Success Story of Sagnik Saha – Cleared SBI JA 2019

Read Success Story of Sagnik Saha, who has to give up his passion for photography to give wings to his dream of securing a government job and finally went on to clear SBI Junior Associate 2019 with just 6 months of dedicated preparation.

A Small Introduction: Hello Everyone, this is Sagnik Saha from Kolkata. I completed my graduation, pursuing Civil Engineering as my discipline. I started my banking exam preparation in January 2019. Initially, I used to switch between multiple websites and channels. But afterward, I realized it was best to stick with one and I chose Oliveboard as my mentor. 

The perfect boost for my preparation began on May 2019, when I bought a mock tests series from Oliveboard. That one series, 20 prelims along with 10 high-level mock tests cleared my concepts right from the basic to the mains. The mock tests  gave me a whole new perspective of my preparation, helped me to stay on the correct track and prepare for today’s success. Combined with a series of Live Classes, the pivoting role of the faculty members played an indispensable part during my preparation.

Detailed Preparation strategy:

Quantitative Analysis: Quant is a tricky section. One should keep in mind not to start with the first question immediately, because the first is either a DI or an arithmetic problem.

Phase 1(30 seconds): Quickly skim through the questions, mentally noting down the pattern and the type of questions asked. This 30 seconds is crucial as it will influence the rest of your 19 minutes 30 seconds.

Phase 2(7 mins max): Start with the easier ones: Simplification, Approximation, Quadratic, Number series. Once you do these, you have secured 10 marks at least. For faster calculation tricks,  refer to OBs videos.

Phase 3(7 mins): I started with the easier DI. Bar or pie or linear. 2 DIs, you should take 10-12 max.

Pro Tip: Never calculate full values, make use of cross cancellations.

Phase 4(6 mins): Till now, you have attempted 20 questions, you need to do 15 more. 6 mins, means 24 seconds each. Gather your focus and start solving.

Remember: Trick is wise selection of questions, not random attempts. The 30 seconds you invested early will pay now.

For Mains: Question selection plays a huge role. Nobody can attempt all with 100% accuracy. Game changer is your accuracy. Solve Mocks as many as possible for Mains and get familiar with new pattern questions.

Recommended: Oliveboard’s DI and DS book for Prelims and Mains.

Reasoning: Reasoning is a great section to score 30+ easily. However, the correct choice of questions and order of attempt is a must.

Pro Tips: Quickly skim through the questions and note the number of puzzles and miscellaneous questions. It will give you a fair idea about the difficulty of the paper.

Step 1: Attempt miscellaneous first: Syllogisms, Alphanumeric, Coding-Decoding, Inequalities Rearrangement of letters, Number of letters in between, these are all the questions you should attempt first. Reason? To boost confidence and gain more than 10 in the least possible time.

Step 2: Puzzles: I usually kept complicated blood relations for the last. Attempt easy puzzles: i.e. tabulation, circular seating arrangement with 2 variables, an uncertain number of rows.

After this: Aim for the tougher ones: blood relation with seating arrangement (moderate to tough for prelims standard)

Pro Tip: If possible, do recheck your puzzle once with the given conditions. Cause either it can fetch you a +5/-1.25. And 0.25 matters a lot…

For Mains: Always choose your questions carefully. Solve Mocks more and more to get a grasp on timings and get acquainted with new pattern puzzles, because banking exams are known for innovation. Try to get a hold on Critical Reasoning so that you can attempt those in case puzzle section is too hard.

Recommended: Puzzle Mania by Oliveboard. Oliveboard’s high-level classes on YouTube.

English: Everyone has their own strategy to attempt max in English. To brush up basics and vocab: Read the editorials daily, without fail. This will help you get familiar with new words and phrases and increase your vocab lib. Try listening to podcasts or TEDx Talks. Remember, good English comes from you if you’re listening to good English, no, not Hollywood.

For the reading part of RC, take a stopwatch and try to read an article within a stipulated time. After that, try to jot down points. Then tally what you missed. This will enhance your reading skills and you’ll be able to ace RCs in a shorter time than others.

For clearing grammar, I’ll recommend Wren and Martin and Oliveboard’s free live classes on YouTube.

General Awareness: For the GA Section, I used to follow the current affairs video daily and make notes for the same. This provided ready-made materials to revise before exams. Also, helped me to recall the information a lot faster and easier during the exams.

Personal Journey and a few words of Motivation…

Let’s be honest like Muhammad Ali. He hated every moment of his training and yet he did it. He did it for himself. The same goes for me. No social media, no computer games, and being a street photographer, made the ultimate sacrifice: sold my camera. Yes, it was tough. But it passed. And it will pass for you too if you have the flame of passion burning strong enough to burn down everything that comes between you and your goal.

From Engineering to Banking via Marketing: I have a crazy timeline. Did my B.Tech in Civil Engineering; had a successful internship at a marketing firm and now a banker. Quite funny? Yes, personally, I wasn’t and still isn’t a heavy sleeper and I slept for 6 hours. I studied for 10-12 hours max, with occasional gaps in between. Let’s face it, we are not robots. Although the recommended duration is 8 hours, but I was a night owl, and I used to stay awake till 2/3 am.

But everyone has their own routine, and every one is unique. Don’t try to follow routines, make your own. Another important thing is staying healthy. I used to hit the gym every day because I was staying at home, and I knew if I didn’t work out, I would become more and more demotivated. So please work out, either hit a gym or simply go for a run every day, you’ll feel more refreshed and relaxed.

Sometimes you need to go out and get some air. Don’t restrict yourself. If you’re feeling down, talk to fellow aspirants or take a break. End of the day, everyone is a human being and everyone has their emotions buried somewhere, waiting to explode on the day when you’re selected for what you deserve.

We aren’t weak. We just lack will. Fight for what you want, and someday you can say: “Tell me I can’t and I will embarrass you.”

How was Oliveboard Helpful? 

Oliveboard was the guidance I personally needed to crack the exam within the span of only 6 months. The high level mocks, experienced faculties and the easy interface of the website all sums up for my success I have achieved this day. Practice as many mocks as you can and as they always say: Hard work forever pays.

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