Syndicate Bank has invited prospective students for its Post Graduate Diploma course in Banking & Finance (PGDBF), which will be offered in Manipal Global Education Services Pvt Ltd. (MaGE), Bangalore and NITTE Education International Pvt. Ltd. (NEIPL), Greater Noida. You will be eligible for the course on successfully cracking the PGDBF Exam 2016, which includes an online test followed by personal interview or group discussion (GD) for selected candidates.

On completion of PGDBF course, candidates would be appointed in the bank as Probationary Officer in Junior Management Grade / Scale-I. 

The pattern and syllabus of this online test is quite similar to that of the IBPS PO exam. Thus, it is a good opportunity for IBPS aspirants.

Let us first go through the exam pattern:

Exam Pattern:

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

   Section                          No. of Questions     Maximum Marks     

i)  English Language                    50                             50

ii) General Awareness                 50                             50

iii) Reasoning Ability                    50                             50

iv) Quantitative Aptitude             50                              50

Total:                                           200                            200

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

I) English Language:


Cloze Test

Fill in the Blanks

Para Jumbles

Spot the Error

Sentence Correction

Reading Comprehension (RC)

II) Reasoning Ability:


Arrangement (Circular & Linear)




Data Sufficiency


Miscellaneous (Direction, Blood Relations, etc.)

III) Quantitative Aptitude:


Data Interpretation


Number Series


Permutations & Combinations

IV) General Awareness:

This section comprises questions based on last 3-6 months’ current affairs.The GA syllabus also includes Indian & international economy, important institutions, summits, awards & honours, sports, books & authors, finance, agriculture, etc. In this section, a few questions might be based on important developments in the banking industry, history of banking, fundamental terms and concepts, etc.

Time-management Strategy: 

General Awareness:  

i) This section tests your understanding of current affairs and general knowledge besides your command over news related to the banking industry. 

ii) To ace this section, you should be prepared with last 3-6 months’ news and fundamental banking topics. You can use PaGaLGuY’s daily current affairs posts and monthly GK bullets for the same.

Refer to the link:

iii) Usually, questions asked in this section are straight forward and can be easily tackled within 20 minutes. You should at least try to attempt 30-35 questions in this section.

English Language:

i) In this section, a lot of questions from topics like Cloze Test, Fill in the Blanks, Synonym-Antonyms (in RC), etc. test your vocabulary skills. Therefore, you should prepare for them by reading newspapers and magazines, especially editorial articles. This practice will enable you to enhance your vocabulary skills.

ii) Sentence Correction & Spot the Error questions are based on grammar topics like Tenses, Subject Verb Agreement, Prepositions, etc. A daily 10-15 minute revision of basic grammar rules would help you score well in this area.

iii) Para Jumble questions are often asked in groups and are quite time-consuming and confusing. Solve at least one Para Jumble set daily and try to complete it within 5-7 minutes. With good practice, you can easily guess the arrangement of sentences and organise the sentences in one go. If you find it difficult to solve the whole question, identify the first and last sentences of the paragraph. This will fetch you at least 2 marks.

iv) Lastly, you should move on to Reading Comprehension. The difficulty level of passages in this exam is easy to moderate. Candidates with good reading speed and capability to grasp the ideas discussed quickly will thus have no problem solving RC questions. 

v) Ideally, you should complete the English Language section within 25-30 minutes.

Reasoning Ability:

i) After completing your General Awareness & English Language sections, you can move on to either Reasoning Ability or Quantitative Aptitude section, depending on your strengths. 

ii) Questions from topics like Inequality, Syllogism, Data Sufficiency & Input-output are based on basic logical reasoning concepts and are easy to solve. With sufficient practice, these topics will easily fetch you maximum marks and save a lot of time.

iii) Questions based on Arrangements (linear & circular) and Puzzles appear in a set of 5 questions and are usually tough to solve. But if you are able to arrange the given data in order, you can score maximum marks in one go. Candidates are advised to practise at least 2 sets of each of these topics daily. It will help you reduce the time you take to solve such questions. 

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

v) You should not take more than 35 minutes to complete this section. 

Quantitative Aptitude:

i) Almost 50% of this section comprises questions from Data Interpretation. These are based on simple mathematical processes that test your calculation speed. Solve at least 2-3 DI sets of different types daily to increase speed and accuracy. 

ii) Arithmetic is one of the most important topics as a large number of questions are based on basic arithmetic. As they are generally direct and not time-consuming, you can tackle such questions with a good command over basic concepts and sufficient practice.

iii) Questions based on Number Series & Approximation are quite easy and help you save time that can be utilised for topics like DI.

iv) Interestingly, you might face 1-2 questions based on Permutations & Combinations. Go for them only if you are well-versed with the formulas. Otherwise, do not waste time figuring out their answers. 

General Tips:  

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

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

c) Spend enough time on each section and attempt at least 35 (to be on safe side) 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.

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.

              Start your final preparation as early as possible. Simple strategies discussed in this article will help you score maximum marks to clear the exam and progress to the final round. If you have any queries regarding the Syndicate Bank PGDBF Written Exam 2016, feel free to post them in the comment box below this post. We are here to guide you. 

Best of Luck!!!

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