Previous Exam Analyses

PO Exam Analyses

It has been reported that the online IBPS RRB Office Assistant Main examination held on 12th Nov 2017 was almost of the same difficulty level as its predecessor in 2016, but for the inclusion of some new question types.

The Reasoning and English Sections were moderate. The Quant section was time-consuming. The GA section was easy - moderate while the one on Computers can be tagged as easy.

The snap shot of the exam is given below.

Test Area No. of questions Max Marks
Numerical Ability40 Qs50
Reasoning Ability40 Qs50
English Language40 Qs40
General Awareness40 Qs40
Computer Knowledge40 Qs20
Total200200

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Numerical Ability:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate to difficult and time-consuming.

The questions on DI were quite lengthy and tedious; the questions on caselet were tough. Individual questions in this section were based on topics like Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Simple and Compound Interest, Probability etc.. Though not direct questions, they were reportedly tricky ones and mandate a complete knowledge of concepts to solve them. The 5 questions on Data Sufficiency were of moderate level difficulty. There were 5 questions on Quadratic comparisons too, which were relatively easier to solve.

Test Area No. of questions
Data Interpretation (Table, Bar Graph, Caselet)15
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Simple and Compound Interest,Probability)15
Data Sufficiency5
Quadratic Comparison5

Reasoning Ability:

This section has been given a moderate tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were changelling. The questions on deductions can be assigned a moderate level of diffciulty. The Data Sufficiency topic posed moderate level difficulty questions.

Test Area No. of questions Max Marks
Puzzles (Circular Arrangement, Linear Arrangement, Floor Arrangements, Month & Date based etc)20Moderate - Difficult
Deductions5Moderate
Alph Numeric Series5Moderate
Data Sufficiency3Moderate
Miscellaneous (Coding-Decoding, Direction Sense etc..)7Easy - Moderate

English Language:

This section was difficult as compared to the one last year. There were two RC passages with a total of fourteen questions.

New question types have been reported from among the verbal ability ones:

  • Cloze test (Phrase based) – Cloze test blanks had to be filled with a group of words (phrase) instead of a single word, as opposed to the earlier norm here
  • FIB – Two blanks which needed to be filled with gender-specific noun pairs (masculine-feminine) were presented
  • Sentence correction questions involving a change in the degree of comparison used to a logically and grammatically correct one was askec.

The difficulty level of these new inclusions was limited at moderate.

Overall, this section can be pegged at 'moderate'.

Test Area No. of questions Max Marks
Reading Comprehension14 ( 2 passages)Moderate
Cloze test (one set with 5Qs – regular type cloze and one set with 5Qs – Phrase based)10Moderate
FIB – Gender Noun (Masculine/Feminine)2 - 3Easy to Moderate
Degrees of Comparison5Easy to Moderate
FIB (2 Blanks)2 - 3Moderate
Spelling (one sentence was given, in which three words were in bold. One had to choose the option with all the correct spelling of three words)5Moderate

General Awareness:

Most of the questions asked here were related to Banking Awareness and Current Affairs. Students have reported this area as easy to moderate.

Computer Knowledge:

The questions on Computers were reportedly easy, and dealt with concepts like MS Office, Networking, Operating system, Internet, Memory, Basics etc.

The IBPS PO exam was held in 12 slots, on the 7th, 8th and 14th of October 2017. The detailed analysis, including the changes in the exam pattern, as reported by our students are enumerated below:

English continued with its horror trail that it had begun a couple of years ago, and once again succeeded in taking the wind out of students' sails! Questions were aimed at testing a candidate's knowledge and application of grammatical concepts and rules, and hence the manner of their presentation too was novel and unlike that seen earlier. Though some old question types were tweaked and presented differently, conventional questions types also appeared in this section.

The uneven distribution of topics across all the slots was another feature of this year's exam, as opposed to the trend in previous years. The topics were spread arbitrarily in various slots.

Till the previous year, all the questions on a sub-topic in any given section used to be in a sequential manner in one part of a section. However, this year they were seen to be distributed randomly and were not given in any order of succession.

We at T.I.M.E. ensure that both the basics and functional aspects of every topic are discussed in our sessions, and students made to work out on exercises that reinforce these inputs.

The analysis of the exam held across all slots, as reported by our students, is presented below.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questionss 100
  1. No of choices per question: 5
  2. Each question carries one mark.
  3. Negative Marking: 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question.

The analyses of the individual sections are given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

This section can be rated as moderate and was calculation based. No new question types / pattern of questions were asked in this section in any of the slot.

Common topics for all slots:

  • There were 5 to 6 questions on Approximations. These questions were of moderate difficulty level .
  • There were 12 questions (2 sets) on Data Interpretation, and almost all of them involved a lot of calculations.
  • The Individual questions varied from 12 to 13 in number. These were a combination of easy, moderate and difficult ones.

Variation in topics in some slots:

  • In some slots there were 5 questions on Number series where as in some slots questions on Quadratic comparisons were given instead of questions from Number series.

A student could therefore, have solved around 17 - 19 questions in approximately 20 minutes (recommended), if he chose judiciously.

Topic No.of Questions
Data Interpretation (2 sets. Line graph and Table in most of the slots) 12
Number Series (Missing number) / Quadratic Comparisons 5
Approximations 5 - 6
Individual Questions (Ages, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Averages, Mixtures & Alligation, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Ratio, Simple & Compound Interest) 12 - 13

Reasoning:

  • This section has been given a 'Moderate' tag.

Common topics for all slots:

  • There were 20 questions on puzzles (Linear, Days and Colour based, Floor etc..), which ranged between moderate and difficult. However few students report that there were 25 questions on puzzles in their exam slot.
  • There were five questions on Direction Sense, Blood Relations and Ranking and were of easy to moderate difficulty level.

Variation in topics in some slots:

  • The weightage of questions from topics of Deductions, Symbols-Notations, Coding-Decoding and Input-Output were not uniform across slots. In some slots there were questions on Input-Output. The questions on Input-Output generally asked in Main examination. In some slots there were questions from Deductions. The questions from Coding-Decoding and Symbols-Notations were asked in about 9 to 10 slots.

About 15-17 questions could possibly be solved in 25 minutes (recommended). The topic -wise split, as reported by our students, is as given below.

Topic No of Qs
Puzzles (Linear, Days and Colour based, Floor etc..) 20
Deductions (Syllogism) 3 – 5 (in some slots)
Symbol-Notation based conclusions 3 – 5 (in some slots)
Input-Output 5 (in some slots)
Coding-Decoding 3 – 5 (in some slots)
Miscellaneous (Blood Relations, Direction Sense, Ranking etc..) 5

English Language :

  • This section has been given a 'Moderate – Difficult' tag.
  • Cloze test passage and PFQs were missing from this section.

Common topics for all slots:

  • The lone Reading Comprehension passage was conventional in its presentation, and comprised 10 questions split into the familiar 6 detail questions + 2 antonyms + 2 synonyms manner.

Variation in topics in some slots:

  • The question on Phrase Replacement has been modified. Here, a sentence had been given with a part in bold font. This was followed by three phrases numbered (I), (II) and (III), from which one of more could be picked from five choices listed below them.
  • Questions of Error Identification involved five complete sentences labelled (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5), and aspirants were expected to mark the grammatically incorrect one as their answer. This pattern too has been restructured and presented differently.
  • Questions on Sentence Odd Man out have been revamped and were hence formidable to crack. Instead of choosing one sentence that was not in sync with the rest out of the given five, the new presentation involved a long-winding sentence divided into five parts labelled A, B, C, D and E. The test-takers were directed to use four out of these five parts to construct a logically and grammatically correct sentence, and pick one of the five choices corresponding to the correct order.

Thus, about 12-14 questions could possibly be solved in 15 minutes (recommended) in the English section. The break-up of the questions is as follows:

Topic No of Questions
Reading Comprehension 10
Error Identification(Identify the part(s) which has 'NO' error) / Sentence OMO 10
Phrase Replacement 10

Over all, the paper was a combination of easy, moderate and difficult questions across all the three sections and can hence be rated as 'Moderate'

Good Attempts and Expected Cutoffs:

Test Area Good Attempts Expected Cutoff
Quantitative Aptitude 17 - 19 8 – 10 Marks
Reasoning Ability 15 – 17 7 – 9 Marks
English Language 12 – 14 6 – 8 Marks
Overall 45 - 50 43 – 47 Marks

It has been reported that the online RRB Officer (Scale I) Prelim examination held in September 2017 (9th,10th& 16th Sep) was easy to moderate in terms of difficulty level. A similar trend was observed for all the exams held across all slots on these days.

A snap shot of the prelim exam is given below.

Duration of Exam 45 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 40 Qs
Reasoning Ability 40 Qs
Total Qs 80 Qs

An analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as easy to moderate.

There were 15 questions on DI (which included one on table, one on line graph and one on pie chart). The questions on data given in table were quite lengthy and calculation based.

Individual questions in this section were based on topics like Ages, Time and Distance, Time and Work, Averages, Mixtures & Alligations, Profit and Loss, Partnership, Probability and Mensuration. Students have informed us that these questions were a combo of easy and moderate ones. One needed a good command on fundamentals to attempt these questions successfully. There were 5 questions each on Approximations, Number Series and Quadratic Comparisons, all of which were easy to tackle.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (Table/Line/Pie chart) 15
Number Series (Missing number) 5
Individual Questions (Ages, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Averages, Mixtures & Alligations, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Probability and Mensuration) 10
Approximations 5
Quadratic Comparisons 5

Reasoning Ability:

This section has been tagged as 'easy to moderate'.

