Bank Probationary Officer is still a very lucrative career despite emergence of so many new avenues and career opportunities in the recent times. Particularly in the time of recent global meltdown and after massive job cuts in private sector, bank jobs in public sector jobs seem a safe bet, as one gets a decent salary and also recognition in the society. I am writing this article for my friends who are really serious for cracking Bank Probationary Officer
Exams. I have seen that most of the people who are providing guidance on bank exams do not really understand the requirement of this exam as they have actually never appeared or succeeded in such types of exams and are providing guidance just for the sake of money. So I thought that it would be correct to share my experiences about this exam with all of you as it may prove helpful to all of you. Friends, I had a close association with these sorts of exams as I prepared for bank PO exams for almost two years, initially for one year I could not do anything in these exams as I was simply filling up the form and was doing preparation without any planning and approach. But soon I realized that such approach is of no use and is not going to work. I was losing hope and was about to give up, but fortunately by sheer luck I got a call for one PO interview, although I could not finally make it, but it has given me an indication that this test can be cleared. From that point onwards, I started real serious preparation for these exams and started with some strategy in mind, next year I again appeared in 7-8 Bank POs exams and I not only got success in written part but also cleared each and every interview by virtue of good preparation and scoring very high marks in the written part. Only after getting that success I realized that had I prepared well with some sort of strategy earlier I could have cleared the exam much before. So for all of you I would like to suggest you the strategy which I feel is the best, although you can always choose your own strategy, but some words of advice I would like to give. You know friends, Bank PO exams consists of four sections namely General Awareness, English, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning. One should do very good preparation for all the sections but still if one has to rate the importance of all section, it should be like this, Reasoning should be given topmost priority, thereafter General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and English respectively. What I have experienced over the year that if one has scored anything above 65% in all the sections than he or she has fair chance of getting an interview call. And for almost sure shot selection a score above 70% is good enough. Although it will also depend upon the difficulty level of question paper and number of vacancies but normally cut offs revolve around such percentages. English is qualifying so you do not need to attempt all the questions, objective here should only be to qualify the paper, however now-a-days some banks have started to count the marks of English section also, so this factor should be checked before appearing in the exam. For rest of the sections one should aim at scoring very high as a well prepared candidate can score more than 80% in General Awareness and Quantitative papers. For General Awareness you have to devote some time on a regular basis as it is mainly consists of current affairs. Quantitative part should not be a problem as generally level of math is not very hard, only thing required here is regular practice and a good understanding of concepts. Reasoning is the most crucial section and can decide the fate of your exam as most of the candidates are having problem with it and they find it tough to finish the section on time. Only remedy for this section is to prepare religiously and understand the concept as most of the time you will see that more or less similar questions based on certain concepts appear in different PO exams. If you work on those concepts you will not only have a very high percentage of accuracy but also be able to finish it quickly. You can always ask me in case you have any problem with any particular section. So objective should be to have a very good time management for your Bank PO exams and one should focus on regular preparation of all four sections. Do not underestimate any section and keep it in your mind that you have to clear each and every section. The time which I used to give on different section and the order of attempting papers was 10-15 minutes for General Knowledge paper, 20 minutes for English, 35-40 minutes on Math and 60 minutes on Reasoning. In normal course I used to score above 85% in both GK and Math papers and above 70% in reasoning paper. Although in last few exams I scored as high as 90% in reasoning paper but that was after lot of practice and experience, although that much score is not required as I told you that anything above or near 70% should do. Please also remember if you have done well in written part, interview will be a cakewalk for you. I will again emphasis that you can score very high marks in General Awareness paper with serious preparation. As questions are based on current affairs and what you need to prepare are current affairs of 6-7 month, I am emphasizing on General Awareness paper more because this is one paper which can boost your scoring in without devoting extra time during the course of exam. In all other sections you have to devote extra time to improve your marks but in this section you can always solve the paper quickly as if you are aware of the answers it will not going to take extra time of yours. Just to help boost your scoring we will provide you quality material on General Awareness in a regular manner. So always try to score very high marks in General Awareness paper, try to solve Maths paper in 35-40 minutes time with 80-90% accuracy and try to attempt Reasoning paper in 60 minutes time, with 70-80% accuracy. Also learn the art of skipping difficult questions as they will only waste your precious time. If you can attain such levels you can easily get through. So start preparing in a systematic manner, mediocre preparation is not going to help because papers are designed in such a manner. I am not discussing about descriptive part as I don’t think any preparation is required for this part and a decent student should always be able to qualify that part as it is qualifying in nature. Also keep an eye on the exam pattern of every bank as there are slight differences in the exam pattern of different banks. For any further queries, any help on any section, guidance related to books etc. you can always drop a mail on our mail id.