The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection conducts the IBPS PO exam to recruit probationary officers in public sector banks. The exam is conducted in three stages which are as follows:
- IBPS PO Preliminary Exam
- IBPS PO Main Exam
- IBPS PO Interview
The PO prelims and mains are written examinations consisting of objective type questions. One of the subjects covered in the IBPS PO syllabus is Quantitative Aptitude. It is considered one of the toughest sections of the exam. While this is largely correct, it is also the section with the highest scoring potential given good preparation and practice. In this article, we will discuss a few strategies to prepare Quantitative Aptitude for IBPS PO.
Before we go into the ways to prepare for this subject, we should know the topics that are covered by the syllabus and their share of marks. The following table provides that information:
Topic |
Average Marks |
Data Interpretation |
5-10 marks |
Simplification |
3-5 marks |
Number Series |
3-5 marks |
Inequalities |
3-5 marks |
Percentages |
1-2 marks |
Profit and Loss |
1-2 marks |
Averages |
1-2 marks |
Time, Work, Speed and Distances |
2-4 marks |
Ratio, Proportion and Probability |
2-4 marks |
Candidates should make strategic choices while preparing for this subject. The first four and the last two topics are very important as they carry between 25-30 marks every year. As the section itself is very time consuming, more importance should be given to these topics to be able to clear this section.
IBPS PO Preparation Tips For Quantitative Aptitude
Here are a few tips to excel in quantitative aptitude and clear the section well within the allotted time:
- Start With Number Systems and Number Series: Though questions related to number systems are not asked directly in the exam, this forms the basis of most of the questions. Candidates should develop skills in analysing square and cube roots, raising numbers to a given power and basic arithmetic. Number series should be tackled after this with a focus on finding out patterns of repetition and the operations used to arrive at a number series.
- Focus on Data Interpretation: Data interpretation takes up the lions’ share of marks in quantitative aptitude. Candidates should focus on this section as the type of questions vary every year. The basic types of DI such as tabular and graph-based DI require intensive practice. Previous years’ questions should be studied to gain insight on the types of DI that get repeated and also to find out variations of basic data interpretation that the institute uses.
- Combine Preparation for Interrelated Topics: This would help aspirants understand the nuances of the trickier questions that the institute favours for the IBPS PO mains exam. It also builds on the basic concepts for topics such as ratios and percentages, or speed and work to enable more accurate calculations in prelims and mains. The other advantage of studying related topics together is that it saves time while preparing for the exam.
- Make a Study Schedule: A largely overlooked aspect of bank PO preparation is the study schedule. Most aspirants schedule a time for the subject but do not focus adequately on the topics within it. Candidates should schedule time separately for every topic as well as for revision while preparing for quantitative aptitude. This enables aspirants to get enough practice for each topic.
- Practice and Revise: While preparing for the first time can seem like a daunting task, practice and revision should never be relegated to secondary tasks. The primary goal should be to become an expert in the topics, for which practice and revision is essential.
- Focus on Speed and Accuracy: Quantitative Aptitude is one of the lengthy sections of IBPS PO. The focus should be on speed and accuracy so that candidates can finish all the questions within the stipulated time and do not have to second guess their answers. Since this is a computer-based exam, the institute has left no scope for candidates to revisit a section once the allotted time is over. This means that speed and accuracy are the most important traits to develop while preparing for this section.
- Solve Question Papers and Mock Tests: Once preparation is well underway, candidates should start solving previous years’ papers and mock tests. These should be done for all the sections simultaneously to familiarise with the pattern of the IBPS PO exam and also to find out the areas in which more intensive preparation is required. Weak areas can be identified and worked upon well before the examination to save time for revision later in the preparation process.
The above tips when combined with good IBPS PO books will guarantee success on exam day. The following books should be referred extensively for the quantitative aptitude section:
- Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Agarwal
- Basic Numeracy, Numerical Aptitude and Data Interpretation by Nishit K Sinha
The key takeaways from these strategies for the subject are to develop speed and accuracy while solving the questions. Without them, any amount of expertise will not be helpful on exam day as the limited time allotted for the section precludes deliberation while solving the questions. Practice, revision and focus on important topics should be the main features of your preparation plan.
Aspirants can refer to BYJU’S for the latest notifications, strategies and study material for the IBPS PO exam.
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