How To Prepare For Bank Exams? (A Detailed Breakdown)
The banking sector is an essential aspect of the country's economy, some of the most respectable jobs are found in this sector.
Therefore, the demand for jobs in the banking sector is pretty high. The prime reason for the demand is the fact that people from all streams of education can apply for this sector.
Due to the market the job holds, there is a set of competitive tests for the applicants that assess their abilities on different criteria such as verbal skills, general awareness, quantitative aptitude, basic computer knowledge, and reasoning skills.
Who is a Bank PO?
A Bank PO or a Probationary Officer is an Assistant Grade officer of Scale I under Government or Government Undertaken Banks. He is a Junior Manager taking a basic pay of Grade 1 scale set by the finance ministry and is hence called a Scale I Officer. After the careful selection through competitive and GDPI is completed, a Probationary Officer has to undergo an extensive training program at the renowned institute of Banking Management where they are trained in field specializing.
The probation period of a PO may last for 2 years after which they are placed according to merit. Since these officers joining service are very young, the amount of energy they devote towards the organization is much higher.
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How to prepare for bank exams?
The initial stage of preparing for an IBPS PO Examination is to set up a timetable and a goal. Just enrolling into a standard preparatory institution and attending regular coaching would DEFINITELY NOT help you UNLESS YOU MAINTAIN A SELF STUDY TIME OF 6-8 HOURS. Writing this in Block Letters indicates the utmost importance of this sentence.
While enrolling into a training institute that helps you to prepare for bank exams, one must understand that the best of the best institutes aren’t their only choice. One must follow their own areas of development that is required and work upon it through set targets under faculties specialized in that PARTICULAR area. Also, the distance of your residence from the center must not be too far as a significant amount of time and energy is wasted in traveling which you could have utilized for some leisure.
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Also, while looking for coaching centers, do keep your financial budget in mind before you enroll. Finance friendly, and quality coaching centers can easily be found which suit your needs and help you cross the barrier. Also, some institutions provide scholarships to graduates with decent grades or scores in their own entrance examinations.
Nowadays, online coaching academies have started grabbing the entrance preparation market quite significantly with a considerable number of students opting for online lectures in their own comfortable personal space and study area. The online lectures can be attended on loop and are relevantly much cheaper and hassle-free than regular classes.
Not taking stress is a must; examinations are always to be attended calmly. Take ample time for preparation and don’t get exerted at the last moment. Staying relaxed and focused is a must to attain the scores necessary for cracking the IBPS PO Examinations.
When you are asking yourself how to prepare for bank exams, keep in mind that speed, accuracy and time management hold utmost importance for selecting candidates because of the section-wise time limit in the exam. There’s always a need to improve mental calculation speed, and you can learn numeric tables, square roots and cubic roots for this. Also, try to calculate numbers in your mind in your leisure time to improve your skills.
For instance, while traveling by car, try looking at the last four digits of the vehicle's registration ahead of you. Try dividing the number by two, four six and so on until the car loses your sight and move forward to the next car number. This is quite interactive and indulging in itself.
Daily practice of mental mathematics questions is a must. Try finding an active workbook on mental mathematics which suits your needs and this practice will, in turn, help you improve your speed as well as accuracy. Time division according to your subject strength is a must as it will give you a one up on other candidates when it comes to tougher sections. Prioritize the amount of time that you shall provide to each section throughout the day (hour wise) and motivate yourself to achieve that target.
Maintaining a track of daily performance and improvement is crucial as it will help analyze the pattern in which one should attempt questions in the exam. It will also help quantize the topics one is good at and the ones who need more efforts from the aspirant's end. Ensure laying stress and proper emphasis on online mock tests during the analysis period.
Still wondering about your preparation for bank exams? Try Mock test
Mock tests will help aspirants in the long run. It helps track their preparation status and steady growth and the areas of improvement. Mock tests help you shape your answering capabilities inside the set time frame quite efficiently. When you are attempting section wise questions from reasoning or Mathematics sections or some individual topics a bit out of your league, try using a stopwatch and keep a track of the time that you are spending on the questions which help to get a clear view of the average time you are spending on particular questions and the means to shorten it.
It is said that the base of every subject is like the root of the tree: You are nothing without it. Therefore, it is imperative to clarify your basic concepts from each section. Go through the study notes that are provided to you from your respective coaching Institutes (if you've enrolled for any) and understand the right approach to solve the questions that would cost you minimum time. Also, maintain a proper folder for notes from each section and preserve them no matter what, even after you're successful in cracking the examination. Do provide your notes to other aspirants once your requirements are fulfilled, so that they too can follow in your footsteps to attain the success they aspire.
In my quest to answer the question -> ‘How to prepare for bank exams?’
I discovered these essential rules to be followed. Sources: IBPS Syllabus Archives.
- TEST CAN BE GIVEN IN TWO LANGUAGES: Every section (except the English Language) is bilingual. It can be answered in both Hindi as well as English
- SECTIONAL CUT-OFF: Each section will have a specific cut-off. Also, you must cross IBPS Prelims' cut off score to sit for the Mains. This minimum total score is decided by the IBPS.
- NEGATIVE MARKING: Each wrong answer will cost the aspirant 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question from the total. Given that each question is of 1 mark, you may end up losing ¼ of it for each wrong answer. Therefore, I recommend that you only attempt the questions that you're absolutely sure about. Do not try playing hunches which may cost you some marks.
