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IBPS Clerk Prelims 2018 | Section-wise Preparation Strategy (~70 Days To Go)

The official notification for the IBPS Clerk 2018 exam was released a few days back. And now that the results of SBI Clerk Mains have been declared as well, this is the right time to kick-start your preparation for the IBPS Clerk 2018 exam. In case you have cleared the SBI Clerk 2018 exam, we wish you many many congratulations!

But to those of you for whom things didn’t go as well as they thought, please remember that all hope is not lost! IBPS Clerk 2018 is a golden opportunity for you to make your dreams a reality. In this article, we bring to a section-wise detailed preparation strategy along with the important books and resources required for the IBPS Clerk 2018 exam.

There are about 70 days to go for the IBPS Clerk preliminary examination and this is the perfect time to kick-start your preparations! In this post we would give a complete preparation strategy for the same. We would first, take a quick look at the prelims exam pattern and then move on to the preparation strategy of each section. In the preparation strategy, we will discuss the following:-

(I)  Important Topics (based on weightage over the last few years)

(II) Important Preparation Tips / Material / Resources (Categorized on the basis of question type or topic)

IBPS Clerk Prelims 2018 : Exam Pattern

The IBPS Clerk exam has been undegoing changes since the last year. In 2017, the mains paper pattern saw a change, whereas this year, in 2018 a major change was brought in the prelims exam pattern, i.e. introduction of sectional time limits.

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This is a major step as it will require you to tweak your attempt strategy. Although the ground rule of preparation, i.e.: having strong basics remains intact. Here we bring to you some important tips to help you take your performance a notch higher. Some key points to note here are as mentioned below:

  • English Language
    • 30 questions must be attempted within 20 minutes, so that is about 1 minute for every 1.5 questions; in other words, the maximum time you have for 1 question is about 0.67 minutes or 40 seconds.
  • Numerical Ability
    • 35 questions must be attempted within 20 minutes, so that is about 1 minute for every 1.75 questions; once more, the maximum time allotted for 1 question is 0.57 minutes or 34 seconds.
  • Reasoning Ability
    • Like numerical ability, the maximum time you can dedicate per question here is about 0.57 minutes or 34 seconds.

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Let us now move on to the preparation strategy for each section of the IBPS Clerk Prelims.

IBPS Clerk 2018 Prelims Preparation Strategy : English Language Section

Most aspirants find the English Language section to be the toughest of all. However, if prepared properly, this can be turned into one of the most scoring sections as it is extremely time efficient. There is no time taking calculation or reasoning involved and questions are to be answered only on the basis of the knowledge of a concept. Hence, speed is taken care of inherently. Where most people face difficulty is the: accuracy. This section aims to help you achieve the most of this section. So, read along!

IBPS Clerk Prelims English Language : Important Question Types | Topic-wise Preparation Strategy | Preparation Resources

Based on the analysis of previous years’ papers, we can say that the following are some of the important question types for the IBPS Clerk 2018 exam.

1. Grammar: Some important question types are as mentioned below-

  • Error Spotting
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • Active & Passive Voice
  • Arrangement & Rearrangement of Sentences
  • Direct & Indirect Speech

Grammar isn’t a question type in itself but is important nonetheless as it forms the basis of the above-mentioned concepts. So build on your grammar by referring to helpful books such as: Wren & Martin. You can also refer to custom made e-books such as: 100 important idioms. These help you with your preparation as they cover exactly what is covered in the exam.

2. Vocabulary: Some important question types are as mentioned below-

  • Cloze Test
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Homonyms
  • Spellings

Vocabulary is tested both directly and indirectly in the exam. There might be difficult words in a given passage that may make it difficult for you to understand what is being talked about (indirect testing of vocabulary).

There maybe direct questions on synonyms, antonyms. Hence, reading from a variety of sources is a must. Make sure you add at least 10 new words every day.

IBPS Clerk Prelims 2018 Build Concepts: Take TOPIC TESTS | Difficulty Level 1, 2 and 3

Some important preparation sources :

  • Word Power Made Easy (Norman Lewis). Though this book is of a higher level, it is a good idea to prepare from it as it teaches you word roots. So if you learn one root you can guess the meaning of all associated words.
  • Take online vocabulary quizzes to help you achieve the target of learning 10 new words every day. You can also attempt these FREE vocabulary quizzes HERE.

3. Reading Comprehension: Some important question types are as mentioned below-

  • Theme Based
  • Conclusion Based

It is the most important part of the English language section and can be aced with adequate practice. The only ‘preparation tip’ that works here (however clichéd it may sound) is a lot of reading from varied sources. We have written some very detailed and well-researched articles on reading comprehension preparation. Do read these to get some valuable tips regarding RC passages and how to attempt them in exams. (These are a  must read, and we assure you that it would be time well spent!)

IBPS Exams 2018 : How To Increase RC Scores (Part-1)

IBPS Exams 2018 : How To Increase RC Scores (Part-2)

*Note that this is based on our understanding as IBPS provides no official syllabus.

IBPS Clerk 2018 Prelims Preparation Strategy : Reasoning Ability Section

Reasoning is one of the challenging sections in the exam as it is quite time-consuming. However, with proper practice, one can score well in this section.

