IBPS RRB Officer Scale I & Assistant Prelims Exam 2017 Preparation Strategy


The IBPS has released the official notification for IBPS RRB 2017 examination. IBPS has announced a whopping 13,000 + openings in Regional Rural Banks for the posts Officers Scale-1 and Office Assistants.


The exams are scheduled to be conducted in the months of September & November:

IBPS RRB Officer Scale-1 Prelims 9th, 10th, 16th Sep
IBPS RRB Officer Scale-1 Mains 5th Nov
IBPS RRB Office Assistant Prelims 17th, 23rd, 24th Sep
IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 12th Nov


You have got around two months to prepare for the exams (IBPS RRB Officer Scale -1 and Office Assistant Prelim Exams). Therefore, we suggest you start your preparations now! Both IBPS RRB Office Scale-1 and Office Assistant have two sections; Quantitative Aptitude & Reasoning and do not include the ‘English Language’ section like most bank exams do. 

In the following article, we are providing you a detailed preparation strategy to guide you through your preparation process:


Time Strategy by Toppers:

Let’s start with the Time Allocation Strategy. The new pattern 45 min test for IBPS RRB Officer Prelims will probably be one of the shortest online exams ever conducted. While the test of 45 min to solve 80 questions is a challenge, time management across sections becomes slightly easier with only two sections in the exam – Quant & Reasoning. 

This is what some of the toppers have been doing with their time allocation & attempts across sections. We checked the toppers'(Top 5% or >95%ile) performance and this is broadly what was their average time allocation & average attempts during the exam was:

1) Reasoning: 21 minutes
2) Quant: 24 minutes


NOTE: What works for some may not work for others. The above will vary depending on difficulty of a section or the paper. Hence, use this only as a guideline & not as a target.

Based on your strengths & weaknesses, you can change this to suit your strategy. Use this only as a guideline if you are unsure of your allocation. If you have a better strategy that is working for you, continue using the same and you need not deviate. Only practice will help you develop a strategy that works for you. 

In a 45 minute test, one cannot afford to lose focus even for a few minutes and hence practice is the key to developing a consistent focus over the entire duration of 45 minutes. 


Officer Scale-1 & Office Assistant 2017 Exam Pattern
Name of the section Number of questions Total Marks Duration
Quantitative Aptitude 40 40 45 Mins
Reasoning 40 40
Total 80 80


Officer Scale-1 & Office Assistant 2017 Study Material

We suggest you keep your preparation material minimum. These are the books that contain concepts of Quant & Reasoning:

  • Magical Book on Puzzle by K. Kundan
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT – Sarvesh K Verma
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Data Interpretation by K. Kundan
  • Quicker Maths by M. Tyra

Note on books: We have noticed that a lot of books containing practice sets and previous year question papers have errors in them. Therefore, we recommend you to be very careful when it comes to choosing books for your IBPS RRB Exam preparation. Make sure you pick the best and the most recommended preparation material with least errors. Do not buy and hoard too many books, as it will end up confusing you. Keep your preparation material minimum and make sure they’re free of errors.


Oliveboard provides video lessons, sectional, topic & practice tests for effective practice to understand the concepts better. These study material are created by exam toppers, and industry experts after extensive research & analysis. The study material are in the latest pattern.


Try it for free here: IBPS RRB Officer Scale-1 & Office Assistant Preparation Material


Officer Scale-1 & Office Assistant Syllabus

Important Quant topics:

Data Interpretation [Bar Graph, Pie Chart, Table, Line Graph, Radar Chart, Mixed Graph], Number Series, Data Sufficiency, Quadratic Equations, Problems on Ages, Partnership, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage & Averages, Profit & Loss, Mixture & Allegations, Simple Interest & Compound Interest, Work & Time, Time & Distance, Boats & Streams, Simplification Approximation,

Important Reasoning topics:

Seating Arrangement [Circular & Linear], Syllogism, Input Output, Coding Decoding, Alphanumeric Series, Ranking/Direction/Order, Alphabet Test, Coded Inequalities, Puzzles, Logical Reasoning, Blood Relation, Data Sufficiency.

