Thursday, 29 January 2015

Improve Your English Vocabulary For Bank Exams

Enhancing one’s vocabulary and having knowledge of synonyms and antonyms of words is a major asset for any candidate appearing for the Banking examinations. 

english vocabulary
Most bank exam aspirants find questions based on English vocabulary challenging, especially when asked to identify synonyms and antonyms of a given word from the options without any context. If the English Language paper terrifies you and such words, their meanings and synonyms scare you the most when preparing for SBI PO, and IBPS PO, the tips below may prove useful for you. 

Candidates planning to give any bank exam must start practicing several weeks ahead of the exam. There are various methods one can employ to improve their vocabulary. Let us explore the 3 important and effective methods in this post:

Method 1: Reading

The one method that will never run out of fashion and always remain efficient is ‘Reading’. Recognizing words through context helps retain their meaning and for this, one has to read and read extensively. The only difference is, your reading style needs to be focused on identifying any new word and immediately applying context clues to assist with inferring the meaning. The ideal approach to learning vocabulary through reading would involve 3 steps, viz.;

Step 1:  Context
One needs to understand the context and find out if it is suggesting a positive or a negative meaning. Look for any contrast clue words or cause and effect clue phrases.

Let’s look at a few examples to understand how context clues can come handy in identifying the meaning of an unfamiliar or new word.

Example 1:

"Mallery’s mom thought that the new outfit that she had bought for her was modish. Mallery did not want to break it to her, but it was totally out of style."

In the above example, you have a contrast clue word ‘but’ that tells you that the underlined word has to be opposite in meaning to the clue phrase ‘out of style’. So, the meaning of the unfamiliar or new word  Modish is ‘stylish’.

Example 2:

"Father was ecstatic because Joshua decided to go to the college that he wanted him to."

From the above example, we realize the hint word ‘because’ which brings in a cause and effect relationship and answers the question why, explaining that his son’s decision to go to the same college that his father decided made him happy. So, the meaning of ‘ecstatic’ is ‘happy’.

Step 2 : Word Class
Understanding the various forms that one word can take up.

Example 1:
Word Class – Let’s take the word ‘Exhaust’

The verb form is 'exhausts' (simple present), 'exhausted' (simple past) & 'exhausting' (continuous).
Exp: I exhausted my funds before the month was out.

The noun form is ‘exhaustion’.
Exp: He collapsed from exhaustion.

The adjective form is 'exhaustible', 'exhaustive', 'exhausted' and 'exhausting'.
Exp: 1) They did an exhaustive search.
2) I had an exhausting day.

The adverb form is 'exhaustingly', 'exhaustedly', 'exhaustively'.
Exp: They finished the project exhaustedly with many elements sloppily completed.

So, understanding the different forms that one word has, shows the functional meaning that the word creates in a given context.

Step 3: Practice
Create your own sentences after you know the meaning of the given word to reinforce retention.
Let’s use the example word from Step 1. 

Exp: 1)Her black gown was modish.
2) He wore a smart brown suit with modish shoes that stood out.

Method 2: Root Words

The second method is having a good knowledge of the suffixes and prefixes for different word class which will also be helpful in understanding the meaning of those words.

Example 1: Ludicrous
The suffix is 'ous'. Other words with the same suffix are: advantageous, courageous, dangerous, delicious, humorous etc.

All these are describing words and therefore are adjectives.
Hence,  Ludicrous is an adjective too. 'Ludi' comes from the Latin root word 'ludus' which means play, make sport of, jest, sportive, pastime, something that is probably silly and not serious because it’s unreasonable or inappropriate.

Ludicrous means just the same: absurd, incongruous to the point of provoking ridicule or laughter.

Method 3: Word Games

There is nothing like a word game to stimulate your brain cells, keep track of your progress and reward you for the same. The best part about English Vocabulary games is that it recognizes the words that you are yet to master and encourages you in a quick and intelligent way to improve your English vocabulary.

There are many websites that you can explore to master words essential to crack the Bank exams. Listing a few that you can get started with.

In order to improve your vocabulary, ideally, you should use a combination of all the above 3 methods together. Of course, one may be better at one of these methods, but what we have seen is that someone who uses all the three methods together learns faster and retains the learning for a longer duration.

I am sure, you will, using these methods, find learning English vocabulary lot simpler than what you may have experienced thus far.


Improve your Vocabulary for Bank Exams

Most bank exam aspirants find Vocabulary challenging especially when asked to identify synonyms and antonyms for a given word from the options without any context. There are various methods one can employ to improve their vocabulary.

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015


IBPS has decided to hold two-tier examinations for recruitment from 2015.

As such, this change is neither a surprise nor a challenge. Since this calendar came in, we have received various questions from our student community. Through this blog, we share our views on this two tier structure to answer some of the top questions posed.

1.    Is 2 Tier examination beneficial to you and if so why?

Yes, it is beneficial to you. The key reasons are
  • The focus on each of the Tier is very clear. Tier I is to qualify and Tier II is for getting selected. This clarity can prove very useful in your preparation. Your objective for Tier I should be to qualify and beat the competition, In Tier II your objective should be to showcase your fit to the Banking Industry.
  • All those who qualify in Tier I stand equal chance of selection. In the earlier structure those who scored more had the competitive advantage over those who scored less (even if shortlisted for the next round). But in this case, everyone starts at ground zero for selection as only Tier II marks will be taken for the final selection process.
  • Having a 2-3 weeks time to get ready for Tier II on a focused manner improves your chances. You can define your success by your focus during this period.
  • The fact that the calendar is published 10 months in advance gives you sufficient time for  preparation
2.    Who will succeed in Two Tier system?