There were 20 questions on Puzzles (Circular, Linear (Two row), Box puzzle and Date/Month based puzzle), and all of these questions can be labelled easy to moderate. Questions on Symbols Notations, Coding-Decoding and Deductions were easy to crack. No question was asked from topics like Blood relations and Direction sense.

Topic No of Qs
Puzzles (Linear, Circular, Box & Date / Month) 20
Deductions 5
Symbols Notations 5
Coding-Decoding 5
Miscellaneous (Letter Series, Word formation, Sequence etc..) 5

Overall, the paper can be rated slightly easier as compared to the same exam that was consucted in 2016.

The SBI PO 2017 Main examination held on the 4th of June 2017, as per the feedback received from our students, was along expected lines with regard to unexpectedness, or in simple words, was mind-boggling!

The overall examination can be rated as tough. Data Interpretation and English sections were difficult, while the Reasoning section was very difficult. The General Awareness section was easy and thankfully, as per expectations. The sectional and overall cutoff is expected to be lower than that of SBI PO 2016 main examination.

Surprise elements seem to have become a norm in all Bank exams, and the SBI PO Main exam was no exception to this. Certain unforeseen factors that popped up out of the blue created problems for candidates in terms of accuracy of answering and time management.

Students, let us now understand what these 'surprise elements' are! These are our age-old conventional and commonly asked questions presented to us in different formats, that take the wind off our sails during exams. Which is why test-takers get agitated upon coming across such questions in Bank exams.

Let us present a few examples to elucidate this point:

SBI PO 2016 Main – Para Odd Man Out Questions asked in this exam, wherein test-takers were asked to mark off the out of context sentence, were actually an extension of the previously commonly asked Paragraph formation or Para jumbled questions, which were slightly tweaked to create this so-called newness. The thought process applied to crack these questions is similar to the one used for the PFQs, and so there is little to be foxed by with this presentation.

Sentence starters, that require joining two similar or contradictory sentences or ideas using conjunctions or idiomatic phrases, are a test of grammar and understanding of idea flow.

In SBI PO Main 2017 too, there were a few such surprise elements where the same old question had been twisted a bit to give rise to a seemingly new question type, and also panic among candidates.

The RC passage was presented differently, the PFQs were lengthier in terms of the number of sentences, and direct grammar questions were posed in a novel manner.

Thus, you need to keep your cool when confronted with such questions in your exams. Be thorough with your concepts and think logically to overcome this hurdle called 'surprise elements'!!!

The snap shot of the exam is given below. There was variable marking scheme in the DI, English and Reasoning sections of the objective test.

(A) Objective Test:

S.No Name of Tests No. of Qs Max Marks Duration
1 Reasoning & Computer Ability 45 60 60 Minutes
2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45 Minutes
3 General Economy / Banking Awareness 40 40 35 Minutes
4 English Language 35 40 40 Minutes
Total 155 200 3 Hours

The section wise analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

This section can be rated as moderate - difficult and time-consuming.

There was variable marking scheme, similar to last year. Questions on Data Comparision (5Qs) and one set of DI - 5Qs (based on Marked price and Discount) carried one mark each and the rest of the questions were of 2 marks each.

There were 3 DI sets (details given in table below). All these sets were difficult and time-consuming.

There were 5 questions each on Data Sufficiency, Data Comparision and Probability. The difficulty level of these question types can be pegged between moderate and difficult. There was one set of 2-3 questions on Mixtures-Alligations.

Topics No.ofquestions Difficulty Level
Double pie charts + Table (based on Boats & Streams) 5 Difficult
Line graph + Table (based on Time & Work) 5 Difficult
Line graph + Table (based on Marked Price and Discount) 5 Difficult
Data Comparison 5 Moderate - Difficult
Data Sufficiency ( Three statements ) (P&C, Numbers, Mensuration, Partnership etc..) 5 Moderate - Difficult
Mixtures & Alligations 2-3 Moderate - Difficult
Probability(set-based) 5 Moderate - Difficult
Miscellaneous 2-3 Moderate - Difficult

Reasoning:

This section can be given a 'very difficult' tag.

Overall, this section has been rated as both difficult and time-consuming. No question was asked from Computers, a trend noticeable in the SBI Clerk 2016 Main exam and SBI PO 2016 Main exam.

The following table gives the break-up of various question types. There was variable marking scheme, like last year.

Topics No.ofquestions Difficulty Level
Puzzle (Linear Arrangement, FloorArrangement, Square Arrangement, Distribution, Photo frames & Shelves etc..) 22 Difficult – Very Difficult
Input / Output 5 Difficult
Symbol Notation (Inequalities) 5 Difficult
Data Sufficiency (Three statements) 3 Moderate - Difficult
Critical Reasoning 8 - 10 Moderate - Difficult

There were a total of 22 questions on puzzles which are very difficult to crack. The questions on Input-Output and Symbols & Notations were presented in a different format, away from the common presentation.

English Language:

A part of this section was a shocker! Following the pattern set by the exam last year, the cloze test set was conspicuous by its absence.

Para jumbled / formation questions (PFQs) – This year, the pattern changed a wee bit. The first and the concluding sentences were fixed, while the order of the remaining four had to be sorted out. This is just a slight deviation from the commonly and routinely asked PFQ, and candidates had to more or less adopt the same approach.

Error identification questions (10 Qs) – Five were like the originally asked ones, while the remaining five were presented with a minor modification. Instead of planting one error in only one of the four parts of the given sentence, the test-taker was given the choice of a possibility of multiple errors in the sentence, and five choices with various combinations from which to choose.

Fill in the Blanks – In the pace of the original one sentence with tow blanks, two sentences with two blank spaces were given. The candidate had to fill both the pairs of blanks with the same set of words. This is not an entirely new question, as you would realise; it is a minor alteration of the earlier type, and it is very obvious that the approach remains the same, provided one stays calm.

Phrase replacement – Here too, there was only a small change introduced in the pattern. There were a number of words / phrases in bold in the same sentence, and the test-taker had to pick that choice which presented those that were erroneous and needed to be replaced. Not a great difference, but certainly one that needed one to be attentive, alert and aware.

.

Reading Comprehension – While one passage had five questions and this set conformed to the original pattern, the second RC was formatted differently. All the paragraphs were split and numbered, and questions were posed from individual paragraphs. The same approach that one adopts while answering RC related questions was necessary for successfully attempting this part too. Difficult, but not unachievable if one keeps track of the linking thread, and understands what was asked, properly.

Central idea – This can be labelled as a 'new' and 'never-asked-before' question type. A sentence was given at the beginning of three paragraphs. This sentence was used in each paragraph. Later, the candidate was asked to identify that para which bore the central idea of this given sentence. This was challenging, and would have really knocked out the candidate's brains working it out.

This section can be rated as difficult, as here, students had to not only deal with the surprise presentations, but also understand how to answer them.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 10 ( 2 passages) Difficult
Error Identification 10 Moderate - Difficult
Phrase Replacement 5 Difficult
Para Jumbled Sentences 2 Moderate - Difficult
FIB ( 2sentences with 2 blanks each) 5 Difficult
Central Idea of the Sentence in the given Paragraph 3 Difficult

General Awareness:

As reported by our students, about half of the questions asked here were on Current Affairs and the remaining on Banking Awareness and Union Budget.

(B) Descriptive Test:

This section carried Letter and Essay writing. There were three letters given and the candidate had to write a letter from among them. Among the 3 essays given, one had to be chosen by the test-taker. What was noteworthy was that both the letter and essay were to be written in 150 words each.

Letter writing [20 Marks, 150 words] -

  1. A letter to be written to your branch manager that you have deposited money in your account through ATM but the amount has not been credited into your account.
  2. A letter to be written to the editor expressing your concern over the impact of news through social media.
  3. A letter to be written to your sibling giving him / her advice about issues related to stress and anxiety.

Essay writing [30 Marks, 150 words]-

  1. Write an essay on the impacts of technology.
  2. Travelling teaches us more compared to books and documentary. Please elaborate this in an essay written in support of this statement.
  3. Effects of social media.

Analysis of SBI PO (Prelim) Online exam held on 29th April 2017 (All slots)

The following is the detailed analysis of the SBI PO Preliminary Examination conducted on 29th April 2017 (All slots).

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questions 100

No of choices per question – 5. Negative Marking – 0.25 of the marks assigned to each question

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below. The difficulty level and topic wise break up was same for exams held across all four slots.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as easy to moderate.

The 10 questions on DI were straightforward and quite easy to attempt. Questions on number series and simplifications reportedly ranged between easy to moderate for all the slots.

The individual questions in this section were based on topics of ages, ratio, time and work, alligations, profit and loss, partnership, percentages, simple and compound interest etc. Though the questions were not direct ones, students found them to be tricky. An in-depth knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. Questions on Quadratic Comparisons were reportedly easy.

Topic No of Qs
Data Interpretation( Line & Table ) 10 ( 2 Sets)
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Number Series (Missing number) 5
Simplifications 5
Individual Questions (Ages, Ratio, Time & Work, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Alligations and Simple & Compound Interest) 10

Good number of attempts: 20 to 22

Reasoning:

This section has been given an 'Easy - Moderate ' tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which ranged from easy to moderate. There were 23 questions on puzzles in one of the slots and 20 in other slots – Linear, Floor, Distributions, Month & Date based.. Questions were also asked from topics like Symbol-Notation based conclusions, Blood Relations, Coding-Decoding and Direction Sense. No question was asked from Syllogisms.

The topic -wise split of questions as reported by our students, is given below.

