Last minute tip: How to crack aptitude in competitive exams

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 01, 2017 12:52 hrs

"If I have had 15 mins more, I would have definitely cleared this exam."

"Aptitude (math) section is too tough."

Do these dialogues sounds familiar? 

These are among the most commonly heard complaints we hear from 90 % of the students coming out of the exam hall. 

So, now the question we should ask ourselves is how do the remaining 10% of the aspirants get through.

The obvious answer is practice. When we say 'practice, practice, practice', most of the students do not know how and what to practice.

The ideal practice methods are applicable for students who start practicing 3-6 months before the exam.

But what about a student who has less than a month for the exam?  How to crack the aptitude section?

The secret strategy:

Number systems, HCF and LCM, Time and Work, Pipes and Cisterns, Chain rule, Averages, Percentage, Profit and loss, Time and distance - These are among the common topics for the aptitude section in the upcoming exams. 

There are more than 25 topics in aptitude. So the ideal method is to practice all the topics and get thorough in all. But wait, we are not talking about the ideal practice method . We are talking about a student who has less than 30 days. 

The secret to getting pass mark  lies in the 'Blue Print'.

Blue print:

How will you feel if we say read this ONE chapter, skip the rest of the chapters and you will still get a pass mark? Would  that be great news?

Now the question is what  is that chapter? The answer lies in the blue print of the exam. We cannot get the blue print of the exam directly. But a small research on the previous exams will reveal the most important information. 

Focus on Data Interpretation and Missing number series:
If you notice the IBPS PO blueprint carefully you might know where to concentrate. You can understand that if you are good in Data Interpretation and Missing number series  you may get 50% of the marks (which is more than the pass mark).

So, be thorough in all the sub topics in Data interpretation like - Tables, Bar Charts, Pie Graph, Combination Graph and Case Studies’.


In case of SBI PO, surprisingly ‘Data interpretation’ constitutes 100 % of the marks. On the contrary, if a student masters all of 30 topics or more but skips out on Data interpretation may not pass. 

So concentrate on blueprint. Period 


This strategy works only for PO level exams. In IBPS clerical level , you may not get any questions from Data Interpretation. Instead 50% of the marks are on the topic - Simplification. So for clerical exams, skip Data Interpretation and focus on simplification.

All the best.

Bharath Seeman is Director at Rapid Academy of Competitive Examinations (RACE)

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