The IBPS PO exam is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection every year, to recruit probationary officers for public sector banks. Lakhs of candidates appear for the exam every year to land their dream job as probationary officers. It is one of the most in-demand jobs owing to the salary structure and reputation. Since the number of applicants is so high every year, the exam is competitive and tough to crack. Only those candidates who are disciplined and dedicated can sail through it. A lot of time and effort is required to crack the exam. If you are a banking aspirant, these are some tips that you can follow to prepare for the IBPS PO exam.
- Know the syllabus – The first step of preparation for IBPS PO is to go through the exam syllabus thoroughly. There isn’t a definitive syllabus for any of the IBPS exams, however, by going through previous year’s papers, you can figure out the major topics on which questions are asked every year. You can also search online to find a list of topics that are a part of the IBPS PO exam syllabus along with the study material.
- Know the exam pattern – The second step of your IBPS PO preparation journey is to know the exam pattern. There are three phases of the IBPS PO recruitment procedure. Step 1 is the Preliminary exam. This is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main exam. The preliminary exam is a one-hour online test comprised of three sections – English Language, Reasoning Ability, and Numerical Ability. Each section is to be completed in 20 minutes.
The English Language section consists of 30 questions for 30 marks whereas the Numerical Ability, as well as the Reasoning Ability section, consist of 35 questions each for 35 marks. The maximum marks of the Prelims exam are 100 and 0.25 marks are deducted for each incorrect answer. To qualify for the Main exam, a candidate needs to clear the cut-off in all three sections. Step 2 is the Main exam. It is an online exam with a total duration of 3.5 hours and has two papers – one objective type and one descriptive paper. The object test is comprised of 4 sections –
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude with 45 questions for 60 marks, Data Analysis and Interpretation section with 35 questions for 60 marks, English Language section with 35 questions for 40 marks, and General Awareness, Economy and Banking Awareness section with 40 questions for 40 marks. The time allotted for each section is different. The descriptive test consists of letter writing and essay writing for 25 marks. To qualify for the interview, candidates need to clear the main as well as the sectional cut-off.
- Make a study schedule – To prepare for and successfully crack the IBPS PO exam, candidates need to make a well-planned study schedule. This allows them to dedicate time to prepare for the exam and complete the syllabus. Study for each section according to your schedule and also add analyzing previous year’s question papers and revision sessions to your plan.
- Clear the basics – Candidates should clear their basics first, before moving ahead. If your foundation is not clear, you will not be able to understand the advanced concepts. For example, you need to learn the derivations of formulas instead of just mugging them up.
- Read newspapers – Candidates preparing for the IBPS PO exam often tend to overlook this task. Reading newspapers can help you prepare for the General Awareness section as well as your IBPS PO interview. You can also be aware of current affairs.
- Make notes – To retain your learning better, you should make small notes. You can use these notes to revise before the exam. You don’t need to write everything. Jot down the important points while studying.
- Attempt mock tests – To successfully crack the IBPS PO exam, candidates should attempt mock tests. With this, you can become familiar with the exam pattern and your speed as well. It will also give you an idea of where you stand with your preparation, what your strong and weak areas are that you need to focus on and you can also practice how to solve questions in the allotted time.
This is important because candidates cannot re-attempt a question once the stipulated time for a section is complete. You can take the 100% Free IBPS PO Mock Test for Prelims Exam 2021 with Oliveboard to revise the entire syllabus and evaluate your strong and weak areas.
- Focus on one phase – As mentioned above, the IBPS PO recruitment procedure is conducted in three phases. Instead of preparing for every phase together, focus on one phase at a time. The exam pattern for prelim and main exam is similar. While preparing for the Main exam, focus on the extra subjects apart from the preliminary exam syllabus.
- Prepare for each subject – To crack the IBPS PO exam, candidates need to focus on each section. This is because to qualify for the main exam and the interview, candidates need to clear the sectional cut-off, not just the overall cutoff. Hence, you need to be prepared for each section. Dedicate equal time to every subject and prepare a strategy for tackling different subjects. Identify your weak areas and work on them to score more marks wherever possible.
- Analyze previous year cut-offs – To get an idea of your target score, you can analyze the minimum qualifying marks from previous years. This will help you set a target score in mind that you need to score in your exam.
- Revision – The best way to revise what you have learned is by attempting as many mock tests and previous year question papers as possible. This helps you refresh the topics you have learned as well as improve your speed and accuracy.
- Prepare for the Interview – Once you’ve cracked both the exams and qualified for the IBPS PO interview, you should focus on preparing for it. The maximum marks for the interview are 100, out of which candidates need to score a minimum of 40% to be selected finally.