IBPS PO 2016: Strategy for Mains

Hello Readers,

PaGaLGuY welcomes you to the third article in the series of articles on ‘Experiences of a Bank PO’. From selection to probation, day to day duties of a PO, scope for promotions, and of course Pay and Perks, we will be writing it all.

The IBPS Probationary Officer (PO) Prelims Exam results can be expected around November 5 or 6, 2016. The Prelims were conducted across the country on three days, namely October 16, 22 and 23, 2016 in two shifts.
 For the first time in 2016, IBPS has allotted separate timings for each of the five sections – Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English, General Knowledge and Computer Awareness.

Deepak Sonje cleared the IBPS PO exam in 2015 and is currently working as an Assistant Manager in IDBI. Deepak spoke to PaGaLGuY about his experience of attempting the Mains.

Sectional timing
 It is important to understand that the exam has sectional timing. Due to this change, candidates have 20 minutes more than previous years to complete the paper, so you need to prepare accordingly.

 Some important points about sectional timing:

  • Serial of question paper is fixed and you cannot change it (as per SBI PO experience).
  • No freedom to select the choice of section to attempt first.
  • Once timing allotted for section is over candidates cannot have look at those questions again.
  • Try to solve maximum questions with maximum accuracy.


Follow the same strategy which I had advised for prelims. After that, you move towards comprehension. Here also, do not just mark the answers unless you are certain. You can solve some objective type questions. Do not take a chance, as it may drastically affect your overall score.

Quantitative Aptitude

This section will be very crucial. You will have a good amount of time to solve it, but accuracy is very important. Data Interpretation will be a part of it. Your chances of clearing the section will be based on your accuracy in calculation. One important thing which is common for all sections is that do not waste too much time on one question as the time you have it limited.

Reasoning Ability

In this section, first solve all questions except the arrangement. Then, go to arrangement questions and identify the complicated questions, and leave them to be solved towards the end of paper. If you tackle this section smartly, you can easily score good marks.

General Awareness

This is a very tricky section and many of you will be very afraid of it, but folks believe me, this is a very scoring section. First of all, there is no need to be afraid of this section. The second thing is do not try to mug up. What I have observed about this section is that you need to prepare some things at the basic level only, like while you are reading about basic banking concepts, you relate it to the current scenario. E.g. rates declared by RBI. Try to keep things simple. I learnt most concepts through animated YouTube videos. This is a relaxed way of learning and you will enjoy it, but take care not to get distracted. In the market, there are lots of books and material available for you. If you are using it then read from one or maximum two sources, because you need to revise it as well. Keep in mind that revision is as important as learning.

Computer awareness

This is a very simple section. You can score maximum marks over here with very less chances of losing marks. Only if you come across some very technical questions, which are not of the general type; those are the questions to be left. Otherwise, you can score maximum marks out of 20.

Some things to look for:

  • Do not waste much time on one question (max 45-50 sec)
  • Remain cool and calm throughout the paper, otherwise you will make silly mistakes under pressure.
  • To understand your strengths and weaknesses, solve mock papers and solve them with this purpose only      and not to score.
  • You are not at all required to solve all the 200 questions, so please, if you cannot solve it, leave it; don’t make it an ego issue. Many candidates have a mind-set that because ‘I have worked very hard on this section, I will solve those      questions at any cost.’ Please avoid this. Your aim should be to clear the exam and not to check who knows how much. This is not a university exam; it is a competitive exam. Keep that in mind.

All the best to all aspirants. Enjoy the process and enjoy it thoroughly. See you soon.

If you found the article interesting and want to read more life experiences, you can click here for Part-1
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