Topic No of Qs Difficulty level
Puzzles (Linear, Floor, Distributions, Month & Date based) 23 ( in one of the slots) and 20 (in other slots) Set based Easy to Moderate
Blood Relations 2 to 3 Set based Moderate
Symbol-Notation based conclusions 5 3 Set based and 2 Individual Easy to Moderate
Coding – Decoding 1 to 2 Individual Easy
Ranking 2 to 3 Individual Easy
Direction Sense 2 to 3 Individual Easy

Good number of attempts: 18 to 20

English Language :

The English section comprised 30 questions, the break-up of which is listed below. This section was of easy to moderate difficulty level.

Topic No of Qs Difficulty level
Reading Comprehension 10 Moderate
Phrase Replacement 10 Moderate
Cloze test 10 Easy - Moderate

There was a lone RC passage with a total of ten questions; out of these, six to seven were a mix of those based on ideas contained in the passage, and the remaining three to four were based on meanings and opposites of words used in the text. The passage can be termed as 'moderate'.

Grammar questions on 'Phrase Replacement' were of moderate difficulty level and had not been much of a hassle to attempt.

The Cloze Test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our student) was presented in a very hitherto unseen and unusual manner. The fill-ups had already given and candidates were expected to find the most appropriate word from among the choices. If the fill- up as given for that blank in the passage was appropriate, option 5 which said 'No change required' was to be marked.

Good number of attempts: 13 - 15

Over all, the difficulty level of the paper can be tagged as Easy to Moderate across all slots

The first of its kind, "Common Written Examination (CWE)" for recruitment of POs/MTs in 19 Public Sector Banks was conducted on 18th September-2011. The CWE was conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection(IBPS).About 14 lakh candidates had applied for this exam .The examination was conducted in two slots, morning slot from 9.30am to 1pm and evening slot from 2.30pm to 6pm.

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.

Snapshot of the 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: 3 1/2 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

The type of questions in this section were on lines similar to the questions that have appeared in the different Bank PO exams earlier.The two question types which did not appear in this paper, as compared to the earlier Bank PO exams, are (a) column-wise comparisons of roots of a quadratic and (b) Data sufficiency.

There were 10 questions based on simplification and approximation. At a glance these questions appeared to be easy and every one would have started solving these first. But when students got down to solving themthey would have found them to be lengthy and time consuming. A good student would have attempted 6 to 7 questions in 10 minutes.

There were 5 questions on series.The questions involved finding the wrong number in the given sequence. The students who were aware of this question type, would have solved them comfortably.

3 to 4 correct attempts in 5 minutes is considered to be good.

Coming to the individual questions, there were 10 questions.These questions involved a good mixture of concepts and logic from various topics like Simple Equations, Ratio, Percentages, Simple Interest-Compound Interest and Averages.The questions were aimed at testing basic conceptual knowledge.

As regards to Data Interpretation, there were 4 sets of 5 questions each. Two sets were based on the data given in tabular form, one set on pie chart and one set on Bar graph. Of these the set on Bar graph was very easy. All the five questions on Bar graph were direct and simple without any lengthy calculations. The students who had practiced the basic question types that appear in DI , concepts of percentages and speed maths techniques would have had an added advantage. An attempt of 2 to 3 sets in 15 minutes is considered good.

Overall, in terms of difficulty level, this section can be considered to be moderate to difficult and an attempt of 30-35 questions, with not more than 2-3 wrong is considered to be very good.

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

The question types and the topic wise break up of questions in this section were the same in both the slots. The level of difficulty also did not vary much in the test conducted in the two slots.

Topic No of Questions
Simplifications 5
Approximations 5
Series(Finding the wrong number) 5
Probability 5
Individual Questions:
Simple Equations 3
Ratio 1
Percentages 3
Averages 2
Simple & Compound Interest 1
Data Interpretation:
Table(2 Sets) 10
Bar Graph(1 Set) 5
Pie Chart(1 Set) 5
Total 50
(2) English Language

The Bank PO CWE presented the same pattern in both slots, in the Verbal Ability and Descriptive Writing sections.

The Verbal Ability section presented some questions different from what have been seen so far in Bank PO exams.

The section had a total of 50 questions in 6 types, with a total of 25 marks.
There were:

Five Para-completion questions (Verbal Reasoning). These were questions where a paragraph was presented with a blank in place of a sentence that had been removed. From the choices given, and keeping in mind the context of the paragraph, the candidate had to pick the sentence best suited to the blank.

Five Sentence equivalence questions (Vocabulary usage). These were questions where a sentence was presented with a blank in place of a word that had been removed. From the choices given, and keeping in mind the context of the sentence, the candidate had to pick 2 words either of which would fit to the blank.

Five questions on synonymous words/phrases (Vocabulary). These were questions where a given word was followed by choices that present words/phrases. From the choices the candidate had to pick all those that were synonymous with the headword. These 3 question types have not appeared in earlier Bank PO exams.

Five Para-formation questions (jumbled paragraph), of 7 sentences each. In earlier exams, such questions had upto 6 sentences.

15 questions on Cloze test (a paragraph with blanks to be filled). In earlier exams, cloze test presented upto 10 questions.

15 Reading Comprehension questions (7+8) based on 2 passages.In earlier exams, a passage had upto 15 questions, including 6 vocabulary-based questions. This time, though the passages were of the size previously seen, about 600-700 words, each had 7 to 8 questions, including 2 vocabulary-based questions in each of the passages. The passages were on economic and developmental
aspects, presented a lot of detail, and required careful reading.

While the vocabulary-based questions were moderately difficult, overall, the section was difficult. It required a reasonable level of familiarity with English - the sort of familiarity that comes with regular reading. Clearly, the candidates who had been reading extensively, apart from practice in specific areas, would have been able to perform well.

An attempt of 30-32 questions, with not more than two or three wrong, is a good score.

(3) Reasoning

The reasoning section of the paper was on lines similar to the past PO exams conducted by different banks.The one exception here was critical reasoning questions. The format of the critical reasoning questions had changed though the basic way of handling the question remained the same.

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

Topic / Area Number of Questions
Morning Slot Evening Slot
5 5
Critical reasoning(All individual questions) 10 10
Distribution 5 (1 set) 7 (2 sets)
Circular Arrangement 5 (1 set) 5 (1 set)
Linear Arrangement 4 (2 sets) 2 (1 set)
Direction Sense 1 1
Input/Output 5 5
Data Sufficiency(Reasoning based) 5 5
Non- Verbal Reasoning 10 (Series) 10 (5 on Series and 5 on analogies)
Total Questions 50 50

Students who had worked on the Mock papers conducted by T.I.M.E. would have found that the reasoning section of the CWE was no different from those in the mocks. The new type of questions given on Input-Output and Deductions were on lines similar of those given in mocks conducted by T.I.M.E.

An attemp of 30 – 32 questions, with not more than two to three wrong, is a good score.

(4) Computer Knowledge

The overall difficulty level of Computer knowledge section was moderate. All the questions asked in this section in the exam conducted in both the slots, were purely based on the fundamentals of topics like Archtecture , Operating Systems, DBMS,Networks,E commerce and MS Office. A large chunk of questions were based on internet terminology.Among these, 5-6 questions were easy, 4-5 questions were of moderate difficulty level and 3 questions were difficult. Other areas which were covered were based on basic computer architecture, memory, Microsoft Office, Operating System, E-Commerce and Computer networks. The questions on basic Computer Architecture were based on I/O devices of Computer, which were easy to answer. Most of the questions on MS office were based on MS word which were of moderate difficulty level. The questions which were asked on

memory concepts were also of moderate difficulty level.The questions on operating systems, Computer networks and E-Commerce were difficult to answer. A student with a good knowledge of the fundamentals would have scored well. An attempt of 35-40 questions, with not more than 3-4 wrong, is a good score.

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

Topic  No. of Questions    
Acronyms 1
Terminology 1
Introduction 10 concepts of Computer 3
Basic Computer Architecture 6
Memory 5
Data representation -
Software Concepts 2
Operating Systems 4
DBMS -
Computer Networks 4
Internet 12
E-Commerce 4
MS Office: WORD 5
MS Office: EXCEL 2
MS Office: POWERPOINT 1
Total 50
(5) General Awareness

The students who were in a suspense over new pattern of GK questions must have heaved a sigh of relief when they saw the General Awareness section.As was announced earlier in the notification, the questions on Banking sector dominated. However the traditional areas of General Awareness like current affairs, Indian economy, Business GK, Sports etc, had their due share of questions.The distribution of questions under different areas is explained below.

The questions that appeared in both the slots were based on a wide range of topics like, banking, economy, current affairs - national & international and a few questions on sports and literature.

In the exam conducted in the morning slot,out of the 50 questions on General Awareness, banking dominated with 17 questions coming from it. Out of these 17 questions , five questions were easy(Who is the largest shareholder of nationalized banks) and 8 questions were of moderate difficulty level.(questions based on fixed & recurring deposits etc..) The remaining 4 questions on core banking, and cross selling by banks etc, were difficult.

There were 10 questions related to economy, three of which were easy (question on increase

in petrol pricing affecting other products prices etc.), four questions were of moderate difficulty level (question on Unique identification number & issuing authority, name of the card etc.) and the balance of three questions were found to be difficult. (What is meant by LLP in context of Foreign Exchange).

Under current affairs - national topics, there were nine questions out of which 4 appeared to be easy (question on Lokayukta). Five questions were of moderate difficulty level (questions like literacy rates as per Census 2011 report etc.) and there was one difficult question on financial inclusion.

Under current affairs-international issues, out of nine questions, four were relatively easy ( like the one on German chancellors visit for receiving Jawaharlal Nehru International prize in May2011) and the remaining five were of moderate difficulty level.(question on USA's debt ceiling limit etc.). There were three questions on sports and two questions on literature, all being moderate toeasy.

