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Here’s how to attempt IBPS PO Main exam 2021

IBPS PO Main exam 2021: The main exam is scheduled to be held on February 4. Follow these salient preparation tips to get successful in the banking recruitment exam

New Delhi |
Updated: February 3, 2021 5:16:15 pm
IBPS 1200Preparation hacks to crack IBPS PO Main exam. Image source:

Written by Kanika Ralhan

IBPS PO Main exam 2021: The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS PO) Main is just a day away from now. It is scheduled to be held on February 4. It is time for the aspirants appearing for the banking recruitment exam to batten down the hatches. No doubt, competition is fierce, and one should be completely prepared to sail through this exam.

The main exam is going to be one level higher than the preliminary exam, thus, one should rigorously practice before the exam and ensure presence of mind while attempting the question paper. With the right strategy and technique, students can ensure marks equal or above to cut off marks.

How to attempt IBPS PO main exam?

With the increasing competition, aspirants feel the pressure to score marks more than the previous year cut-off. This is quite natural, as IBPS has raised the bar by increasing the difficulty level. With every year, the number of aspirants is increasing tremendously, thus increasing the competition level. If you have utilised the days for preparation well, then it will be easy to conquer the exam.

However, do make up your mind to face the unexpected. IBPS is known to follow the footprints of SBI, hence, make sure that you have checked the SBI PO exam analysis before to appear for the main exam.

READ | Budget 2021 fails to give priority to boosting jobs 

IBPS PO main exam 2021: Follow these important preparation strategy

1. You must have checked your preparation level

By attempting the IBPS PO Main mock tests, you must have realised a few points as mentioned below:

– The topics, which you know extremely well, and you are great with.

– Topics, in which your performance is average and require more practice.

– Topics, in which you are exceptionally poor and do not know how to approach the them.

While attempting the mock tests, you will get to know the topics which need to attempt first in the exam.

Unlike the preliminary exam, IBPS PO main is the test of calibre. Here you do not have to rush to attempt maximum number of questions, but must take care of the accuracy with which choose the options.

– Attempt the easier questions like those on number series, quantity comparison, syllogism, and other miscellaneous questions in reasoning and quant (if asked), but do not waste your time searching for the same.

– Read the question you pick twice. If it rings a bell, move ahead with it, otherwise move to the next one.

– In the main exam, most of the questions asked in the Quant section are calculative, complex, and tricky to solve. Read the instructions carefully and move step by step. Do not be in a hurry, as it may result in the wrong calculation, thus providing the wrong answer.

– Never mark the answer on random guessing. Go for accuracy, not for increasing attempts.

Time Management

– Time management is an important factor if you want to crack the exam in this attempt.

– A total of 3 hours is allotted for all the four sections in this examination. To qualify each section and to score good marks overall, time management is very important. To master your timing skills, make a target score and achieve it by attempting questions accurately. Here is an ideal question-attempt allocation strategy for each section.

Section-wise preparation tips


– This section may bring many surprises.

– Understand the meaning and direction of the questions.

– If you have good knowledge of grammar rules and vocab, will surely score better.

– In this section, start by attempting questions from sentence improvement, cloze test, error spotting and sentence rearrangement.

– Read the reading comprehension carefully. A thorough reading alone can fetch you 7-8 marks.

– Try reading a passage in the minimum possible time and get a precise meaning of the passage. Focus on the main inputs and avoid unnecessary details.

Quantitative Aptitude

– You will be given a total of 60 minutes to attempt this section. Divide these 60 minutes into two rounds.

– In the first round, attempt easy questions from topics like inequality, data interpretation (which may involve simple calculations).

– Finish the first round in 30 minutes. It can fetch you 12+ marks, provided you have attempted the questions with 100 per cent accuracy.

– Now, you should give the remaining time to the arithmetic questions & high-level DI and data sufficiency.

– Among the arithmetic questions, attempt those questions first which are less time-consuming.

– Try to attempt at least 5 to 10 questions from Arithmetic.

– If you follow the aforementioned strategy, you will definitely score 18+ marks.

– Make sure that your speed and accuracy is maintained. It can be done only if your basic concepts are clear and you have practised at least one mock test daily.

Reasoning and Computer Aptitude

– It is expected that some questions on Logical Reasoning topics are asked in IBPS PO main like – statement and assumption, course of action, etc.

– It is also expected that the level of seating arrangement questions are of moderate to difficult level.

– Attempt those questions first which require less time like, reverse syllogism, data sufficiency, miscellaneous questions, analytical reasoning.

– In the case of puzzles, try to consider all the possibilities at hand, thus eliminating them further. Avoid making multiple diagrams.

– Do not waste time on any puzzle or arrangement-based questions if you feel stuck anywhere.

– The maximum questions in this section are asked from puzzles and seating arrangement topics. To solve puzzles/ seating arrangement questions in minimum time possible, you are required to thoroughly practice every possible case of these topics.

– Remember that your speed and accuracy play an important role in clearing this section. Solve questions carefully and avoid silly mistakes.

– There may be 5-6 questions from computer aptitude. Just try to understand the directions and then solve questions.

General Awareness

– As mentioned earlier, 40 questions will be asked in this section.

– The international and national happenings of the last 3-4 months should sufficiently cover most of the questions that might be asked in this section.

Try to go through the following topics –

Government Schemes RBI in News Sports National and International News Awards and Honours Recent Appointments Static GK Topics like Countries in News with their capitals and currency

– Avoid guesswork in this section.

Descriptive test

– Descriptive test of the IBPS PO exam will include Essay and Letter writing.

– Essay topics will most likely be based on current topics relevant to the banking sector, social issues, important government schemes etc.

– For letter writing, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the correct format of both formal and informal letters.

The author is program manager, Gradeup.

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