Read the success story of Abhishek Agrawal, who went on to clear EPFO ASO & SBI PO in 2019 after previously failing 8 times in such competitive exams with minor differences. He believes that hard work never goes in vain, and sooner or later, it will surely lead you toward your dreams.
Success Story of Abhishek Agrawal
My name is Abhishek Agrawal and I belong to Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. My highest qualification is B.Tech in Computer Science from USIT, IP University, New Delhi. I am presently residing in Noida and working in an IT firm for the past 3 years. In 2019, I appeared for exams LIC AAO (missed insurance cutoff by 2 marks), SBI PO (cleared) and EPFO ASO(cleared). I also applied for the IBPS PO but skipped its mains as I do not want to waste a seat.
It has been a long journey for me. I started my preparation in 2016. Since I was already working and earning, I only attempted PO level exams every year. These are the exams in chronological order which I attempted:
- IBPS PO 2016: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- IBPS RRB Officer Scale 1 2016: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- IPPB 2016: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- IBPS PO 2017: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- IBPS RRB Officer Scale 1 2017: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- SBI PO 2017: Attended Interview, Missed final cutoff.
- SBI PO 2018: Missed prelims cutoff.
- LIC AAO 2019: Missed insurance section cutoff by 2 marks.
- SBI PO 2019: Cleared Final cutoff.
- EPFO ASO 2019: Cleared Final cutoff.
So you can see a lot of patience is required to get through these exams. Competition has increased a lot and is increasing as the time passes by. But eventually, hard work does get paid off.
My Exam Preparation Strategy & Study Plan:
I will try to list the best sources in my opinion and the sources which I followed.
My Exam preparation Resources:
For Concepts: Youtube free videos for SBI PO. These are the best in my opinion.
For Questions: CAT preparation books OR Oliveboard study material. CAT level books are a bit time consuming but they are awesome. They will take your understanding of concept to the next level. Study only relevant topics from these books. To study the only exams related to the point topics, Oliveboard can be the best choice.
Mock Tests: Oliveboard is best in the market. The second choice can be PracticeMock. I used only Oliveboard mock tests as they are based on the latest pattern and syllabus. Attempt each prelim mock test 3 times and try to match the time taken by the topper. Even after trying thrice if you are unable to match the topper’s time, then it means you have to change your approach to the question. Take the help of Youtube channels, FB groups, telegram groups, friends and mentors. Search specifically that topic and do some 50-70 questions more on that particular topic.
I attempted each Main’s mock only once and then solved that mock test with the help of solutions provided by Oliveboard.
My Exam preparation strategy for Aptitude:
Youtube free videos, CAT books, Oliveboard study material, Oliveboard Mock tests(Most important).
My Exam preparation strategy for Reasoning:
Youtube Free videos, CAT books, Oliveboard study material, Oliveboard Mock Tests (Most important). Practice is very important for this section. So practice as many questions as you can to improve your speed and accuracy.
My Exam preparation strategy for English:
Read an editorial and write an essay on it. Use Grammarly app on PC to check grammatical mistakes. This app is awesome. After this, Oliveboard study material, Oliveboard Mock Tests (Most important).
My Exam preparation strategy for GK/GA:
I skipped the static part. The static part needs a lot of time and 2-3 questions are generally asked. I referred to various online daily quizzes. In my opinion, 6 months GA is sufficient. I studied weekly pdf’s of the last 3 months. Oliveboard’s Bolt series can be used to prepare for this section. It is very detailed and helpful.
My Exam preparation strategy for Prelims:
You need to know about every topic being asked. You have to attempt the maximum number of questions in a limited time with >90% accuracy. Always try to find a smarter approach rather than following a traditional approach. In Oliveboard mock tests, 97 percentile or more is good and 99 percentile or more is excellent.
My Exam preparation strategy for Mains:
You have ample time here. Attempt the topics about which you are the most confident and which also seems to be relatively simple. You can also take a cursory look at the paper here. In Oliveboard mock tests, 90 percentile or more is good and 95 percentile or more is excellent.
My Exam preparation strategy for GD/PI:
We formed a group of 7-8 people (found those people through telegram) and we were having a time-bound discussion on one topic. The topic was decided at the instant. The same can be done for the interview. 5-6 people can take the interview with one person.
Go through those various probable questions and prepare answers beforehand. I wrote down the answers and read them many times. You can use Hindi/English in both GD/PI. Be yourself and Be calm – That’s the key.
Role of Oliveboard:
Since I was already thorough with the concepts, my 70% preparation was done through mocks. I cannot stress more importance on Oliveboard’s mock test series. Those are specially curated and exactly as per the latest pattern. Please go through each and every question of the Mock tests(especially prelim) and half of your work will be done.
The more you sweat during practice, The less you will bleed in the real examination.
That was the inspiring success story of Abhishek Agrawal. We hope you liked reading it. All the best for your exam preparation.
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