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IBPS PO prelims 2017: Last minute preparation tips for candidates

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) PO preliminary examination is going to be held on October 7, 8, 14 and 15.

education Updated: Oct 05, 2017 16:21 IST
Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) PO preliminary examination is going to be held on October 7, 8, 14 and 15.(Getty Images/Representative only)

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) PO preliminary examination is going to be held on October 7, 8, 14 and 15. It can be a nerve-racking time for even the most industrious students as the fight is going to be difficult this year because of the lesser number of vacancies declared by the board.

We all know how SBI PO exam 2017 blew everyone’s mind this year with new pattern questions. The IBPS too has introduced changes in the Mains examination pattern and it now looks similar to that of SBI PO mains exam. But if we talk of the pattern of prelims, then, to your relief, it is still the same.

IBPS PO prelims 2017 last minute preparation tips

Preliminary examination consists of the objective test for 100 marks and is conducted online. This test would be of one-hour duration with three sections as follows:

Reasoning (35 questions)

Quantitative Aptitude (35 questions)

English (30 questions)

As the difficulty level of every other examination has only been rising, there is no doubt that the level of IBPS exam will also rise.

Here are a few last minute tips to give the finishing touch to your preparations.

English language

This topic can be easy as pie if your basics are clear. Sometimes even those who can communicate very well in English, fail to perform to the best of their ability in competitive exams. A habit of reading an English newspaper can actually do a good turn because it helps to build up a strong vocabulary, effective knowledge of grammar, and efficient comprehension skills. Rest depends on how hard you practice. Revise grammar rules, relax and don’t overburden yourself with the thought of the new pattern.

* Practice memory based papers of SBI 2017 and IBPS 2016 to get an idea of all possible combinations of questions that you might face this year

* Try to solve questions from comprehension first but do keep a check on time. You can skip questions which require more time in the given passage

* Use the method of skimming for reading comprehension

* Read directions carefully and attempt conventional pattern questions first. Cloze Test, fillers can save your day

* Use elimination method to save time

* Don’t try to attempt all the questions, attempt those you are confident with. Keep in mind that your mistake will cost you 0.25 marks

* Finish this section within 12-15 minutes.

Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude section has always been giving heebie-jeebies to the students, many of them are bundle of nerves while attempting this particular section. It is a fact that this section can be very difficult and time-consuming. Data Interpretation and topics from arithmetic section make it hard for one to deal with the section as easily as any other section. You can’t ignore the fact that this section can prove to be very scoring as well. The only way to ace the scores in the section is strenuous practice.

* Learn the basic concepts and practice them well as for banking exams basic concepts will come in handy rather than tricks

* Choose questions wisely and try not to get stuck on a particular question or topic for too long

* Instead of focusing on attempting the maximum number of questions, try focusing on the accuracy with which you attempt the paper

* Try to attempt simplification and approximation, inequality, and number series first.

* While attempting questions of Data Interpretation solve those questions first that you find less calculative and relatively easier. A set of DI usually comprises of five questions out of which two to three are doable. Even if you solve three questions from one set of DI and four from another you can easily bag seven marks.

* Don’t ignore word problems or the arithmetic miscellaneous portion. Take up the problems of chapters you are good at.

* Finish this section within 23-28 minutes.

Reasoning Ability

This section is no doubt going to make your blood run cold with a great number of puzzles and the number can be as great as 55-60% of the total number of questions in this section. The pattern is getting complex day by day and most of the topics are now being asked in the form of puzzles only. Also, IBPS has included computer aptitude in the section only. So, prepare in a way that you are not a bundle of nerves while attempting the IBPS PO exam.

* Be careful while choosing which puzzle to attempt and which one to skip

* Do not invest more than five to six minutes in a puzzle or seating arrangement

* You do not have to solve all the questions of the reasoning section. The questions might seem doable but if they are time-consuming it is better to go on to the next one

* Read directions very carefully

* Try to solve miscellaneous portion first which may include blood relation, order and ranking, direction sense, inequality etc

* Don’t panic. It is quite possible to feel you are unable to solve a simple question or you are unable to recall a familiar logic under stress. Move to the next question in such case and keep your calm

* Remember a high number of attempts should not be at the cost of accuracy

* Finish this section within 18-21 minutes.

Some general tips for IBPS PO prelims 2017 exam


Go for the exam with a proper plan so that you aren’t barking the wrong trees while attempting the questions. Know what subjects you are good at and where you lag. Attempt the very section first that you are good at and weakest in the end. This will ensure that your time is not wasted on solving the questions that are difficult and in the end, you don’t fail to attempt the section that could get you a higher overall score. Do not stick to a single question if you are not able to solve it. Move forward to attempt questions you are able to solve easily.


It’s high time to revise all the topics that you need to be tremendous at. Sort the important topics into a checklist and settle on how each and every point is to be revised before appearing for the exam. It might sound preposterous on a day just before the exam but trust me, it will help you focus your learning and you won’t be like, “Gee! I was so good at this topic. I could have done better had I revised it well.”

Eat healthy

Did you know that what you eat and drink can affect your exam performance? Food that you eat before an exam can affect your scores. Healthy pre-exam nutrition will give you an added edge during exam time. Your brain needs the energy from food to work efficiently, so do not skip a meal before going for the exam. Avoid brain blocking foods such as those made of white flour, cookies, cakes, and muffins, which require added time and energy to digest. Also avoid foods that are high in refined sugar such as chocolates, desserts, and candies. Make sure you drink enough water before and during your exam. Tea also works though without a lot of sugar. Dehydration can make you lose your concentration, feel faint, and sap your energy.


Exercise gets the blood flowing. This means more oxygen will reach the brain and help it to function more efficiently. It resets your brain, increases blood flow to the brain and prepares you for critical thinking and retention. Do not exercise for too long and 15 minutes will be enough.

Do not stress

Stress won’t let you understand the questions. So avoid anything that can stress you out, keep calm and stay focused. It is important for students to have a positive mindset.

Sleep well

Take a nap before the exam as it improves memory recall and the ability to concentrate. Do not pull an all-nighter before the day of the exam. If you don’t sleep during the night, it’s likely you won’t remember much of what you studied. To make the best use of your knowledge, you should try to get at least eight hours of sleep before the exam.

Take a print out of your admit card and photo identity proof in advance as waiting for the last moment will not be in your favour. Do reach the exam centre well ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary tension. Confirm the location and all other important things that you need to know about your centre in advance so that you don’t waste much of your time looking for it.

(Nagar is the CEO and founder of Adda247. Views expressed here are personal.)

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 16:21 IST