An attempt of 35 - 38 questions, with not more than two or three wrong, in about 20 minutes is a good score.

Now let us look at the analysis of this section of the paper conducted in the second slot.

Out of the 50 questions, there were 16 questions related to banking. Out of these 16 questions, six were easy. (question on "interest rate on FDs higher/lower than normal savings accounts, etc.). Of the rest , seven were found to be of moderated difficulty level (questions on KYC norms, & NPAs etc.)The remaining four were difficult (questions on NEFT, and inter bank transfer codes for NEFT etc).

From topics related to economy, there were 10 questions, five of which were easy.(question on Microfinance originator etc.).Among the rest, three were of moderate difficulty level(question on Capital markets, inflation & Price rise etc.).The balance two questions were difficult. (one question on self-help groups, and another one on ASBA (Applications Supported by Block Amounts), a stock /share issue concept).

Under current affairs-national topics, there were six questions out of which three were easy.(question based on West Bengal CM's predecessor, CM of which state resigned in illegal

mining case etc.) and remaining three questions were of moderate difficulty level.(questions on location of copper mines in India, SFIO is under the ministry of .... etc.).

Under current affairs -international issues, there were 10 questions. Five of these were easy. (question on which country's credit rating is down graded from AAA to AA+, attracting world-wide attention etc. ) and the remaining five were of moderate difficulty level(Name of South Sudan's president etc.).

There were four questions on sports, three of which were relatively easy. (Michael Helps plays which sport etc and one question was difficult (Virdhawal Vikram hade, qualified for which sport for 2014 London olympics)

An attempt of 32 - 35 questions, with not more than one or two wrong, in about 20 minutes is a good score.

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 are as follows.

Letter Writing:

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

Essay Writing:

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

Precis Writing:

A precis in 130 words of a passage of about 300 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.

The SBI PO 2016 Main examination held on the 31st of July 2016, as per the feedback received by our students, was way beyond expectations. This would surely have left most candidates white-knuckled and dazed! There were a lot of changes in the objective test. However, the Descriptive Test was on expected lines and remained similar to the pattern of the SBI PO 2015 Main Exam.

As a consequence, the overall examination was very tough. Data Interpretation and English sections were difficult, while the Reasoning section ranged between moderate to difficult. The General Awareness section was easy and thankfully, on expected lines.

A few surprise elements that were noticed in this paper, as reported by our students, are:

  1. A variable marking scheme was introduced in the examination without warning, with many questions carrying 1 mark, 1.5 marks, or 2 marks each, in different parts of the exam.
  2. There was a deviation from the standard bank exam pattern, with commonly asked question types like Close test and Paragraph formation questions being taken off the board in the English section, and replaced with a couple of new and previously unseen ones. In Mathematics, the questions on Comparisons were of different type, while in Reasoning, a new pattern of Series (Based on conditions), Decision Making (Logical Reasoning) questions presented in form of flow chart, were brought in.

The snap shot of the exam is given below.

(A) Objective Test:

S.No Name of Tests No. of Questions Max Marks Duration
1 Reasoning & Computer Ability 45 60 60 Minutes
2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45 Minutes
3 General Economy / Banking Awareness 40 40 35 Minutes
4 English Language 35 40 40 Minutes
TOTAL 155 200 3 Hours

The section wise analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below. The sections in the exam were in this order - Reasoning & Computer Ability, followed by English and GA sections, and concluded with Data Analysis and Interpretation.

Data Analysis & Interpretation:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as difficult and time-consuming.

The questions on DI (including caselet), as reported, were of 2 marks each, and the rest of them of 1 mark each. Questions on Data Comparision, which have not been asked in earlier bank exams, found a place in this exam.

Topics No. of Questions
Double pie charts 5
Double line graphs 5
Single bar graph 5
Table 5
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements) 5
Caselet (Time/Work Based) 2
Probability (Set Based) 3
Data Comparison 5

Reasoning & Computer Ability:

This section has been given a 'difficult' tag.

Overall, this section has been rated as both difficult and time-consuming by our test-takers. There were no questions asked from Computers, a trend which was seen in the SBI Clerk 2016 Main Exam.

The following table gives the break-up of various question types.

Topics No. of Questions
Puzzle (Distribution) 5
Puzzle (Seating Arrangement) 5
Input / Output 5
Symbol Notation (Inequalities) 5
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements) 5
Coding / Decoding 5
Series (Based on Conditions) 5
Critical Reasoning (Strong – Weak Arguments / Inferences / Decision Making) 6
Flow chart (Reasoning based - Decision making ) 4

Questions on Series, Critical Reasoning and Flow chart were of two marks each; thus a total of 15 questions carried two marks each, whereas each of the the remaining 30 questions carried a single mark.

English Language:

This section was a shocker! Many of the conventional and often-asked questions were conspicuous by their absence. New and question types earlier unknown to Bank exams were introduced this year, thus raising the difficulty level of this section of the exam much higher than anticipated by most.

Surprisingly, the paragraph jumbles questions, Cloze test, questionson Error identification and / or Phrase replacement were missing this year. The questions on RC, as reported, were of 1.5 marks each, and the rest of them of 1 mark each

Thus, this section can be rated as extremely difficult, as here, students had to not only deal with the surprise presentations, but also understand how to answer them.

Topic No of Questions
Reading Comprehension 10 (2 Passages)
Out of Context (Odd one out from given sentences) 5
Paragraph Completion (Fill in the sentence in given paragraph) 5
Direct Antonym – Synonym Questions 7
Combinig of Statements (Relevant Statements) 5

General Awareness: 

As reported by our students, about half of the questions asked here were on Current Affairs, a half of the remaioning on Banking Awareness, and the other half on Stock, thus imparting ease of answering to this section.

(B) Descriptive Test:

The topics for this sections were as given below:

Letter writing -
  1. As a principal of a school, write a letter to the parents of school children, telling them about the importance of parents in children's education.
  2. Write a letter to your parents, telling them about your progress in a new job in a new city and the initial adjustments.
  3. Write a letter to the editor telling him about the menace of selfies.
Essay writing -
  1. Write an essay on Pokemon Go – How it is ruining the lives of children
  2. Write an essay on the effect of hike on the salaries of an economy
  3. Write an essay on the importance of knowing the history of a nation

The analysis of IBPS PO 2016 Prelim exam held on 16th , 22nd & 23rd is presented below. The difficulty level, topic wise split and question types ( in all the three sections) were almost similar across all the slots.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questions 100

No of choices per question – 5
Negative Marking – 0.25of the marks assigned to the questions
The overall analysis of the above mentioned sessions, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

  • According to the feedback received from our students , this section can be rated as easy to moderate and time-consuming.
  • The 5 questions on Approximations can be rated as the easiest .
  • There were 5 questions on Quadratic comparisons which were also easy as they dealt with small values.
  • There were 10 questions on Data Interpretation and almost all questions involved lots of calculations.
  • The other 5 questions on Number series varied between easy to moderate.
  • Individual questions in this section were 10 in number. These were a combination of easy, moderate and difficult ones.

A student could therefore, solve around 17 - 19 questions in approximately 20 minutes if he chose judiciously.

Topic No. of Questions
Data Interpretation (5Qs on Line graph / Bar graph and 5Qs on Table) 10
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Number Series (Missing number) 5
Approximations 5
Individual Questions (Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Probability, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Ratio, Simple Interest) 10

Reasoning:

  • This section has been given a 'Moderate' tag.
  • There were 5 questions on Deductions.
  • Symbol-Notation based conclusions were 5 in number and ranged from easy to moderate level.
  • There were 4 sets on puzzles - one each on linear arrangement,circular arrangement,floor arrangement and comparisons. There were a total of 19 questions on Puzzles. Puzzles were moderate – difficult. The three questions on Direction Sense were easy- moderate.

About 13-15 questions could possibly be solved in 25 minutes. The topic -wise split, as reported by our students, is as given below:

Topic No. of Questions
Circular Arrangement 5
Linear Arrangement ( with different directions) 5
Floor Arrangement 6
Comparisons 3
Deductions (Syllogism) 5
Blood Relations 3
Direction Sense 3
Symbol-Notation based conclusions 5

English Language :

  • This section too was along expected lines. This section has been given a 'Moderate – Difficult' tag.
  • The 8 questions from the Cloze test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our students) can be labelled as easy to moderate.
  • The 5 questions asked on 6 jumbled statements in the PFQ part can be termed as moderate.
  • There was a lone RC passage with a total of seven questions. The questions framed from the passage were not easy. There were no vocab based questions in RC passage.
  • The questions on Grammar ( error identification ones) were 10 moderate ones.

Thus, about 12-14 questions could possibly be solved in 15 minutes in the English section. The break-up of the questions is as follows:

Topic No. of Questions Difficulty level
Reading Comprehension 7 Difficult
Para Jumbled Questions (6 statements) 5 Moderate
Error Identification 10 Moderate
Cloze test 8 Easy to Moderate

Over all, the paper contained a combination of easy, moderate and diccicult questions across all the three sections. The paper can therefore be rated as ' Moderate'.

It has been reported that the online IBPS PO/MT CWE VI Main examination held on 20th Nov 2016 was almost of the same difficulty level as the one held in 2015, except for the fact that some new question types, which were asked in SBI PO 2016 Main Exam earlier, were also asked in this exam.

The Reasoning Section was the most difficult section of all the five sections. The Quant section was time-consuming. The English section ranged between moderate to difficult. The GA section was moderate while the one on Computers was easy.

The following changes / new question types were noticed in this paper.