The above list of topics is illustrative & not exhaustive. We suggest you refer to the notification as well as previous year IBPS RRB question papers to determine the complete syllabus.


IBPS RRB 2017 Mock Tests: Office Assistant & Officer Scale-1


Officer Scale-1 & Office Assistant 2017 Preparation Approach

You need to follow a systematic preparation approach. Prepare a time table; take into consideration the time you have for preparation, syllabus and number of topics and break it down. Stick to your time table.

Allot time for each topic under Quant & Reasoning. It’s also important that you prepare your time table in a way that you’re left with at least 2 to 2 and a half weeks before exam for your revision. Use this time to improve your speed and accuracy and strategize your exam (time management, order of exams, etc.).


Steps for preparation:


If you aren’t very good at math, we suggest you start by brushing up your basic math concepts using NCERT Math textbooks of 8th, 9th and 10th grades. Don’t spend too much time on these. Do selective study by brushing up on those topics which are important for your exam.

Reasoning section tests your decision-making, problem-solving and logical thinking abilities. These require time and a lot of practice to master. For starters, we recommend solving crossword puzzles, mind-benders, sudoku, etc. to sharpen your skills.


Note on Calculation speed:

It’s important that you try and attempt all the questions in as less time as possible. To save time, we suggest you practice to improve your mental calculation capabilities. There are few things that you can do to improve your mental calculation:

  • Learn quicker Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. These are used in almost every math problem
  • Learn Tables up to 20, Square roots up to 30 and Cube roots up to 20
  • Follow the one-liner approach technique for quicker Addition & Subtraction

Learn the concepts of mental calculation and write them down to revise at a later stage.


Learn the concepts

Concepts need to be prepared in an order. While it’s important to learn each and every concept of every topic under Quant and Reasoning, it’s equally important to learn them in an order. We suggest you start with Ration & Proportion, Percentages and Interests. A lot of advanced topics in Quant are dependent on these concepts.

Using your preparation material, learn concept of every topic under Quant and Reasoning. Once you have learnt the concept, practice questions from that concept to master it. Follow this for every concept of Quant and Reasoning till you have covered all of them.



A word on Shortcut Tricks:

Another way to arrive at solutions quicker is by using shortcut techniques.However, we suggest you learn the shortcut techniques only after learning the conventional way of solving them. 

There are hundreds of shortcut techniques available. However, you need to be very selective in learning them. Learn only the most important once that are helpful in your exams. There are books available in the market that teach you shortcut techniques, but we suggest you come up with the shortcuts on your own, based on your strengths and weaknesses.

The key, is to master both the conventional way of solving and solving by using shortcut techniques.


Solve previous year question papers

Once you have learned and understood all the concepts under Quant & Reasoning and have finished practicing questions sufficiently, solve the IBPS RRB Officer Scale -1 and Office Assistant Previous Year Exam Papers.


Why should you solve previous year papers?

Solving previous year question papers will help you understand the pattern and the kind of questions that can be asked. It will familiarize you with the exam and difficulty pattern. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the questions asked in previous year paper might repeat this year.



Take Mock Tests

One of the most important steps of the preparation process is taking mock tests. Mock tests help you identify your strong and weak areas, determine your speed and accuracy, to help you fine-tune your preparation.

  • Take one mock test before the preparation to assess your level
  • Take sectional mock tests during practice of each topic
  • Take full-length mock tests after solving previous year question papers to check your improvement.

Take a sample mock test for free: IBPS RRB Officer Scale-1 & Officer Assistant Mock Tests


Improve speed and accuracy

After you finish practicing all the topics under Quant and Reasoning

  • Oliveboard’s adaptive engine gives instant feedback on your performance. Determine your speed and accuracy across topics. Practice more questions from topics in which your speed and accuracy needs to improve.
  • After practicing retake the mock test.
  • Keep repeating till you achieve a good speed and accuracy across all topics.


Download the above guide as a PDF to keep it handy during your preparation.

We wish you all the very best!


Further reading

free mock tests online

IBPS RRB Officer-Scale 1 and Office Assistant 2017 Notification

Here’s why you should apply for IBPS RRB Exams

IBPS RRB: Job Profile, Salary, Career Progression