SIDBI Officers in Grade ‘A’ 2016: Preparation and time management strategy

The Small Industries Development Bank (SIDBI) is conducting an
online examination to recruit 150 candidates for the Assistant Manager Grade ‘A’ position. This post
will have an approximate monthly remuneration of Rs.36,000. It is a good
opportunity for students who are already preparing for IBPS & SSC exams as
the post has a decent job profile and salary. Also, the entrance test pattern
and its syllabus is very similar to that of IBPS & SSC exams.

In this article, we will discuss the pattern of the online exam,
time management strategy, target score and the required number of attempts (to
be on the safe side).

Let us first go through the exam pattern:

Exam Pattern:

The online exam is divided into two parts, which are as follows:

1. Objective Test:

The Objective test is a 120-minute exam with 200 questions that
carry 200 marks. These questions will be asked from five sections. The
section-wise pattern of the test is as follows:

Section                          No. of Questions  Maximum

i)   Computer
Knowledge                       20                        20       

ii)  English Language                              40                        40

iii) General Awareness (with special     40                         40

     reference to Banking

iv) Reasoning Aptitude                           50                        50

v)  Quantitative Aptitude                         50                        50

Total:                                                       200                      200

Negative Marking:  For
every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted from the total score.

2. Descriptive Test:

The descriptive test will evaluate your command over English
Language and your ability to draft essays, letters, etc. This test has two
sections worth 50 marks and has to be solved within 45 minutes. The
section-wise pattern of the descriptive test is as follows:

Section               No. of
Questions          Maximum Marks

Essay Writing                                 01                                   35               

Letter Writing (Business letter)    01                                    15

Let us now discuss the expected topic-wise break-up of the
objective test.

I) English


Cloze Test

Fill in the Blanks

Para Jumbles

Spot the Error

Sentence Correction

Reading Comprehension (RC)

II) Reasoning Aptitude:


Arrangement (Circular & Linear)





Data Sufficiency


Miscellaneous (Direction, Blood Relations, etc.)

III) Quantitative Aptitude:


Data Interpretation


Number Series


Quadratic Equation

Data Sufficiency


Permutations & Combinations

IV) General Awareness (with special reference to Banking

This section comprises questions based on current affairs with a
major focus on the Banking industry. The syllabus also includes Indian &
international economy, important institutions, summits, awards & honours,
sports, books & authors, finance, agriculture, etc.

V) Computer Awareness: Computer Awareness section tests
your knowledge about basic computer operations. Questions will be based on
topics like computer basics, hardware & software, operating systems, MS
Word & Excel, short cuts, Internet, abbreviations, etc.

Time management strategy:

a) Computer
It is advisable to begin with Computer Awareness section as
questions in this section are direct and easy to solve. You can solve 20
questions within the first 7-8 minutes.

b) Usually,
the sectional cut-off for this section is very high (nearly 60%). Hence, do not
do the mistake of taking this section lightly.

c) General
: After Computer Awareness, you should start with the General
Awareness section. These questions are usually based on last 3-6 months’ current affairs. They are factual
and easy enough to answer in a short amount of time.

d) The
GA section also comprises 10-15 questions based on the Banking sector that test
your knowledge on news about important developments, history of banking,
fundamental terms and concepts, etc. Overall, you can solve 40 GA questions
within 15-20 minutes.

e) English
After completing the aforementioned sections within the first
25-30 minutes, move on to the English Language section. A lot of questions
asked from topics like Cloze Test, Fill in the Blanks and Synonym-Antonym (in
Reading Comprehension) test your vocabulary skills. You should be well-prepared
in such topics as they are easy to solve and will fetch you a good amount of

f) After
this, you can move on to questions based on grammar like Spot the Error and
Sentence Correction. A good command over basic grammar will enable you to solve
these easily.

g) You
can then go on to solve questions based on Para Jumbles. These questions are
often asked in groups and can be quite confusing. If you find the given set too
difficult to solve, try to identify only the first and last sentences of the
given paragraph. This will earn you at least 2 marks.

h) You
can attempt RC at the end. The difficulty level of RC passages asked in this
exam is generally moderate. Candidates with good reading speed can understand
the gist of passage quickly and save a lot of time. Ideally, you should be done
with this section within 25-30 minutes.

i) After
completing these three sections, you can either start with Reasoning Aptitude
or Quantitative Aptitude. You will get around 30-35 minutes for each section.

j) Reasoning
Topics like Syllogism, Coding-Decoding, Inequalities, Data
Sufficiency, etc. are worth a good amount of marks. As they are based on basic
logical reasoning concepts, they are fairly easy and not time-consuming.

k) Questions
on topics like Arrangements and Puzzles are often asked in groups. If you are
able to arrange the given data quickly, you can solve all the questions in the
set in one go. However, you should be careful as the questions can be tricky
and time-consuming. Therefore, do not spend too much time in solving them.

l) Miscellaneous
questions based on Directions, Blood Relations, etc. are worth 5 marks in
total. Using the diagram approach, you can easily solve them.

m) Quantitative
Data Interpretation and Arithmetic are the most important topics
in this section as they carry a large amount of marks. As the questions are
generally formulae-based, they are not time-consuming. With a good command over
basic concepts and sufficient practice, you can tackle these questions with

n) Questions
from topics like Data Sufficiency, Approximation and Number Series are fairly
easy and will help you save time, which can be utilised to tackle other topics.
Candidates are advised to take up topics like Probability and Permutations
& Combinations at the end as questions from these topics are of a moderate
to high difficulty level and can be time-consuming. Therefore, you should not
waste a lot of time in the same.

Online Descriptive Test:

After completing the objective test, you need to
appear for the online descriptive test, which is only for English

In this test, questions will be displayed on
your screen and you need to type the answers using the keyboard.

For general tips and strategy for online descriptive test refer to the following link :…

Target Scores (to be on the safe side)

Given below are probable cut-off marks for the SIDBI Officers in
Grade ‘A’
2016 exam (based on previous years’ SIDBI Officers in
Grade ‘A’ exam cut-offs):

Category                Target marks (out of 200)

 General                                     120

  OBC                                      112-114

    SC                                          105

    ST                                           95

Sectional Cut-offs:

As per the official notification, you have to secure a minimum
score in each section in the objective test.

Number of Attempts:

If you need to score 120 marks, out of the 200 questions, you
should attempt at least 150-155 questions with 80% accuracy (to be on the safe side).
Candidates from other categories can ac

cordingly calculate the required number of attempts. 

Descriptive Test Cut-offs:

Candidates qualifying in the objective test (in individual sections as well as the overall test ) will be eligible for the descriptive test. The cut-off required to clear the online descriptive test will
be decided by the bank based on the performances of candidates.


Start using the Prepathon app regularly as it comprises all the
important topics for your exam.  Each
topic has been dealt with in detail so that you can master the concepts
quickly. After studying the concepts, solve the questions given at the end of
each topic as they have been handpicked to ensure that you understand the topic

Importance of Mock Tests:

Besides working on individual topics, you should regularly
attempt mock tests as they are fairly accurate indicators of your actual
performance in the exam. Aim to write at least one mock test in the last two
weeks. This will help you identify your weak areas.

So, start preparing as soon as you can. Keep practising more
questions for the major topics given in this article. These strategies and tips
will help you prepare well, clear the exam and progress to the interview round.
If you have any queries regarding the SIDBI Officers Grade ‘A’
exam, feel free to post them on this website. We are there to guide you.

Best of Luck!!!

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