Tips On Time management to Crack IBPS PO

IBPS PO exam is one of the most sought-after banking exams in India. Every year lakhs of candidates apply for this exam. The post of IBPS PO is very dignified and the job role is lucrative. The salary and career growth is also a factor which makes it a preferred career choice for many graduates in India. The number of applicants for this exam has been increasing continuously over the recent years. The competition is high and candidates need to start their preparations as early as possible to crack the IBPS PO test

You can refer to the official website of the IBPS to check the eligibility criteria and process of application. The most important part of any exam preparation is the syllabus. You will notice that the syllabus is exhaustive which makes this exam tough. It is important to complete the syllabus and not skip any topic to ensure success. Always refer to the syllabus mentioned on the official website and do not get carried away by a large number of unnecessary materials. IBPS PO exam is a time-bound exam and there are time limits for some sections too. The mains exam also has a descriptive section. Therefore, time management is a crucial factor in this exam. Let us understand the exam pattern of IBPS PO briefly:

The IBPS PO exam is carried out in three stages: prelims, mains and the interview. 

  • Prelims: Prelims exam includes various topics. The different sections and the time allotted to those sections are summarized in the table below:
SectionMarks Number of questionsTime allotted
English language303020 minutes
Numerical ability35 35 20 minutes
Reasoning ability35 3520 minutes
Total1001001 hour
  • Mains: Candidates who crack the prelims exam are eligible for appearing for the mains exam. The different sections and time allotted to those respective sections are summarised as follows:
SectionNumber of questionsMarks allottedTime allotted
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude456060 minutes
English language354040 minutes
Data analysis and Interpretation356045 minutes
General Awareness, Economy and Banking Awareness404035 minutes
English language22530 minutes
  • Interview: Candidates who crack the mains exam are called for an interview. The interview carries 100 marks. The qualifying mark in the interview is 40. The interview lasts for around 15-20 minutes. 
  • Negative marking: There is a penalty for wrong answers. One-fourth of the total marks allotted to a question is deducted for incorrect answers. No marks are deducted for unattempted questions. 

Time management during preparations

As you can observe, there is a sectional time limit in IBPS PO. Along with accuracy, speed also becomes a deciding factor to achieve success in this exam. Candidates get nervous and stressed during the exam and can make mistakes. Also, the candidates must understand that they have limited time to prepare for this exam and the syllabus is lengthy. So they must invest their time only in quality materials and resources. You must create your own timetable that suits you the best and stick to it. Plan your timetable in a way that there is sufficient time left for revision. Revision is the key to success in any competitive exam. Timely revision is important to maintain consistency. Another important tip is to prepare for prelims and mains simultaneously. Do not wait for the time gap between the prelims and mains exam to prepare for the mains exam. This time duration is ideal for revision purposes. 

Time management during exams

Since there is negative marking for wrong answers, candidates must ensure that they do not make mistakes in a hurry since time is limited for attempting each section. We briefly discuss few tips that you can use during your exams:

  • English language: Start with fill in the blanks and cloze test. These sections are less time-consuming and will give you the required confidence. Spotting errors is time-consuming. Make sure that you have a fixed amount of time reserved for it. It is advisable to attempt this at the end of this section so that you do not have to worry about attempting other questions. Comprehension skills can sometimes be time-consuming. You must read it with great concentration so that you do not need to read it again and again. You can practice comprehension related questions during your preparations. Vocabulary related questions can be solved without referring to the passage again. 
  • Quantitative aptitude: This is a section where a silly mistake can lead to wrong answers and hence negative marks. To ensure good speed in this section, you must know your strong and weak topics. Always start with the topics you are good at. You can get this idea only when you have solved a lot of questions while practising. Mock tests are a good way to practice questions. If you are unable to solve any question, skip it and solve the next. Do not worry if you have to skip more questions. You can come back and attempt these questions after you have gone to the end of this section. This way you can also review the questions. At times, you might not be able to understand the question immediately, but you might be able to solve it after you read it again. Do not depend on guesswork. Leave the questions unanswered if you are not sure about the answers.
  • Reasoning section: This section is time-consuming and you must solve it calmly. Read the questions carefully. Practice is very important for this section. If you interpret the questions wrongly, you might not find the answers and will end up in a panic. Reading fastly with high concentration is required. In his section too, you must understand your weak topics and strong topics. Start with questions you are most comfortable with. It is advisable to attempt the reasoning section after you have attempted other sections.
  • General Awareness: This is the easiest section. It does not require any thinking or solving work and you can attempt it quickly. You can start with this section and do not waste a lot of time on it. Skip the questions you are not sure about.