Out of  20-25 lakh aspirants who would be preparing for the banking opportunity, the one who is committed, hard working and starts ahead of the competition tends to succeed. Looking to succeed, start now to have the edge rather than wait for the notification.

3.    How do I prepare for Two Tier examinations?

We believe that Tier I will test the breadth of knowledge and Tier II depth of knowledge in line with the requirements for one to succeed in a banking career.

However here are a few pointers for you to get started.
  • Though the number of questions may be fewer with shorter duration in Tier 1, it is still an integral round for you to clear. Brush up your basics. And as this is expected to check your breadth, be ready to get questions from wide range of topics across all the sections Quant, Reasoning, English and General awareness
  • While the marks obtained in Tier I will not be considered for selection, remember, you should still be shortlisted for Tier II. Hence, you should prepare for Tier I with as much seriousness as you currently do for a single tier exam.
  • With respect to Tier II, this would be far more serious and will be higher on the scale of difficulty. Hence, covering key areas and being thorough on those will help you a lot. Further, in addition to preparing and practicing from now, you should also be willing to commit to the period from Tier I exam to Tier II exam  in order to succeed against the high competition you are expected to face. We believe that tier II might focus on areas like DI, critical reasoning, reading comprehension and economy and banking in addition to other basic topics.
  • As always be prepared for surprises, the question pool might change.
The mantra to succeed is “Be an early starter”. With focus, commitment and hardwork, two tier system will be much more useful to you as you would have taken a ‘practice match’ in Tier I before facing the actual test in the form of Tier II.

4.    Will there be surprises in the type of questions asked?

Being a competitive exam, one of the key aces the examiners hold is surprise. This ace will be used periodically irrespective of whether it is a single tier or two tier exam. Hence, you should be ready for such surprises.In Tier I we expect the breadth of topics to widen and in  Tier II  the difficulty levels to be higher than current levels. Hence, do not spare any effort. Make every possible effort and use every possible source or resource. We are working towards increasing the topics and content across various sections in order to enable you to be ready for such surprises.

5.    Will there be a focus in Banking domain knowledge in Tier II?

Eligibility for the exam being any graduate, it is the general skills necessary in Banking viz. Analytical skills, Data analysis and comprehension skills that will be tested more than banking domain.

In light of the above, we do not expect major focus on actual banking domain, except what one is expected to know as a typical banking customer.

However, related topics like Economy, Finance and developments that happen in the Indian Banking Industry may get additional focus in the general awareness section.

As an aspirant banker, we advise that one should learn basics of Banking Operations and the Services Offered by the Banks. A bi lingual (English and Hindi) content is accessible for our students to understand the basics necessary

6.    What is the impact of Two Tier examination on my chances of success?

We believe that it will work in your favor, if you believe that you are having above average intelligence and willing to put in hard work with commitment.

In fact, this two tier structure will eliminate ‘flash in the pan’ or ‘by luck’ players from the equation and will have better impact on those who are actually capable and committed to succeed.

Yes, this new structure will test your basics as well as speed and accuracy. Hence, in the remaining time for preparation, if you could invest in laying a strong foundation with consistent and committed preparation, you will not only clear Tier 1 but also reach your goal of getting your dream bank job.

Important Links




IBPS has decided to hold two-tier examinations for recruitment from 2015.

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Details of the new PO/MT and Clerk Exam Pattern

The IBPS calendar for 2015 has been released last week. The first recruitment of the year would start with RRBs in September, followed by Probationary Officer in October and Clerk Common Written Examination in December. The Specialist Officer is scheduled for the month of January in 2016.

The much-awaited notification did come with a surprise. IBPS authorities have put forward a 2-tier examination for selecting candidates for PO/MTs and Clerks from CWE-V 2015 onwards. As per the notification released on Jan 16, 2015 a series of two examinations are conducted before a candidate appears for the interview.

The step-by-step procedure is as follows:
  • Register under CWE PO/MT-V and CWE CLERK-V
  • Upon successful registration, candidates will receive a call for the first exam called the Preliminary Examination. This exam is a mini version of the actual exam with few questions and shorter duration. It decides the candidates’ entry into the IBPS PO or Clerk recruitment process. Under certain rules and guidelines set for the authorities, performance of the candidates is assessed and those who fulfil conditions will proceed for the next level. Here ends the purpose of this exam as the marks obtained here are not considered for final merit list.
  • Candidates who successfully clear the Preliminary Examination will be called for the second exam called the Main Examination. As the name suggests, this would the actual final examination.
  • Based on the scores in the Main Examination, the recruitment procedure moves ahead towards the ‘Interview’ round.
As per the IBPS schedule there is a time duration of 20-30 days between the Preliminary and Main Examinations.
This unexpected change in the pattern of CWE-V PO/MTs and CWE-V Clerks came in as a shock to many bank exam aspirants. But you can switch off your panic button. Because the repercussions of this measure allows to:
  • Bring in more transparency to the recruitment procedure
  • Select the best of the knowledgeable candidates
  • Strike off the possibility of ‘luck’ with the double-examination
  • Reduce the competition to half after the Preliminary Examination
The 2-tier examination procedure might however make the selection process slow, but it may even become the curtain-raiser to a new mode employee recruitment in India. The official website of IBPS would present a detailed notification in the due course. And meanwhile, all you need to do is Study Hard, because Hard Work Always Pays!
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