Preparatory Guide for IBPS PO Prelims: Important Subject Wise Strategy

Preparatory Guide for IBPS PO Prelims with Tips

The notification of IBPS PO was out on Aug 9, 2018, to fill 4,252 vacancies. The selection process comprises of three steps: preliminary exam, mains exam and interview. The preliminary exam is the gateway to mains exam and those who qualify mains exam will be called for interview.

Seeing the past exams of IBPS PO and other exams such as SBI PO, it can clearly be concluded that the difficulty level has been on an increasing trend. This is the reason we at PracticeMock have come with a guide to help you strategize your preparation. Exam Pattern of Prelims

The date of the prelims exam is Oct 13, 2018, which is only 24 days later. Let’s have a look at the exam-pattern of prelims exam.

Sr. No. Name of Tests No. of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Time allotted for each test (in minutes)
1 English Language 30 30 English 20
2 Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 English and Hindi 20
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35 English and Hindi 20
Total 100 100 60


  • Keep in mind that there are sectional cut-offs and sectional timing in place. You need to clear the sectional cut-off in the given time.
  • All the sections can be attempted in English/Hindi except the English language part which has to be attempted only in English.
  • Negative marking is in place so be doubly careful about the accuracy.
  • The purpose of prelims’ score is only to check if you can clear the sectional and overall cut-offs. It’s not used in the final selection. Solving sectional tests online will definitely help you in assessing your preparation level and improve thereon.

Since prelims are all about sectional and overall cut-offs, check out the previous years’ cut-offs to get an idea. It is highly advisable that you solve previous years’ papers in a controlled environment to check if you’re able to clear the cut-offs.

Preparation Strategy for the English Language

Reading Comprehension

A majority of questions are asked from Reading Comprehension. Your reading and comprehension speed has to be extremely good to quickly skim through the passage and get the answer to the question. Practicing beforehand and analyzing where you are going wrong helps a lot in the actual test. Start with practicing without any time limit and once mastered, start solving sectional tests with a controlled environment.

Other Questions

To solve questions related to grammar, get to know all the Basic English rules. Check previous years’ papers on how has been the trend and practice them. It has been observed in different exams that new kinds of questions are asked and mock tests are the perfect place to check and deal with probable new types of questions. For Para jumbles, try understanding their theme before jumping in to solve them.

Reading newspapers on a daily basis will definitely increase your reading speed and improve your vocabulary.

Preparation Strategy for Quantitative Aptitude

All questions are of equal marks so try picking those questions which can be solved easily and take less time. Focus on questions related to topics like number series, approximation, and simplification and equations comparison.

These questions generally take less time and are sure-shot ones. Once done, move on to word problems and easy data interpretation sets. These questions take a little bit of time and once you are through this attempt the difficult data interpretation sets.

Questions checking more than one concept

Please be informed that those days are gone when questions used to check only one concept at a time. A majority of the questions asked in exams nowadays, check more than one concept. Solve sectional and mock tests to get introduced to new types of questions which will definitely make you more exam-ready.

Preparation Strategy for Reasoning Aptitude

When it comes to questions related to reasoning, solve questions related to coding-decoding, syllogisms, questions related to direction sense and blood relations. Don’t get engaged in puzzles as of now. As said earlier, since all the questions carry equal marks it makes more sense to solve those which are considered easy.

Once done, jump to questions related to critical reasoning and simple puzzles (may relate to blood relations, circular/linear seating arrangement, floor-based puzzle) and questions related to input-output. Check the number of variables in puzzles before starting to solve them. If the variables are only 2 or less, go ahead and solve them.

Once through, attempt more difficult puzzles such as seating line arrangement or double line puzzles.

As is the case with quantitative aptitude section, the scenario is no different in reasoning aptitude. There are increasing trends in questions which involve more than one concept and therefore become difficult to solve. To tackle such questions you should solve good mock tests on a regular basis.

Core Strategy

All in all, your core strategy should be to get familiar with the syllabus & exam pattern and cut-offs of previous years. Also, check out the new kind of questions asked in similar exams such as SBI PO. Solve previous years’ papers but don’t stop there.

Solve as many sectional and mock tests as possible and analyze their reports to find out your weak areas and improve upon them. Remember, practice is the key to ace this exam.