statement
  • In this, a statement and three sentences will be given. The students were required to find the correct sentences among these sentences which are in accordance with the statement also. In options, pairs of sentences are provided
  • A sentence is given in each question along with 2 bold parts. Candidates need to identify the error in the parts which were not bold, considering the parts given in bold as correct, and modify them accordingly

4. Fill in the blanks/Double fillers

Check out tips to prepare this section for performing well in the exam-

  • 5 questions are generally asked on this topic
  • For this topic, having a rich vocabulary is very important
  • If you are not able to find the right option, then apply the elimination rule
  • Eliminate options one by one, which can not be right according to you
  • Among the remaining options, see which is suiting more the blank. Choose that option that fits the blank aptly without changing the sense/theme of the sentence.
  • 5 questions can come from this topic in a new pattern of exams
  • In double filler questions, two sentences will be given. One blank will be given in both sentences. You are required to choose one word from the options, which can fit the blank of both sentences aptly without changing the sense of the sentences
  • Read the whole sentence to get the message and go with the flow
  • Go with the second part first to get the proper sequence or meaning of the sentence while keeping the grammar rules in mind (especially tense)
  • Think of the logic behind the option, you can also go with an Odd one-out strategy
  • Accuracy is the key, so better be sure before marking your answer

5. Cloze Test

Cloze Test is another important topic in the English section of Bank Exams. These tips will be highly essential to strategize your preparation accordingly.

  • 5 or 10 questions are asked from this section in the English language section
  • Its options may appear a bit confusing but once you are familiar with the ideas of the passage you can eliminate the odd one out
  • The cloze test is all about understanding the context of the passage
  • Read the passage and try to get the theme of the passage i.e Positive, negative, humorous theme, and choose options according to that and also get the message behind the passage
  • Apply elimination rule in cloze test also. Eliminate options one by one which cannot be right for the given blank according to you
  • If there is any doubt it’s better to skip that question rather than attempt it
  • Regular Practice is the key to solving the cloze test with maximum accuracy

6. Para jumble

Para jumble is one of the scoring sections of English. Check out these tips and tricks to be well versed with the exam.

  • Read the complete passage properly to find out the theme of the passage
  • Find out the Independent sentence, it’ll give you the lead (most of the time it’s 1st sentence)
  • Find out the connecting sentences ( looking carefully for the repetition of a noun with a pronoun)
  • Identify the pair while looking for some cause, effect, the problem than its solution
  • At last, find the message, result, and conclusion mainly representing the purpose of the passage. (special words – thus, therefore, hence, however, so etc.)
  • If you practice questions of this topic regularly, you will be quick in finding the arrangement of the paragraph
  • This section consists of a 6 sentence Para jumble with 5 questions based on it
  • There might be questions where you need to complete a sentence and understand the context of the sentence
  • Follow the logic of the passage while answering these questions. Always keep in mind the overall story, as the passage will always tell you a story with a definite beginning, middle and end
  • Look for connecting words like conjunctions that will help you link the story well

7. Sentence Correction/Sentence Improvement

These topics are somewhat similar to error-spotting questions. Analyse these tips on how to prepare English for Bank Exams-

  • First of all, read the original sentence attentively
  • Try to identify the grammatical errors of Tense, articles, and prepositions by spotting whether something “sounds” wrong.
  • Go through each choice provided in the options
  • Read the original sentence carefully and try to spot grammatical errors by identifying whether something “sounds” wrong
  • Always look at every choice
  • Even when the original sentence seems fine, pay attention to the grammar that it tests and look through the choices systematically to see if any provides a better option
  • As you locate each error, eliminate all of the choices that contain that error
  • Do not read each answer choice back into the sentence individually; that wastes time and invites inaccuracy

8. Phrase Replacement

This is similar to the Error & Rectification type of question but is easier and can help you get top scores with consistent practice.

  • In this type of question, a sentence will be provided, and a portion of the sentence will be underlined
  • The requirement will be to choose the correct substitution for the underlined part of the sentence given, from the options available
  • Improve your knowledge of phrases and try to learn more and more phrases and idioms
  • Instead, identify the differences among the choices and eliminate those that offer less effective or grammatically incorrect alternatives

9. Sentence Connector

Sentence connector is also called Synthesis and several questions are asked in this section. Evaluate the strategies to prepare this topic.

  • In such type of questions, two/three statements with a phrase/sentence or connector with three/four options are provided
  • In such questions along with conjunctions (And, While) candidates need to identify the correct pair of sentences which could be connected with the given conjunctions, without changing the structure of the sentence
  • This phrase/sentence or connector can be used at the start, middle, or end of the sentence
  • The candidates should keep in mind that the meaning of the statements does not change after connecting them

10. Odd one out

This is a trendy topic for bank examinations and almost every year questions are asked from this section. Brush up your concepts to avoid silly mistakes.

  • For odd one-out or theme-based questions, 3 or 4 sentences are given. Among these sentences, one option is not related to the other sentences
  • The candidates need to identify that option i.e out of the theme of options given

11. Match the columns

This topic has been recently introduced in bank exams. The questions are easy to do if solved carefully. Check the tips mentioned here to prepare English for Bank Exams.

  • In ‘Match the column’ questions, Candidates need to join two parts of a sentence in a way that they form a meaningful and grammatically correct sentence
  • Two columns are provided in the question. In this, three/four incomplete sentences are given in both the columns
  • The first column consists of the first half of these sentences and the second column consists of the second half of these sentences
  • Students are required to match both columns in a way that all the sentences are connected properly in a meaningful way

12. Sentence completion

Sentence Completion has been asked in almost all the bank exams held so far. Checkout the tips facilitated here-

  • The questions on this topic are easy if you have good reading skills
  • In such questions, a sentence with a blank will be given
  • The blank can be at the start, middle or end of the paragraph
  • Go through the options one by one and try to identify which option is matching with the theme of the paragraph given
  • Fill the options one by one in your mind and deduce the option which fills the blank perfectly without changing its tone & them.

Best Books to Prepare English for Bank Exams

Check out the best books to prepare English for Bank Exams here and prepare well for your exam.

  1. English Grammar (Wren and Martin)
  2. Word Power Made Easy (Norman Lewis)
  3. The Hindu Newspaper
  4. Economic Times Newspaper
  5. S.P. Bakshi English Book by Arihant Publication
  6. Mirror of Common Errors
  7. Pratiyogita Darpan Magzine


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