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To solve the Verbal Ability problems you need the following:
#1 Extensive reading : There is no better way to improve your command over the language than reading extensively. Read newspapers, magazines and any good book you can lay your hands on. This will improve your awareness levels, and familiarize you with the nuances of the language and help you read between the lines. Once you are familiar with good writing, you will instinctively identify anything that is incorrect or inappropriate.
#2 Good Vocabulary : The best way to build vocabulary is by reading as much as possible. Get into the habit of reading newspaper editorials, good books etc. Every time you come across a new word, note it down, refer to a dictionary, learn the various meanings, usages (the prepositions that are to be used with the word), phrasal verbs and idioms related to that word etc. Note down the sentence in which you found the word and make a sentence of your own. Learn words in groups (i.e. when learning a word, learn its synonyms). Also find out whether the word has a positive or a negative connotation or whether it is neutral. Periodically, revise what you have noted down. Remember, words can be forgotten quite easily. The more you revise, the less the chances of forgetting. If you face trouble remembering then write down in journal(Diary).
#3 Time Management : You cannot spend too much time on the verbal ability questions. So for that you need a lot of practice. The more you practice the more your speed will increase. Learn all the types of questions and their basics. In this way you will be able to solve the problems way more easily. Challenge yourself with less time and more questions, this is how you will increase your speed. The more you push yourself to the limits, the more your speed increases.
#4 Grammar : As far as grammar is concerned, a sound knowledge of what you learnt in school is all that is needed. Practise grammar exercises. A rule in grammar will be remembered only if you encounter it in usage a number of times.
#5 Logic : Whether its your life or your exam questions, you need implementation of logic. So when you see the questions first thing what you will do is implement your own logic to find out the outcome. Don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize anything, just common sense will work its way up. You can solve many questions very fast by implementing logic in it.
Here are some types of Verbal Ability Questions that may appear in the Banking Exams and their solving methods:
1. Analogies: A pair of words is given followed by four choices. The candidate is expected to identify the relationship between the main pair of words and select the choice in which the pair of words have the same relationship as the words in the question pair have.
The words can be antonyms, or synonyms or may bear some other relationship (i.e. workman : tool e.g. surgeon : scalpel). Identify the part of speech of the given words i.e., noun, verb or adjective. Since a given word can have one meaning as verb and an altogether different meaning as noun or adjective, (for eg. ‘appropriate’) check if the given answer pairs bear, a clear and definite relationship.
Eliminate those which have no proper relationship and for the remaining choices, look for any secondary meaning and sharply define the relationship between the pair of words. The choice that bears the identical relation as found in the question pair is the best choice.If more than one choice appears to be correct, check if the position of the words is reversed, as it sometimes is.
2. Reverse analogies: These questions are similar to analogy questions, but of the four choices given, three exhibit the same relationship as the main pair of words and only one pair DOES NOT exhibit the same relationship. In other words, identify the odd man out. This is easier than the previous type as there are four pairs of words that reveal the nature of the analogy.
3. Jumbled paragraph: The sentences of a paragraph are jumbled and each sentence is denoted by a letter of the alphabet. The choices give different ways of arranging these sentences and the one which helps build a logically coherent paragraph should be marked as the answer choice. The number of sentences varies from four to six. Read the sentences to grasp the idea conveyed by it. Since they form a paragraph, look for the sentence that can be the opening or the closing sentence of the paragraph. Since the paragraph is built around a central idea, identify the topic sentence (which often begins the paragraph), try and find the logic or reasoning in the paragraph. Look for pronouns (he, they, it etc.) since pronouns stand for the nouns that go before them. This will help you to link the sentences. Look for conjunctions – and, but, though, still, unless, in spits of – that give clues on the order of sentences.
4. Fill in the blanks: The candidate has to select the correct pair of words from the given choices that fit into the blanks in the given sentence. Read the complete sentence with the blank and try to understand the meaning, the tone, the attitude, the style, the type of language used. These could give a clue to the correct word. Think of what word you would use if you had to complete the sentence.
