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Verbal Aptitude for SBI PO Bank Exam – Prelims Preparation Tips


The Verbal Aptitude (Verbal Ability section as it is sometimes referred to) is a relatively easier section to crack primarily because there are a limited set of topics to prepare on. Here are some tips to sail through this section with ease.

Tip #1: Understand the topic split - Big 5 and the rest

There are 5 main topics in Verbal, which we will call the Big 5 – Reading Comprehension, Spotting the Error, Cloze Test (fill in the blanks), Sentence Completion and Para jumbles – making up for 20-22 questions. There is also a mixed bag of other verbal topics such as Sentence Correction, Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, etc which make up for no more than 8-10 questions. With this in mind, you will need to prepare in at least 3 out of the Big 5 main verbal topics.

Tip #2: Reading Comprehension

Since the RC section will definitely have 2 passages with 3-5 questions each, it helps to prepare for this section well in advance (since reading skills cannot be acquired easily). A unique aspect of the RCs provided in the SBI Bank PO prelims exam is that there are words that highlighted in the passage. These words are in bold text. Many times, all of the questions for the passage are from sections where these bold & highlighted words appear. Hence, it pays to notice these words and follow the ideas and arguments in these parts of the passage.

Tip #3: Spot the error

Spotting the error is easier than correcting the error, as it only involves only half the effort. This section is also relatively easy than other sections if you understand the 8 common error types in sentences. We recommend that you learn the common error types. Once you are well versed in the error types, spotting the error becomes a logical effort. Once you are confident, you can attempt this topic first in the verbal section. Remember, not to waste time in trying to correct the sentence. That is a different topic.

Tip #4: Cloze test

A cloze test is a simple fill-in-the-blanks test. It is similar to the Sentence Completion type of questions. The main difference is that in a Cloze test, you get 5 to 10 blanks in a passage. In sentence completion, you get 1 or 2 blanks in one sentence. A cloze test is generally easier than sentence completion. Instead of just 1 sentence, an entire paragraph provides more context and clues to solve the blanks.

Tip #5: Sentence Completion

In sentence completion with 1 or 2 blanks, pay attention to two important keywords – conjunctions (and, but, or), pronouns (he, she, that, this). Many times, these keywords will help you easily eliminate the wrong answer and arrive at the correct one.

Tip #6: Beware the Para Jumbles

Para jumbles (sequencing of sentences in a paragraph) is a tricky section. It usually has 4-5 sentence in a jumbled order. The task is to order / sequence them. To be able to do this, you will have to look for clues and keywords in all the 4-5 sentences. It is like trying to answer 4-5 regular questions but you only get 1 mark. There is no point wasting time and effort on this topic if you have questions you can attend in other topics. Attempt this topic the last.

With just over 3 weeks left for the prelims exam, it is crucial that candidates start preparing soon. Tips and tricks like this can help improve scores and boost accuracy. 

Prepare for the SBI Bank PO Exam in 3 weeks through this course.

For more section-specific tips and tricks, read the articles below.

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