IBPS PO 2020 - Last minute tips and strategy for Reasoning Ability

The Common Recruitment Process for the IBPS PO (CRP X) announced 1417 vacancies in August 2020. The Prelim exam is tentatively scheduled to be held in October 2020 and the Main exam in November 2020. The skill to get through lies in having an idea about the pattern of previously held exams, analysing papers, and teaching oneself how to strategize.

We bring this article for your benefit, with a few handy inputs on how to prepare for, and succeed in, the Reasoning section of the upcoming IBPS PO 2020 Prelim and Main examinations.

IBPS PO Prelim – Reasoning:

The IBPS PO Prelim paper comprisesessentiallythree test areas namely, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, and English Language.

The Reasoning section consists of 35 Qs that need to be attempted in 20 mins.

There is a negative marking scheme, where 1/4th of the marks assigned for a question will be deducted for each wrongly marked response.

This section offers a good scope for score maximisation, as this is a relatively easier part of the tests.
The difficulty level of questions in this area in the Prelims is easy to moderate (as per feedback given by T.I.M.E. students who appeared for such exams in the past).

The following data presents the topic wise break-up and analysis of the Prelim exam across the years [Feedback as given by T.I.M.E. students who appeared for similar exams in the past]

IBPS PO Prelim 2019:

S.No. Topic No. of questions Level of Difficulty
1 Ages +QBR (6 persons) 5 Easy-moderate
2 Linear arrangement and QBR(6 persons) 5 Easy-moderate
3 Square (Corners- away from the centre, Middle -faces the centre) 5 Easy
4 Distribution(10persons +5 months and 2 dates) 5 Easy -moderate
5 Symbols and Notations 4 Easy
6 Coding and decoding 5 Easy
7 Blood Relations 3 Very easy
8 Miscellaneous 3 Very easy

Puzzles asked in other slots: Circular Arrangement with Distributions with 8 persons facing inside, Floor Arrangement, Comparison of heights, Distributions - two row arrangement with 7 persons each, Circular Arrangement with 6 persons and their ages, Floor Arrangement (5 floors and two flats), Linear arrangement with 9 persons, some facing North and some facing South, Box Arrangement + Distribution, Distributions with cities, 6 Persons Linear + Distribution, Linear Arrangement, Circular + Distribution, Two row arrangement with seven persons each, Floor Arrangement with 9 persons.

IBPS PO Prelim 2018:

S.No. Topic No. of questions Level of Difficulty
1 Square (Corners- away from the centre, Middle -faces the centre) 5 Easy
2 Distribution (6persons +3 months and 2 dates) 5 Easy
3 Linear arrangement (7 persons) and distribution 5 Moderate
4 Floor arrangement (5 persons) and their ages 5 Moderate
5 Coding and decoding 5 Easy
6 Blood Relations 3 Easy
7 Miscellaneous 2 Very easy
8 Inequalities 5 Easy

Puzzles asked in other slots: Linear Arrangement (facing north andsouth), Linear facing north, Circular Arrangement with 10 persons facing the centre, Distribution (5 people, 5 days, 5 classes), Comparisons - bags and weights based, Box based puzzle , Linear with quant based reasoning, Quant based Reasoning + Ages, Persons sitting around a rectangular table.

The following areas are considered important for the Prelim exam:

1. Symbols and notations (Inequalities)
2. Blood relations
3. Direction sense
4. Coding-decoding
5. Syllogisms (Deductions)
6. Puzzles - Linear arrangements /Box arrangements /Floor arrangements / Circular arrangements /Distribution (days and months based) / Comparisons/ Quant-based Reasoning
7. Miscellaneous (Word arrangements, Number arrangements, meaning full word, letter series etc….)
8. Data Sufficiency
9. Input Output

Though questions on DataSufficiency are usually posed in the Main exam, candidates are advised not to get complacent and be on their guard, as is clear by the precedent set with the appearance of such questions in the 2018 and 2019 Prelims.

Strategy for Prelim:

It is advisable to attempt questions on Deductions, Blood relations, Directions, Symbols and Notations, Word and Number arrangements and Input and Output before moving on to others.

Solving Puzzles must come next in this process. Here too, it is more timesaving to focus on comparisons before working out Seating arrangements and Distributions, which must be considered towards the end.

It is only very rarely that a few clues are given in a jumbled manner. Usually, from what we hear from our students, clues meant for solving puzzles are presented such that they help solve the given puzzle in the order in which the clues are given, thus obviating the need to move back and forth.