  1. Questions on Data comparison were asked in this exam. Questions of this type were asked for first time in the SBI PO 2016 Main Exam that was held in July 2016.
  2. A new format of Syllogism questions was presented (Conclusions were given in the question and the student need to identify the statements from the choices)
  3. Questions on Input-Output were absent.
  4. The Cloze test paragraph in the English section was conspicuous by its absence.
  5. New model of questions viz., Para forming Questions (Odd one out from given sentences) were introduced this year. The question types viz – Para Forming questions (Odd one out), Data Comparison, Para Completion etc, have been covered by us in various mock tests that were provided to our students as a part of online support. Hence for T.I.M.E. Students it would have been a comfortable ride while attempting these question types.

The snap shot of the exam is given below.

Test Area No. of questions Max Marks Duration
Quantitative Aptitude 50 Qs 50 40 Min
Reasoning Ability 50 Qs 50 40 Min
English Language 40 Qs 40 30 Min
General Awareness 40 Qs 40 20 Min
Computer Knowledge 20 Qs 20 10 Min
Total 200 200 140 Min

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as difficult and time-consuming.

The questions on DI were quite lengthy and tedious; the questions on caselet were difficult. The questions on number series reportedly ranged from easy to moderate.Individual questions in this section were based on topics like Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Simple and Compound Interest,Probability etc.. Though not direct questions ,they were reportedly tricky ones and a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. Questions on Data Sufficiency ( 3 statements) were present in this test.There were 5 questions on Data comparison that were asked in this exam for the first time.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (Pie Chart,Line graph,Table - Missing data,Caselet) 20
Number Series (Wrong number) 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Partnership, Simple and Compound Interest,Probability) 15
Data Sufficiency ( 3 statements ) 5
Data Comparison 5

Reasoning:

This section has been given a ' difficult' tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were tough to tackle. The questions on deductions (new format – conclusions were given,students had to find the statements) were difficult and time-consuming. There were no questions on Input – output. Questions on Coding-Decoding were also difficult.The Data Sufficiency topic posed moderate to difficult questions. About 10 questions were asked on Critical Reasoning.

Topic No of Qs Difficulty level
Puzzles (Circular Arrangement wrt Blood Relations, Linear Arrangements, Floor Arrangements, Distributions etc) 20 Difficult
Deductions ( conclusions given,students have to find the statements) 5 Difficult
Coding – Decoding 5 Difficult
Data Sufficiency 5 Moderate - Difficult
Critical Reasoning 10 Difficult
Direction Sense 5 Moderate - Difficult

English Language:

This section was difficult as compared to that of last year.There were two RC passages with a total of fifteen questions . New question types – Out of Context (Odd one out from given sentences), direct Synonym/Antonym questions were asked in this exam. These were asked earlier in the SBI PO 2016 Main examination.

Questions on Out of Context (Odd one out from given sentences), direct Synonym/Antonym can be termed as moderate - difficult. Grammar and word replacement questions were easy to moderate.

There were no questions on the cloze test passage,which till now was a regular feature.Overall, this section can be pegged as 'moderate'.

Topic No of Qs Difficulty level
Reading Comprehension 15 ( 2 passages) Moderate - Difficult
Out of Context (Odd one out from given sentences) 5 Moderate - Difficult
Error Identification 5 Easy to Moderate
Word/Phrase Replacement 5 Easy to Moderate
Synonym/Antonym 5 Moderate - Difficult
Paragraph Completion (Fill in the sentence in given paragraph) 5 Moderate - Difficult

General Awareness:

Almost half of the questions asked here were on Banking Awareness and Indian Economy,while the others were drawn from Current Affairs. Students have reported this as a moderate section.

Computer Knowledge:

There were 20 questions on Computers, and they dealt with MS Office, Networking, Operating system, Internet, Memory, Basics and Computer Architecture etc. Only 2-3 questions were considered difficult by students. It has been reported by T.I.M.E. students that about 50-60% of questions that were asked in this section were also a part of the material that was provied to them by T.I.M.E. for a comprehensive preparation of the exam.

IBPS has changed the selection pattern of RRB Officer Scale I. The exam will be conducted in two stages – Prelim & Main. This was a single exam till last year.

It has been reported that the online RRB Officer (Scale I) Prelim examination held in November 2016 was moderate in terms of difficulty level. The Reasoning Section was between easy to moderate while the Quant Section was moderate. A similar trend was followed for exams held on all the days and across all the slots.

A snap shot of the prelim exam is given below.

Duration of Exam 45 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 40 Qs
Reasoning Ability 40 Qs
Total Qs 80 Qs

An analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section was time-consuming and can be rated as moderate.

There were 15 questions on DI. These questions were not difficult, but were quite lengthy and laborious. The questions on number series were moderate as reported by our students.

Individual questions in this section were based on topics like Ages, Time and Distance, Time and Work, Averages, Profit and Loss, Partnership, Simple and Compound Interest. Students commented that though these questions were not direct ones, they were certainly lengthy and time-consuming. One needed a good command on fundamentals to attempt these questions successfully. There were 5 questions each on Missing series, Simplification/Approximations and Quadratic Comparisons.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (Table/Bar/Pie chart) 15
Number Series (Missing number) 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Averages, Mixtures, Percentages,Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest) 10
Simplifications/Approximations 5
Quadratic Comparisons 5

Reasoning Ability:

This section has been tagged as 'easy to moderate'.

There were 15 questions on Puzzles. Questions on deductions were doable. Questions on Symbols Notations, Blood Relations and Direction sense were easy to crack. No questions were asked from topic of Coding-Decoding.

Topic No of Qs
Puzzles (Linear, Floor & Square) 15
Deductions 5
Symbols Notations 5
Blood Relations & Direction Sense 5
Miscellaneous 10

Overall, the paper can be rated as moderate in terms of difficulty level.

SBI has announced new recruitment process for PO's from 2015 on wards. The selection will be done in a three phase manner - Preliminary Examination (Phase I), Main Examination (Phase II) and GD Interview (Phase III) .

The first ever Preliminary Examination was conducted by SBI on 20th June 2015. The other dates on which the Preliminary Examination is scheduled are 21st June, 27th June and 28th June 2015.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questions 100

No of choices per question – 5
Negative Marking – 0.25 of the marks assigned to the questions

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude: 

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate. The 10 questions on DI were straight forward and quite easy. The questions on number series and approximations reportedly ranged from easy to moderate. The individual questions in this section were based on topics of ages, time and distance, time and work, mixtures, profit and loss, partnership, percentages, simple interest, probability and mensuration. Though not direct questions, students commented that they were tricky and a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. Questions on Quadratic Comparisons were calculation based and time consuming.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (5Qs on Line Graph and 5Qs on Table) 10
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Number Series (Missing Number) 5
Approximations 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Probability, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest) 10

Reasoning: 

This section has been given an 'Easy' tag. Out of the 35 questions asked in this section, 33 were set based and only two were individual questions. The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were easy to tackle. There were 15 questions on puzzles – 5 each on Circular, Floor and Linear arrangements. Questions were also asked from topics of Deductions (Syllogisms), Symbol-Notation based conclusions, Coding – Decoding, Blood Relations and Direction Sense. The topic -wise split, as reported by our students, is as given below.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Circular Arrangement (wrt Blood Relations) 5 Set Based Moderate
Floor Arrangement (Linear) 5 Set Based Easy - Moderate
Linear Arrangement 5 Set Based Easy
Deductions (Syllogism) 5 Set based Easy
Blood Relations 3 Set Based Moderate
Coding Decoding 5 Set Based Easy
Symbol-Notation Based Conclusions 5 Set Based Moderate
Direction Sense 2 Individual Easy

English Language:

The English section comprised 30 questions, the break-up of which is as follows. This section was of moderate difficulty level.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 10 Difficult
Para Jumbled Questions (6 Statements) 5 Moderate
Error Identification 5 Easy
Close Test 5 Easy - Moderate
FIBs (2 Blanks) 5 Easy-Moderate

There was a lone RC passage with a total of ten questions; these ten were a mix of those based on ideas contained in the passage, and on the meanings and opposites of words used in the text. The text of the passage dealt with the concept of 'Lean'. The word count of the passage ran into approximately 650-700 words, and can be termed 'difficult'. The passage was drawn from the Harvard Business Review. The idea itself is a novel one and assimilation of content would definitely have taken some time. A person with a good and regular reading habit would surely have got an edge over the rest here. The questions asked on Para Jumbled can be termed as moderate. The two 'fill in the blank' questions can be considered easy to moderate. Grammar questions too followed the same trend and were quite easy to answer. The close test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our student) puts the level of the passage as easy to moderate.

Over all, the difficulty level of the paper in this particular slot can be rated as Moderate.

It has been reported that the Online IBPS RRB PO CWE IV examination held in September 2015 was relatively difficult than the one held in 2014.

The snap shot of the exam is given below.

Duration of Exam 120 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 40 Q's
Reasoning Ability 40 Q's
English Language 40 Q's
General Awareness 40 Q's
Computer Knowledge 40 Q's
Total 200 Q's

The analysis as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate - difficult and time-consuming.

The questions on DI reportedly ranged from easy to moderate.

The individual questions in this section were based on topics on age, time and distance, time and work, averages, profit and loss, partnership, mensuration, and simple and compound interest. Though not direct ones, students commented that the questions were tricky and a thorough knowledge of concepts was essential in order to solve them.

There were no questions on Permutations / Combinations / Probability, whereas questions on Quadratic Comparisons were present.

Overall, this section can be rated as moderate to difficult.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation 15
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Series 5
Individual Questions (Age, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Profit & Loss, Partnership , Simple and Compound Interest) 15

In almost all the slots, the distribution of questions across various topics remained the same.

