Preparing yourself for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies

Doesn’t matter what field you’re looking to start a career in…having someone on the inside who’s been through what you’re about to encounter, passed the exams, and actually got the job they desired to share their story is always an advantage.

Shashidhar is one such person. Shashidhar is currently employed as a Probationary Officer with Canara Bank. If you’re looking to become a probationary officer, he’s been where you’re heading…


SBI Clerk Exam: Last Minute Preparation Plan

So while some people have only 8 days for the exam, there are some who have 51 days for the exam.


Many of our students and free users accessing our content have been asking us how they should make the best use of the remaining days for the preparation.


Five Success Mantras for Cracking the Bank Exam

Indian PSU banks provide an excellent opportunity for graduates. More than 7.5 lac freshers will be recruited by Indian PSU banks over the next 5 years. While the jobs are aplenty, the competition for these jobs is equally high.


But preparation for the exam is key. Success rate is only 1.5% - what this means is less than 2 out of 100 aspirants that take the bank exam actually get a job.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Preparing yourself for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies


Doesn’t matter what field you’re looking to start a career in…having someone on the inside who’s been through what you’re about to encounter, passed the exams, and actually got the job they desired to share their story is always an advantage. Shashidhar is one such person. Shashidhar is currently employed as a Probationary Officer with Canara Bank. If you’re looking to become a probationary officer, he’s been where you’re heading…namely the IBPS PO exam.


A Bit About The Exam
The IBPS PO Exam, a mandatory requirement created by the Institute for Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), is a two-part exam made up of both a written section and an interview. Typically the exam takes place from September and selections for positions are made a few months thereafter.


The Written Exam
The written exam is made up of 200 questions and delves in to five areas where the candidate needs to display a certain level of expertise. Those areas are:

Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, Command of the English Language, General Awareness and Computer Understanding.

The Interview
The interview portion of the PO Exam is conducted through a partnership with the candidate banks and the IBPS. Candidates are quizzed based on several important factors that all play in to their ability to do the job of a Probationary Officer. The interview focuses on these primary traits:

Reasoning, Observation and Mental Acuity
Before you think that having a overload of charm can get you by,  Shashidhar will tell you, “you must understand that the interview portion is based on problem solving and also involves questions that revolve around many of the same traits that they test for in the written exam, i.e., Computer Skills, English language, etc. You need to know your stuff.”

With this in mind, here’s a piece of preparatory knowledge. According to  Shashidhar, “Many portions of the test align directly with what I was trained on, but I also found some areas where, with the help of TalentSprint, I was able to truly prepare and go in confidently since I had the necessary knowledge…practiced knowledge to pass the test.”

He goes on to say that, “TalentSprint is one of the better institutions that have helped career-minded individuals get ready for exams like the IBPS PO Exam by focusing on the direct areas of questioning that candidates will be required to display knowledge of.”

Strategies for the Probationary Officer Exam
There are many ways that one can prepare for the exam, perform well and land their dream job as a Probationary Officer for some of the country’s largest banks.

Preparatory Institutions
One way to truly prepare for the exams, and the method that  Shashidhar credits for his success, is that of a preparatory support from TalentSprint. There are many advantages of going with an institute like TalentSprint. You can study at your own pace and on your own time. They break the test down in to sections and have both informative lectures and mock tests on each section that help really build confidence… Shashidhar adds that, “after my preparation, I felt ready because I knew the material and I was prepared.” TalentSprint also taught  Shashidhar a variety of the tricks and shortcuts that he applied to pass the test and get the job he wanted.

Study and Practice
With all the areas of coverage there’s no shortage of skills where you need to show a high level of comprehension. Now that you have a better understanding of where the exam will focus, sharpening your abilities in each of these areas will go a long way towards making you comfortable when you go in to the exam. That comfort level will equate to better test scores.

Increase Your Banking and Worldview Knowledge
The general awareness portion of the test will specifically target your understanding of the present state of the banking industry and, true to its name, will also test you on your general awareness of the world around you…in other words, current events. While this portion of the test is heavily skewed towards banking,  Shashidhar advises that you stay fresh on what’s happening in the outside world as well, i.e., the economy and policy, both in terms of the banking industry and Indian society as a whole. “Having a well-rounded understanding of the whole picture will make you that much more successful, so scour the newspaper, periodicals, new books and, of course, watch News channels on television. That’s my personal advice”.

