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Exam Preparation Strategy & Interview Tips by Topper (Srinath Chowdary, PO at Andhra Bank)

Exam Preparation Strategy

Srinath Chowdary, a Probationary Officer at Andhra Bank shares his exam preparation strategy along with tips for bank po interview here. SBI PO GD and Interview is going on and this post would be helpful for the ones eligible for. This will also help all other aspirants attempting or planning to attempt any bank po examsSo here’s his strategy and tips in his own words,

Hi, I am Srinath Chowdary and I cleared IBPS PO and Clerk 2017. I am from Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. I belong to the GENERAL category and I completed my Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in the year 2016. Soon after completing my graduation, I started preparing for PSBs.

Before starting I’d like to share something, “I was an average student, it takes much time for me to understand any topic than most of you. Don’t think that I am saying this by fabricating a fable just to motivate you. There is no point in motivating you by saying a fairy tale.      

Believe me or not. I am no intelligent, but a hard worker. It just the hard work that paid me and still paying me. I would say all rankers are not intellectuals, some of them are hard workers. So, don’t compare yourself to your peers and worry that you are not getting through the exams despite preparing well while your friends are getting through. keep on working hard.

I started preparing for bank exams soon after completion of my graduation. I joined coaching institute in June 2016 for 4 months, as I had no idea of quant, reasoning & banking awareness.

Detailed Exam Preparation Strategy 

English

During my coaching, I learned that all I must do is to read a lot to improve my English both vocabulary and grammar. I did and became perfect at grammar within 2 months. For vocabulary I used to read “WORD POWER MADE EASY”, the amazing book which really works. Also, I used to read “The Hindu” editorial to improve vocabulary as advised by my faculty & seniors. But, as I was not so much interested in reading the books I curated my own technique I used to scan the editorial for new words. It just reduces the time immensely.

For grammar one can follow “General English by SP Bakshi ” or “Plinth to Paramount “. Learning grammar is good, but don’t rely solely on grammar. Focus on Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension as well.

Reading Comprehension: For reading comprehension, you must read a lot, if you are not a good reader start reading interesting articles, novels, biographies etc., else you can just read newspaper everyday so that you can get both reading skills and grip on current affairs which will be useful in group discussions. Getting Success in RC is nothing, but improving the pace of reading which is calculated in wpm (words per minute)

Quantitative Aptitude

I was very weak in this section initially, even after taking coaching classes I used to fumble a lot at quant. I was very scared of it and thought I couldn’t crack the exams. I wanted to improve my mathematics skill but didn’t know what to do for it. Depressed!

Then I, fortunately, got to know about a book named “Quicker math”, by M.Tyra through my cousin. I started doing it, believe me, guys within 2 months I became perfect at quant. It’s just a Miracle that I experienced during my preparation. The name of the book itself is “Magical book on Quicker math”.  I was amazed by it. I advise all the aspirants who are facing some challenges in quants to have a glimpse of this book.

Do speed mathematics, by heart square up to 20 numbers and cubes up to 30 numbers.

Data Interpretation (DI): Oliveboard is the best source for Data Interpretation, Oliveboard’s DI are too good. So, don’t waste your time searching for any other sources. Oliveboard is more than enough.

Logical Reasoning

I didn’t refer any books other than my own notes and Oliveboard’s test seriesI relied mainly on Oliveboard for puzzles and other miscellaneous patterns which used to change rapidly from exam to exam. Oliveboard provides You the best updates of new models.

General Awareness

It was my nightmare, as I don’t read newspapers & follows news till then in my life. I have zero knowledge of politics (I don’t know anything other than names of CM, PM & President).

Same with the sports, I don’t follow even cricket. I really didn’t know what to do with this section and how to score well in it as many people who follow news treat it as a scoring section. Again, I had no other option but just to work hard which I did it in a very systematic way. You can score more in this section even if you don’t have a habit of reading the newspaper.

Break this section into 3 parts

  1. Static GK 
  2. Banking awareness
  3. Dynamic GK (current affairs)

Static GK: Just follow the pdf available on “Affairscloud”, it’s more than enough.

Banking awareness: I followed “Banking & Financial awareness” by I.K Pavel, max publications. (available on Amazon). It is the best book for banking awareness. I also followed some YouTube channels.

Current affairs: This is the most important section where you need to do a lot of research and by heart a lot of important news or headlines.

I used to follow around 11 websites and made a mess of it. Don’t do that. Just follow affairscloud
Daily. Also, do read the monthly pdfs (nothing new, just entire month’s topics in a pdf) of them, just for revision. Take Affairscloud & Oliveboard ‘s monthly current affairs quizzes without fail.

Computer Awareness

These days you won’t get any questions from it in SBI & IBPS albeit they state, “Reasoning & computers”, you won’t get any questions from computers. However, do read Computer Awareness by Arihant publications and follow Affairscloud quizzes.

