How to approach English Section in IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021 Exam?

By Amrit Gouda|Updated : October 31st, 2021

One of the most important sections of the IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021 exam is English. Many applicants fear this portion and completely neglect it. As a result, they are unable to clear the cut-off. On the other hand, many students receive high marks in the exam as a result of their success in this section.

With a proper strategy and effective preparation, anyone can easily score very good marks in this section in IBPS Clerk 2021 Prelims exam. You just need to stick to the process consistently and consequently, you can see the magic in the result.

Many of you are comfortable with the Reasoning and Quant section but always face difficulty in attempting the English section, as it is the most avoided and least prepared section. Most of the candidates are unable to crack IBPS and other bank exams because they are unable to qualify for the sectional cutoff of the English section. So, in this article, we are providing you with some tips to approach English Section in IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam.

In order to be successful in this section, you need to know to focus on three important aspects during the exam:

1. Accuracy – Always try to attempt the questions with 100% accuracy. As you know negative marking system exists in this exam, which is why you must ensure that you answer each question correctly. Attempting questions with accuracy will increase the chances of scoring high and help you to clear the sectional cutoff.

2. Speed – Try to maintain constant speed during the exam otherwise you will lose your valuable time.

3. Which topic you should attempt in English Section? – As banking exams are all about accuracy and speed, you never skip any one of the above aspects if you are looking to score well. But the catch is that your speed and accuracy in the exam depend a lot on the questions you attempt first.

Tips to Qualify the English sectional cutoff 

The English Language section of the IBPS Clerk Prelims exam consists of questions such as – Reading Comprehension, Cloze test, Para -Jumbles, Spotting error, and Fill in the blanks. Here are some of the key things that you need to take care of. Let’s understand them one at a time.

#If you are weak or average in English Language Section then always aim to clear the sectional cutoff and don’t try to attempt all the questions in the exam. It is wise to attempt 20 – 22 questions in this section, if some of the questions might go wrong then you may have chances of clearing the sectional cutoff of the English section.

#You can start with those topics in which you have good command and which seem easy in the exam. For example – Fill in the blanks, Cloze Test, Sentence Improvement, Spotting Error, and Para jumbles.

Here are the Tips for Each Topic:

1. Fill in the blanks – In IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam, it is expected that – you are required to fill in more than one blank.

 Tips to solve this type of Question in exam 

(i) Read the statement carefully and choose the word from the options which is suitable for the answer.

(ii) Use the method of elimination by simultaneously checking which of the options best satisfies both the entries.

(iii) Also you must ensure that the word you have inserted in the blank enables you to read the sentence smoothly and correctly.

You can attempt 3 questions from 5 questions from this topic.

 2. Cloze Test – A passage with 5 blanks is expected to come in IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam. In this test, you are provided with a passage with few blanks and you need to fill these blanks from the given options.

Tips to solve Cloze Test in the exam –

(i) In a passage mostly all the sentences are logically related to each other. This logic will give you an idea about the appropriate word for the blank space.

(ii) Sometimes you can easily spot the correct answer. If not, then eliminate the improbable options one by one and get the right answer.

(iii) Find a logical relation between all the provided options.

 Try to attempt 3 questions from 5 questions from this topic if the other 2 questions seem difficult in answering.

3. Para jumbles – The objectives of these types of sentences are to rearrange the sentences in the original sequence. It consists of a group of sentences that have been jumbled up. Five or Six sentences are given in random order and you have to un-jumble all of them.

Tips to solve Para jumbles in exam –

(i) Try to understand the basic idea of the given passage. It will help you to arrange sentences quickly. All you need to do is identify the logical connection between the sentences.

(ii) Generally, the given information in the jumbled sentences changes from general to specific. If you observe, you can see that the first few sentences are generic while those that follow are fact-specific and informative.

(iii) Sometimes, a good knowledge of options analysis helps to rule out the possible answers from the given options. This trick will save a lot of time.