Know English
Almost a quarter of the exam will focus on your comprehension of the English language.  Shashidhar improved his command of English by reading English-language newspapers and magazines. He also suggests that you practice speaking English in the mirror or to those around you. Learn a few new English words every day. These are a just a few of the techniques that  Shashidhar recommends.

Plan It Out
You want to make sure that you at least have a chance to get to every question. Before the test,  Shashidhar wrote down all the areas that he needed to cover. He says that, “With that list, I was able to break down the exam into areas that I felt strong and areas where I knew that I had some weakness. So, I focused heavily on areas I was weakest in, and simply honed my skills in my strong areas. I did the same with the test…moving quickly through areas I was strong at…managing my time so that I could  focus properly on those areas that required more thought.”

Take Mock Tests
Nothing prepares you for the IBPS PO exam like running through it beforehand. Now, while you can’t take the actual exam, preparatory institutions like TalentSprint have mock tests you can take to better prepare you for the real thing. Of course, if you’re more of the do-it-yourself type, mock exams can also be acquired online. 

Sridhar K
Sr. VP, TalentSprint


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

SBI Clerk Exam: Last Minute Preparation Plan

SBI Clerical Examination dates are out. The exam spans over 7 weeks. Based on the information available with us the exam dates are as under:


July 2014


August 2014

Date
Day
# Days for the Exam
(from July 11)
Date
Day
# Days for the Exam
(from July 11)
July 19
Saturday
8
August 2
Saturday
22
July 20
Sunday
9
August 3
Sunday
23
July 26
Saturday
15
August 9
Saturday
29
July 27
Sunday
16
August 10
Sunday
30



August 16
Saturday
36



August 17
Sunday
37



August 23
Saturday
43



August 24
Sunday
44



August 30
Saturday
50



August 31
Sunday
51

So while some people have only 8 days for the exam, there are some who have 51 days for the exam.
Many of our students and free users accessing our content have been asking us how they should make the best use of the remaining days for the preparation.
Our ideal advise for our students is that they should have a Test Series Approach (6-12 Month – multi exam preparation model) or Test Match Approach (3-6 month multi exam preparation model) in order to have a full-fledged preparation. However, as the time available for this exam is short, and we have the time lines being as short as 8 days and as long as 51 days, we have identified the 3 ideal approaches for different people, solely depending on the date of the exam and the number of days left for you to prepare.
Some of the key expectations that we place before the aspirants are:
  1. should be ready to spend not less than 50 hours a week till the examination
  2. prepare with full dedication, focus and commitment.
  3. should have access to best in class content & practice in order to capitalize on your efforts
If you believe that you are committed to points 1 and 2 above, we are here to provide the number 3 above.
Before we get in to the preparation plan, let us first look at important topics to be focused on each of the sections
Quantitative Aptitude (40 Marks)
Reasoning
(40 Marks)
English
(40 Marks)
General Awareness
(40 Marks)
Speed Maths
Element Series
Basic Grammar
Indian Economy
Simplifications
Coded Inequalities
Finding Errors
Budget & Planning
Approximations
Linear Arrangement
Cloze Test
Foreign Trade
Number System
Circular Arrangement
Synonyms
Money Market
Percentages
Complex Assignment
Antonyms
Banking Basics
Profit & Loss
Syllogism
Jumbled Sentences
Current Affairs
Simple & Compound Interest
Machine Input / Output
Reading Comprehension

Averages, Ratios and Proportions
Coding & De-Coding
Idioms & Phrases
Computer knowledge & Marketing Aptitude (40 Marks)
Partnership and Ages
Blood Relations

Basic Hardware and Software
Time & Work
Non Verbal Reasoning

Keyboard Shortcuts
Time & Distance


MS Office
Data Interpretation


Marketing Basics
Mensuration


Marketing Terminology

For these three approaches we believe that one should let us see the ideal break up between Preparation, Revision, Practice and Mock Test for all these three approaches.

