The banking sector plays a crucial role in supporting the country’s economy. This article provides effective ways of preparing for the Bank Probationary Officer exam for those who want to start their career in the banking sector.
The three major Bank PO exams conducted in India are:
- IBPS PO
- SBI PO
- IBPS RRB PO
The selection process for the post of PO includes prelims, mains, and interviews.
Below are the preparation tips both for prelims and mains exams.
- Effective Planning: Without proper planning, you won’t be able to execute what you want to do. First, get a complete idea of what the syllabus is and how the exam pattern will be. Then, devise a realistic timetable which you should follow strictly. You must spend at least 5-6 hours daily studying. Complete quantitative aptitude and reasoning ability first as they are difficult and important. Spend more time preparing in areas you are weak and spend less time in the topics you are already aware of.
- Study material and resources: You should choose wisely the best and reliable books and study materials which contain relevant information. You can watch video tutorials when you don’t understand any topic or for a quick revision.
- English Language Section: To score really well in the English section, you should focus more on reading and comprehension. Enhance your vocabulary and reading speed by reading newspapers, such as The Hindu, The Economist, etc. Writing will help you to reduce grammatical mistakes and improve your formation of sentences. You must learn new words, idioms and their meanings and how to make sentences using them. If possible, take speed tests and analyze them. For the grammar part, know all the grammar rules and practice topics like fill in the blanks, finding errors, and cloze tests as much as possible.
- Quantitative Aptitude Section: This section requires you to have basic knowledge of all the topics. If this section is difficult for you, then at least have strong knowledge on a few important topics which have more marks. Those topics are Quadratic Equation and Data Interpretation. You should practice Average, Percentage, Profit and loss, Number series, Time and work, etc. Just memorizing formulas is not enough to score well in this section. You must know their deviations also. Work on your calculation speed to attempt most of the questions. Learn shortcuts to save time.
- Reasoning Ability Section: Focus on topics like puzzles, Coding-Decoding, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism, etc to score well. Learn basic concepts and develop shortcuts and tricks. Practice this section by solving the previous year’s question papers and mock tests.
- General Awareness and Descriptive Section: You should be up to date with all the current affairs and recent events of the last 3-6 months. If you concentrate, you can score more in this section easily. Focus on topics like History of Banking, RBI Functions, marketing, Agriculture, Finance, Banking Terms, Sports, Political News, Indian Economy Questions, and Fiscal Monetary Policies.
- Computer Knowledge Section: Your basic computer knowledge will be tested in this section as the role of Bank PO requires you to work effortlessly on the computer. This section will be easy as you will get basic questions. So focus on topics such as the history of the computer, basic functionalities of the MS Office, database, shortcut keys, windows operating system, etc.
- Practice diligently & Revision regularly: You must practice and revise regularly at least 3 months before the exam. Also, as you keep completing the syllabus, you must spend some time revising the topics you covered. This will help you not to forget what you have learned. Solve all the practice questions from each chapter. Start with simple questions and move on to difficult ones. Revise the chapters that you find difficult and topics that have more weightage. Revising will help you memorize topics thoroughly and makes your preparation even better.
- Make Notes: You should write small notes on important points to understand the concepts easily. It will help you in quick revision and save you valuable time. This will definitely help you to remember the information for a longer time.
- Revise from previous years’ question papers: Once you are done with your preparation or revision, start solving previous papers and analyze them. Find the important topics which are asked frequently and focus more on them. You will get familiar with the type of questions that will be asked. It makes your preparation even easier.
- Analyse mock tests: Take at least one mock test daily. Solve section-wise or chapter-wise tests as it will help you to increase your speed and accuracy. You can practice mock tests on the Oliveboard. You should assess and improve your performance after each test. You will also know how much time each section is required and how much you spend. Know where you are lacking and spend more time improving those areas. It will help you reduce your stress and give you the strength to appear for the exam.
- Improve Time Management Skills: You must learn to manage time during your preparation and exam. You should know how much time every section takes and should practice and improve based on that. Don’t waste spending time on questions you don’t know. Skip those and move to next. First, attempt all the easy ones and move to the difficult ones. Both your speed and accuracy must be checked and improved.
- Shortcuts: Learn shortcuts and tricks so that it will help you to attempt more questions in less time.
- Don’t guess: You will get a negative mark for every wrong answer. Unless you are confident about the answer, don’t attempt the question.
Hope these tips will help you to crack the exam. Remember that if you are determined, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. It is difficult but do not give up. Focus on your goal and achieve it. All the Best!