IBPS PO 2019: Strategy to Attempt the Exam the Right Way

IBPS has announced the schedule for PO/MT exam 2019. The preliminary exam will be held in October this year followed by the main exam. Almost three thousand candidates will be recruited through the same.

With increasing competition, it’s almost impossible for a candidate to make it through without the right strategy. Luckily, aspirants have a lot of time on their hands for the same. Apart from preparation, one must have a strategy for attempting the exam as well.


But firstly, students need to familiarize themselves with the exam nature of questions and marking scheme for IBPS PO. The examination will be conducted in two parts- preliminary and main. One can appear for main only after clearing the preliminary round.

Preliminary Exam

Candidates are asked a set of 100 questions in the preliminary round. Duration of the same is 1 hour. The examination is divided into three sections- English language (30 questions), Quantitative Aptitude (35 questions) and Reasoning ability (35 questions).

Main Exam

After qualifying the preliminary round of IBPS for Probationary Officers, candidates will now have to appear for the main exam. The total number of questions in the exam are 155. Candidates will be given separate time for each subject- Reasoning and Computer Aptitude (45 questions), General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness (40 questions), English language (35 questions), Data Analysis and Interpretation (35 questions). The examination is further divided into five subjects and is conducted in online mode.


In order to ace the exam, students can follow the below mentioned strategies:

Subject-wise strategy

  • English Language

Prepare according to your strength. If your basics are strong, you can brush up by giving mock tests regularly. Read an English newspaper daily to further enhance your language skills. It will also improve your Banking Awareness.


If you are not confident about the subject, Wren and Martin is one of the books that you can start reading. Further work on your grammar through grammar focused books. Build your vocabulary to familiarize yourself with the language. Practice on mock tests diligently. Focus on letter writing and essay writing. Read samples and try rewriting them in your own language.

  • Quantitative Aptitude

The questions in this section are based on class X syllabus. Ideally, you should be able to calculate fast here. There are various shortcut techniques to calculate faster. Also, try to solve mathematical problems without writing the full equation. Practice topics such as time and distance, time and work. Practice on finding a pattern in the question.

  • Data Analysis and Interpretation

This section has fairly lengthy calculations. Look at all graphs, figures and tables. Once you overcome the first part, it gets easy. The best way to answer the questions is to translate the data in your own way. Do not jump into calculation right way, read the question, find out what is required and then calculate. Practice on mock tests to improve your speed and ability.

  • Reasoning Ability

The pattern for this section has been the same over the years. Puzzles on seating arrangements, series and pictures generally tend to follow a certain pattern. Although the difficulty level varies. You can learn and understand the pattern by solving around 150-200 questions on each pattern. There is no shortcut in preparing for this subject. You can excel only by practicing.

  • General Awareness

This section consists of Current Affairs and General Knowledge Section. It will also cover your knowledge of Banking and Economic condition of the country and the world in general. The best way to prepare is to read newspapers. One cannot know everything, however, reading the Economic Times for the next couple of months will certainly make a difference and you will be surprised to know how much information you have retained. Candidates can read Lucent’s General Knowledge or any other good book for the same.

  • Computer Aptitude Section

This is a relatively easy subject. Read the basic topics and previous year question papers for better understanding. Most of the questions are repeated or have a similar pattern.