We now and then get the request or query about how to clear English section, so here is our effort to solve this mystery.
 English has always been a major obstacle for people who want to clear IBPS SO Exam especially for Agricultural Field Officer Exam.
 The cut-off of English section always remains far below than other sections, yet majority of people are unable to cross this hurdle. The reason behind it may be many such as English not being their mother tongue and lack of English education in basic education.
 But I feel that people can’t clear the cut-off because they only want to clear the cut-off; that’s it.
 So, to do well in English a complete change in ATTITUDE is needed.
“सर, अंग्रेज़ी की कट-ऑफ कैसे क्लियर करें”
 Rather the question should be “HOW TO SCORE MAXIMUM IN ENGLISH”.
 I very well know that this change cannot be practically done in one day; it is a continuous process.
Now coming to the topic-

“सर, अंग्रेज़ी की कट-ऑफ कैसे क्लियर करें”


Few अमृतवाणीs :-
1. Recalling the tagline of a famous advertisement:-
“डर के आगे जीत है”
“Victory Lies Ahead of Fear”
Stop panicking from English. It is just an other language. Your fear is only because you are not familiar to it, as it is not your mother tounge. Overcome this useless fear.

Stop fearing from what people will say when you will speak broken English or memorize vocabularies loudly every morning; because these people will not give you 4 Lakhs+/Annum Salary Package….. A Bank will give…. And only when you qualify in the exam scoring well in English.

3. Start Reading English Newspapers.
Every time I see experts suggesting to read English newspapers, I will not do so…. SHOCKED??? … Here I explain why…
From my personal experience, to improve English, reading English newspaper is not the basic stage. Most of the people start doing so but end up in say, 5-6 days. It starts getting boring till then.

The steps followed should be as below:-

a) Read English Short Stories Books:-
These are interesting, once you pick them and develop a liking, it will be difficult to put them down…. Believe me. This will improve your English vastly.

b) Watch English Movies, English Serials, English Documentaries….
(But only the educational ones…. 🙂 … You probably got it what I mean to Say)
Begin with ones having subtitles. This will help you a lot as doing so will give a visual, audio and reading effect all at the same time.
WARNING:- Do this in leisure time only; don’t sacrifice your study time.

c) Read English Newspaper.
Yes !!! Now you are ready to read newspapers.

4. Fake It Till You Make It.
Seriously, this trick works very well. Give it a try. In starting act like you have a very command on English, speak frankly… have confidence…. And one day you will surely have command over it.

Now coming to the Exam Portion:-
 In IBPS SO (Agricultural Field Officer), the English section consists of 50 questions in total constituting of 25 Marks; i.e. each question is of 0.5 Marks only.

Approximate Time to be given to English Section :- 20-25 Minutes
Cut-off Marks for IBPS SO 3 [Held on 08.02.14] :-
General Category:- 08
OBC :- 06

Details of Questions Asked:-
IBPS SO [2012]
1. Reading Comprehension- 15Q
2. Sentence Correction- 15Q
3. Sentence Arrangement-5Q
4. Fill in the blanks- 10Q
5. Idioms-Phrases- 5Q
IBPS SO [2013]
1. Reading Comprehension-10Q
2. Sentence Arrangement- 5Q
3. Sentence Correction-15Q
4. Fill in the blanks- 10Q
5. Synonym-Antonym- 6Q
6. Word substitution- 2Q
7. Spelling correction- 2Q
Books Recommended :-
• Word Power Made Easy- By Norman Lewis
• Objective General English (Arihant Publication)- By S.P. Bakshi

Steps For Attempting The Questions:-
It can be done in the following 2 Steps:-

1. Easily Crossing the cut-off barrier :-
• Try to attempt the Reading Comprehension questions firstly as all the answer lies within the passage, you just have to identify them intelligently. [10-15 Ques] Tips for Tackling Reading Comprehension Questions:-
i. Before reading the passage just go through the questions related to the passage; it will give you a rough idea of what the passage is all about and then understanding the passage will be an easy task for you.
ii. Don’t get struck in any question if you are unable to answer it in a go. Just leave it and try for the next question which may be quite easier.
iii. Practice as many passages as you can from English ptactice books before you go to the exam hall. Don’t worry for the number of questions you could solve, just keep practicing.

• Idioms and Phrases [2-5 Ques] Memorize at least 10 new Idioms and Phrases daily.

• Synonym-Antonym [2-5 Ques] Memorize at least 10 new Synonym-Antonym daily.
2. Targeting for maximum score possible :-
The rest of the questions viz. Sentence Correction [10-15 Ques], Spelling Correction [2 Ques], Fill in the Blanks [5-10 Ques], Sentence Rearrangement [5 Ques] fall under this step as it will require more practice.
• Attempt the Sentence Arrangement Question always at the last, as most of the times it is tricky and may cause you much loss of time.
• Always beware of negative marking and attempt only those questions which you are really sure of.


Hope following this strategy helps you in getting the desired results.
Team Krishi Gyan

Posted in IBPS SO (AFO) STUDY MATERIALS- English Tagged with: , , ,
  • prashant kumar

    well done……an admiring effort…….

  • gaurav limba


  • gaurav limba

    and in 2014
    15 comprehension
    15 common errors
    10 cloz test
    10 double filler

  • samatha

    you are explained very practical manner …….it ill really works thanks to krishi gyan team…..

  • Rohan

    thanks sir

  • Animesh Rai

    sir english cutoff last year for general was 5


      Hi Animesh,
      The cutoff for previous year was 8 marks for general. We are pretty sure about it.

      • Boss can u plzzz frwd Me 2014 full paper plzzzz

      • Narendra

        English how many questions should b attempted for clear cutoff marks for general category

  • Nagarjuna


    Very good link. I should have seen this before my SO exam. I got 5 and lost the chance. 🙁

    Another area of issue I am facing is the books to study for Agriculture. I read all the books but I did not cross the cutover though I was expecting good marks.

    Could you please suggest a book just for Professional knowledge of Agriculture questions. Thank you


    sir, from where shall I get the PHRASE & IDIOMS list..

  • Narendra

    Dear Sir,
    In English section the cutoff marks was 08 means last year plz tell 08 marks means 08 right answers or 16 right answers.
    Thank you.

  • prash

    Good guidance

  • poonam

    plz mail me previous years papers

  • Harsh

    Thanks sir..,.words are very inspirationa….thanxx again ..,.it helped a lot

  • Anamika

    Thanks a lot to Krishi Gyan team…for your suggestions.

  • Rohit

    Last year in Feb 2015 exam I failed to clear cut off of English, BT prepared hard for English this year according to suggestion given on this blog…..believe me it helped me a lot.I have attempted { ibsp so (AFO) 2016}in English 27 que wit accurary & intuition of 80%….thank you Krishi gyan