IBPS-PO is scheduled in the month of October.This is the best time to begin with your preparations. SBI brought the trend of sectional timings in the Mains examination and IBPS too adopted it. As a result there was drastic change in the level and pattern of questions being asked. It indicates a change in the level of banking exams. It might be due to lot of competition or either due to the growing popularity and craze for bank jobs.

The pattern of the Preliminary phase was almost the same whereas there were major surprises in mains examination. Through this article, we will discuss the English section, how it’s level varied last year and what or what not to expect this year.


The New Pattern phenomenon

Aspirants were surprised to see the new pattern in the Mains examination last year. The so-called new pattern is not at all new. It is just the same old pattern with a new range of questions. The exam is a test of your ability to adapt to an unexpected and unseen situation.

Someone has rightly said,

“If you want something, you had never had, then you’ve got to do something you have never done.”


New Pattern in English Section:

I. Double Fillers

Double fillers were usually asked with two blanks in which two different words were to be filled. The new pattern involved same word to be substituted in the both the blanks.

Let us understand the new pattern of Double Fillers with the help of examples:

Direction for the questions: In each of these questions, two sentences (I) and (II) are given. Each sentence has a blank in it. Five words (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) are suggested. Out of these only one fits at both the places in the context of each sentence. The number of that word is the answer.

Example 1:

(i) The millionaire has _____ Rs.10,00,000 for this priceless artefact. 
(ii) In a/an _____ to rescue the child who was caught in fire, she sustained burns.

Option 1- quoted

Option 2- attempt

Option 3- bid

Option 4 – say

Option 5 – spent

Correct answer – Option 3

‘Bid’ fits in both the blanks. In the 1st sentence it means to quote a price for something. However, this price is not fixed and changes as per the demand. In the 2nd sentence it means attempt.


Example 2:

(i) Can you please _____ the bell? 
(ii) The words spoken by him still _____ in my ears.

Option 1- Sound

Option 2- Rimg

Option 3- Chief

Option 4 - Call

Option 5 - Sell

Correct answer – 2

Ring fits in both the blanks. In the 1st sentence, it means to press the bell. In the 2nd sentence, it means to continue to remember.


Example 3: 

It is true that compact ______ light bulbs bulbs are more expensive, but they last much longer and they can save energy and in the long term your ______ bill would be reduced.

1.Astirring, ignite

2.Bflamboyant, spark

3.Cstriking, digital

Dfluorescent, electricity

Etheatrical, transient

Correct answer- D

Here, ‘fluorescent’ is the second word in the abbreviation CFL while ‘electricity’ is the central context; both the words give meaning to the sentence hence (D) is the correct answer.


II. Parajumble

As a usual pattern, Parajumble's were asked in a set of 5 questions where you were given 5 sentences and you had to arrange them in an order. The new pattern is a little different compared to the old pattern. Parajumbles were asked in 2 different types in 2016.

Type I

Type 1 involved 5 sentences out of which four could be arranged in a logical order and you were to choose the odd one out i.e the option that does not fit into the passage.

Example 4:

Five statements are given below labelled 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Among these, four statements are in logical order and form a coherent paragraph / passage. From the given options, choose the option that does not fit into the theme of the passage. 

  1. As the Wildlife Conservation Society has pointed out, conservation of this stock holds the key to achieving a significant rise in their numbers in the coming years — potentially, India could have several thousand more if it provides them the requisite space and the connected landscapes that facilitate dispersal.
  2. The science of conserving tigers, arguably the most charismatic animals on the planet,is increasingly focussed on saving ‘source populations’ of the cat.
  3. By some accounts, 70 per cent of the world’s tigers are to be found in such sites; in India, 90 per cent of the population is part of 30 or 40 major source populations.
  4. The government must be open to the idea of more intensive research within forests to protect the tiger and other endangered species, and adopt a liberal approach to permit bona fide independent scientists to work in protected areas.
  5. These are defined in the literature as sites where more than 25 breeding females can be hosted, in turn embedded in a larger landscape that can potentially have more than 50 female tigers and which enjoy protection.

Correct answer - 4

The paragraph opens with the statement (2), which has the topic, ‘the science of conserving tigers.’ The idea moves on to statement (5)- refer to the words ‘these are defined as…’, in which ‘these’ is a reference to ‘source populations’ mentioned in the previous sentence.’ Such sites’ in statement (3) refers to the ‘sites’ mentioned earlier, and hence is a continuation. Statement (1) comes next to conclude the idea; we thus have 2531 as the logical sequence of the jumbled sentences.

