IBPS RRB PO (Scale 1) - 2023 – Preparation and Strategy for the Reasoning Section.

IBPS RRB PO (Scale 1) - 2023 – Preparation and Strategy for the Reasoning Section.

The following article gives you input on how to ace the Reasoning Ability section of the IBPS RRB PO (Scale I) Prelim and Main examinations. Going through the article in detail will help you perform better in these exams.

IBPS RRB PO (Scale 1) – Prelim Examination:

The Reasoning section of this exam comprises 40 Qs that carry one mark each. While there is no section-wise time limit as such, there is a composite time of 45 minutes for both the test areas of Reasoning Ability and Quantitative Aptitude. One may allot a maximum of 20 mins for the reasoning section to maximise one’s overall score here. There is a negative marking scheme, where 1/4th of the marks assigned for a question are deducted for each wrongly marked response. In order to qualify, candidates must qualify in both the tests (Reasoning and Numerical Ability) by securing the minimum cut-off marks.

This being a relatively easier-to-handle part of the test, offers ample scope for score maximisation. In the Prelims, the difficulty level of questions in this area ranges from very easy to easy (as per the 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 IBPS RRB PO (Scale 1) Prelim exam across the years [collated from feedback as given by T.I.M.E. students who appeared for such exams in the past].

Prelim 2022: (20th August 3rd slot)

S.No Topic No of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Symbol and Notation (Inequalities) 4 Easy
2 Blood Relations 3 Easy-Moderate
3 Direction Sense 3 Easy
4 Deductions / Syllogisms (only a few) 4 Easy
5 Miscellaneous 4 Very easy
Puzzles:
6 Linear Arrangement (Unknown number of persons) 4 Easy
7 Linear Arrangement (Some facing North and Some facing South) 5 Moderate
8 Floor Arrangement (7 floors) + Distribution 5 Moderate
9 Ten persons ordering and sequence 4 Easy
10 Designations based (Nine persons) 4 Easy

Prelim 2021:

S.No Topic No of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Symbols Notations (Inequalities) 4 Easy
2 Coding-Decoding (4 set based and one individual) 5 Easy
3 Syllogisms (Deductions) (Model: ‘Only a few) 5 Easy to Moderate
4 Direction Sense 3 Easy
5 Blood Relations 1 Easy
6 Miscellaneous 2 Easy
Puzzles
7 Linear Arrangement (Eight persons, four facing North and four facing South) 4 Easy
8 Month-based puzzle (Eight persons - four months – two dates) 4 Easy
9 Floor Arrangement (3 variables) 5 Moderate
10 Comparisons (ten persons bought hens one after the other) 4 Moderate
11 Comparisons (6 persons, chocolate) 3 Comparisons (6 persons, chocolate)

Puzzles: Questions on puzzles were based on – Linear Arrangement (unknown no. of persons, some persons facing north and south, 8 persons etc.), Month & Date based, Age-based, Floor Arrangement, Distributions, Comparisons (Heights, Weights etc.)

The following areas/topics are considered important for the Prelim exam:

1. Symbols and notations (Inequalities)
2. Blood relations
3. Direction sense
4. Coding-decoding
5. Syllogisms
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

Though past patterns indicate that questions on Data Sufficiency are usually posed in the Main exam, candidates are advised to be on their guard and not take this for granted, as is evident from their out-of-place inclusion in the 2018 Prelim.

IBPS RRB PO (Scale 1) – Main Examination:

The Reasoning section of the exam consists of 40 Qs with a total of 50 marks. Here too, while there is no fixed sectional time limit, there is a composite time of 120 minutes that needs to be distributed across all test areas. One may allot a maximum of 40 mins for the Reasoning section to maximise one’s overall score. The negative marking scheme put in place for this exam mandates that for every incorrect response, 1/4th of the marks assigned for that question be deducted.

The likelihood of a variable marking scheme being applied to the Reasoning section of this exam remains strong.

The following data presents the topic-wise break-up and analysis of the Main exam [as collated from feedback received from T.I.M.E. students who appeared for such exam in the past]

Mains 2022:

S.No Topic No of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Two rows distribution (5 persons in each row +Fruits) 5 Moderate
2 Designations based distribution 5 Moderate
3 Distributions (7 Persons, 7 Days) 5 Moderate
4 Floor Arrangement (6 floors + 6 persons) 1 Easy
5 Input Output 4 Moderate
6 Deductions (Syllogisms) 4 Easy-Moderate
7 Blood Relations 3 Easy
8 Direction Sense 3 Easy
9 Miscellaneous 1 Easy
10 Symbol and Notation (Inequalities) 3 Easy-Moderate
11 Critical Reasoning 6 Difficult

Mains 2021:

S.No Topic No of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Data Sufficiency 3 Moderate
2 Floor Arrangement (4 floors, 2 flats) 3 Moderate
3 Designation based with Distribution 5 Moderate
4 Directions Sense 3 Moderate
5 Miscellaneous 3 Moderate
6 Deductions (Syllogisms) 2 Moderate
7 Distributions (8 persons, 8 months plus variable) 5 Moderate
8 Blood Relation 2 Easy
9 Linear Arrangement (Unknown number of Persons) with Distributions 5 Moderate
10 Critical Reasoning 7 Moderate-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 / Box arrangements / Floor arrangements / Circular arrangements / Distribution (day and month-based), Designations based / Comparisons / Quant based Reasoning
7. Data sufficiency
8. Input and output
9. Miscellaneous (Word arrangements, Number arrangements, meaning full word, letter series etc.)
10. Critical Reasoning

Strategy:

Though every topic is important in an exam, it is essential to prioritise the order in which you solve questions. In order to maximise your score, we recommend the below-mentioned plan for attempting the questions.

It is advisable that the student first attempts questions on sequence, set of numbers/words, deductions, blood relations, directions, symbols and notations, word and number arrangements and input and output first and only then deal with the other question types.

Solving puzzles must come next in this process. Among puzzles too, questions on Comparisons are less time-consuming than the ones on Seating arrangements and Distributions; these must be worked out towards the end.

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

For the sake of time management, questions on Data Sufficiency and Critical Reasoning should be worked out last.

Some useful Tips:

• Going through the Analyses of previous years’ papers will help you understand what topics were asked in the exams, the weightage of questions from each topic, the pattern of questions etc.
• Whether a sectional time limit is specified or not, time management, speed, and accuracy play an important role in helping you clear your exams. Work on your speed and accuracy.
• Practice questions daily. This will give you an edge over others, who are appearing for these exams.
• Tracking your performance on a regular basis helps you identify the areas/topics in which you are weak and need to boost up your preparation.
• Answering the questions in a particular sequence, to maximise your attempts and your score, is very important. See the order given above.
• Take ample online tests, topic-wise, as well as Mock Tests – these, will help you understand your preparation levels and also assist you in time management so that when you go for the actual exam, you give it a shot with confidence.

All the Best!!