How to crack IBPS PO 2019 prelim exam

As in all competitive exams, preparing for the IBPS PO 2019 exam also calls for a lot of strategy while preparing for it. Now that the notification is out, it’s time to start preparing in right earnest. 

Your preparation will depend on your level of knowledge and skills. Though it is critical to go through the entire syllabus and be prepared for the exam, yet it is equally important to concentrate on taking a close look at the syllabus and see how you can improve your time management skills and your skills relating to question selection. 

What should you do to crack the IBPS PO 2019 prelim examination?

Given below are some suggestions to help you crack the exam.

Know your syllabus and exam pattern thoroughly

Before you start preparing for the exams, you need to know what you are getting into. You should become familiar with the question patter as well as the topics on which the questions will be based. 

The Prelim Exam details  

A total of 100 questions will be asked in a span of 60 minutes. The paper comprises the following sections

Subject  Questions Asked  Marks  Time  


English Language 30 30  20 
Reasoning Ability  35 35 20
Quantitative Aptitude  35 35 20


Also remember that wrong answers carry negative marks.  

Become aware of the pervious years cut off marks 

Why is this important? By understanding what the cut off marks were for both the individual and overall paper, will help you figure out how many questions at a minimum you must get right in order to clear the prelims. 

For example, the cut off marks for a Reasoning Ability last year was 9.00 for general category. If you are weak in Reasoning Ability, you must aim to correctly answer at least get at least 15-18 questions correctly to clear this section. 

Solve question papers of pervious years and analyse your performance 

Aim to solve question papers of the previous 4-5 years at a minimum. This will give you a good idea of the type of questions and the level of complexity of each question asked. You will also get an idea of which topics tend to carry maximum weightage. This data will be extremely helpful to you when you prepare your strategy and preparation time table. 

Devise your strategy

Devise a smart strategy to crack your exams. Understanding the exam pattern and solving past papers would have giving you a fairly good idea of where you stand. Based on this input, devise a strategy that takes care of both your strengths and weakness. For example, you may want take up the sections with more weightage and those that you can solve quickly and correctly should be taken up first. Others can be done later.

Create a timetable

Once you know what you’re up against, you need to create a timetable that’s realistic and one that you can stick to. Initially, spend about five to six hours in studying and use this time to sharpen up on your weak areas. Don’t be too rigid about your timetable, but be flexible enough to change it as you go along.

Get your basics right

To begin preparing, it’s critical to understand the basics of each topic so that you can solve questions relating to this topic correctly. Your fundaments and basics should be strong and you should be clear about each and every concept. With strong basics, you can crack the paper with great ease. 

Create short notes and use cheat sheets containing formulas and tricks  

As you study, create your own short notes and cheat sheets that contain formula, quick tips, shortcuts, abbreviations and diagrams etc. Work on short tricks that you can use to solve a problem and note it down. Since you have many questions to solve in a specified time, shortcuts are a great tool to reduce time. This is a great tool for revision as you go ahead in your preparation as well. 

Take online mock tests regularly 

There are plenty of mock online tests available today. Take as many mock tests as you can and attempt them regularly. Mock tests are a great way to check where you stand as it helps you to zero in on your areas of both weakness and strength. By spotting your areas of weakness, you can convert them quickly into your strengths.  

Taking online tests regularly will help in two ways:

Understand your strength and weakness:  Attempting online tests will make you comfortable with the pattern and help you assess where you are going wrong. With regular practice it becomes easier for you to solve any time of questions as time goes by. 

Time management: When you appear for this exam, it’s not just accuracy that you should focus on but also speed. For you to work at the required speed, you need to practice by doing as many practice tests as possible. Yet another tip while taking a practice test is to not spend too much time on one question as this will only make you lose time on others. 

Focus on improving your speed and accuracy

Candidates who are able to attempt all the 200 questions and solve them with high degree of accuracy are the ones who will qualify for the next round. So try to improve on both speed and accuracy as you solve both the previous year’s exam papers and take you online tests.  

Practice sincerely

Your IBPS PO prelims preparation won’t be the best if you practice half-heartedly. Each time you complete a chapter, end with solving some questions. Begin with the easy questions and then move on to the tougher ones. By revising some difficult questions regularly, you will gain mastery in the subject. Also remember to take short notes of key points as you study. These are great tools for revisions later on. 

Revise, revise, revise

As you come to the end of studying each topic, reserve a month for revision. However, don’t spend too much time on it as it could be an obstacle in your path of overall preparation. The short notes that you had been taking earlier will come in handy now to complete revising your syllabus. This is a critical part of your preparation, so don’t take it lightly. 

Don’t study new topics at the end of the preparation period

About two months before the preparation period can end, don’t begin learning new topics. Instead, devote more time to revise the topics you’ve studied so far. Strengthen your plus areas and prepare them well for the exam. 

Be focused

When you reach the last week of preparation, you should be more focused and selective where subjects and topics are concerned. Focus on areas that you need to improve on. 

Take frequent breaks

If you feel stressed out during your preparation, do meditation or exercise to de-stress. Watch the television for a while, go the gym or go for a walk and be and think positive. 

Stay positive

You need to be confident and positive when you go to the exam centre. You stand to gain nothing by stressing yourself out or having negative thoughts. Be positive throughout the length of your preparation and do your best. 

Tips for each section

English Language 

Don’t take this section for granted. The competition has only been increasing and so are the levels of this section. Get your basics right. Focus on mastering English grammar as this is a great way to solve questions related to spotting errors, fill in the banks etc. 

Take some time out to read English articles and editorials. Make it a habit to read the newspaper and magazines such as The Hindu, Frontline, India Today regularly. You may also want to listen to English news channels such as the BBC News. 

Reasoning Ability 

Practice and practice a bit more. Many people find this to be a tough section to crack. But this is a section where you can score good marks. This section tests your understanding of concepts. So make sure to practice hard. Work on topics such as Arithmetical reasoning, Relationship concepts, Differences, Analysis, Similarities, Verbal and figure classification as questions on these topics seem to have been regularly featured in the IBPS PO exams.

Numerical Ability

This section is all about how good one is in basic Mathematics. So make sure to get the fundamentals or your core concepts right. If your foundations are strong and clear, you will have no problem in solving section at all and you will be able to solve both simple and complex problems with ease and on time. 


We hope you liked the tips and suggestions given. While this exam may appear tough and intimidating, a right strategy, good time management and focus will help you crack this exam. Stay positive, stay healthy and give it your best shot. 


Good luck and all the very best!

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