IBPS Clerk 2021 – Preparation Strategy for Reasoning

IBPS Clerk exam is around the corner and it’s time to buck up and get set for the upcoming exam. In this article, we bring to you preparation tips for the reasoning section in the IBPS clerk exam. The reasoning is one of the challenging sections of the exam. Quantitative aptitude and reasoning consume the maximum time of a candidate during the exam. Therefore, it is advised to attempt reasoning and quant after completing the easier sections. However, with clear concepts and practice, one can score big in the reasoning section.


IBPS Clerk Exam 2021 Registration Starts on 7th Oct 2021, Already Registered Users Need Not Apply Again

IBPS has restarted the IBPS Clerk Recruitment process 2021 at ibps.in. Candidates who failed to register earlier will be able to register starting 7th Oct till 27th Oct 2021. The Ministry of Finance, Government of India has recommended that in all upcoming clerical recruitments for the 12 public sector banks and vacancies advertised henceforth, both Prelim & Main exams will be conducted in the 13 regional languages along with English & Hindi. This decision of holding clerical exams in regional languages will also apply to the future SBI vacancies.

A total of 5830 vacancies were released by the IBPS for 2021. Only tentative exam dates are released yet. Crack IBPS Clerk exam with the latest pattern mock test series and online courses on Oliveboard.

Apply Online (Starts 7th Oct 2021) Free Mock Test Online Course

Reasoning Section Categorization

As reasoning is one of the most time-consuming sections in the IBPS clerk exam, categorizing the section in terms of difficulty can be a good trick. You can categorize this section in simple, medium and complex and attempt questions in the same order. This way you will be able to finish more number of answers on time.

Reasoning Questions – Simple

  • Classification/Odd Pair
  • Series Completion/Analogy
  • Direction Based /Direction Sequence
  • Number, Ranking & Time Sequence
  • Alphabet /Dictionary

Questions around these topics should be attempted first. There will be approximately 10-12 questions around these topics in the IBPS clerk exam.

Reasoning Questions – Medium

  • Inequalities
  • Blood Relations
  • Coding Decoding
  • Syllogisms
  • Data Sufficiency

Candidates can expect approximately 15-17 questions covering these topics in the exam. Practice is the mantra to master these questions.

Reasoning Questions – Complex

  • Seating Arrangement
  • Puzzles
  • Input Output Machine

There will be 10-15 questions from this section. Attempt these at the end depending on the time left. Do not attempt a question unless you are confident.

Reasoning Books to Refer

  • Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr. R.S. Agarwal
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  • Magical Book of Puzzles by K Kundan

Important Topics from the Reasoning Ability Section

The list of important topics in the Reasoning Ability Section is as follows.

Seating Arrangement

Puzzles and various types of seating arrangements like linear, circular, or square-shaped arrangements and floor-based, box, or dates based puzzles are asked in this type.

Generally in the preliminary examination around 2 sets are based on seating arrangements; the level of questions in prelims is on the lower side and you can solve them easily. In the mains examination, you can face around 3 to 4 sets of a higher difficulty level which also proves to be time-consuming.


Syllogisms are one of the easiest and most scoring topics in this section. In the preliminary examination, one can expect around 3-5 questions on this topic. On the other hand, in the Mains examination, one rarely finds questions on Syllogisms.

Data Sufficiency

In this topic, you need not solve the whole question but have to check whether the given statements are sufficient to answer the questions or not. Moving to the preliminary examination, we come across sets of questions in which each set consists of two statements and you are required to solve 3 – 5 questions using the statements. In the mains examination, one set consists of three statements, and around 5 questions depending on those statements are asked.

Blood Relations 

Family diagrams and schematic representations are used in solving this type of question. About 2 – 3 questions are asked in both preliminary and mains examination.


In coding-decoding, words, numbers, or combinations of words and numbers are coded with the help of a particular pattern and you need to decode the pattern.

This type is generally asked in the form of sets of 3 – 5 questions. This type can be asked in preliminary as well as mains examination.


This is also one of the easiest and most scoring topics of this section. In preliminary examination around 5 questions of easy level are asked. The types of inequality questions asked are Coded inequalities, Data sufficiency inequalities, Non – coded (mathematical) inequalities, Fill in the blanks type inequalities, etc.

Direction Sense, Ordering, and Ranking

Around 5 – 10 questions are asked from these types. This can be combined with other topics like blood relations, arrangements, etc. to increase the difficulty level. Questions of higher difficulty level are asked in the mains examination. To solve such questions diagrams and schematic representations prove to be of great help.


In this type, a set of around 5 questions is asked. You are given an input that consists of words, numbers, symbols, or a combination of these, and following a particular rule, you are expected to find the output. Complex and time – consuming questions of this type are frequently asked in the examinations.

The General Approach to Attempt the Reasoning Ability Section

  • Identify your strong areas in this section. You can easily figure out this by practicing more and more mock tests. Try to solve as many questions that seem complex and time-consuming to you.
  • Identify the less time taking and more time taking problems in the question paper and attempt the less time taking ones first as these are comparatively less complex. Make sure you attempt all these less time taking questions as there are fewer chances of making mistakes in such questions and hence, you can easily increase your cumulative score.
  • Read every word with maximum attention and consider all the possibilities while attempting any question.
  • First, try to attempt the questions based on relatively easy topics and then go for complex and difficult questions.
  • Easy questions generally come from topics like Data Sufficiency, Coding-Decoding, Direction Sense, Inequalities, Ordering and Ranking, etc.
  • Puzzles, Seating Arrangements, Input-Output, etc., are time-consuming but since they appear in sets so you need to solve the logic behind it as a whole. This may take time and increase the chances of mistakes. Hence, we advise you to attempt these after the easy ones.
  • One can improve any area or topic in this section by practising regularly and analyzing the repeated mistakes.
  • Try to practice previous exam papers and analyze the pattern and types of questions asked.

IBPS Clerk Exam: General Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to clear the lekhpal  Exam. 

  1. Make Time Table- Many students apply for any exam but then do not study systematically. For systematic study you need a proper time table. So first of all prepare a time table covering all the topics asked in the exam.
  2. Read good books: There are plenty of books available in the market, but reading all of them will be of no use. Refer to the standard books only. If you have notes from your coaching institute then refer to them for your preparation.
  3. Read Newspaper: For current affairs section in general Awareness and english section, newspapers will be very helpful.
  4. Revision is the key: One thing that sets toppers apart is the habit of revision. For this exam, revision is the key, you have to remember whatever you are reading.
  5. Mock Tests for Prelims: Join a mock test series for better understanding of the actual exam level, test series can immensely help you in acing this exam.
  6. Avoid spending too much time on a single question: Do not spend too much time on a single question, if you are not able to solve a question, just skip it.
  7. Read Carefully: Sometimes when we read a question, we do it carelessly, which can make us mark the wrong answer. DO NOT REPEAT this.
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We wish you all the best for the IBPS Clerk 2021 exam. If you have any further questions, feel free to raise it in our discussion forum or in the comment section below.

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