How to ace IBPS and other bank PO/clerk examinations

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 01, 2017 12:46 hrs
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Bank jobs are the most sought after jobs in India. Every year the demand for banks jobs is increasing by leaps and bounds as seen by the increasing number of candidates appearing for IBPS and other such exams. Graduates from all disciplines, including engineering, have taken a serious thought to considering banking as their profession.

The sudden surge in the demand for bank jobs has resulted in heavy competition, thus raising the standards of the recruitment examinations. Many aspirants are ambitious to score more marks but adopt a wrong strategy. So, what should be the right strategy for achieving success in bank recruitment examinations (both probationary officer and clerk)?

It is a competitive examination

Competitive examinations are different from academic examinations. In academic examinations predominantly, the knowledge part is tested.  In bank recruitment examinations, the emphasis is on application of your knowledge and intelligence. The strategies that worked for scoring marks in academic examinations may not help us in bank examinations.  We need to adopt different strategies.

Limited success

In academic examinations, everyone can pass and may get a first class or distinction. But in competitive examinations success is always limited.  If one thousand posts are announced, only one thousand candidates will be successful even if fifty lakh students appear for the examination.  Our strategy should help us to place ourselves safely in the bracket of successful candidates.

It is a multiple choice examination

There will be five choices for every question.  The candidate is supposed to select one choice, which he/she thinks is the most appropriate choice out of the given five.  Understand that the examiner is not asking for just correct answer but for the most appropriate answer.  So the candidates are expected to ponder and compare all the choices before finalising the appropriate answer.  It is not uncommon to find questions with multiple correct answers as well as questions with no correct answer.  Candidates should think diligently in choosing the final answer.

It is a game of time management

The major problem every students faces in bank examinations is time management.  There are 200 questions, which are to be attempted in two hours.  On an average, each question is to be answered in 36 seconds. Even if one extra second is spent on every question; we need 200 seconds more to complete the paper. As the total time is not stretchable, candidates should sacrifice some questions without attempting them. It is calculated that for every extra second consumed one has to leave six questions unanswered!

How to plan your time

Even though one can spend 36 seconds per question, we design our strategy as per the nature of the subject.  The following subjects are covered in bank recruitment examinations.

1. General Awareness
2. Banking
3. Computers
4. Marketing
5. English
6. Quantitative Aptitude
7. Test of Reasoning

The questions on subjects from 1 to 5 are fact-oriented.  Hence, there are only two possibilities: you know or you don’t know. A fact can’t be guessed. One should not spend more than 15 seconds to answer the questions from these subjects. Thus, one can  save 21 seconds on each question.

The last two subjects are not fact-oriented questions.  They demand calculation or deep analysis, which consumes time.  The time that we saved time earlier should be spent here for increasing the accuracy of the answers.

Penalty for wrong answers

For every wrong answer, there will be a penalty of 0.25 mark or one fourth of the marks allotted to that particular question. Candidates should follow the thumb rule – 'mark an answer only when they are sure'.  Guessing is a suicidal act.  Leave the question unanswered if not sure of the answer.  One should exercise control on temptations that make him or her guess. 

Study all the subjects everyday

While preparing for bank exams, one should study all subjects every day.  This will help him or her navigate in the examination comfortably.

Follow a newspaper

Make it a habit to read a national English newspaper every day.  Take note of important national and international news and events. Ignore district and state level issues.  Focus on who is in the news and what for he or she is in the news.  Any information related to economic development is important for the examination. The terms related to banking that often appear in the news and business page are also important. 

Use flash cards

Use flash cards to improve the vocabulary.  See that the meaning of the word is written on the reverse side of the card. 

Maintain a formula book

One must enter all formulae that he or she comes across while preparing for quantitative aptitude in a small pocket size note book.  Revise these formulae thrice everyday. 

Consistency in preparation

Once a candidate decides to enter into banking, he or she should start preparing everyday for the examination. Daily practice is essential.  One should allocate at least five hours a day for preparation, irrespective of the examination date.

Accuracy & speed

For success in Bank examinations, candidates should focus on both accuracy and speed.  Accuracy comes with clarity of the concept and speed comes with regular practice.

National School of Banking and Sify wishes all the candidates the best of luck for the banking examinations.

C.S.Vepa is the Director of National School of Banking

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