Reasoning:

This section has been given a 'Moderate' tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles. There were 15 questions on puzzles. There were 5 questions each on deductions, symbol / notation based conclusions and Statements & Assumptions. There were questions from topics like Coding- Decoding, Blood relations,Direction sense etc.

Topic No of Questions
Deductions (Syllogism) 5
Symbol-Notation based conclusions 5
Puzzles 15
Statements & Assumptions 5
Individual questions (Coding - Decoding, Blood Relations, Direction Sense) 10

In almost all the slots, the distribution of questions across various topics remained the same.

English Language:

The pattern of this section was almost in line with what was expected. There were 15 questions on Reading Comprehension. The close test had 10 blanks. There were 5 questions each on Error Identification, PFQ and FIB. Overall, this section can be rated as moderate.

Topic No of Questions
Reading Comprehension 15
Para Jumbled Questions 5
Error Identification 5
Cloze test 10
FIBs 5

In almost all the slots, the distribution of questions across various topics remained the same.

General Awareness:

The questions asked on Current Affairs were more than the questions asked on Banking Awareness and Indian Economy. The other questions were based on Capitals, Movies, Sports, Books & Authors, Science & Technology.

There were questions from stock GK also. Students have reported this section as moderate.

Computer Knowledge:

There were 40 questions on Computers, and they dealt with topics like MS Office, Networking, Operating system, Internet, Computer Architecture etc. This section has been rated as easy.

IBPS has announced new recruitment process for POs from 2015 on wards. The selection will be done in a three phase manner - Preliminary Examination, Main Examination and Interview.

The first ever Preliminary Examination was conducted by IBPS on 3rd October 2015. The other dates on which the Preliminary Examination is scheduled are 4th Oct, 10th Oct and 11th Oct 2015.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questions 100

No of choices per question – 5
Negative Marking – 0.25of the marks assigned to the questions

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude: 

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate to difficult and time consuming.

The 10 questions on DI were moderate to difficult. The questions on number series (5Q's) and approximations (5Q's) reportedly ranged from easy to moderate.

The individual questions in this section were based on topics of ratio, time and distance, time and work, mixtures, profit and loss, simple and compound interest, probability and mensuration. Though not direct questions ,students commented that they were tricky and a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. Questions on Quadratic Comparisons were calculation based and time consuming.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (5Q's on Line Graph and 5Q's on Table) 10
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Number Series (Missing Number) 5
Approximations 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Probability, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest) 10

Reasoning: 

This section has been given an 'Easy to Moderate' tag. Out of the 35 questions asked in this section, all questions were set based and there were no individual questions.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were not easy to tackle. There were 18 questions on puzzles – 5 each on Circular arrangements(wrt Blood Relations), Linear arrangements,and Distributions and 3 questions on Comparisons. Questions were also asked from topics of Deductions(Syllogisms), Symbol-Notation based conclusions, Coding – Decoding, Blood Relations and Direction Sense.

The topic -wise split, as reported by our students, is as given below.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Circular Arrangement (wrt Blood Relations) 5 Set Based Difficult
Linear Arrangement 5 Set Based Moderate
Distributions 5 Set Based Difficult
Comparisons 3 Set Based Easy
Deductions (Syllogism) 5 Set Based Easy-Moderate
Blood Relations 2 Set Based Easy
Coding Decoding 5 Set Based Easy
Symbol-Notation Based Conclusions 5 Set Based Easy

English Language:

The English section comprised 30 questions, the break-up of which is as follows. This section was of moderate difficulty level.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 10 Difficult
Para Jumbled Questions (6 Statements) 5 Difficult
Error Identification 5 Easy
Close Test 5 Easy
FIBs (2 Blanks) 5 Easy-Moderate

There was a lone RC passage with a total of ten questions. A person with a good and regular reading habit would surely have got an edge over the rest here.

The questions asked on Para Jumbled can be termed as difficult. The five 'fill in the blank' questions can be considered easy to moderate. Grammar questions too followed the same trend and were quite easy to answer.

The close test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our student) puts the level of the passage as easy to moderate.

To Summarize :

  • Over all, the difficulty level of the paper in all the four slots on 3rd Oct 2015 can be rated as Moderate to Difficult.
  • The RC passages in all the four slots were moderate – difficult and were based on Economy/Banking
  • In all the four slots, the questions on Para Jumbled Questions were difficult.
  • The puzzles in the Reasoning Section were not easy to crack.
  • In all the four slots, 2 sets of DI were given – one on Line graph and other on Table. (Some of the values given in the table were missing – this is new to bank exams)
  • The topic wise split and the difficulty level were similar to the SBI PO 2015 Prelim Examination.

IBPS has announced new recruitment process for PO's from 2015 on wards. The selection will be done in a three phase manner - Preliminary Examination, Main Examination and Interview.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 Questions
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions
English Language 30 Questions
Total Questions 100

No of choices per question – 5
Negative Marking – 0.25of the marks assigned to the questions

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude: 

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate to difficult and time consuming.

The 5 questions on Approximations can be rated as the easiest .There were 5 questions on Quadratic Comparisons which were also easy as they dealt with small values. There were 10 questions on Data Interpretation and they were time-consuming; they were split as 5 on line graph and 5 on tables. A few values in the table were missing, a feature new to bank exams!

The other 5 questions on Number Series too were very easy .There was a lone question on Cylinders as well.

The individual questions in this section were 10 in number; they comprised 1-2 from each topic. According to the feedback sent in by our students, they were all lengthy and indirect. Thus, a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. The questions in themselves were long and therefore reading and understanding them took a considerable amount of time.

A student could therefore, solve around 15-17 questions in approximately 20 minutes if he chose judiciously.

Topic No of Questions
Data Interpretation (5Qs on Line Graph and 5Qs on Table) 10
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) 5
Number Series (Missing Number) 5
Approximations 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Probability, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest) 10

Reasoning: 

This section has been given an 'Easy' tag. All the questions asked in this section were case-based.

There were 5 very easy questions on Deductions. The topic on Coding- Decoding drew 5 moderate to easy questions. Symbol-Notation based conclusions were 5 in number. In line with the rest of the questions in this section, the 2 on Blood relations too were very easy ones.

There were 4 puzzles one each on comparison, distribution, linear arrangements and circular arrangement(wrt Blood Relations). Puzzles were easy but time consuming than other questions. Thus, about 18-20 questions could possibly be solved in 20-25 minutes in the English section.

The topic-wise split, as reported by our students, is as given below.

Topic No of Questions
Circular Arrangement (wrt Blood Relations) 5
Linear Arrangement 5
Distributions 5
Comparisons 5
Deductions (Syllogism) 5
Blood Relations 5
Coding Decoding 5
Symbol-Notation Based Conclusions 5

English Language:

This section too was along expected lines and the pattern was a replica of the SBI PO Prelim exam. It can be rated as a moderately difficulty section.

The 5 questions from the Close test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our students) can be labelled as easy. The five 'Two fill in the blanks' questions can be considered easy to moderate, with 3 out of five rated as easy.

The 5 questions asked from 6 jumbled statements in the PFQ part were related to Chinese markets and can be termed as difficult.

There was a lone RC passage with a total of ten questions. Only a person with a good and regular reading habit could have managed to comprehend the terse language of the text that was also quite lengthy. It was related to African development banks. The 4 vocab questions framed from the passage were easy.

The questions on Grammar were 5 moderate error identification ones.

Thus, about 15-18 questions could possibly be solved in 15 minutes in the English section.

The break-up of the questions is as follows:

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 10 Difficult
Para Jumbled Questions (6 Statements) 5 Difficult
Error Identification 5 Easy
Cloze Test 5 Easy
FIBs (2 Blanks) 5 Easy-Moderate

It has been reported that the online IBPS PO/MT CWE V Main examination held on 31st Oct 2015 was very difficult. The Reasoning Section was the difficult most section of all the five sections. The Quant Section was also tough. English section was moderate and the GA and Computer Sections were easy. A similar trend was followed for the exam held in both shifts on 31st Oct 2015.

A few surprise elements that were noticed in this paper, as reported by students, are:

  1. There were no questions on Simplifications / Approximations, Permutation, Combination and Probability, Quadratic Comparisons in the Quantitative Aptitude section.
  2. The sudden disappearance of questions on Coding-Decoding and Symbols & Notations based conclusions would have been a shocker to the students. The questions from these two topics appear in almost all the bank exams. Scoring in these questions is easy.
  3. The questions in the English section were on expected lines, except for the change that there were 5 questions in close test instead of the traditional pattern where there are 10 questions.. A slight variation in the number of questions on Synonyms and Antonyms was also noticed in RC passages. An RC passage with ten questions carries 4 questions on Vocabulary – 2 on Synonyms and 2 on Antonyms. But this pattern was not followed in one of the RC passages. This happened in the exam in both the shifts.

The snap shot of the exam is given below.

Duration of Exam 120 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 50 Q's
Reasoning Ability 50 Q's
English Language 40 Q's
General Awareness 40 Q's
Computer Knowledge 20 Q's
Total Q's 200

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as difficult and time-consuming.

The questions on DI were quite lengthy and time-consuming; the questions on caselet were relatively easier to handle. There were two difficult DI sets,while the remaining were moderate. The questions on number series reportedly ranged from easy to moderate.

The individual questions in this section were based on topics of ages,time and distance, time and work, averages, profit and loss, partnership, plane geometry, mensuration, simple interest and mixtures. Though not direct questions ,students commented that they were tricky and a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. There were no questions on Permutations/Combinations/Probability, Quadratic Comparisons, Simplifications & Approximations. Questions on Data Sufficiency ( 2 statements) were present in this test as they were in the previous year too.