See if both blanks take positive words, negative words or one positive and one negative. If you are not sure, try fitting each of the choices in the sentence and see if it sounds apt or jarring. Often two or three of the words may fit in the first blank or the second one and the combination of the two will help you decide on the right choice.
5. Odd man out : In this question type, four words or sentences are given. The candidate has to identify the one which does not belong to the category of the other three and mark that as the answer. So, identify the logic on which three of the four choices can be considered to belong to a group. If all four appear to ‘belong’ to a group, see on what basis one of them can be eliminated from the group.
6. Best summary : A small paragraph is given in the question followed by four choices, all of which seem to mean the same as the original. The candidate has to identify the choice that is the best restatement of the given paragraph and mark that as the answer. The best summary is the one that captures the main points but omits all examples, redundancy, and circumlocution. On reading the question the candidate should make a mental note of the points made and select the answer choice that retains the important points and the tone of the original text.
7. Meaning–Usage match : The candidates are tested on their ability to identify the meaning of word in a context. Each question consists of a word followed by four different dictionary meanings of the word. Four sentences using this word are also given – each
sentence using the word with a different meaning – corresponding to the four meanings. The candidate is expected to match each of the meanings with the appropriate sentence that has this meaning. The word may have altogether different meanings or the shades of meaning may be different. The word may sometimes be use as noun, verb, adjective etc. The candidate should zero in on that meaning–sentence combination which he is sure is correct, then look for the choice that has this combination and check out the other
combinations in it.
8. Cloze Passage : The is a type of question of the ‘Fill in the Blanks’ variety. In this, a paragraph or a small passage is given with a few blanks which indicate missing words. These blanks are numbered serially. For each blank, four words are given. The candidate has to
identify the words that most appropriately fit into the blank and mark them as the answers. In answering this question type, the candidate would do well to read the whole paragraph to get the tone, attitude and a grasp of the content. The candidate should be guided by these
when choosing the answers. Often a choice of one word in a blank automatically leads to the next. Hence never approach this in a piecemeal fashion.
9. Inappropriate substitute : This question type has a word used in a sentence followed by four words given as answer choices. One of these words cannot substitute the question word in the sentence, without altering the meaning. The other three words are synonyms or near
synonyms of the word in the sentence. Even if the candidate does not know the word given in the question, he can still identify the synonyms in the answer choices and pick the one that does not mean what the other three mean. Thus, this question type reduces to an oddman out question.
10. Facts / inferences / Judgments : This is a question type that tests the ability of the candidate to classify a given statement as a fact or inference or judgment. The candidate should be able judge the nature of statement accurately and quickly. ‘Fact’ is defined as a piece of information that can be verified. ‘Inference’, is what is logically concluded from some data. ‘Judgment’ is what is in the nature of an opinion. In tackling this, the candidate should decide which sentence he is very confident about. For example, if you are sure that
something is a ‘fact’, look for answer choices in which this is right, then verify the others given in that choice and choose the option in which the classification is correct.
11. Fill in the blanks (Grammar) : In this type of question, a part of a sentence is left blank and is followed by four choices. The candidate is expected to pick the option which when inserted into the blank, makes the sentence grammatically correct. In grammar questions, the main areas covered are, subject-verb agreement, positioning of the adverb, phrasal verbs, the infinitive, correlative conjunctions, modifiers, gerund form, prepositions etc. When answering these questions it may help to underline in the four choices, where the variations are and rule out ones you are sure are incorrect.
12.Inappropriate usage: A word is used in four different ways and the candidate has to identify the sentence in which the given word is used in a way that does not conform to standard English usage. Remember that it may be incorrect or inappropriate – meaning that a particular word may be grammatically wrong or inappropriate in the context. Here again the areas covered are articles, subject verb agreement, singular-plural in nouns or pronouns, preposition, position of the adverb, phrasal verbs, idioms etc. Sometimes a word that is close to the appropriate word is used. For example, ‘host’ may be used instead of ‘home’. Here again, what is tested is familiarity with the language and hence a wide reading is useful.
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