How I cracked the IBPS PO Exam: Neeraj Agrawal

By: Neeraj Agrawal


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I am Neeraj Agrawal from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, an Oliveboard user. After my graduation, I worked for 2 years, before deciding to choose Banking as my career. I successfully cleared the IBPS PO 2016 exam and in the following article, I’d like to share the preparation strategy I used and how Oliveboard helped me ace the IBPS PO 2016 exam.

I came across Oliveboard preparation portal through a website and attempted their free mock test after applying for SBI PO 2015 examination. I liked Oliveboard’s test series and purchased the complete package.

Routine: I used to attempt multiple mock tests in the night after returning from work & analyse them in the morning before going to work.

I studied for 2 hours during the weekdays and 4 hours during the weekends.



SBI PO 2015: Couldn’t clear mains by 1 mark

IBPS PO 2015: Cleared & got selected for Vijaya Bank (though I didn’t join)

SBI PO 2016: Couldn’t clear mains by 0.75 marks

IBPS PO 2016: Cleared!


Following is the strategy I used for my IBPS PO exam preparation:

Quantitative Aptitude

Math is the most time-consuming section. We need to be fast with our calculation. I suggest learning the Trachtenberg and Vedic math system. A lot of candidates complain, that, when they’re under stress during the exam. they can only apply normal methods for calculation and not the shortcuts. To avoid that, practice sufficiently by applying these techniques while taking multiple mock tests for Quantitative Aptitude. Also, practice calculating mentally and avoid calculating on the paper. Use paper only to write important partial answers & complex calculations.

As far as Data Interpretation is concerned, you don’t need to learn too many concepts. All you need is good calculation and a bit of logic. Practice is key!

For math, I learnt the concepts and a few handy tricks on YouTube and took multiple mock tests from Oliveboard.



Solve a lot of puzzles; It’s learning and at the same time fun. Practice questions from textbooks. Learn to solve Syllogisms through Venn diagrams, as they can get you full marks. Focus more on verbal reasoning, since a lot of questions are expected from that portion in the exam.


English language

English has always been my strength. I read three books during my college days; Word power made easy, Better English and How to read better & faster; all by Norman Lewis. Reading these books came in handy for my Bank exam preparation. I regularly read different books, articles & magazines. I also took multiple English language mock tests from Oliveboard on a regular basis to measure my study progress.


General knowledge

Divide GK into static & dynamic.

Static: This cannot be prepared in a month. Mastering static GK is an on-going process. Be curious and keep an eye on things.

Dynamic (current affairs): I used to read news related to Economy and Banking of the past six months before the exam. I copied down headlines and important information of the news in a word document and revised them regularly. After reading this handy document for 3-4 times more, I could answer any question from that news. You will be surprised after learning about the number of questions that came directly from this personal document of yours.

One more thing that helped me was practice GK mock tests from Oliveboard.


Computer knowledge

I’m a software engineer with background in IT, hence, never needed to particularly prepare for this section much. However, if you aren’t very good with computers, you can refer to websites that have study material for computer preparation. Practice questions related to MS Office, Basic windows functions, Input and output devices, etc.


Tips for future IBPS PO aspirants
  • Once you have decided that this is your calling, don’t stop!
  • Don’t listen to anybody who say bank exams are tough or that there’s a lot of competition. Refer to expected cut offs and previous year cut offs, prepare for the exam keeping that in mind. You’re only competing with the sincere candidates.
  • Keep yourself constantly motivated; watch motivational videos and listen to motivational songs.


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