Ashutosh cracks IBPS PO 2016: Strategy, Interview Tips & Motivation!

IBPS PO Success Story – Ashutosh

Hi Everyone,


I am Ashutosh Sharma and I would like to share my journey of getting the bank job of my choice.

I always wanted a bank job. After my graduation in 2015, I filled up every single form which was out that year but could not clear any exam. I did appear for IBPS PO 2015 Mains and SBI PO Mains 2016 but could not clear them. I did an analysis of my results and decided to change my strategy once I realized my speed was a problem. The reason for this was a lack of practicing  any time bound tests. I tried multiple test series of various companies but one thing that distinguished OliveBoard from others was the difficulty level of questions, which is  a must in today’s scenario of continuously changing exam patterns. I did one test a day, as I was a lazy student, I used to do the test in parts. So even if you attempt it in parts in the beginning, do take the complete test as the exam approaches.

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I finally got selected in IBPS PO 2016, and scored 80.75 in mains written and got the bank of my preference: Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Here are some quick tips based on my preparation for each section:

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Section-wise Tips:


  • DI is the most scoring section according to me, so try to spend more time practicing those questions
  • Series questions are also easy if you practice enough
  • Statement questions are difficult to attempt, so just pick topics you like – most attempt profit-loss, interest etc. This way, you can clear math cut-offs with a good margin.


  • Develop habit of reading more because that will help you in comprehension, para jumbles or any other new question that the IBPS decides to throw your way.
  • Don’t spend much time on learning grammar rules, instead practice direct errors and note rules side by side
  • For vocab, rely more on reading. You must try to learn 10 words daily. (Use picture-attaching-technique, so that you can retain that word for a longer time.).bank exam government exam


  • Practice test papers and don’t move forward till you get your puzzle done because it’s the most difficult part in which everyone gets stuck in the beginning
  • Reasoning is all about practice, the pattern is also changing so focus on new pattern questions
  • Don’t ignore the analytics part


  • I prepared with the help of multiple GK capsules from various websites
  • Dedicate a day, during the weekend, and side by side learn from capsules
  • GK is difficult to retain in mind, so if you read from multiple sources, it will help you reaffirm that information


  • Stick to one comprehensive resource/book for this as it is unending!
  • Be thorough with basics of popular topics as most of the questions will be asked from them

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My Interview Experience:

I entered the room and there were 5 interviewers who were pleasant and didn’t ask tricky or difficult questions from me. Here is what I was asked:

  • Self introduction
  • About my family details and about my hometown
  • What I mean by a bank and banking
  • Questions about some common banking terms
  • Question on tax exempted schemes
  • Question on budget as budget was released during those days and was in news
  • Question on why economy of India is behind China

Tips for Interview:

  • You must have a basic banking knowledge and about current schemes and changes in banking sector
  • Do not try to fool them if you don’t know an answer. Just graciously accept that
  • Don’t force yourself to speak in English if you are not comfortable
  • Make eye contact with them
  • Prior to the interview, practice speaking in front of a mirror

Final Tips for all Aspirants, for any exam:

1. I used to study at night as I was not able to wake up in the morning. Don’t believe in the story that everyone tells after getting success-that I used to study for 18hrs, 16hrs etc. Use a simple strategy – count the work not hours!

2. Allot the quantity of work along with quality of work to be achieved in a single day. Gradually keep increasing the work and in some time studying for more hours will not be a scary thing, as the motivation will come from inside

3. Most important thing during this course of preparation is to take proper sleep and eat well

4. Don’t panic during preparation, the more you are relaxed more the chances of getting good marks. As you are in the preparation mode, don’t care about other problems of life for a while and always try to be happy.

5. Attempt a test daily

6. Daily practice of reasoning and maths

7. Read newspapers or any novel daily, for improving your reading habit

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8. Read GK capsules and news bullets 

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So, guys don’t lose hope. If an average guy, in studies like me, can do it so can you! Feel free to contact me here for any guidance. All the best! 

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