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IBPS Specialist Officer (IT-Officer) Slot on 28th Jan, 2017 : Exam Analysis

The exam was conducted by IBPS for Specialist Officers (SO) in various domains. The Information Technology officer being the most sought after post.  The overall structure of the IBPS SO exam was of 4 sections, 5 options. The overall difficulty level of the exam was moderate. While most of the questions were easy to moderate in terms of the level of difficulty.

The best approach to succeed in these type of exams is to identify the difficult or time consuming questions and attempt them last. Following is the detailed break-up of the various sections of the exam.

S.N Sections No of Questions Marks Duration
1 Reasoning Ability 50 * 30 Minutes                        
2 English Language 50 * 25 Minutes
3 Professional Knowledge 50 80 35 Minutes
4 Quantitative Aptitude 50 * 30 Minutes
  Total 200 80  

Please note that only professional knowledge section scores are considered for selection and merit list. Other sections are of qualifying nature only and scores obtained in these sections won’t be considered for the final call for interview and merit list. Given the competitive nature of this exam, it is however recommended to prepare well for all the sections.

All the sections of this exam are time limited and you can only proceed to next section when the time limit of your current section is exhausted. The sequence of the sections in the exam is same as shown in the table above. Most students go with a mindset of concentrating on the Professional Knowledge section and not on the remaining ones. This strategy backfires when they are not able to clear the sectional cut-offs for the remaining sections. It is to note that if you are not able to clear the sectional cut-offs of other sections, your score in the Professional Knowledge section would be of no use.

It is therefore advised to give ample time to each section during your preparation of the examination. The difficulty level of IBPS exams is going up day by day which makes continuous practice and judicious approach of preparation not just a obligation but a necessity.

The section-wise analysis of is given below:

Reasoning Ability

This section was of moderate level.,one puzzles were asked. 2 seating arrangement  sets were there. One linear arrangement set was difficult and other  circular arrangement set was easy .

S.N Topic No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
1 Coding Decoding 5 Easy
2 Input Output 5 Moderate
3 Linear Arrangement 5 Moderate
4 Circular Arrangement 5 Slightly Difficult
5 Puzzles 10 Moderate(2 Sets)
6 Inequalities 5 Easy
7 Syllogisms 5 Moderate
8 Blood Relations 3 Easy
9 Direction 2 Easy
10 Miscellaneous 5 Moderate

Note:  First going through Syllogisms, Blood relations, Inequalities,  Alphanumeric Series, Directions and then going for Linear Arrangement, Circular arrangement, Input-Output and Scheduling would have been a better approach to maximize the score in this section.

Some of the questions were of above average difficulty level and time consuming. The solution is to analyse these type of problems as fast as possible and mark them so that you can attempt them when time permits.

Good Attempts: 26-28
Good Score: 22-25
Time: 30 minutes

English Language

Overall this section was of moderate difficulty level, but some questions were way too easy. Error spotting and sentence correction questions were of good difficulty level. Multiple fill in the blanks and multiple options made it more difficult. Some questions in the RC passage were tough to crack.

S.NO Topic No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
1 Error Spotting 10 Moderate
3 Reading Comprehension 10 Easy- Moderate
4 Correct Sentences 20 Moderate
5 Para-Jumbles 5 Easy
6 Miscellaneous 5 Moderate

Miscellaneous(Antonym  and Synonym etc)

The strategy to attempt this section is very simple. Error spotting questions should be attempted first, followed by sentence correction and parajumbles and and reading comprehension.

Good Attempts:  24-26
Good Score: 22-24 Marks
Time Allocated : 25 Minutes.

Professional Knowledge

This section comprised of wide variety of questions ranging from Database Administration, Operating Systems, Computer Programming, Computer Networking to Web Technologies, Computer Hardware and Microsoft Office. Overall the section was easy which will make cut-offs go high for this section.

S.NO Topic No. of Question Level of Difficulty
1 Computer Programming 10 Moderate
2 DBMS 8   Moderate
3 Data Communication & Networking 9 Easy-Moderate
4 Basics of hardware 5 Easy
5 Web Technologies 4 Moderate
6 Software Engineering 3 Easy
7 MS Office 2 Easy
8 Miscellaneous* 9 Easy

*Miscellaneous( Network Security, Operating Systems, Mobile Operating Systems etc)

Good Attempts:  38-40
Good Score: 60 Marks
Time Allocated : 35 Minutes.

Quantitative Aptitude

This section was moderate in difficulty. DI set was table based. There were 5 simplification questions asked. Simplifications were mostly easier to solve. DI sets were easy but time consuming.

S.NO Topic No. of Question Level of Difficulty
1 Simplification 5 Easy- Moderate
2 Number Series 5   Easy - Moderate
3 Data Interpretation 15 Easy to  Moderate(3Sets)
4 Quadratic Equation 5 Moderate
5 Miscellaneous 20 Easy-Moderate

Miscellaneous (Ages, Average, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Time Speed and Distance, Geometry(Circle based), Ratio and Proportions,Mensuration,  Partnerships, Simple and Compound Interest etc.)

The best strategy for quant section is to first go for Approximations and Number series and then gradually move to your area of strength. Some questions in start and middle were sitters and the best strategy for them was to identify them attempt them last.

Good Attempts: 24-26 Questions
Good Score: 20-24
Time: 30 minutes

Conclusion: The exam was of moderate difficulty level and if one is able to clear the sectional cut-offs, a score of above 60 marks in professional knowledge can definitely get you a call for interview. IMS wishes all the aspirants best of luck.


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