IBPS CWE Clerk Prelims 2015: Preparation Strategy & General Tips

Dear Readers,

The IBPS CWE Clerk Prelims 2015 is drawing close. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts this examination to recruit eligible candidates for the Clerical cadre in participating organisations. Over 10 lakh+ aspirants will vie to secure a place for themselves in the 30,000+ clerk posts across nationalised banks.  The preliminary exam is scheduled on 5th, 6th, 12th & 13th December, 2015.

A large number of candidates annually aspire for clerical positions in reputed banks, due to which the level of competition has increased. In this article, we will help you to understand the exam pattern, expected cut-offs besides outlining a smart preparation strategy. 

Exam Pattern:

The IBPS CWE Clerk Prelims 2015 will be a 60-minute exam comprising 100 questions on English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability. The section-wise breakup of the exam is as follows:

English Language – 30 questions

Quantitative Aptitude – 35 questions

Reasoning Ability – 35 questions

Note: All questions carry one mark each, with a negative mark of 0.25 for every incorrect answer.

IBPS has changed the exam pattern from this year by introducing the preliminary exam. So, it is difficult to predict the exact topic-wise breakup of the paper. However, we can discuss the exam pattern based on the IBPS CWE PO 2015 exam that was held in October. 

Expected Pattern (based on IBPS PO Prelims & IBPS Clerk 2014):

1) Quantitative Aptitude: 

Topic                       No. of Questions

Simplification                      10

Arithmetic                           10

Data Interpretation             10

Number Series                   05

2) English Language:

Topic                               No. of Questions

Spotting Errors                          05

Para Jumbles                            05

Cloze Test                                 05

Fill in the blanks                        03

Synonym – Antonym                 02      

Reading Comprehension         10

3) Reasoning Ability:

Topic                                     No. of Questions

Seating Arrangement                      05

Syllogism                                          05

Puzzles                                              10

Inequalities                                       05

Coding & Decoding                         05

Miscellaneous                                  05

Key Strategies for Preparation: 

(i) From this date onwards, you have around 35 days to prepare and score maximum marks in the prelims exam.  

(ii) You should analyse your current status of preparation by assessing all three sections topic-wise. Based on this assessment, prepare a table of your strengths and weaknesses.

(iii) You are advised to devise a timetable for preparation, divided into two time frames. 

(a) Time Frame I: Revise topics you are weak in for the next three weeks (till mid-November).

(b) Time Frame II: During the last three weeks before the exam, do not start with new topics or the ones you are weak in. During this period, your sole attention should be on simultaneously practising topics that are your strong points.  

(iv) Remember, maintaining speed and accuracy in the exam is the grand route to success. So during practice, try to increase your overall speed and accuracy.

Let’s now take a look at section-wise preparation strategy… 

A) English Language & Comprehension:

I) Vocabulary is the most important topic in this section. A good vocabulary will earn you more marks in topics like Cloze Test, Fill in the Blanks, Synonym-Antonym, etc.

ii) The best way to improve your vocabulary skills is to read voraciously. Start reading newspaper editorials daily. Develop a habit of compiling new words you come across and note down their meanings. Do note that reading will also help you in Reading Comprehension (RC).

iii) RC bears importance as it holds almost one-third of the total marks allotted for English Language section. Reading and daily practice of solving at least two passages will easily get you more than 7 marks.

The difficulty level of the passages in this exam will be much less vis-à-vis that of IBPS CWE PO 2015 Prelims. So, all you have to do is be attentive while reading the passage and try to grasp its gist. This will save time once you start attempting questions based on the passage.

iv) Be well-prepared for basic grammar topics like Tenses, Subject Verb Agreement, Prepositions, etc as it will help you to solve questions on ‘Spot the Error’ topic. Daily practice will get you maximum marks out of 5. 

v) You can learn and practise questions of a specific sub-topic in basic grammar everyday. So, preparation for this topic will get finished within 7-8 days. 

vi) Questions on topic like Para Jumbles are quite time-consuming but definitely high-scoring. Reading practice will help you decipher the order of arrangement of the jumbled sentences. Make sure to solve at least one Para Jumble set daily.

vii) Remember, you can secure a minimum of two marks by finding the first and the last sentence in the given arrangement. 

B) Reasoning Ability:

I) Topics like Syllogism, Coding – Decoding & Inequalities are fairly easy and less time-consuming. These topics are worth 15 marks and so you should focus on mastering their basic concepts. With enough practice, you can save a lot of time while attempting these topics. 

ii) Questions on Seating Arrangement/Ordering and Puzzles are often asked in groups. If you are able to solve/arrange things for the entire set, the whole bunch can be answered at a time. Therefore, aim to solve at least 2 sets of seating arrangements and puzzles daily to increase speed and accuracy. 

v) Questions related to Directions and Blood Relations can be solved quickly if you practise them with simple diagrams. These topics are part of the miscellaneous section and are worth 5 marks in total. Practising more will help you solve these questions quickly and devote more time for tougher topics.

C) Quantitative Aptitude: 

i) One-third of this section comprises questions from Arithmetic topics. They often involve basic mathematical concepts and are formula-based. Focus on mastering the basics concepts. These questions are generally direct, thus less time-consuming.  

ii) Another major topic is Data Interpretation (DI). A total of 10 questions in 2 different sets could be from DI. Usually, the questions are based on simple mathematical processes and test your speed of calculation. Make sure to solve at least 2 sets of DI everyday to maximise your score.

iii) Simplification and Number Series are easy and high-scoring topics. With daily practice, you can have a good command over them and save time for topics like DI.

(D) General Tips:

(i) If you start your preparation now, you have enough time in hand to deal with the basics of all the topics and practise sufficient number of questions. 

(ii) Try to devote at least 3-4 hours daily for preparation based on the timetable you have drawn up.

(iv) Devote time daily for learning as well as practising questions based on what you have learnt.

(v) Importance of Mock Tests: You are advised to take at least two mock tests before appearing for the exam to test your speed and accuracy within the given time limit. Mock tests will help you to test the level of your preparation, strengths and weaknesses and time strategy. You will thus be able to develop a more effective time management strategy for the actual exam.

(vi) Start using Prepathon regularly. All the pertinent topics for the exam have been included in Prepathon.  Each topic has been explained in detail to enable you to master the fundamentals quickly. After this, solve the questions at the end of each topic as they have been handpicked to ensure holistic understanding.

If you have any queries regarding the IBPS CWE Clerk 2015 preliminary exam, feel free to post them on this website. We will always be there to guide you. 

Best of Luck!!!

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