IBPS PO Preliminary Examination 2016 would be conducted in the month of October. Students have begun their preparations for the Prelims, but is this preparation going in the right direction?

PrepLadder’s Expert and 7 Year Experienced Bank-PO preparation specialist, Mr. Tarun Gupta shares difficulties or challenges faced by candidates in clearing IBPS PO examination:

Q) Hello Mr. Gupta. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello. Well, I am a B. Tech. graduate from NIIT Kurukshetra. I have been coaching students for Bank exams since the past 7 years. I also try and council students regarding various career options after +2 and graduation as per their qualification, abilities and interests.

Also Read: 20-20-20 strategy to clear IBPS-PO Prelims

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Q) As per Your Experience, what is the major reason for students not clearing IBPS-PO exam?

Ans) I feel the biggest obstacle is Improper Time Management during the exam.

In one hour’s duration students have to attempt 100 odd questions in the paper. Candidates always tell me that they knew most of the answers but did not have time to attempt them in 60 minutes. Candidates require extensive practice and a definite/specific approach in time management to clear the IBPS PO Exam 2016.

Intense focus is mandatory for clearing the exam. Based on the previous year papers and my experience, 15% of questions are going to be difficult. For better time management candidates are advised to attempt easy questions first or attempt the questions they know first.

Developing such a time management strategy and building speed is only possible after you have taken enough number of practice tests and analyzed your mistakes.


Q) What other problems do students face?

Another big issue is that: Candidates are not used to taking tests online! It is seen that candidates are not comfortable using an online platform as they don’t have exposure of giving tests online. When they view questions online, they get confused and waste a lot of time. Their speed also reduces. Even the tech savvy students who are busy on Facebook and Whatsapp all the time face this issue.

Candidates attempt the questions in the order that they appear and hence the last section is attempted in a hurry. So it becomes very difficult to clear the sectional cut off. Some candidates don’t even know how to switch between different sections. Candidates say that they pressed the ‘submit’ button mistakenly before the time was over.

Moreover the platform is not very user friendly. The solution is that candidates must join a good IBPS-PO online test series so that they can acquaint themselves with the actual format of the exam software.

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Q) You mentioned sectional cut–offs. Isn’t sectional cut-off very low?

Ans) Yes, sectional cut-offs are usually low. But sometimes candidates are unaware that sectional cut-off even exist! A lot of candidates aim to clear the overall cut-off but forget that every section needs to be given equal importance. When they are weak in a particular section they are not able to clear the sectional cut–off.

Candidates are reminded to keep in mind 4 things while attempting IBPS-PO Exam in 2016:

  1. Try maximum Attempt in minimum time.
  2. Look for maximum easy questions in the exam from topics they are comfortable with.
  3. Sectional cut off. They should prepare for every section in a manner that they can clear the sectional cut–off.
  4. Avoiding losing marks through Negative Marking. Means better accuracy.

Must Read: Solid ways to improve accuracy in exam.


Q) Do most students struggle with negative marking?

Ans) All those who have missed the SBI-PO Prelims cut-off by .25 or 0.75 marks will understand this point very well.

Students get influenced by others when they hear that others have attempted 75/100 questions. They also want their attempt to be very high. Never forget that 0.25 marks are cut if you attempt a question incorrectly. Candidates know about negative marking but are so much engrossed in attempting maximum questions that they almost forget that they are losing marks for answering a question incorrectly.

Solution to this problem:

  • Avoid attempting questions that you are unsure of.
  • When practicing mock test, track how many questions you answered were incorrect and why they were incorrect. Try to reduce this number with each test. This habit dies hard; so keep practicing.

Minimum 75% accuracy is required to crack IBPS-PO Exam.  Keep a track of your accuracy percentage to improve. Analyzing your mock test is more important that taking the test.

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Q) 2016 will be 2nd or 3rd Attempt for many candidates reading this interview. Any advice for them?

Ans) All I can say is: don’t ever lose hope. The aspirants should be positive about giving the exam and about the outcome of the exam. Candidates appearing for IBPS PO should also appear for IBPS clerk exam to gain the exposure and experience of sitting in an exam.

They should not only look at the candidates who score better marks than them but also look at the aspirants who score lesser marks than their selves to feel better and more confident. If so many are able to make it ‘you can do it too’. Just be prepared for the exam, have loads of confidence and look at the brighter side of things and you are sure to succeed.

Keep your concepts thorough and take frequent online tests to check your level of preparedness against your past performance and against the students all over the country. Better preparation and confidence will surely lead to success… Good Luck!

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