Preparing for any bank exam can be overwhelming with the vast syllabus, cutthroat competition, and limited time to prepare.
For example for the SBI Clerk 2019, over 36 lakh applications came in for just 11,000 vacant positions. The likelihood of you getting the job, in this case, is just over 0.3%. That’s how difficult clearing the selection process and landing a bank job is. You will just have 2 odd months from the day the official notification is released by the recruitment body (IBPS/SBI/RBI etc) till the day of the preliminary exam.
1. Get the Necessary Evil Out of Your Way
The application process for bank exam can be tedious, cumbersome, and boring. Apply as soon as possible to ensure that you get an exam center close to home or of your choice. This will ensure that you don’t have to travel and suffer from fatigue. Make sure that you have all the necessary documents/certificates necessary. If you are preparing for the SBI Clerk then you will need to ensure that you take a color printout of the SBI Clerk Admit Card after verifying the spelling of your name and other details are mentioned correctly on the admit card. Without the admit card you won’t be allowed to enter the exam venue. Once you get such things out of the way, you can focus completely on your preparation.
2. Know Which Topics to Cover
Let’s face it, if you are reading this then you are probably looking to make the most out of the last few weeks left before your exam and there is no point in setting unrealistic goals and trying to cover all the topics. Spend a day analyzing the question papers from the last 3-5 years. Note down the number of questions that are asked from each topic, marking scheme and the sectional cutoff for that topic. Focus on the high scoring topics that also carry a lot of weightage. Don’t waste time on the difficult topics that are very rarely tested.
3. Taming the General Awareness Beast
The ideal way to prepare is to read every nook and corner of the newspaper and religiously take notes every single day but if you are short on time then you can just Google current affairs for the day and you will find a lot of websites that not only list out the highlights or important affairs but also share questions that can be asked from the topic & questions that were previously asked from this topic. On the day of the exam, don’t spend more than 10-15 minutes attempting this section and avoid guessing unless you absolutely have to or you have eliminated at least 2 incorrect choices.
4. Test & Time Yourself
You aren’t preparing for the CAT or GMAT exam that tests your depth of understanding but rather the bank exams that test your ability to arrive at the right answer within 40-60 seconds. If you fail to time yourself while practicing problems then you will never get used to the time pressure. This will also help you identify and skip questions that will end up consuming a lot of time.
5. Go After the Right Questions
Most preliminary bank exams are qualifying in nature. You just have to clear the sectional and overall cutoffs to make it to the next stage of the selection process. It doesn’t matter if you get through with the highest score possible or just sneak through. On the day of the exam, start with your strongest section first. The objective is to maximize your score in this section and get as close as possible to the overall cutoff. Read all the questions in the section and categorize them as easy, medium, and difficult. Go after the easy questions first, followed by the medium difficulty questions, and skip the difficult ones to ensure that you don’t lose marks due to negative marking. Repeat the same process for all the sections.
6. Don’t Overlook the Obvious
While most aspirants prepare well, practice, and revise enough, they forget to take care of their physical and mental health. Even a few days of illness can derail your preparation significantly. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep, eat right and exercise/meditate to ensure that you are in fighting shape for the exam.
Please remember that EXECUTION is the key aspect. Ensure that you personalize & implement these actionable tips and pivot to a different strategy as and when necessary
We hope that these tips will supercharge your preparation and boost your confidence.
Good luck with the exam!
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.