Final Tips on Bank Exam Preparation

Do’s

Study 8-9 hours perfectly. Allocate specific time for each section (like 2 hours each for quant and reasoning, 1.5 hours for current affairs, 0.5 hours for static, 1 hour for banking awareness and 1 hour for the English). Keep taking mock tests on a regular basis.  Needless, to mention prepare current affairs of the past 6 months on a day to day basis before your mains exam to avoid last minute rush. 

Don’ts

I made a big blunder by following nearly around 10-11 websites for current affairs thinking that the more I follow the more I score.  Initially, it was good but during the time of revision, it became a mess. I had no choice but to revise from all the 11 websites, which turned out to be very hectic, and I wasted my time by just studying current affairs 4 hours a day. Never do that.

IBPS PO

Interview Experience

  • Name: Srinath Chowdhary
  • Qualification: B. Tech (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
  • Date: 03-02-2018
  • Time: 1 PM
  • Venue: Andhra Bank Apex College, Gachibowli, Hyderabad
  • Panel: 03

Reached the venue by 12 pm and I was the first person to get my biometric and certificate verification done, the people who were assisting was very cooperative and friendly. My serial number was 17, so I was estimating that I will be done with my interview around 6 pm. But luckily, they started calling people in random order and I was the fourth person for an interview.

My turn exactly came at 3 PM. I entered inside the room, greeted them with a gentle smile.

Total members: 5 (4 Male, 1 Female)

I wished them, they asked me to sit, thanked them and sat. I was about to introduce myself with all the stuff I prepared but then asked M1

M1: So, What’s your name?

Me: Srinath Chowdary

M1: Qualification 

Me:  Electrical and Electronics Engineer  

M1: So, did you prepare for banking awareness?

Me: Yes sir, I did (he then asked M3, the center person to take on)

M3: After demonetization though initially, there was some problem like money shortage and all, it settled now, and everyone is feeling quite comfortable now. What is the reason?

Me: It was then when digital wallets take on and our PM introduced BHIM app and stressed on digital banking, online banking, mobile banking etc.,

M3: What is BHIM app, explain it?

Me: Explained and said it works on UPI.

M3: what is UPI?

Me: Explained 

M3: What is Mobile banking?

Me: Explained, then he asked what I should require for it? I said MMID 

M3: Oh MMID! It doesn’t require Aadhar number?

Me: I was embarrassed as it felt it like sarcasm and said I don’t know exactly sir, but I read it as MMID.

M3: Ok, what are the major exports and imports of India?

Me: This was the question that scared me as I had no idea, and the mistake I did was taking time of 30 secs or more to think and finally said sorry sir I don’t know. I could have said ‘No’ without wasting time. I said crude oil is import and exports I have no idea.

M2: Tell me some currencies?

Me: Dollar, Franc, Thai Baht, Krone. I was not able to recall further though I knew many more.

M3: Krone? Which country’s currency is it? I haven’t heard till now

Me: I laughed inside and said sir its Denmark 

M2: Why are you saying such small currencies, you haven’t said anything about the UK, Japan, and China’s currencies.

Me: Sorry sir, I was not able to recall those, they felt ok.

F1: She wasn’t asking anything. I think she was just there to observe my body language.

M1: He gave me a water bottle and asked to market it.

Me: A little annoyed but did my best.

M1: These days PO is no less than sales executive, so I have asked you to market it, most of you people think that bank PO is just a desk job like we can work simply sitting in the bank.

Me: Smiled, (I felt my interview was just ok till then and then got my favorite question from M1)

M1: So, tell me about your hobbies?

Me: I was waiting for this question and replied reading books.

M1: What sort of books? any genre?

Me: Nothing like that, any book which interests me I read.

M1: Explain any book which you have read?

Me: I explained about the book “RICH DAD POOR DAD “

Panel: laughed about the title, asked in a friendly way like which dad is better rich or poor?

Me: explained and they were very much impressed with it, and lastly, I felt satisfied.

M1: Ok, Srinath u can leave now.

Me: Thank you, sir, and came out.

It lasted for 12-15 minutes and my interview was done in both Telugu and English. The panel was friendly and cooperative particularly M1, he helped me lot in answering.

IBPS PO Score Card

  • I got 63/100 in the interview which was just an average
  • I had 25 marks excess than the cutoff in mains. Hence, I can say it helped me in converting the call
  • Mains score 106.75, cut off was 82
  • Prelims score 44, cutoff around 43 (just qualified)
  • Final score 50.56 /100, cutoff 47.04

IBPS Clerk Score Card

  • Got 94 in prelims (attempted 99) cutoff 73
  • 120 in mains, the cutoff was 100

I got good marks in clerk Prelims and just qualified in PO Prelims.

So, from my journey, I can say marks doesn’t matter a lot in final conversion, till the point you have managed to cross the cut off. One can still make a final cut, provided he/she work on other controllable parameters, rather than thinking about his/her marks. To conclude, whatever score you have accept it and work hard for the interview. 

Don’t let yourself down when you score low (instead accept it, celebrate your failure and bounce back) 

Just Chase your Dream! Go and Hunt it. 


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