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Expert Strategy to crack IBPS PO Prelims Exam 2018

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The IBPS PO prelims exams 2018 is conducted every year, usually during the month of October. This year, the exam seeks to fill in 4252 vacancies for the post of Probationary Officers at 20 participating banks. As per the schedule, the exam of IBPS PO will commence from 13th of October, which is roughly 2 months from now. So how do we prepare for the exam and crack it effectively in the time now left?

Best tips & strategies to crack IBPS PO Exam 2018

In order to clear this exam, it is crucial that you are well aware with all the aspects of the IBPS PO Prelims exam.

First, let’s take a look at the syllabus, subjects and the pattern to be followed in the exam. In the preliminary exam, there are three subjects- English Language, Quantitative aptitude and Reasoning ability. An important aspect of this paper is the fact that is has sectional cut offs, as well as sectional timings for each of the subjects. English is for a total of 30 marks, with 20 minutes to complete the paper. Quantitative aptitude is for 35 marks, for a total time of 20 minutes. The reasoning ability section is for a total of 35 marks, with a total time of 20 minutes. Therefore, the total marks for the exam is 100, which is to be completed in one hour. Two more important points to be noted –

  1. As mentioned, each section has individual cut offs. In addition to clearing these cutoffs, there is an overall cut off, of all the sections put together, which needs to be cleared in order to write the mains
  2. This paper has negative marking. For every question wrongly answered, 0.25 marks are Aptitude tips
    • This section is perhaps the hardest to crack because of the time limit that exists.
    • Some of the commonly asked topics that are covered in this section include- percentages, averages, ratio & proportion, mensuration, simple and compound interest, distance speed and time, and probability.
    • The above mentioned topics are just some of the major topics from which the questions are asked, other topics may be also be questioned.
    • The best and the foremost advice we give for this section is: Practice abundantly.
    • Start with worksheets on individual topics and then move to doing papers on quantitative reasoning as a whole.
    • An important thing to note is to ensure that your practice is thoroughly time-based.
    • The second thing to be focused on is accuracy. The key to crack this exam is an excellent combination of both speed and accuracy.
    • Accuracy helps in understanding which questions one must attempt first and which questions might be left.
    • Attempting all the questions in the exam is usually not possible since there is negative marking and paucity of time. Questions that appear to take more than a minute to be solved, are best left unattended.
    • This way, one can save on time and will also avoid taking any chance on losing a quarter of a mark.

    Reasoning ability tips:

    • Number series, ranking, coding and decoding, syllogisms, puzzles, seating arrangements and blood relations are some of the major topics that are asked as questions in the logical reasoning section.
    • In reasoning section, no two questions are the same. There is not a fixed formula or a devised method to solve all the questions.
    • It is necessary to practice as many reasoning questions as possible, to familiarise oneself with the concepts and create shortcuts to arrive at the solutions.
    • This increases the speed as well as accuracy.
      Take for example, the topic of blood relations. Reading the question and doing it in one’s head may not always work, neither will writing down in length the various relations in the parts of the question, in an attempt to answer them.
      In such a case, it is imperative to use shortcuts such as letters for each of the relations and use arrows to relate them. This makes it easy to understand as well as fast.

    English Language Section

    • The English section is a good combination of reading comprehension, Para jumbles, cloze tests/ fill in the blanks, spot the errors and synonyms-antonyms baseed questions.

    Reading comprehension
    The best way to develop reading comprehension skills is by reading more. Pick up a magazine or a book and read when you find the time. This will most certainly help you in the art of reading fast. There are certain things to keep in mind while solving a reading comprehension

    1. Find the central idea in the passage. The topic should be obvious to you in the first five lines of the passage or so.
    2. Sometimes, questions in reading comprehension can be related to extremely specific details in the passage. In such a situation, questions are often direct and can be easy to score. However, to do this, one must be able to zero in on the details asked without wasting too much of their time on skimming or reading the passage again.
    3. Logical structure Sometimes, questions are asked about the passage. Having a proper understanding of the passage is essential for such questions. Always pay attention to the way certain words shape the passage.
    4. Drawing inferences Inference, simply explained means- “that which was not explicitly stated but must be true”. It must be a direct logical consequence of what the passage stated.

    Vocabulary –
    Be it reading comprehension or fill in the blanks, knowing the meaning and the contextual usage of words is paramount. Since there are only two months left for the exams, making notes is the most advisable method. Writing is a form of revision. Moreover, when free, go through all the words noted in order to help you remember them once again. Synonyms, antonyms, fill in the blanks and reading comprehensions are the places where vocabulary questions are most often found.

    Spot the errors-
    Spotting error questions are the ones in which a sentence is given with certain incorrect parts, and the student must find out the mistakes in the sentence and mark the answer from the given options. these incorrect parts usually relate to tenses, preposition, verbs, articles and conjunctions etc. Hence, know your grammar thoroughly!!
    Cloze tests –
    A cloze test is a passage which aims to test a specific area of knowledge. Therefore, vocabulary, grammar and inferential can be the type of questions that you have to tackle in cloze tests. The best way to attempt Cloze tests is to read the entire passage and work backward with the help of the options.

    Those are the best ways to tackle some of the most important topics in the reading comprehension section.

    Concluding, we would like to say that practicing with a good combination of speed and accuracy is the key to crack this exam. It is also essential to take mock tests to assess oneself and see where you stand, from time to time. This helps you give a reality check and also helps you understand the areas that need more focus and time. So, practice thoroughly.

    You can also download IBPS PO Preparation app to prepare for IBPS PO exam. It provides free study material, quizzes, IBPS PO mock test, online practice set, question papers, & test series.

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