Topic No of Questions
Morning Evening
Data Interpretation (Some sets had 6 questions and some were with 7 questions. Four sets in Morning and 3 sets in evening session) 26 18 & 19
Number Series (Wrong Number) 6 5
Individual Questions (Ratio, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Mensuration, Mixtures, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest) 12 21 & 22
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements) 6 5

Reasoning:

This section has been given a 'very difficult' tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were tough to tackle. The questions on deductions (all were based on 'do not follow' pattern) were moderate. The questions on Input/output were a tough nut to crack !!. There were no questions on Coding-Decoding and symbol / notation based Statements and Conclusions. The Data Sufficiency topic posed moderate questions. About 10 questions were asked on Critical Reasoning.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Puzzles (Circular Arrangement write Blood Relations, Linear Arrangements, Floor Arrangements, Distributions etc) 25 (5 Sets) Set Based Difficult – Very Difficult
Deductions ('do not follow' pattern) 5 Set Based Moderate
Input Output 5 Set Based Difficult
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements) 5 Set Based Moderate-Difficult
Critical Reasoning 10 Moderate-Difficult

English Language:

The pattern of this section was almost in line with what was expected. There were two RC passages with a total of ten questions per passage. The weightage given to questions on Synonyms/Antonyms in the passages was less, which is a deviation from the norm. The passages were too lengthy.

The questions asked on Para Jumbled can be termed as difficult. Grammar questions were quite easy to answer.

The cloze test passage that appeared in the exam (as reported by our student) puts the level of the passage as moderate.

Overall, this section can be rated as moderate.

Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 20 (2 Passages) Moderate
Para Jumbled Questions (6 Statements) 5 Difficult
Error Identification 5 Easy
Cloze test 5 Moderate
Phrase Replacement 5 Easy

General Awareness: 

About half of the questions asked here were on Banking Awareness and Indian Economy, the others were on Current Affairs. Students report this section as easy.

Computer Knowledge:

There were 20 questions on Computers, and they dealt with MS Office, Networking, Operating system, Internet, Computer Architecture etc. Only about 2-3 questions were found to be difficult by students.

Personality Test:

After the actual online examination was conducted, an online Personality Test was also conducted. The duration of the test was 45 minutes. This test was divided into two parts – Part I with 76 questions and Part II with 60 questions. The time duration for answering the questions in both parts was 45 minutes. For all the questions the five choices were the same – Agree, Strongly Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree and Neutral/Neither Agree nor Disagree.

This test was not compulsory. Students were able to submit the test even before the stipulated time of 45 minutes.

It has been reported that the online IBPS PO/MT CWE IV examination held on 12th Oct 2014 (day two) was almost similar to the exam that was held on 11th Oct 2014, in terms of both question types and difficulty level.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 120 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 50 Questions
Reasoning Ability 50 Questions
English Language 40 Questions
General Awareness 40 Questions
Computer Knowledge 20 Questions
Total Questions 100

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude: 

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate - difficult and time-consuming.

There were a total of 23 questions on DI and the students have said that these were very lengthy and time-consuming, while the set based questions on the caselet were easy. Two of the sets on DI were difficult, while the others were moderate. The questions on number series were reported to be difficult.

Questions included here were, among others, on time and distance, time and work, averages, profit and loss, partnership, mensuration, simple interest and mixtures. Students have said that these questions were not direct, but were tricky and required a thorough knowledge of the concepts. There were no questions on Permutations/Combinations/Probability. Questions on Quadratic Comparisons and Data Sufficiency, which had made an appearance in 2013, were also present in this paper. Students say that the questions on Data Sufficiency were based on two statements and not the usual three-statement based ones.

Reasoning: 

This section has been given a 'difficult' tag.

More emphasis was laid on puzzles, which were tough to tackle. There were questions on deductions, Input/Output, and symbol / notation based Statements and Conclusions. The questions on Data Sufficiency were difficult and students said that the pattern was different from the one that was given last year. Same was the case with questions on deductions (syllogisms). There were about 8 questions on Critical Reasoning.

English Language:

The pattern of this section was in line with what was expected. It was exactly on the pattern of IBPS PO/MT 2013. The students report that they were tested on their ability to answer questions on cloze test (10 q), error identification and phrase replacement (5 q), para jumbled (5 q), and of course two reading comprehension passages (10 x 2 = 20q). The RC passages were lengthy and questions that followed the passage were also difficult. But for the RC, the section was easy.

General Awareness: 

A quarter of the questions asked here were on Banking Awareness, the others were on Current Affairs,currencies and capitals. A deviation from the normal IBPS PO / MT pattern were the questions on currency and capitals. Students found this section to be easy.

Computer Knowledge:

There were 20 questions on Computers, and they dealt with MS Office, Networking, Operating System, Internet, Computer Architecture etc. Only about 2-3 questions were found to be difficult by students.

It has been reported that the online IBPS PO/MT CWE IV examination held on 18th Oct 2014 (day three) was almost similar to the exam that was held on 11th and 12th Oct 2014, in terms of both question types and difficulty level.

Snapshot of the Exam:

Duration of Exam 120 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 50 Questions
Reasoning Ability 50 Questions
English Language 40 Questions
General Awareness 40 Questions
Computer Knowledge 20 Questions
Total Questions 100

The analysis of the above mentioned session, as reported by our students, is given below.

Quantitative Aptitude:

According to the feedback received from our students who appeared for this exam, this section can be rated as moderate - difficult and time-consuming.

The 23 questions on DI were quite lengthy and time-consuming; the questions on caselet were relatively easier to handle. There were two difficult DI sets, while the remaining were moderate. The questions on number series reportedly ranged from easy to moderate.

The individual questions in this section were based on topics of ages,time and distance, time and work, averages, profit and loss, partnership, mensuration, simple interest and mixtures. Though not direct questions, students commented that they were tricky and a complete knowledge of concepts was mandatory in order to solve them. There were no questions on Permutations/Combinations/Probability. Questions on Quadratic Comparisons and Data Sufficiency were present in this test as they were in the previous year too. Our students iterate that instead of the usual three-statement based questions on data sufficiency, this year there were only two-statement based ones.

Reasoning:

This section has been given a 'difficult' tag.

The emphasis here was on puzzles, which were tough to tackle. The questions included those on deductions, Input/output, and symbol / notation based Statements and Conclusions. The Data Sufficiency topic posed moderate questions, and students reported that the pattern was different from that of last year. The questions on deductions(syllogisms) followed a similar trend. About 8 questions were asked on Critical Reasoning.

English Language:

Though the pattern of this section was almost in line with what was expected,the pattern of the Para Jumbled questions was slightly different than the usual. Of the 7 statements given,the introductory one was fixed and candidates had to sequence the rest of the six and answer questions based on this arrangement. Of the two RCs, one had only two vocab questions, where as the other one had four. One RC was related to economic development and the other one was on Organizational Behaviour. One of the RCs had a difficult set of questions.The close test was utterly simple, as were the questions on Phrase Replacement. There were straight pick choices. Overall, this section can be rated as moderate.

General Awareness: 

About half of the questions asked here were on Banking Awareness and Indian Economy, the others were on Current Affairs, Currencies and Capitals, Movies, Books and Authors, Science & Technology. A deviation from the normal IBPS PO / MT pattern were the questions on Currency and Capitals. Students report this section as easy.

Computer Knowledge:

There were 20 questions on Computers, and they dealt with MS Office, Networking, Operating System, Internet, Computer Architecture etc. Only about 2-3 questions were found to be difficult by students.

SBI had announced vacancies for 1500 PO posts, for which the notification was released in the last week of Jan 2013 and the exam was held on 28-04-2013. About 17 lakhs candidates applied for this exam.

There was no change in the pattern of the paper as compared to the previous SBI PO examinations. The written examination was for 250 marks consisting of Objective and Descriptive tests. The snap shot of the paper pattern is given below :

SNO Test Area No of Questions
1 Reasoning 50 Objective Test – Total Questions: 200. Duration: 120 Minutes
2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 50
3 General Awareness/Marketing/Computers 50
4 English Language 50
5 Descriptive Writing 5 Duration: 1 hour. Marks:50

The section wise analysis of the paper is presented below.

Data Analysis and Interpretation:

There were 45 questions on DI – Nine sets with 5 questions in each set. The questions given were based on bar graph, line graph, pie chart and radar chart. Other than these 45 questions, there were three questions on data provided in a small caselet and there were two questions on probability. A set based on radar graph was a surprise element in this exam.This particular question type has never appeared in the SBI PO exam till now. Although this radar graph was unsettling, answering the questions was easy after familiarising oneself with the details of the graph.

S.No Type of Representation Description of the set Easy Moderate Difficult
1 Pie Chart + Table Distribution of teachers in four schools- Male and Female teachers 0 3 2
2 Pie Chart Distribution of money among six students 1 3 1
3 Line Graph Marks scored by three students in six subjects 1 3 1
4 Radar Graph Expenditure incurred by two persons in six months 3 1 1
5 Table(5 rows,10 columns) Average Max and Average Min temperatures of five cities in five months 3 2 0
6 Table(5 rows,12 columns) Prices of three items in four restaurants over five years 3 2 0
7 Table(10 rows,5 columns) Arrivals, Departures, Distance travelled by a train 2 2 1
8 Bar Graph(Vertical bars) Number of teachers sent on three different duties to five cities 4 1 0
9 Bar Graph(Horizontal Bars) Electricity bills paid by three persons in four different months 4 1 0
10 Caselet Number of boys and girls passing an exam 0 3 0

As can be seen from the break up of questions given above, most of the questions on DI were easy to moderate. Very few were difficult. Over all, DI questions were time concuming. Students may have had to spend more time on this and they may have run short of time for other sections.

