Strategy & Tips by IBPS Topper Deepak Sonje (Asst. Manager, IDBI)

The IBPS Bank PO (VI) examination will be conducted in October 2016. So, it is important to have a focused approach to crack the exam.

Deepak Sonje, a mechanical engineer from University of Pune, cleared the IBPS Bank PO Examination (V) in 2015. He is currently working with IDBI as an Assistant Manager. With less than a month remaining for the exam, it is important to have a focused approach to crack the exam. PaGaLGuY spoke to Deepak about his strategy to make the best of the next three weeks…

 PaGaLGuY.  With IBPS PO bank exam just 3 weeks away, what should aspirants do?

Deepak Sonje.  First of all, everyone should be calm and cool. This is the most important thing when you appear for these type of competitive exams. This is a time of high tension for many aspirants but believe me folks, it becomes worse if you take lot of tension. If you have been preparing for it since the completion of graduation i.e. since June, banking exams require 3-4 hrs of daily study only. Two months are more than enough to complete the syllabus and basics, followed by then another 2 months to become familiar with the exam pattern. With only 3 weeks left, here are some tips:

a)       Be ready with the basics: Shortcuts are helpful but they are not applicable every time and everywhere. Basics are going to be your savior in any situation.

b)       Time management: This will be critical only for prelims stage , as the mains exam pattern has been changed to sectional timing. One simple thing I would like share, which I had kept in mind: In the exam, there are 100 questions, but we are not asked to solve each and every question. It is not compulsory folks! You just need to clear the required cut-offs. Focus on that. That does not mean that I am trying to demoralize those people who are very good at it. I have seen many aspirants who go on and on and attempt maximum questions just for sake of ‘attempt’, and when the results are declared, their scorecard says that they have not even cleared the sectional cut-offs. So please make sure this does not happen with you. I did same mistake in SBI PO 2015 but I rectified in this for IBPS V and here I am.

c)       The next thing is practice: Practice makes one perfect. Here, in bank exams, practice makes you relaxed. First of all, it gives you hands-on experience regarding what you have learned and secondly, it will inform you of your preparation level.
 I will share my experience of practising. I never spent the whole day solving questions; Just one or two slots of 2 hours, because I had mains exam for 2 hours. Then, I used to solve one full length online mock test once or twice in week. One thing should be noted here that I used to solve these papers for the sake of replicating an examination environment and to improve my own performance based on my previous one. It was not for scoring, but to understand my strengths and weaknesses. Basics was my choice of weapon to face this exam. I used shortcuts too but very rarely, and those only which are known to each and every one.

PG.   Does one prepare for Prelims and Mains separately?

DS.   No. Focus on the Mains examination. Preliminary examination will be covered under it. As the preliminary exam is just around the corner, dedicate some time to solve online mocks. 

PG.   How did you prepare? Any section-wise strategy you used?

DS.  This is called strategy making, but again, this is limited to preliminary examination only.

English: I used to take the English section first. I never read passages; just antonyms and synonyms questions. The grammar part is very crucial. Useful knowledge of tenses, articles and preposition is very important. I always took English very seriously because I knew that it would be my main support to clear the examination. And it did help me clear my examination as 1/3rd marks of my total marks, I scored from this section.

Reasoning ability: In recent times, I have observed that this section is getting tougher. My plan was to solve questions other than arrangement first, follow by one arrangement which is comparatively easy. I scored reasonably well to clear cut-offs easily. I would advise aspirants to not to take this subject lightly. One very important thing is do not waste your time in solving all arrangements because cost-benefit ratio is not that much high.

Quantitative aptitude: This is a very tricky section. Here, one should remember that there are questions which are very easy and at the same time, the remaining questions are that much tough. In the data interpretation section, I used to have a look at the problem and then decide whether to solve it or not.

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