For the benefit of banking aspirants, PrepLadder has always been sharing with you the success stories of IBPS PO toppers along with the success mantra that led them to crack the exam. In this series, we present to you the success story and preparation tips shared by IBPS PO 2016 topper, Varun Taprial.

Varun Taprial believes that “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation”. He says we have to grab the opportunity with strong preparations.

Varun Taprial, now shares with our readers how he managed to become a Bank PO despite facing all the odd’s.


Hello Varun. Tell us something about yourself

I am Varun Taprial from Shimla. I have completed my B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering in 2014. I am a very fun loving person who loves to travel to adventurous places.


What prompted you to take IBPS PO 2016?

After working dedicatedly in Private sector for 1 and a half year, I realized that I cannot handle the night shifts, work pressure anymore and finally decided to quit my job. After that, I completely focused on competitive exams for 1 year.

I used to appear in all competitive exams despite the number of vacancies.


Did the cut throat competition threaten your confidence? If yes, how did you overcome it?

Year by year the number of vacancies are reducing and the no. of job applicants are increasing. Yes, in the initial days I got scared seeing the intense competition to get the job. I met many aspirants who were preparing for 2-3 years to get a Bank job. I was planning to give it a second thought, just then I came across a friend of mine who is currently serving in Punjab National bank as PO. He made a positive influence on my life and I decided to work more hard for my dreams.


How many times did you face failure before being selected as a Bank PO?

I tasted failure many times before I was finally selected as a bank PO

SBI Clerk 2016 – Failed in Prelims

SBI PO 2016 – Cleared Prelims, Failed in Mains by 0.5 marks

NIACL AO 2016– Cleared Prelims & Mains but could not qualify interview

NIACL Assistant 2016 – Cleared Prelims & Mains, rejected due to high cut-off

IBPS Clerk 2016- Cleared Prelims, Failed in Mains by 0.5 marks

IBPS PO 2016- Finally cleared the exam with a huge margin.

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According to you what is the optimum number of Mock Test one should take for exam preparation? Is it advisable to take more number of Mock Tests?

I solved 15+ mock tests for the Prelims and around 12 for the Mains. I personally feel that there is no optimum number of the tests that should be attempted. If you just give the mock test for the sake of giving tests then it is no use, you need to keep proper track of your shortcomings and should see an improvement after each exam. You can take mock tests till the time you are not confident enough to face the exam.

I’ll suggest practicing few sectional tests before you attempt full-length tests. Sectional tests will help you get familiar with the topics and will also teach you time management.


Please share with our readers your detailed sectional preparation

(i) Quantitative Aptitude was my favorite subject from school days. For IBPS PO, I did not have to put much effort on it. I enjoyed every topic and focused on practicing more and more problems.

  • I followed RS Aggarwal for basics and conceptual clarity.
  • Previous years papers and you-tube channels helped me in having a strong hold over Data Interpretation.
  • I repeatedly solved different types of questions from previous year’s papers and yes I never forgot to revise squares, cubes, formulas on regular basis.

(ii) I was quite comfortable with English. I followed S.P Bakshi and was into the habit of reading a good English daily “The Hindu”. Following a good newspaper not only improved my reading & grammar but also enriched with the Current Affairs.

(iii) Reasoning was not my cup of tea. It was the only subject which required expert guidance. I was able to solve puzzles & sitting arrangement but it was very time-consuming. Initially, I used to spend 35-40 minutes on a single puzzle but I did not lose hope. I practiced a lot, watched youtube videos for better understanding and was finally able to work on my speed.

(iv) General Awareness section was quite easy for me as I was already into the habit of reading newspaper on daily basis. Apart from it used to attempt Daily Quiz by PrepLadder and various other websites. I prepared this section from the very first day of my preparation and never kept it for the Mains

Also Read: List of best shortcuts for IBPS-PO 


What was your study schedule?

Personally, I did not have a fixed study schedule. I started being familiar with the exam pattern and type of question being asked in the exam. My approach was to pick up less time consuming and maximum weightage topics. This made me solve maximum questions in the limited time.

I did not study any subject at a stretch. I used to begin my day with Quant and used to spend atleast 2 hours on it. After that, I used to switch to English, then Reasoning where I used to spend atleast 3-4 hours as I was weak in Reasoning. Whenever I felt bored, I used to read Current Affairs, watch news channel or start attempting quizzes on various websites.

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What strategy did you apply in the days leading up to the Mains?

I analyzed my Prelims performance and figured out what was lacking. I worked harder as the Mains exam is much harder than the Prelims. I worked on my speed, calculations and learned a few time-saving tips. I focused more on the analyzing Mock tests for better performance. I regularly updated myself with the Current Affairs and kept revising them on frequent intervals.


How did you prepare for the interview round?

There is plenty of material available on the internet. I read articles, success stories, interview tips and watched many youtube videos to get familiar with the interview questions. I prepared all the possible questions and got myself familiar with the banking terms. I prepared for the current news and watched news channels for debates on the current topics.

In addition to all this, I used to practice in front of the mirror to boost my confidence.


Any message you would like to share with the aspirants of upcoming IBPS PO exam?

Keep calm and be focused. Give your 100% from day 1 of your preparation. Don’t shatter your dreams if you face failure in the first step. Just believe in the common saying,

“Winners are not those who never fail but are those who never quit”

We would like to thank Varun Taprial for sharing his experience with our followers. Hope it will prove to be useful for our readers.

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