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Bank PO jobs are currently among the most in-demand jobs in India. More than 20 lakh aspirants generally appear for exams conducted by IBPS, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), State Bank of India (SBI), and private banks. These banking exams can get you jobs in RBI, SBI (and associated banks), nationalised banks, private Indian banks, a few select foreign banks and a large number of small to medium cooperative banks along with Gramin Banks. Most of these jobs are at the clerical, PO (Probationary Officer) and SO (Specialist Officer) levels. Vacancies in banks are set to reach around 7.5 lakh in the next 5 years, since banking jobs are appearing lucrative in times of an economic slowdown.

The best ways to crack the Bank PO exam are:

  • Developing very good speed
  • Solving questions as much as possible
  • Picking up easier questions first
  • Completing first all the sections that take less time to solve
  • Not getting stuck in any section that takes a little more time e.g. Reasoning Section

Another critical factor in cracking Bank PO exams is to have good command over English, which makes a huge difference. For example, Reasoning and Mathematics take a little more time to think, but if a student’s reading speed is higher, he/she can attempt more questions. To summarise, you should first pick up things that you’re good at, then improve your reasoning skills, and finally work a lot on the English section.

Every Bank PO exam may have a different format in terms of total questions, number of sections, number of questions per section, negative marking and so on. However, the overall content structure of all upcoming bank exams is similar. The commonly tested areas are:

  • Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation – school level maths, basic charts and tables
  • Logical Reasoning – puzzles, analytical and critical reasoning
  • English Language – school level grammar, English comprehension
  • General Awareness – GK and current affairs
  • Computer Awareness – computers, applications, internet

1. Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI):

This section in Bank PO exams tests your calculation skills and knowledge of school level mathematics. The challenge is that while you may have learnt the concepts, you will have forgotten the associated formulae, concepts, properties, etc, and have not had much exposure to such questions for many years!

The various question types asked in this section are:

Question Type Number of Questions Weightage in Section
BODMAS/Calculation Techniques/Approximations 10 to 15 25-30%
Data Interpretation 15 to 20 40-50%
Odd Man Out/Complete the Series 5 10%
Mathematics 5 to 10 20-25%
Data Sufficiency/Quantitative Comparison 5 10%
Total 40 100%

2. Logical Reasoning (LR):

The reasoning section tests your analytical and logical reasoning skills. This means your ability to interpret data and information given in the form of puzzles, brain teasers or clues and sort it to arrive at a meaningful outcome. It does not generally test conceptual or theoretical knowledge (apart from one or two areas) but requires a lot of practice of different question types.

The various question types asked in this section are:

Question Type Number of Questions Weightage in Section
Arrangements 12 to 15 25-30%
Sequential Output Tracing 4 to 6 10-15%
Odd Man Out/Complete the Series 5 10%
Syllogisms 6 to 8 15-20%
Data Sufficiency 4 to 6 10-15%
Critical Reasoning 6 to 8 15-20%
Visual Reasoning 5 to 10 10-25%
Total 40 100%

3. English Language (VA):

The section (also known as Verbal Ability) tests your English language skills, but is not just a test of vocabulary or English grammar. It is more a test of language comprehension and your ability to interpret information given in English. So, while you need to have good grammar and vocabulary basics, it is vital that you have a good reading habit. Read from as many diverse sources as possible and understand what you read. This is more useful than trying to mug up random words and their meanings.

The various question types asked in this section are:

Question Type Number of Questions Weightage in Section
Reading Comprehension 10 to 15 25-30%
Jumbled Sentences 5 10-12%
Fill in the Blanks 5 10-12%
Close Passages 10 25%
Errors in Usage 5 to 10 10-25%
Sentence Correction 5 to 10 10-25%
Vocabulary 5 10-12%
Paragraph Completion 5 10-12%
Total 40 100%

4. General Knowledge and Current Affairs (GK)

  • The general knowledge and current affairs section tests your general awareness. Thus, you should go through GK magazines and books. But remember, it is even more important to read newspapers daily and current affairs magazines on a weekly basis. Keep a lookout for important events at the national and international level.
  • The various areas from which GK questions may be asked are:

o   Banking Products and Terminology
o   Economic and Corporate Updates
o   Government Schemes and Constitutional Bodies
o   Marketing Terms
o   Current Affairs

5. Computer Awareness (CA)

With increasing use of computers and the Internet in all kinds of bank jobs, computer awareness is inevitable. This section on computer awareness in bank exams is a relatively new entrant. As bank aspirants, you are expected to have a basic working knowledge of computers, their applications and how to use them. Consequently, while bank tests don’t really check your technical expertise, they do test your proficiency with common computer applications.

The various areas from which questions may be asked in this section are:

  • Basics of Computer Hardware
  • Software & Desktop Applications and Windows
  • Microsoft Office Applications
  • Internet and Networking
  • Terminology and Latest News

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