PrepLadder has been sharing success stories of IBPS-PO toppers who wished to help future aspirants. Their tried and tested strategies help candidates figure out what can be done to improve their score substantially.

Here is an exclusive interview of Akhilesh Rawat who came forward to share his strategy with the followers of PrepLadder:


Hello. Tell us something about yourself.

Hello everyone. I am Akhilesh Rawat. I have done BSc and MA in history. I belong to defence background family, which is settled in Dehradun. My family comprise of four members. My father is in IAF as warrant officer. My mother is a homemaker and my elder sister is a TGT in English in a reputed private school in Dehradun.

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What prompted you to take IBPS-PO exam in 2015? Was it your first attempt?

After completion of MA final year exams in June 2015, I started preparing for banking exams as banking career provides a secure and bright future and gives an opportunity to serve bank customers to utmost satisfaction.
Yes IBPS-CWE 5 was my first attempt. I didn’t want to spoil my preparation’s momentum by giving RRB so I kept IBPS- PO CWE-5 as my main target and I achieved it.


What was your study schedule and exam attempt strategy?

For the study schedule, my mind was basically very crystal clear. After MA exams in June, I devoted 2 hours daily in the morning for newspaper reading (The tribune), 2 hours for quant and 1.5 hour for reasoning. In evening I use to go for running to maintain my physical fitness and maintain my concentration. In evening from 7-8 PM I used to note daily GK in a copy and solve GK quizzes. I kept 8-9 PM time for English grammar on weekdays and on weekends I devoted this time to prepare and study my computer notes. From October 12 after my prelims exam I started giving mock tests and rest of the day was to utilized in improving my weak zones and speed.

Based on my marks in mocks, I decided that I would first attempt English then Reasoning and finally Maths in the Prelims.

Time for English 14 min

Time for Reasoning: 20 min

Time for Maths: 20 min.

I attempted Maths at last as at that time you tend to solve sums with a relaxed mind and this prevents silly mistakes.

Also Read: 2 months study schedule for IBPS-PO 2016


Which book per section do you swear by?

  1. For reasoning I picked RS Aggarwal book and also searched for questions from important topic (e.g. syllogism) on the Internet to get a clear perspective of the concepts. Likewise, all chapters, which were part of the exam, were covered.
  2. I practiced quant through a MAT entrance book. And remaining concepts was cleared by mock tests.
  3. For English I read The Tribune daily for 2 hours to get a strong command over Reading comprehension and brush up my grammar.
  4. For Computer I read Arihant’s book, noted topics and prepared extensive notes on every topic in a copy by taking references from internet. In the last 15 days, I revised all the notes and solved computer quizzes provided on the internet.
  5. For GK portion, I noted daily GK updates, solved daily GK quizzes and read newspaper as reading helps us in English section’s reading comprehension as well as in GK portion.

Also Read: Best books for preparation of IBPS-PO recommended by toppers

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What was your target score for the exam and were you able to achieve it?

I made a target of 50+ in the Prelims and score 51.25. For the Mains, my target was 95+ and I achieved 94.25 marks. I made my aggregate score handsome by scoring 76 in interview.


Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes, how?

Yes indeed. I purchased two mock tests series, but I found PrepLadder’s mock tests much closer to the exam. That helped me to achieve my first preference bank- Canara Bank, where I am currently employed!


One mistake that you feel everyone must avoid while preparing for IBPS and SBI-PO?

Yes, the one mistake we all should avoid, is going through quant, reasoning and English section one by one. Mock tests helps us to figure out our strong zones and weak zones. So by attempting our strong areas first, we can save a lot of time and also boost our confidence to solve difficult part later. This will surely improve our score.

Never ever feel worried if you are unable to solve a particular question. Just move quickly to next. As all question carry same marks so:

“no need to prove you are EINSTEIN!”


Thank you Akhilesh for your insights. We hope the 2016 IBPS and SBI-PO aspirants will benefit from your experience and suggestions. We wish you all the best!

If you have any doubts that you wish to clarify, please post them in the comments section below:

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