(iv) The key is to find the first sentence quickly as it will give us a linear direction with respect to the given content.

(v) Similarly, guessing the concluding sentence will give you both the ends of the linear connecting idea.

(vi) Generally, sentences denoting time, place & name are the most probable opening lines.

 4. Sentence Correction – In this topic, you have to find the correct alternatives which may improve the sentence. Sometimes there is no correction required then your answer will be No improvement required.

Tips to solve Sentence Correction in Exam –

(i) Read the original sentence carefully and try to spot grammatical errors by identifying whether something “sounds” wrong.

(ii) Always look at every choice.

(iii) 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.

(iv) As you locate each error, eliminate all of the choices that contain that error.

(v) Do not read each answer choice back into the sentence individually; that wastes time and invites inaccuracy.

(vi) Instead, identify the differences among the choices and eliminate those that offer less effective or grammatically incorrect alternatives.

5. Spotting Error – You have to find the grammatical error in the sentence. Four to five questions are expected to come in the IBPS Clerk Prelim Exam. This type of question requires good grammatical sense.

Tips to solve Spotting Error in the exam –

(i) In order to solve questions on spotting errors, the first step you should take is to read the complete sentence carefully. In most cases, you will be able to detect the error in the first go itself.

(ii) While reading the entire sentence, you must carefully check the subject-verb agreement.

(iii) 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.

6. Reading Comprehension – In the English language, Reading Comprehension is given in the exam to judge the capability of understanding the passage and to analyze the problem from the correct perspective. The questions will not come direct and hence have to understand the passage to answer.

Reading Comprehension will be Story based? As we all know, in recent exams IBPS has increased the level of the questions which was unexpected, so we are not 100% sure that Reading Comprehension will be Story-based or not in the upcoming IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam.

Tips to solve RC in the exam –

(i) Always try to attempt Antonym & synonym based questions first in this topic. Questions can be solved by noticing how the word is used in the sentence. Since a word can have multiple meanings, there can be more than one choice that gives the correct answer but only one choice will fit the word in the particular context.

(ii) Skim through the paragraph quickly to understand what the author is saying and also make notes of what sections of the comprehension talk about what ideas. This will help you find answers quickly after you have read the questions.

(iii) Time Saving Strategy: Do not try to attempt a question that is difficult to understand, or the answer to it is not easily traceable in the passage.

(iv) Never assume any answer or use any outside knowledge.

(v) Try to eliminate the least possible answers in order to reach the most probable answer.

Please review the English language study notes offered below to create a firm foundation for the upcoming IBPS Clerk 2021 exam's English part.




Reading Comprehension


Cloze Test


Para Jumbles


Fill in the blanks


Error Spotting


Sentence Correction


Shape up your vocabulary


Subject-verb agreement


Idioms & Phrases


Grammar Scholar

Topic Wise Expected Questions of each section

English Language  (Expected Level – Easy to Moderate)

(i) Reading Comprehension –10 Questions – Level – Easy to Moderate

(ii) Cloze Test – 5 Questions (Easy )

(iii) Para-jumbles – 5 Questions  (Easy to Moderate)

(iv) Spotting Error – 5 Questions  (Easy )

(v) Fill in the blanks /Sentence Correction – 5 Questions (Easy)

Keep the above tips in your mind and try to follow in IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam surely you will clear the sectional cutoff of the English Language section.

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  • Fillers, cloze test, error spotting, para jumble are the important English chapters for IBPS Clerk prelims.

  • You can expect 4-5 Cloze test questions in IBPS Clerk prelims 2021.

  • You have to divide English into 2 sections I:e Grammar and Vocabulary. Focus on the basic chapters and rules. Read the newspaper every day.

  • You can expect around 4-5 error spotting questions in the IBPS Clerk 2021 prelims.

  • You can practice quizzes and section-wise tests of the English Language in BYJU'S Exam Prep app or website.

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