Statement (4) is a misfit and hence out of the context, as it talks about ‘research’, which is out of place here.

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Type II:

Another type of Parajumble's were asked in Bank exams in which you were to arrange the sentences in a logical order. It was different from the usual pattern in the context that it was not a set of 5 questions.

Example 5:

  1. Am I one of the people who are worried that Bill Clinton's second term might be destroyed by the constitutional crisis?
  2. On the other hands, ordinary citizens have put the campaign behind them.
  3. In other words, what worries me is that Bill Clinton could exhibit a version of what George Bush used to refer to as Big Mo.
  4. That is, he might have so much campaign momentum that he may not be able to stop campaigning.
  5. Well, it's true that I've been wondering whether a President could be impeached for refusing to stop talking about the bridge we need to build to the 21st century.
  6. They now prefer to watch their favourite soaps and ads on TV rather than senators.

Option 1- DBCA

Option 2 -ABDC

Option 3 -BACD

Option 4- CBDA

Option 5- CDAB

Correct answer : Option 1

D tries to answer the question raised in 1, B simplifies the statement made in D, C further simplifies it and A talks about the position of ordinary citizens regarding the issue, which is continued in 6.


III. Error spotting

The new pattern of sentence improvement involved finding the grammatically correct sentence out of the available options.

Example 6:

Directions: Given below are five statements out of which only one is grammatically correct. Identify the correct statement.

A Sitting in my room, Aakash came to meet me.

B When walking in the field late at night, a snake bit me and that is why I was in a hurry.

C While I was walking in the field late at night, a snake bit me and that was the reason why I was in a hurry.

D During the walk in the field late at night, a snake bit me and that’s why I was in a hurry.

E Walking in the field late at night, a snake bitten me and that was the reason why I was in a hurry.

Correct answer

Option A: meaning of the sentence is Aakash was sitting in my room. Aakash came to meet me. In such kind of sentence with a participle (sitting), you can place the main clause before the participle of the subject to convey the meaning more clearly. Thus, the correct sentence is while I was sitting in my room, Aakash came to meet me. 
Options B, D and E: Meaning of the sentence is while the snake was walking in the field late at night, snake bites me and that is why I was in a hurry. ‘Walking’ is used in the form of participle whose subject is ‘snake’. The sentences imply that snake was wandering in the field. Therefore, the subject of reference of the participle is not very clear. The correct sentence is While I was walking in the field late at night, a snake bit me and that’s why I was in a hurry.


IV. Paragraph completion

There were questions on paragraph completion in SBI-PO 2016. In such questions a short paragraph was given with a blank. You have to read the paragraph and then complete the blank choosing the most suitable option.

Example 7:

Directions for question: In each of the following questions, a short passage is given with one of the lines of the passage missing and represented by a blank. Select the best out of the five answer choices given, to make the passage complete and coherent.

Casting our ego as the enemy in a holy war and winning that battle is an exceedingly difficult proposition, primarily because the ego proves to be a most subtle adversary. In fact, the ego will even join the battle against itself. As an enemy, it infiltrates our lives, wearing our own uniform, its soldiers indistinguishable from ours. For most of us, it comes to nothing but an increased layer of suffering as we merely fight ourselves in name of spirituality and sink more deeply than ever into the morass of self-centeredness. _________.

  1. How does one fight a battle against such a devious and resourceful enemy?
  2. Only the rarest of souls finds a way through this conundrum.
  3. An alternative, but also traditional view casts ego in an entirely different perspective, not as an enemy, but as an illusion.
  4. Our belief in our ego, or separate self, is to a large extent, learned from society.
  5. Casting our ego aside is actually easy.

Correct Answer: 2

Option (1) can be eliminated since it asks how can one fight the battle, but the last sentence, in the passage talks about the effect of it.

Option (3) and (5) need further explanation.

Option (4) is irrelevant.

Hence, Option (2) is correct; conundrum is a difficult problem.

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V. Antonyms & Synonyms

Earlier we used to find questions on antonyms & synonyms in Reading Comprehension and they were a part of the passage i.e they were related to the passage. SBI 2016 brought a major shift in the pattern of synonyms & antonyms questions. The questions were not at all related to the passage and were asked as separate question which completely judges your vocabulary power.