Topic v/s Questions
Coding Decoding 4
Inequalities 5
Syllogism 5
Blood Relation 2
Direction Sense 2
Seating Arrangement 6
Puzzles 6
Miscellaneous 5
Total 35

*Note that this topic -wise break-up of questions is approximate & is based on previous years’ trends. This is not definitive.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Reasoning Ability : Important Question Types | Topic-wise Preparation Strategy | Preparation Resources

As it is one of the time-consuming topics, it would be a better idea to categorize question types based on the difficulty levels. Here we have categorized this section in simple, medium and complex. It is advisable to use this categorization even while attempting mocks or the real exam as it would keep you the easier questions.

Reasoning Questions – Simple

  • Classification/Odd Pair
  • Series Completion/Analogy
  • Direction Based /Direction Sequence
  • Number, Ranking & Time Sequence
  • Alphabet /Dictionary

There will be approximately 10-12 questions around these topics in the IBPS clerk exam.

Reasoning Questions – Medium

  • Inequalities
  • Blood Relations
  • Coding Decoding
  • Syllogisms
  • Data Sufficiency

Candidates can expect approximately 15-17 questions covering these topics in the exam. Practice is the mantra to master these questions.

Reasoning Questions – Complex

  • Seating Arrangement
  • Puzzles
  • Input Output Machine

There will be 10-15 questions from this section. Attempt these at the end depending on the time left. Do not attempt a question unless you are confident.

Reasoning Preparation Resources

 

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IBPS Clerk Prelims 2018 | Take Sectional Tests For English, Quant and Reasoning

IBPS Clerk 2018 Prelims Preparation Strategy : Numerical Ability Section

 The aspirants with a non-Math background face the most difficulty in this section. However, before forming any notions regarding this section, we must realize that the questions asked of the same level as that asked a class 10th student. Thus, the first requirement of preparing for the section is letting go of all the mental blocks you have. Remember that the questions are NOT for some mathematician. The questions are from basic mathematical concepts and the real challenge that we face is solve the questions in a stipulated time. So, practice is THE way to ace this section. But here also, the practice has to have a strategic backing so that you can score the maximum in the exam.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Numerical Ability : Important Question Types | Topic-wise Preparation Strategy | Preparation Resources

Consider the following distribution of questions ( this is based on our analysis of previous year’s papers and is not definitive ).

Arithmetic 8-10
Series 5
Quadratic Equations 5
Simplification 5
Probability 0-2
DI [Pie Chart, Bar Graph, Tables etc. ] 10 (2 sets of 5 questions each)

 Arithmetic includes the following topics: Percentage, Profit and Loss, Ration and Proportion, SI & CI, Time and work, TSD, SI &CI, Mixture and allegations, Averages, Problems on Ages.

For preparation purposes let us categorize the above-mentioned topics based on the difficulty levels.

Easy and Scoring Questions

The questions that come from the following topics are generally easy to solve, require less time and can be attempted with high accuracy. one can expect rough 15-17 questions from these topics.

  • Simplification
  • Arithmetic Topics: Problems on Ages, Percentage, Averages, Simple Interest/ Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Ratio & Proportions.
  • DI (one of the DI Sets )

 

Time-Consuming Questions

Questions in this category are difficult than above and require more time to solve. Some of the questions may be difficult on account of being tricky but not calculation intensive or these could be difficult only because of the fact that calculation involved is tedious. Accuracy here will depend on the amount of practice done before the exam. There will be around 12-15 questions from this category.

  • Probability
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Arithmetic Topics: Mixture and allegations, Time and Work, Time Speed and Distance
  • Number Series
  • Another DI Set

The categorization here is general. But as a part of your preparation, it must be one of your targets to come up with your own list of strengths and weaknesses so that you can maximize your score.

An often ignored yet an extremely important aspect of the preparation of the numerical ability section is working on improving your calculation skills. This can be done by learning shortcut methods and practicing them on an everyday basis. Learn the following:-

  • Multiplication tables up to 25
  • List of squares and cubes from 1 to 25
  • Common percentages and their fractional & decimal equivalents

Numerical Ability Preparation Resources

  1. Quantitative Aptitude Test by N.K. Singh
  2. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by R.S. Agarwal
  3. Kiran’s Textbook of Quickest Mathematics
  4. Important Quant Formulae Flash Cards
  5. Quantitative Ability Daily Quiz

 

IBPS Clerk 2018 Prelims Preparation Strategy : General Preparation Tips

Taking sectional tests,full-length mock tests is an integral part of exam preparation. However, there’s one caveat here: Quantity does not compensate for quality. Many aspirants feel that if they give a high number of mocks, they will do well in the exam. However, it is not the number of tests taken, but what is done in between taking two tests that decides an aspirants success factor in the exam. Here is how Oliveboard mocks will help you prepare better:-

  • Our study plan creates a personalized study schedule based on syllabus, important topics and time available. You can also track your progress and upcoming tasks here.
  • OliveBoard’s platform gives your All India Standing. Also, by using this platform you can reduce your study time as it identifies your weak areas and provides remedial practice tests for the same.

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  • To save you from the getting into a monotonous preparation routine, Oliveboard also has group study sessions wherein you can collaborate and compete with friends in a game-like environment.

Hope this helps you prepare and / or refine your IBPS Clerk preparation plan. Feel free to write to us with any queries or suggestions. You can do this in the comments section below. For any exam related queries, you can participate on our discussion forum and interact with your peers.

All the best!


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