If we analyze the entire thing subject wise, General Awareness is considered the most crucial step to cracking the competitive examination. This may seem quite cumbersome to banking aspirants although it is relevantly easy if one keeps track of the latest developments in the field of politics, sports, and current affairs.
The events transpiring each day in this world are so fast that unless you keep yourself abreast of these changes regularly, you won’t be able to score well in this section. Try reading the newspaper regularly and get subscriptions to various e-magazines covering current affairs such as InShorts, Dainik Bhaskar and The Telegraph App.
Apart from the GA Section, excellent knowledge of current news also helps you deal with the GDPI and English Section by improving your vocabulary and reading skills. Many leading bulletins, magazines and journals are present in the market for updating readers on current affairs, general knowledge, and rare facts.
Try indulging into these magazines which artistically categorize their articles with subjective genres to make it attractive to read. Some of the most popular magazines for current affairs are Banking Service Chronicles, Pratiyogita Darpan, Business Today, etc. Follow some popular news channels such as BBC-UK/London for International news and CNN-IBN or NDTV for local communication at least once a day. Try to go through all the breaking and highlighted news, and make it a habit.
The general awareness section will be based on the following topics:
- Current Affairs of National and International Importance (please cover for the last 6 months)
- Static GK (history, geography, countries and capitals, currencies, international organizations, musical instruments, eminent places, sports, politics, world economy, etc.)
Verbal Ability is critical as an aspirant with a strong language base can get through this very quickly. Of course, one needs to tune up their basic language proficiency to scrape through the verbal ability section with flying colors. The marks distribution is such that a person with excellent scores in VA would be able to cover any small lag that he/she faces in other sections.
How to prepare for bank exams if you aren’t a computer expert?
One doesn't need to be an ace computer programmer to clear the Computer Skills section of the examination. The requirement of this test would be a necessary but sound knowledge of computer systems, it's history and processing which may also include basics of Computer Programming Languages like C, C++, etc., the reference to which you may receive after a thorough survey of the Syllabus. Though the computer section will be included in the Reasoning Section itself, the following topics will have to be covered in this subject:
- History of Computers
- Input and output devices
- Memory of computer
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Computer Terminology
- MS Office
- Computer Software and Hardware
- Basics of Programming Languages
Reasoning ability is very important, and a maximum of the students are quizzed in this very field.
Have you ever thought why this section is needed or essential for banking examination patterns? Or if this section has no practical application in banking jobs? This section is crucial because it reflects you and your ability to handle situations and the most important thing is how you approach, how you think and handle/solve the job in less time.
In an active field of work, sound reasoning skills can only help an officer perform in times of crisis. This is well understood by the examiners, and they set the questions in such a manner that reasoning ability questions are unique in their own fashion. Never take this field for granted as much brain racking is required unless you have already practiced some common patterns in Test Series and Preparation Digests.
Doing a deep-seated research on how to prepare for bank exams will tremendously help in setting your goals for the upcoming one. The level and pattern of the question can help you identify areas of improvement and relaxation. It is essential to know the previous year cut-offs for the entrance examinations.
The IBPS PO has sectional cut-offs along with the overall cut off. You need to understand both of these aspects and work upon it with the below-mentioned plan:
- Quantitative Aptitude: 2-3 hours (as per your convenience)
- Reasoning Ability: 2-3 hours (as per your convenience)
- English Language: At least 2 hours
- Mock Test: At least 1.5 hours
Do not be demotivated with Mock Test scores. Often, when candidates aren’t able to score good marks in the Mock Test they feel that all of their hard work went to waste and they won’t be able to qualify in the actual exam with such low Mock Test scores. A mock test is just a means to analyze where you are lacking and how can you improve your banking awareness.
You get to identify your strong and weak areas with the help of these tests. Once done with the test, analyze your performance and take corrective measures. Once more, mock tests don't decide your result they just provide your graph of performance, so don't get demotivated if you couldn't perform well here. But today if you are giving dedication and hard work it can be fruitful on the final day!
(Checkout the IBPS Recruitment 2018 Notification)
Lastly & Primarily Don'ts that should be maintained to focus and get a decent score:
- Many of the students don't have a defined aim/ goal and fill out the form just for the sake of it. If you are wondering how to prepare for bank exams first and foremost a proper target is required.
- Most candidates don't put in the required time and efforts to all the sections while preparing. The prelims exam is just a criteria qualifying test. But you still need to clear the sectional cutoff and you must score high as the cut-off has been soaring each year.
- Many of the candidates buy online test series but don't take them seriously. Some don't go for the test series at all. While online tests aren’t compulsory, they do help you identify where you are lacking, and that's when you know your strengths and weaknesses. Online Test Series gives you that space for introspection which offline tests can't.
- Many times, students get distracted from their goals due to their social media engagements. A lot of time is spent on social networking sites which is mentally exhausting and is not at all productive.
- Confidence is necessary, but over-confidence is evil. Even the best of the best have suffered the wrath of being overconfident. Remember that there is always someone who is better than you. Try being better than them which in turn is a cyclic process and you wouldn't stop them unless you ARE THE BEST!
Hindi Version Of This Article -
पढ़ें इस लेख को हिंदी में और जानिये आप कैसे कर सकतें हैं बैंक परीक्षा की तैयारी?