For the sake of time management, questions on Data Sufficiency should be worked out at the end.

IBPS PO Mains – Reasoning:

The IBPS PO Main paper presents four test areas: Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, Dataanalysis and interpretation, English Language, and General Economy and Banking Awareness.

The Reasoningand Computers part, even though named such, has presented no question related to Computers during the last few years.

The Reasoning and Computer section of the exam consists of 45 Qs that need to be attempted in 60 mins. Total number of marks allotted to this section is 60.The negative marking scheme put in place for this exam mandates the deduction of 1/4th of the marks assigned for a question, for every incorrect response.

A variable marking scheme MAY BE applicable in the Reasoning section of this exam.
The following data presents the topic wise break-up and analysis of the Main exam [Feedback as given by T.I.M.E. students who appeared for such exams in the past]

IBPS PO Mains 2019:

S.No. Topic No. of questions Level of Difficulty
1 Forty-one floors with five lifts 4 Difficult
2 Thirteen boxes in alphabetical order from top to bottom with toffees in multiples of 13 and each box of a different colour 4 Moderate
3 Six persons facing the north and each of them pours certain quantity of milk in containers 3 Moderate
4 Circular arrangement with seven persons. Persons sitting in adjacent positions are not in alphabetical order and their ages 3 Moderate
5 Eleven houses in a row from west to east with three houses vacant, eight persons and their ages 4 Difficult
6 Eight persons and their designations +Blood relations + three cities 4 Difficult
7 Two stacks A and B, ten books to be arranged, illustrated example is given example with ten values involving mathematical operations (similar toInput- Output model) 3 Moderate
8 Input - Output (2 sets) 6 1set -Moderate
1set- Difficult
9 Symbols and Notations 3 Easy
10 Critical Reasoning 5 Difficult
11 Direction sense with symbols 2 Moderate
12 Blood Relations with symbols 3 Moderate
13 Reverse Syllogism 1 Moderate

IBPS PO Mains 2018:

S.No. Topic No. of questions Level of Difficulty
1 Triangle 6 persons + Distribution 3 Moderate
2 Circular arrangement with symbols and QBR 5 Difficult
3 Three floors and each floor with 2 flats +QBR 3 Moderate
4 Ages + Distribution + QBR 5 Difficult
5 Linear + Distribution 1 Easy
6 Blood Relations +QBR 2 Moderate
7 Distribution (Date based) 4 Difficult
8 Certain linear (some facing the north and remaining facing the south) 1 Easy
9 Direction sense (forming 2 rectangles) 1 Moderate
10 Input and Output (only numbers) 4 Moderate
11 Data sufficiency (5 statements) 2 Moderate
12 Coding and Decoding 1 Moderate
13 Sequence- 3 steps 3 easy
14 Critical Reasoning 9 Difficult

The following areas are considered important for the Main exam:

1. Symbols and notations
2. Blood relations
3. Direction sense
4. Coding-decoding
5. Syllogisms
6. Puzzles - Linear arrangements / Boxarrangements / Floorarrangements / Circular arrangements /Distribution (day and month and designation-based / Comparisons / Quant based Reasoning
7. Data sufficiency
8. Input and output
9. Miscellaneous (Word arrangements, Number arrangements, meaningful word, letter series etc.)
10. Critical Reasoning

Strategy for the Main exam:

Though everything in an exam seems important, it is essential to prioritise the order in which you handle questions. In order to maximise the score, we recommend the below mentioned plan for attempting questions.

It is advisable to attempt questions on Deductions, Blood relations, Directions, Symbols and Notations and Input and Output before moving on to others.

Solving puzzles must come next in this process. In recent Main exams, it was observed that the clues pattern in puzzles was very lengthy and elaborative. If we follow the clues in the order which they are presented in the puzzle, solving will become easier. So, these are a must attempt ones.

New patterns in puzzles have also being observed in recent exams. A set of instructions is given, and the test-taker is expected to understand the given instructions implement them properly.

It is only very rarely that a few clues are given in a jumbled manner. Usually, from what we hear from our students, clues meant for solving puzzles are presented such that they help solve the given puzzle in the order in which the clues are given, thus obviating the need to move back and forth.

For the sake of time management, questions on Data Sufficiency and Critical Reasoning should be worked out towards the end. Though Critical Reasoning sounds intimidating, its questions do not take much time to answer and can be easily worked out by elimination. However, the like