Category
One Day Match
Approach
T 20
Approach
Slog
Over
Approach
Preparation Period
30 day
15 day
7 day
Total Hours
200
100
50




Preparation
160
74
44
 Basic Preparation
120
50
20
 Revision
40
24
24




Practice
40
26
6
 Practice Tests
20
12
0
 Solving Previous Year Papers & Taking Mock Test
20
14
6




Ideal Course
Bank Exam Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator
Bank Exam Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator
SBI Clerk Accelerator

One Day Match Approach:
A 30 day preparation plan is like a One Day Match approach. You have reasonable time, but not too long to cover everything that is required.  This provides you necessary time to Prepare, Revise and Practice.
Preparation (160 hours):
Preparation has two parts viz. Basic Preparation and Revision. The Objective of basic preparation is to have the concepts understood,
Basic Preparation
One should go through the basic concepts, short cuts as well as exercises to test your understanding. A Typical BankersChoice student can plan his preparation as under:
  • Go through the 350+ video lessons across all Quant, Reasoning, English and General Awareness topics. This will take you around 60 hours
  • Participate in 4-5 live classes during the month - 10 hours
  • Set aside 0:30 hr a day to go through the pdfs pertaining to Word Power, Synonyms Antonyms, Current Affairs Computer terms etc. – 15 hours
  • Set aside 1:00 hour per day towards reading News papers, Articles of importance – 30 hours
  • Go through the shortcut videos across various section – 5 hours
Revision
Revision has to be done on important topics and specifically those which you find it difficult to follow.
  • Participate in the SBI Clerk Accelerator Program – 24 hours
  • Identify the areas where you find difficulties and revise the same till you get confident  - 16 hours
Practice (40 hours):
As you would appreciate, Practice is an important area one needs to focus on.  While Full Length Tests are good, it is important that one also takes on Section Tests as well as Topic Tests to understand your strengths and weakness. So we suggest two stage practice as under:
Practice Tests (Section / Topic Level):
Ideally, one should take a minimum of 10 section level tests for each of the sections viz. Quant, Reasoning, English and General Awareness. This will take you around 20 hours. If time permits,  you can take some Section Tests as well on specific sections which you identify for revision in your preparation (based on importance as well as your understanding levels).
Mock Tests (Full Tests):
Here again, we suggest two pronged approach. One is to solve previous year papers and other is to take up fresh question papers.  
  • Solve at least 4-5 previous year question papers  - 10 hours
  • Take at least 4-5 other new question papers - 10  hours
Ideally, this practice needs to be done ONLINE and in an interface similar to that of the examination. BankersChoice students have the opportunity not only to do all these practices but also get analytical reports on their performance, which can be used to understand the areas of strengths and weaknesses that can be acted upon through preparation and revision.
Recommendation:
If you are part of the 30 Day preparation group, the ideal BankersChoice course to suit your need is Bank Exam Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator or Bank Clerk Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator.
However, if you are keen to use this One Day International Preparation to move up to the Tests you must choose Bank Exam Premium course.
Those who have more than 30 days - say 44 or 51 days, can use the same format, but spend more time on preparation and take up more practice tests.
The T20 Approach:
A 15 day preparation plan is like a T20 Match approach. You have limited time, but still have some time to actually prepare and get ready for the examination.  
Preparation (74 hours):
Preparation has two parts viz. Basic Preparation and Revision. The Objective of basic preparation is to have the concepts understood,
Basic Preparation
One should go through the basic concepts, short cuts as well as exercises to test your understanding. A Typical BankersChoice student can plan his preparation as under:
  • Go through key sections where you believe that you need inputs. This will be part of the 300 video lessons across all Quant, Reasoning, English and General Awareness topics. This will take you around 30 hours
  • Participate in 2-3 live classes and get your doubts clarified and benefit from the doubts asked by other students during the period - 6 hours
  • Set aside 0:45 hr a day to go through the pdfs pertaining to Word Power, Synonyms Antonyms, Current Affairs, Computer terms etc. including going through important current news items – 9 hours
  • Go through the shortcut videos across various section – 5 hours
Revision
Revision has to be done on important topics and specifically those which you find it difficult to follow.
  • Participate in the SBI Clerk Accelerator Program – 24 hours
Practice (26 hours):
As you would appreciate, Practice is an important area one needs to focus on.  While Full Length Tests are good, it is important that one also takes on Section Tests as well as Topic Tests to understand your strengths and weakness. So we suggest two stage practice as under:
Practice Tests (Section / Topic Level):
Ideally, one should take a minimum of 6 section level tests for each of the sections viz. Quant, Reasoning, English and General Awareness. This will take you around 12 hours. If time permits,  you can take some Section Tests as well on specific sections which you identify for revision in your preparation (based on importance as well as your understanding levels).
Mock Tests (Full Tests):
Here again, we suggest two pronged approach. One is to solve previous year papers and other is to take up fresh question papers.  
  • Solve at least 3 previous year question papers  - 7 hours
  • Take at least 3 other new question papers - 7  hours
Ideally, this practice needs to be done ONLINE and in an interface similar to that of the examination. BankersChoice students have the opportunity not only to do all these practices but also get analytical reports on their performance, which can be used to understand the areas of strengths and weaknesses that can be acted upon through preparation and revision.
Recommendation:
If you are part of the 30 Day preparation group, the ideal BankersChoice course to suit your need is Bank Exam Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator or Bank Clerk Learner + SBI Clerk Accelerator.
However, if you are keen to use this One Day International Preparation to move up to the Tests you must choose Bank Exam Premium course.

