Bank PO CWE(17th June 2012)

The 2nd IBPS CWE for PO/MT which was held on 17th June 2012 floored the candidates. The exam was a tough nut to crack. Barring the English Section, the rest of the test areas had quite a few difficult questions, the reasoning section being the most difficult, closely followed by the quant section. One can say with out any second thought that this paper was the toughest of the bank exams conducted in the last couple of years.

The duration of the objective paper was 150 minutes and this was immediately followed by a Descriptive Test of 1 hour duration.

To help you understand the IBPS Bank PO CWE paper better, we provide you with a comprehensive analysis below. First, let us look at the snapshot of the exam.

Snap Shot Of Bank PO CWE Exam
Number Of Objective Questions 250
Test Areas 5
Maximum Marks(Objective) 225
Negative Marking 0.25
Duration Of Objective Test 150 minutes
Number Of Descriptive Questions 3
Maximum Marks(Descriptive) 25
Duration Of Descriptive Test 60 minutes
Total Duration Of Exam 31/2 Hours

Now let us take a look at the detailed analysis of the different test areas. The different test areas from which the questions were asked in the exam were Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness, Computer Awareness and English Language. There were 50 questions, all objective type, from each of these 5 test areas.

Analysis of the Objective Test : 
(1) Quantitative Aptitude

There were 10 questions based on simplifications and approximations. About half of these questions were easy and the other half were time consuming.

There were 5 questions on series. The questions involved finding the wrong number in the given sequence. These questions were difficult.

Coming to the individual questions, there were 15 questions, as against the 10 questions in the first IBPS CWE for PO conducted in Sep-2011. These questions involved a good mixture of concepts and logic from various topics like Simple Equations, Ratio, Percentages, Simple Interest-Compound Interest, Permutations & Combinations, Probability, Time &Work, Mensuration.

As regards Data Interpretation, there were 4 sets of 5 questions each.As compared to the previous IBPS PO exam, the DI part of the paper was difficult.

Overall, in terms of difficulty level, this section can be considered to be moderate to difficult and an attempt of 30 – 32 questions, with not more than 2-3 wrong is considered to be very good. The best approach would have been to answer series and the individual questions first and then solve the DI sets, answering only the easier ones in the DI sets.

The following table gives the topic wise break up of the questions asked in this section.

Topic wise break up of topics – Quantitative Aptitude

Topic No of Questions
Simplifications 5
Approximations 5
Series(Finding the wrong number) 5
Individual Questions:
Simple Equations 5
Ratio, Proportion 3
Percentages 1
Profit & Loss 1
Simple & Compound Interest 1
Permutation & Combination 1
Probability 1
Time & Work 1
Mensuration 1
Data Interpretation:
Pie Chart + Table 5
Bar Graph + Table 5
Line Graph + Table 5
Caselet 5
Total 50
(2) English Language

The English section of the paper was more or less similar to the English section of the exam held in Sep 2011. There were 50 questions and the break up is as follows:

Vocabulary :

10 Qs on Close passage (as against 15 Qs in Sep 2011). The passage was on climate change, fairly simple and the blanks were mostly on the appropriate usage of verbs. Easy to Moderate. 5 Qs on FIB (same as in Sep 2011) There were 5 Qs on fill in the blank. Each sentence had one blank with six possible words given for the blank. The student had to select the option that showed the two words that could fill the blank without any change in meaning. 3 easy, 1 moderate, and 1 difficult because of the close choices.


Unlike Sep 2011 when there were no questions on grammar, this year's paper had 15 Questions on Grammar.

Error Identification: There were 10Qs on error identification. Each question had a sentence broken into four parts. The student had to identify the part that had an error. 8 Qs easy and 2 Qs moderate.

Error Correction: There were 5Qs on error correction. Each question had a sentence with part of it in bold. Different ways of phrasing the underlined part was given and the student has to select the one that is grammatically correct. The questions were easy.

Both these question types have appeared in the Bank PO exams earlier.

Para Forming Question: The passage had 6 sentences which were jumbled up. The examine had to rearrange the sentences to form a paragraph and then answer the 5Qs based on it. It was moderately difficult but easier than the one in Sep 2011.

