SBI Clerk Prelims 2016: Last 10 days preparation strategy, number of attempts & time management strategy

Dear Readers,

The SBI Clerk 2016 Prelims exam is around the corner, scheduled to be held from 22nd May 2016 to 5th June,2015. With about 10 days left for the exam, it is time for you to focus on revision and fine-tune your preparation strategy. In this article, the preparation strategy for the final phase before the exam, time management strategy & the required number of attempts (to be on the safe side) are discussed. This article will help you maximise your number of attempts within the time frame and ace the exam.

Exam Pattern:

The SBI Clerk Grade Prelims is a 60-minute exam with 100 questions in total. The section wise break-up of exam is as follows:

Section                    No. of questions

English Language              30

Reasoning Ability               35

Quantitative Aptitude        35

Candidates should note that, 

a)For every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted from the total score.

b) Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing passing marks to be decided by the Bank.

c) Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by the Bank (approximately 20 times the numbers of vacancies subject to availability) will be shortlisted for the Main Examination.

d) Marks obtained in the preliminary examination will not be considered in the final cutoffs. SBI Clerk 2016 preliminary exam is only of qualifying nature.

As this is the first time SBI is conducting the preliminary exam, it is difficult to predict the exact topic-wise break-up of the paper. However, we can infer an approximate paper pattern on the basis of the IBPS CWE Clerks 2015 exam that was held in January 2016 and deductions can be made about the nature of the exam.

Expected Pattern (based on IBPS Clerk Prelims 2016):

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

Preparation strategy:

With 10 days left, you need to concentrate on the most important topics and final revision. Let’s discuss the strategy for each section.

Reasoning Ability:

a) Topics like Syllogism, Coding – Decoding & Inequalities can be worth 15 marks in total. These questions are fairly easy and not time-consuming as they are based on the very basic concepts of logical reasoning. You can easily score good marks while attempting such topics if you have good hold on the conceptual knowledge of logical reasoning.

b) Questions on Seating Arrangement/Ordering and Puzzles are groups questions. You just need to solve/arrange the given data into the required order and the whole bunch can be answered in one go. Usually, these questions consume time, but with enough practice they surely help to up scores.

c) Miscellaneous questions based on Directions, Blood Relations, etc. can be worth 5 marks in total. To solve these questions, adopting a diagram based approach is most beneficial.

Quantitative Aptitude:

a) Most important topics in this section are based on Arithmetic. These questions are generally direct and not time-consuming. With good command over basic concepts and with enough practice, you can easily score well.

b) The second major topic is Data Interpretation (DI). You can expect 2 different DI sets in the exam. The DI questions are based on simple mathematical processes and test your speed of calculation. A good amount of practice & some quick calculation tricks are necessary to score well in DI within short amount of time.

c) For this section, you should solve questions from topics such as Simplification & Number Series. These are quite easy and will help you save time. You can use this time to solve any remaining questions in DI.

English Language :

a) In this section, Vocabulary is the most important topic as it may possible carry up tp 10 marks. Good vocabulary will help you earn maximum marks in topics like cloze test, Fill in the blanks & synonym-Antonym.

b) The second most important topic in this section is Reading Comprehension. Candidates should solve at least one passage every day and try to solve it within 4-5 minutes. Usually the difficulty level of passages is easy to moderate. First read the passage carefully and try to understand its essence. This will help you to solve the questions based on the passage quickly. Good reading practices often makes this topic a scoring one.

c) To score well in topics such as Spotting Error, good proficiency in basic Grammar is must. Questions from this topic are fairly easy to solve. Systematic understanding of topics such as Tenses, Subject Verb Agreement, Prepositions, etc. will help you obtain maximum marks in this topic.

d) Topics like Para Jumbles are either time-consuming or they will fetch you 5 easy marks if solved correctly. The difference lies just in practice and basic logic. Make sure you solve at least 2 sets of para jumbles daily in these 10 remaining days. Good practice will help you to grasp the core idea behind the given sentences and eventually it will help you to reduce the time required to solve these questions. If solving the whole question turns out to be too time-consuming, you can focus on identifying the first and last sentence of the paragraph. This will get you at least 2 marks.

Time Management strategy:

As the difficulty level of this exam is easier vis-à-vis IBPS PO Prelims exam, candidates are expected to attempt a greater number of questions within the given time limit.

The following table highlights the time you should ideally spend on the three sections:

Section                         Minutes to be spent

English Language                15 minutes

Reasoning Ability                 20 minutes

Quantitative Aptitude          25 minutes

a) Candidates are advised to attempt English Language section first. The simple logic behind this is that these questions are not time-consuming and you can target a substantial attempt within 15 minutes.

b) Candidates should be more careful while solving Parajumbles. Ideally, 3-4 minutes are enough to solve the complete set. If it is taking too much time, you can solve the first and last sentence in the set.

c) You should attempt Reading Comprehension at the end. First deal with the vocabulary-based questions in RC as these are direct and easy. Candidates should ideally spend around 5-7 minutes to solve questions based on RC.

d) In Reasoning, candidates should tackle Syllogism, Coding – Decoding & Inequalities & miscellaneous first. You should be able to solve 20 such questions within 10 minutes. You should ideally take 5 minutes each to solve topics like arrangements and puzzle.

e) Quantitative Aptitude is the last section you should attempt. Questions based on Arithmetic, Simplification & Number Series are formula-based, thus fairly easy. You can solve questions in these topics within 17-18 minutes. Topics like DI are time-consuming and you should ideally solve these when you have finished with bulk of the other questions.

f) Remember, the essence of time management in an exam is to maximise your attempt with the help of easy and moderate questions. Also, in the first attempt, you should avoid lengthy questions and target those that can be done within a minute. This way, you maximise your attempts per minute and increase your chances of clearing the cut-off.

Expected Overall Cut-off:

Considering the nature of the IBPS Prelims exam and the fact that the clerk exam is generally easier, the cut-off can be expected to be around 45-50 marks. To clear the expected cut-off, candidates need to work hard on speed and accuracy. In order to achieve this score, you should target to attempt around 60 questions with at least 80% accuracy.

General Tips:

a) From now on till the day of the exam, focus on revision rather than delving into new topics.

b) Try to devote maximum time to practising speed tests and increasing accuracy.

c) Spend enough time on each section and attempt at least 20 questions per section.

d) Do not try to answer questions that you are not sure about just to maximise your number of attempts. You need to ensure speed as well as accuracy. You could lose 0.25 marks for every incorrect answer.

If you have any queries regarding the SBI Clerk 2016 preliminary exam, feel free to post them on this website. We are there to guide you.

Best of Luck!!!