We can count on our finger-tips the few days that are left for the Grade B exam. So, we need to invest most of our time in the section-wise revision of the exam. Let us succinctly concentrate on the revision strategy for the English section of the exam. As per the official notification by RBI, The paper on English will be framed in a manner to assess writing skills including expression and understanding of the topic.
This is a hint that proficiency in Grammar, Comprehension, and Vocabulary will be tested. So, with the right strategy and knowledge, candidates can get good marks in one of the most scoring sections of the exam.
Candidates must revise the syllabus keeping in mind the latest or updated exam pattern and syllabus and must concentrate on clearing the basics and concepts required. Revision is the key to score high in this section.
The English Language section of RBI Grade B will most probably have 30 questions in Phase I and three questions in the Phase II exam. Total marks allotted to this section for the Phase I exam are 30 and 100 for the Phase II exam.
Strategy for revising & covering the English syllabus
For good performance in the English section, you need to keep a few important things and mind. For the English language section, you are recommended to solve the questions as fast as you can. Try to get 25+ marks in mocks. If you have any problems read books or can watch targeted videos on YouTube by just searching the syllabus.
Phase I-English: You need to be Proficient in English to score well not just in this section, but also in other sections of Phase I. Although, Questions were very basic but you should know the grammar needed for penning essays (in Phase II).
The faster you can read and comprehend the questions, the faster you will be able to solve the questions. English can be one of the toughest sections to prepare for because there are no shortcuts, but with strategy, it can be the most scoring portion.
For Vocabulary Revision
Read English newspaper every day, like The Hindu or The New Indian Express without fail. The Hindu is the most widely read newspaper for this purpose. Pay heed to the editorials and columns, because they will also prove helpful while drafting an essay for the Phase II exam. Do read Word power made easy By Norman Lewis.
For Grammar Revision
Read this month’s issues of magazines like Outlook & India Today. Keep a diary to note down new words from it to incorporate it in the coming exam. Revise grammar from Wren & Martin.
Keep in mind that before a good revision you must have:
- Covered the latest syllabus for the Phase 1 exam
- Gone through past years’ papers of phase 1 to get a fair idea of the type of questions that are asked in the phase 1 exam.
- Attempt as many mocks as you can.
- Penned notes for revision.
Note: After the phase 1 exam, don’t waste time on cutoff or the result date speculations. Instead, start revising Phase 2 notes for the Phase 2 exam.
English (Writing Skills): The paper on English shall be framed in a manner to assess the writing skills including expression and understanding of the topic.
This test generally focuses on grammatical errors. It consists of an essay, précis writing, and a passage. The topics for the essay are mostly drawn from recent issues in banking and finance. So it is important to get updated with all recent happenings around the world.
Be brief and to the Point
The fodder for your essay is going to come from newspaper editorials. Editorials and columns are so designed that they cover all aspects of a particular issue and provide clear arguments for and against such issues, along with hard facts. Hence, read editorials daily and save articles that you think might be important for the examination.
Revise these articles at regular intervals, and update them as you go along. Selection of essay topic may also influence your score, so make sure you choose a topic that you have ample content to write on. In précis writing and passage reading, the key point to remember is to use one’s own words as much as possible. Don’t forget to be brief and be to the point.
Overall, while it may seem like 90 minutes is sufficient to answer this section, we can’t emphasize enough the need for speed in typing. So make sure you cover that base too before you go to attempt the examination.
Important Topics to revise with Revision Tips
Here are the important topics for this section:
- Reading Comprehension: Practice reading fast and try to understand quickly what is being said by reading the passage carefully. And in doing so, keep underlining the key-words.
- Cloze Test: Practice reading the passage thoroughly and linking the Phrases Together, the best word type to fill in after checking out the tone of Passage. Eliminate Options. Practice as Much as You Can.
- Spotting Error: In this section, you’ll be given sentences containing errors, which you have to rectify. These errors will be related to parts of speech, genders, Infinitives, participles, tenses, use of articles, etc. For example, let’s take a look at a Noun Error and identify whether it is a singular or plural noun-‘The People is gathered in the cricket stadium.’ This is Incorrect. The people are gathered in the cricket stadium, will be Correct.
- Fill in the blanks: Practice Reading the given text in two different ways. After understanding the sentence, instead of jumping to conclusions, you need to use your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and sense of collocations to guess an answer in your mind. Now, with an answer in your mind, you can check the options available. If the answer you have guessed matches with an option available in the list of words, you’ve got the answer. Keep practicing it and apply the same formula in the exam.
- Para-jumbles: In it, you’ll be given a few lines related to each other and then you may be asked to choose the most logical order of sentences from among the given choices to construct a coherent paragraph. For example:
1). His political career came to an abrupt end with China’s military operation.
2). He attracted as repelled.
3). He was responsible for the debacle.
4). A man of paradoxes, David remained an enigma.
Option (C) is correct. ‘A man of paradoxes’ is logically continued by ‘repelled ‘ and ‘attracted’. Subsequently, ‘the’ debacle refers to China’s flopped military operation and hence choice C.
- Sentence Improvement: This portion tests you through the fundamentals of grammar and correct usage of words. For instance:
- Ekta likes to dance, sing and cook. (Correct)
- Ekta likes dancing, singing, and cooking. (Correct)
- Ekta likes to dance, sing, and cooking. (Incorrect)
- Vocabulary: To maintain a good vocabulary house in your mind, you can go through World power made Easy. Note down words in a specific diary or notebook dedicated to it. Write words on stick slips of paper and stick it on your study table, cupboard, or walls of the room, for a better revision. Write them big enough for you to see from a distance. These should include verbs, phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions, connectors, etc.
Four steps to master this section are:
- Understand Grammar Rules and bring them into daily use.
- Read a newspaper or any book (for speed reading and making reading long paragraphs comfortable).
- Practice all types of questions.
- Take Mock Tests
Take care of the Time Management
Time Management is an important factor to decide your Prelims results. You sit to solve 200 questions in 2 hours. Students must revise with mock tests, investing:
- 20 minutes for General Awareness
- 20 minutes for English
- 35 minutes for Quants
- 45 minutes for Reasoning
In the table given below, you can see the section-wise distribution of marks in the exam and the time duration allotted to each exam, especially the English section that we’re targeting here:
|Name of Paper||Duration||Maximum Marks|
|Paper I: Economic and Social Issues|
50% Objective & 50% Descriptive
|Paper II: English (Writing Skills)- Descriptive||90 minutes||100|
|Paper III: Finance and Management|
50% Objective & 50% Descriptive
Revise Keep this Exam strategy in Mind
Hence, by making this habit of dividing your time you’ll feel comfortable in the actual exam among different sections. If you can only attempt, let’s say, all questions in English, 80 in General Awareness, 14-15 in quant in 30 minutes, and then switched to Reasoning where you could manage 26-27 questions, chances are, you might clear the exam. Provided, you maintain a good accuracy across different sections. You have to be strong in one section, and try to attempt questions as many as you can, quickly. But that doesn’t mean that you can do it blindly, because there is negative marking. So, it’s better to attempt the questions you are only sure of. And a better preparation beforehand guarantees that surety. And that’s where this preparation strategy comes in handy. Many students attempt reasoning questions first and then find themselves in no man’s land, with little time left for quant. Therefore, they fail to clear the sectional cutoff. But with sectional timing in your mind, you can achieve success.
Best of Luck for the Exam!