Let us understand it with the help of examples:

Example 8:

Direction: Below is given a single word with options to its meaning in different contexts. You have to select all those options which are synonyms of the word when the context is changed. Select the correct alternative from (A), (B), (C) and (D) which represents all those synonyms:


(i). Balanced

(ii). Horse

(iii). Deer

(iv). Fixed


(A) i, iv

(B) i, ii, iv

(C) iv

(D) iii, iv

(E) ii, iii

Correct answer - B

STABLE means emotionally well-balanced, firmly fixed and also a building for housing horses.


Example 9:


(i). Shape

(ii). Document

(iii). Forlorn

(iv). Player


(A) i, ii

(B) ii,iv

(C) i, ii, iii

(D) i, ii, iv

(E) i, ii, iii, iv

Correct answer - D

FORM implies shape or arrangement, a document with blank spaces to fill in information, or the current standard of a player or team.

Also read: Sure-shot list of questions expected in IBPS-PO Prelims'17


VI. Cloze Passage

Usually the cloze test involves various blanks in a paragraph but the new pattern was a bit different. Along with the blanks, you were given a word which is to be replaced if it is not suitable in the blank. It could be better understood with the help of an example:

Example 10:

Directions: In the passage given below words are given in bold, each followed by a number given in the brackets. Every word in bold has five alternatives. Find the word which best suits the place. If the given word suits the blank, mark 'no correction/change required' as the answer..

Cities have evolved into magnets of society, drawing great number of people who come looking for prosperity and the good life. This is possible because these unique sites have a vast pool of disbursed (1) talent and resources. Urbanisation is the dominant trend. The traditional resource banks — people, geography and culture — have entered a new dimension today, as newer information technology applications

generate erroneous(2) data about cities, and algorithms providing deep insights into the activities of residents. Significantly, three out of four people will live in cities by mid-century. There has never been a better time to study the transformation of our living spaces. These are two notable works that trace specific examples of urban evolution (3).

The Promise of the Metropolis: Bangalore’s Twentieth Century by Janaki Nair - The book walks the reader through the social and geographical history of the city that launched the Indian software miracle. As the author contends, “no other contemporary Indian city allows us to track the passage from small town to metropolitan status within a few decades as well as Bangalore does.” What this reflective book traces well is the vicissitude (4) and cultural transformation with the many phases of the city’s development, beginning as two separate sections — one of which housed the general population, and the other, the Cantonment — and the merger of the two post-independence. If the economy was driven by a flabby (5) public sector first, the rise of IT as a driver of ‘clean growth’ brought wealth — but not without problems in the allocation of space between the affluent and those with a smaller share of the prosperity. We see that urban democracy is often not equitable. This is something to consider, as the focus of policy turns to smart cities.


(1) Find out the appropriate word for disbursed:

A. Squandered

B. individual

C. dispersed

D. aggregated

E.  No change required

Correct answer- D

'Aggregated' is the most suitable filler. It means 'accumulated'.


(2) Find out the appropriate word for Erroneous.

A. phony

B. miniscual

C. trivial

D. gargantuan

E. No change required

Correct answer - D

'Gargantuan' is the most suitable response. It refers to 'massive or huge'.


(3) Find out the appropriate word for evolution.

A. culture

B. settlements

C. cessation

D. halt

E. No change required

Correct answer - E

Contextually, 'evolution' is the most suitable response since the statement talks about the transformations.


(4) Find out the appropriate word for vicissitude.

A. liberal

B. societal

C. spatial

D. variance

E. No change required

Correct answer- C

'spatial' is the correct response here. It refers to the area expansion of urban sites.


(5) Find out the appropriate word for flabby

A. weak

B. infirm

C. unhealthy

D. robust

E.  No change required

Correct answer - D

'Robust' is the most suitable response here. It refers to 'healthy/strong'.


We have covered all the new type of questions asked in English section in 2016. We can expect similar type of questions in various Bank exams in 2017 as well. But it should be kept in mind while we prepare the new pattern of questions, we should not completely ignore the old pattern of questions as they are equally important. The upcoming Bank exams will be a mixture of old and new pattern.

In our next post, we will be sharing the new pattern of questions asked in Reasoning section in 2016. Till that time focus on understanding the new pattern of English questions.


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