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SBI PO PRELIMS Exam Analysis (English)

Last Updated - May 15, 2017

SBI PO Syllabus 2017 for the English language is not well defined like that of Quantitative Analysis and Logical Reasoning. The questions are designed on testing the knowledge of Basic English grammar rules, spellings and vocabulary.

SBI PO exam analysis will tell you about good attempts, good score and minimum time required to attempt the questions. The english section of SBI PO Prelims can broadly be divided into 4 sections namely Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading Comprehension and Verbal ability.

As there is negative marking of a quarter mark for every incorrect answer it would be wise to check the tips and topics listed. This will help in identifying the important topics, scoring areas and less important topics.

SBI PO Prelims English Syllabus

The english section for SBI PO Pre Exam comprises 10 important topics. The following table states the topics a candidate needs to prepare 

Reading ComprehensionSpotting Error
Fill in the blankCloze test
Para-JumblesWord Association Pair
Phrase Idiom MeaningSpellings
Sentence/ Paragraph CompletionPhrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction

Read more- SBI PO Prelims Syllabus

Exam Analysis SBI PO 2017 Prelims

SBI PO Preliminary exam got the rating of moderate difficulty level this year.  SBI PO Preliminary exam 2017 was of same difficulty level. There was the difference in the total number of questions.

SBI PO Preliminary 2017 English section analysis: 

Topic detailsNumber of questionsDifficulty level
Reading comprehension ( passage on cyber security10Moderate
Sentence correction10Easy- moderate
Cloze test10Easy- moderate

The table below states the difficulty level of each topic in the English section:

TopicNo of QuestionsDifficulty level
Reading Comprehension (Interest in Computer Science among girls and boys)10Moderate
Cloze test (Technology usage in modern world5Easy
Para- Jumbled (software technology in china)5Difficult
Double Filler10Difficulty

Every year some new questions come in SBI PO Prelims exam. The analysis is done on the basis of the following parameter:

  • Good attempts: Good attempts are a technical term coined to explain the approximate number of questions that can be easily attempted in the exam.
  • Good attempts help you score marks as there is very low possibility of marking any wrong answer in within the frame defined. For example, if good attempts are listed to be between 19-21 when the total number of questions are 35, it means a candidate can mark 19-21 questions easily from the pool of questions and it is assumed that candidate is knowing the answers to these questions clearly. So, no marks are lost because of negative marking.
  •  Good score: There an upper and lower limit defined on the score, which can be easily obtained in a section.
  •  It is expected that this score is obtained from the good attempts marked by the candidate. Example: if the good attempts are coming around 19-21 for a section, then it is expected that the good score can come around 15-17 or somewhere approximate. This depends also on the difficulty level of the exam.
Good attemptsNumberGood scoreApproximate time (minutes)
SBI PO Prelims English 201717-1915-1715
SBI PO Prelims English 201617-2114-2018

Read about SBI PO Prelim Paper Analysis

SBI PO Prelims Preparation

Preparation makes all the difference in the performance in the exam. An effort must be made in increasing the number of good attempts in English section. The best way is to work with the sample questions for all the topics defined in the syllabus:

Nature of questionTopicExpected questions
Scoring, easy Last minute scorer, High accuracyFill in the blanks0-5
Moderate time consuming High accuracyReading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Cloze TestRC: 7-10 Para Jumbles: 0-5 Cloze test: 5-10
Moderately Scoring, Moderately Time Consuming, Moderate Accuracy PossibleError Spotting5-10

Least important topics for SBI PO English section:

Word Association Pair0-5
Phrase Idiom Meaning0-3
Sentence/ Paragraph Completion0-5
Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction0-5

Topic 1: Comprehension

 The questions are designed to identify a candidate’s ability to infer or find the answer to a problem from the given piece of data. Sometimes, you may be asked to arrange sentences in order from the given set of information. Generally, the paragraph is of 300-500 words.

Preparation tips for fill in the blanks:

  1. It is designed to test your analysis abilities, vocabulary and grammar.
  2. Focus on time management on this section; do not waste your time in attempting all the questions.
  3. Build focus, so that all the important information in the passage in registered in your mind, in a single go.
  4. Identify relevant bits in the passage. 

Topic 2: Cloze test

Candidates have to fill in the blanks and find the most appropriate word to fill the blank; this is done on the basis of the passage defined. The test is designed to identify the ability to comprehend text. 

