The IBPS exam is one of the most prestigious examinations in the banking sector. It is an all-India recruitment examination for employing banking clerks. There are many banks that take part in the examination, offering positions in their team. Some of the banks are Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, UCO Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab National Bank and a few more.
The examination is attempted by almost 5 lakh individuals out of which there are only about 5000 vacancies. The competition is stiff, and the preparation is gruelling, but the post is a coveted one with high prestige and pay. Let us see how one can crack an exam of this level in just four weeks!
Practice, practice, practice!
Nobody likes to hear it, but the most important part of the preparation is consistent practice. Both are of equal importance, consistency and hard work. Coming towards the end of the preparation, all your focus and time should be devoted to learning and repeating concepts that were previously learnt. Many parts of this examination require continuous training of the mind to think in different analytical ways. For example, the section logical reasoning deals with many concepts that require continuous exposure to many different questions. Topics like judgement, space visualisation, problem-solving and discrimination, all require practice on regular basis.
Pay attention to speed.
This comes along with practice. One needs to consciously make sure that there is an emphasis on speed. Make sure you time yourself while solving questions. Try to reward yourself every time you complete something within the allotted time. In exams like IBPS, time management is very essential. It would not matter how much you know if you are unable to complete a paper at the end of the day. Repeated practice of a certain concept will increase your speed. Also, try to learn tricks to solve questions using shortcuts. This would also make your task much easier.
Revision and note-making
While both are things that need to be done right from the beginning, it matters more towards the end of your preparation. The mind cannot remember so many concepts and topics by a single reading. It needs continuous jogging of memory to stay fresh. Make simple and easy-to-read notes with flow charts and bullet points right from the beginning so that during revision, looking at these concise notes would be more than enough. Make a list of all the important formulae, facts, techniques, names and values for a quick glance before the exams.
Mock paper practice
Another part of the practice and revision that many ignore is attempting mock papers and previous years’ papers. The purpose of this is not to be exposed to potential repeats, but to gain confidence and improve on weak areas. While attempting a full-length paper, you will be able to tell where exactly your strengths and weaknesses lie. Work on your weaknesses and don’t ignore your strengths. There are many websites that offer IBPS clerk free mock tests for practice. Another important note while attempting these tests is to time yourself. There is no better way to know how fast you can solve the paper. The mock exams act as a simulation for the real one and would really help in understanding where you stand.
Work on your reading and understanding
Most of the questions, especially from the reasoning ability section require you to read the question well. This means that you read it fast and comprehend it as well. The mind must be trained to pick all the important clues and points from the question so that solving a problem heads in the right direction. This again comes with practice and also with analysing the solution. Keep attempting more questions from topics like seating arrangements, blood relations, reasoning, decision making etc.
Work on your computer knowledge
Computer aptitude is tested along with reasoning ability. Not everyone would have a previous computer background and it is important to practice these skills beforehand. Include it in your practice and learn all the topics well. This area can be scoring if learnt properly. Topics like MS Excel, MS Word, DOS and operating system, Internet programming language are important concepts that can be learnt easily.
Work on general awareness
This segment is one that the candidate either hates or loves. It depends on the interest in current affairs. It can also be equally scoring provided you begin preparation right from the beginning and try to take in information in small doses. Some topics are all about memory, for example, the important awards, international events, resignations. There are other topics that are very important from the exam point of view and career point of view as well. For example, banking knowledge would be very much essential while actually working as a clerk.
Practice English grammar
Language also carries marks that can easily be made yours. There are plenty of books with exercises that can be used to practice. Make sure you learn the rules with examples so that you know the application of these rules. Read passages for practice in comprehension. This will also improve your vocabulary.
This is more of a tip for the exam hall, but one must make a conscious attempt to not guess in a random fashion. The marking scheme is such that there is negative marking for wrong answers. Think before you answer and use the elimination technique. Do not guess if two options are conflicting. At the same time, make sure you attempt enough questions to clear the exam. Maintain a balance and understand how to make educated guesses.
Stay relaxed and positive!
This is the last but definitely not the least important point. Get adequate rest, especially as the days are approaching towards the exam. Have healthy food and stay hydrated. Even if you have not completed all topics, or if there is something that you have forgotten, try to take a deep breath and calm down. An anxious mind cannot think straight.
So, these are the hacks for you to prepare yourself in the last four weeks. Go ahead and get started with the preparation and ace the examination!