Reading Comprehension:

There was one passage of moderate difficulty with 15 questions. The passage was about 900 words and there were 8 comprehension questions and 7 vocabulary questions (4 synonyms and 3 antonym). In Sep 2011, there had been 2 passages of about 700 words with 8 and 7 questions on them including 2 questions on vocabulary. Of the 8 comprehension Qs, 5 were detail based and 3 were inferential, all were moderately difficult. 5 of the vocab Qs were easy and 3 moderately difficult.

Overall the paper was easier than the one in Sep 2011 and the main difference was the return of questions on grammar.

(3) Reasoning

The reasoning section of the paper was toughest of all the test areas.

The topic wise break up of the questions is given below.

Topic wise break up of topics – Reasoning

Topic No of Questions
Deductions 7
Critical reasoning(All individual questions) 6
Distribution + Linear Arrangement (1 set) 8
Circular Arrangement + Blood Relations (1 set) 7
Comparisons (1 set) 3
Input/Output 4
Data Sufficiency (Reasoning based) 5
Non- Verbal (Series) 10
Total 50

This section was a real shocker !! The only saving grace in this section was the the questions on Deductions, Input -Output and one set on puzzles – about 14 questions. The rest of the questions were tough and time consuming. And talking about the set on circular arrangements, the students would have got lost in the set and that too with out any final out put. In general, the questions on data sufficiency are easy to crack in the bank exams, but in this exam these questions were also difficult. A new type of question set was also seen in the section of non verbal reasoning. A score of 20 – 22 is a very good score in this section.

(4) Computer Knowledge

The questions on Computers were difficult when compared to the ones given in the first IBPS CWE for PO. Questions asked were from a wide range of sub-topics of Computers and were not on the expected lines. An average student would have found this section tough. Students with specialization in computer subjects definitely would have had an advantage over others.

Questions from topics like OS concepts, Word processing, Spread sheets, Power-point were not direct questions, as one expects them to be in bank exams. About 1/3rd of the questions were based on internet terminology, which included questions on URL, E-mail, Web terminology etc.

Topic wise break up of topics – Computer Awareness

Topic No of Questions
Acronyms -
Terminology 1
Introduction to concepts of Computer 1
Basic Computer Architecture 1
Memory 1
Data representation -
Software Concepts 9
Operating Systems 2
Computer Networks 7
Internet 15
E-Commerce -
MS Office: WORD 4
MS Office: EXCEL 4
Total 50

Over all, this section was difficult with questions being asked from a much wider range of topics / terminology and this required a lot of thinking and analysis.In general, this section is always a high scoring one, but in this exam a high score in this section will be a remote dream for the aspirants.

(5) General Awareness The classification of questions from this section is given below

Topic No of Questions
Banking Awareness 22
Indian Economy 8
Current Affairs - National 5
Current Affairs - International 5
Sports 4
Literature 1
Films 1
Awards 1
Science & Technology 2
Total 50

Of the 22 questions on Banking, 4 were difficult, 9 were moderately difficult and 9 were easy. The banking questions were mostly conceptual/hypothetical, rather than statistics based.

The questions on Indian Economy was relatively easier.

The questions on current affairs were easy and this was the saving grace for the students and they would have scored well in these questions.

In the miscellaneous group, the four questions related to Sports were easy. Films & Awards had one questions each and were also easy, whereas the two questions from Science & Technology, and one from Literature (books & authors) were difficult.

Overall, the paper can be described as difficult. A well prepared, focused student will be able to score in the range of 26 – 28.

Analysis of the Descriptive Test :

The Descriptive Writing section did not present any surprises.This test was for 50 marks ( to be scaled to 25).

The tasks that were asked were as follows.

Letter Writing:

The students were asked to write a letter of 150 words from the given three topics. Two of these were formal letters and one was an informal letter. Marks alloted for this task was 15.

  • Letter to your younger brother/sister explaining the significance of conducting the census - every 10 years.
  • Letter to an appropriate authority bringing to their attention lack of adequate educational facilities in your area.
  • Letter to a local news paper highlighting the significant contribution of one common citizen in influencing actions / developments in your area.

Essay Writing:

An essay of 250 words , from the three given topics. The topics were on social and economic aspects.Marks alloted for this task was 20.

  • Growth of Banking sector in India
  • Role of big business houses towards green initiatives
  • Role of micro finance companies in social and economic development.

Precis Writing:

A precis in 130 words of a passage of about 375 words. 15 marks was alloted for this task. Those who had spent some time on regular practice would have been able to perform well in this section.

Over all, this paper will be a low scoring one !!