The Slog Over Approach:
A 7 day preparation plan is like a Slog Over approach in T20 match.  Confidence, aggression and risk taking are the key features of this approach. Honestly, there is very little time available, and you cannot look at improving your skills or learning. Only learn the tactics and go ahead and depend on your basic skills acquired during your education.
Preparation (44 hours):
Preparation has two parts viz. Basic Preparation and Revision. The Objective of basic preparation is to have the concepts understood,
Basic Preparation
You dont have much time to go through the basic concepts. You should only focus on short cuts as well as revisions. A Typical BankersChoice student can plan his preparation as under:
  • Go through most important sections in which you do not have much prior understanding. This typically can be reasoning topics like Machine Input Output, Element Series, arrangements etc. You can afford to spend around 6 hours on this
  • Set aside 0:45 hr a day to go through the pdfs pertaining to Word Power, Synonyms Antonyms, Current Affairs, Computer terms etc. including going through important current news items – 9 hours
  • Go through the shortcut videos across various section – 5 hours
Revision
Revision is going to be the key part of your preparation. BankersChoice SBI Clerk Accelerator program is designed for you. In this, you will have most important topics covered across all sections. This becomes the pillar for your preparation.
  • Participate in the SBI Clerk Accelerator Program – 24 hours
Practice (6 hours):
As you would appreciate, Practice is an important area one needs to focus on.  While Full Length Tests are good, it is important that one also takes on Section Tests as well as Topic Tests to understand your strengths and weakness. So we suggest two stage practice as under:
Practice Tests (Section / Topic Level):
There is no time available for this. If you can stretch yourselves and find extra time,  you can take some Section Tests as well on specific sections which you identify for revision in your preparation (based on importance as well as your understanding levels).
Mock Tests (Full Tests):
Here again, we suggest two pronged approach. One is to solve previous year papers and other is to take up fresh question papers.  
  • Solve at least 1-2 previous year question papers  - 4 hours
  • Take at least 1 other new question papers - 2  hours
Ideally, this practice needs to be done ONLINE and in an interface similar to that of the examination. BankersChoice students have the opportunity not only to do all these practices but also get analytical reports on their performance, which can be used to understand the areas of strengths and weaknesses that can be acted upon through preparation and revision.
Recommendation:
If you are part of the 30 Day preparation group, the ideal BankersChoice course to suit your need is SBI Clerk Accelerator Program
However, if you are keen to use this Preparation to move up to the Tests you must choose Bank Exam Premium course.


I trust this  approach is useful for your preparation.
Wish you the very best in the forthcoming examination and look forward to hearing your success stories.

Sridhar K
Sr. VP, TalentSprint


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