Preparation tips for cloze test:

  1. Read well and try to grasp the idea of the text provided.
  2. Link the sentences together and then find the most appropriate answer.
  3. Work on the usage of noun, pronouns and articles.
  4. Eliminate options less suitable to gain clarity.
  5. Check the tone of the passage.
  6. Build up your language skills.

Topic 3: Paragraph Jumbles

There will be a set of sentences given and they have to be rearranged in the meaningful form. All sentences will form part of a single question. The passage is on the general topic. It is best to use conjunction/ connectors to identify the meaning.

Preparation tips for Para Jumbles:

  1. Identify the subject, verb, predicate and objects.
  2. Learn to identify the central theme of the para jumbles.
  3. Sentences never open with connectives.

Topic 4:Fill in the Blanks

There can 1 or 2 blanks in each of the sentences given. Answers can be picked easily by elimination method and understanding the context of the text.

Example 1: He __________a map of the Caribbean next to the letter, to trace the ship’s _______.

1. Unfolded, plan

2. Unfurled, course

3. Unrolled, course

4. Unrolled, fate

5. Used, course

Answer: 2.

Example 2: She noisily _________ the water, _________ half of it onto her chin.

1. Drank, dropping

2. Inhaled, spilling

3. Gurgled, slopping

4. Gurgled, dropping

5.Gulped, trailin

 Answer: 1

Topic 5:Error Spotting

Spotting error in long or short sentences on the basis of vocabulary, tenses, idioms, parts of speech, preposition, Sentence Construction, Degree of Comparison, Conjunctions, Finite and Non-finite verbs. Such questions require practice, too much of guessing can spoil your score.

Preparation tips Error spotting:

  1. Nouns usage creates confusion, some nouns are always used in plural form, eg: scissors, trousers, thanks are always used in plural form.
  2. A noun preceding measurement, length, money, number or weight will not have its form changed, till it is followed by another noun. Eg: million, pair, meter, etc cannot be used in the plural.
  3. Pronoun “one” is used only once, throughout the sentence. Eg: ‘one must respect’s one’s elders’ is incorrect, the correct form is ‘one must respect his elders’.
  4. ‘less’ is used to denote quantity and ‘fewer’ is used to denote number.

Topic 6: Word Association Pair

There will be 4 words given in the option and candidate will have to identify the use of synonyms, antonyms, the relation between the words.


1. Synonym of PROPEL:

  • Jettison
  • Drive
  • Burst
  • Acclimatize

2)  Antonym of abstain is:

  • Withhold
  • Starve
  • Continue
  • Refrain

Topics 7: Phrase/idiom meaning

The meaning of the phrase/ idiom given has to be identified.


  1. The car ran over the sleeping homeless, in the middle of the night.
  • Drove over
  • Narrow missed
  • Escaped from
  • Got filled with
  • Got spoiled by

Answer: Run over 

  1.  Savita looked up to Isha who was her role- model
  • Observed
  • Saw over her head
  • Thought less of
  • Respected
  • Search

Type 8: Spellings

Identify the correct spelling from the pair of spellings given in the questions. Easily confused words like affect and effect can come, where the pronunciation is same and meaning are different.

Type 9: Sentence/ paragraph completion

A part of the statement is given and the other part has to be selected from the set of options given. Select the sentence or paragraph semantically.


There are many industries where India has an advantage because of relatively lower Costs of all forms of manpower-whether it is professional or factory labour. However, while this can give initial advantage, it should not be taken for an enduring advantage due to the following reasons. One, as products become more sophisticated, labour as cost factor becomes less and less important. Two, the differences in costs are narrowed down through higher level of automation. There, in processes that require large number of cheap labour, the industry is bound to shift its operation along. The line of the ever-declining scale of proper countries. So a poorer country than India can eventually overtake us with yet cheaper labour. Therefore, when one has established an export market on the basis of cheaper manpower……………..

1. One has to be vigilant to make sure that one builds up other advantages to compensate for the inevitable loss of this temporary advantage.

2. One has to be vigilant to make sure that this advantage should not be given away

3. One needs not be vigilant as there is no competition in near future

4. There is need of caution to see the variations in labour charges of other countries

5. There is need to build this cheap labour on regular basis

Answer: 2

Topic 10: Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction

The questions generally come on the construction of sentences, the order of words, phrasal verbs, homonyms, etc.

  1. Spot out the redundant information.
  2. Identify the forms used.
  3. Effective use of adverbs to find the correct information.
  4. Identify the change in the degree of tenses.



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