The two questions on probability were of moderate difficulty level. Unlike the previous year's test paper for SBI PO selections, the level of difficulty of questions this year has come down. A score of 35 plus can be considered as a good score.

English Language

Reading Comprehension(20 questions):

There were two passages with 10 questions each. The first was on “Changes in the World Economy” and the second was on the “Human Brain”. Both had approximately 600 words each. There were 12 questions and they were a blend of direct and inferential questions. There was a question that asked the ' author's objective'. The remaining eight were vocabulary based, 4 on synonyms and 4 on antonyms. Surprisingly, the questions were very difficult like never before. The first passage was more difficult than the second. The questions required one to go back to the areas in the passage which highlighted or supported the idea that was questioned. The options were too close to choose easily.

Verbal Ability(30 questions):

The break up of the 30 Verbal Ability questions is as follows:

Error identification — 5 questions;
Fill-in-the-Blanks questions(two blanks )-5 questions;
Paragraph Formation question(six sentences)-5 questions;
Vocabulary(synonym-antonym pair questions)-5 questions and
CLOSE test(ten blanks)-10 questions.

The grammar questions were easy. Most of them covered common errors. The fill-in-the-blank questions were difficult as they required a correct understanding of logic in the sentences. The words given as choices were difficult too. The paragraph formation question was very difficult. Finding the link of one idea in another statement was challenging. The Vocabulary(synonym-antonym pair) questions were a mix of both easy and difficult questions. The close test was of moderate difficulty level. The topic, Globalization, a familiar one, was the saving grace.

Overall, this section scored high on difficulty level. An attempt of about 25 questions and a score of above 15 is what an average student can possibly score.

Reasoning

The topics covered under Reasoning as also the pattern of questions were on lines similar to the ones which have appeared in previous SBI PO examinations. The pattern of questions from topics Conclusions and Blood relations was slightly different and the questions were difficult as a result. The questions on Critical Reasoning were easy and hence it is likely that students will score well in this area. The set based questions on Analytical puzzles too were simple as the information provided in the sets was less and it took little time in analyzing it. The questions on coding-decoding and Input-Output were similar to those that have been asked in previous SBI PO examinations. In the Data Sufficiency area, unlike the regular SBI PO pattern where there are usually three statements in such questions, only two were given this time around. The questions on Non-Verbal Reasoning are generally tough in SBI PO exams, but fortunately in this exam, they were easy, giving students an opportunity to score better.

The topic wise break up of questions is given below:

Topic Easy Moderate Difficult
Symbols and Notations (Conclusions) 1 2 2
Analytical Puzzle ( Distribution) 2 3
Coding & Decoding 3 2
Analytical Puzzle (Circular + Distribution) 2 3
Blood Relations based Symbols & Notations 3 2
Input and Output 5

Deductions 3 2
Data sufficiency
1 2
Critical Reasoning 2 3 2
Non Verbal Reasoning (Series) 1 2 2

22 20 8

Over all, the Reasoning section was easy and not lengthy at all. It is highly unlikely that students would have left any question unanswered. An average student can easily get a score of 25 – 30 marks and a bright student can score up to 38 – 40 marks.

General Awareness / Marketing / Computers

This section had 25 questions on GA, 13 on Computers and 12 on Marketing Aptitude.

Out of 25 Questions on GA, 6 were from Banking, one on Insurance, 10 are from Indian economy, including quite a few on Indian Budget. Hence the questions from Banking and Indian Economy dominated the paper. The remaining questions were on current affairs, mainly related to the events of Feb and March 2013. There were couple of questions from sports, persons in news and Awards.

As regards to GA, the difficulty level of the questions can be termed as easy to moderate.

The 12 questions on Marketing Aptitude were very basic in nature and fairly simple.Except for one or two questions, all the others were direct. Questions based on standard definitions of Cross Selling, Market penetration, Captive Marketing, To close a call, were direct and simple.The students can score well in questions on Marketing Aptitude.

As regards to questions on Computers, 7 out of 13 questions were easy. The break up of the 13 Computer questions is as follows:

Memory – 2 questions ( One question was based on definition of File and another was on computer memory. Both the questions were easy)

Basic Computer Architecture – 6 questions ( Here, the questions were a blend of easy and difficult questions. Questions on Largest Computer, Speaker attached to Computer.. were very easy. Questions on Super Computer and Mouse which emits light and detects signals... were difficult ones as these questions are not asked very frequently in bank exams)

Operating Systems - 2 questions ( Question on Guidelines for using software ... was an easy one where as the question on OS used in hand held devices ... was an uncommon one)

Computer Networks – 2 questions

MS – Office – 1 question ( The question was on MS help tool and was quite easy)

The students can score well in questions on Computers

Descriptive Writing

The Descriptive Writing in the SBI PO was on expected lines. Questions on Essay Writing(12 marks), Letter Writing(10 marks), Paragraph Writing(8 marks), Precis Writing(10 marks) and the Reading Comprehension passage(10 marks) were all there. A generous choice of three was given in each Essay, Letter and Paragraph Writing. That must have made it easier for students. Even the topics were not too complicated. In Letter Writing, one formal and two informal letter prompts were given. The letter to sibling in the informal was the easiest of all, which most students must have chosen to write, while the job acceptance letter in informal may have been avoided by most. The topics for essays were also on expected lines: Women entrepreneurs, Global Warming and Role of Banks, all of which have been covered by us. The ones given for Paragraph Writing were about Investments, Saving Energy and Small Scale Industry. The Comprehension Passage and Precis too were easy and less time consuming. Overall, an average student who attempted all the questions with fair justice done to length, content, organisation and language would score a minimum of 20. The cut-off, considering the difficulty level of topics, is likely to be between 22 and 24.

The class room level discussions and training at T.I.M.E. would have served as a boon to those students who utilized them, in helping them to manage their time in the exam by choosing and solving the easy and moderate questions first. The test taking strategies taught to them in classes would definitely have come in handy in helping them to be quick and accurate, thereby maximizing their scores. Those students who kept in mind the tips given by our faculty members will definitely secure good marks in this exam.

The IBPS P.O. On-line Exam, one of the most reputed exams in the Indian banking sector, was held on the 19th (Saturday) and 20th (Sunday) of October 2013. The next set of dates for the exam are 26th/27th of Oct 2013 and 9th/10th of Nov 2013. It has been ascertained from students' assessment that overall, the examination was moderate, comparatively easier than the one held last year.

A snap shot of the examination is given below.

Duration of the Examination 120 Minutes
Number of sections 5
Negative Marking 0.25 of marks assigned to the question
Total Questions 200
Quantitative Aptitude 50 Questions
Reasoning 50 Questions
English Language 40 Questions
General Awareness 40 Questions
Computer Knowledge 20 Questions

The sectional analysis is as follows:

Quantitative Aptitude: 

In general, the difficulty level of this section can be pegged at moderate to difficult. It was reported that there were no questions on Simplifications and Approximations. This was something unexpected and caught students off-guard. Since the above were replaced by questions from various topics of Arithmetic, which usually take more time to solve, this section was time-consuming.

The break-up of the 50 questions of this section is as:
Data Interpretation – 20
Number Series – 5
Quadratic Equations (Comparisons) – 5
Questions from individual topics of Arithmetic – 15
Data Sufficiency – 5

Reasoning: 

According to the feedback received from candidates who have appeared for this exam, the difficulty level of this section can be termed as more or less moderate. As has been the pattern ever since the exam has gone on-line, this time too non-verbal questions were conspicuous by their absence.

The break-up of the 50 questions in this section is as:
Deductions – 5
Data Sufficiency – 5
Input/Output – 5
Decision Making – 5
Puzzles – 15
Other topics– 15 (Symb & Not based Conclusions, Assumptions / Inferences / Cause and Effect, Direction Sense / Word Digit Formation / Ranking etc.)

General Awareness:

It was reported by students that most of the 40 questions in this section were from Banking Awareness and Indian Economy. Current affairs also formed the basis for a few questions. The difficulty level can be stated as easy to moderate.

English Language:

As reported, this section can be called a difficult one, as the Comprehension questions, which students dread, dominated this section. In one of the slots on the 19th of October, there were two passages with 15 questions and in one of the slots of the other day, the two RC passages had 10 questions each.

Earlier, when the exam used to have 50 questions in this section, this kind of pattern was common. But with almost half of this section dominated by questions on reading comprehension, students found it very lengthy and exhaustive. Had these questions been substituted by those of verbal ability, it could have become easy for candidates to work on this section with greater speed.

The break-up of the 40 questions is as:
Reading Comprehension – 15-20
Cloze Test – 10
Para formation Questions – 5 (with six sentences to sequence)
Grammar – 5 - 10

Computer Knowledge:

The questions in this section were reported to be easy. No great preparation was needed to tick these multiple choice questions. In fact, answers to a few questions could be worked out by looking at the various choices that each of these questions had. As compared to other IBPS exams, this section presented very little challenge to students.

This section was reported to be easy in all the slots on 19th and 20th Oct 2013.

Summary: 

Overall it has been reported that the 2013 IBPS P.O. exam was of moderate difficulty level. The paper was lengthy and time consuming.

The 2nd IBPS CWE for PO/MT which was held on 17th June2012 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.

Grammar:

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
DBMS -
Computer Networks 7
Internet 15
E-Commerce -
MS Office: WORD 4
MS Office: EXCEL 4
MS Office: POWER-POINT 5
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 !!

This analysis is based on feedback given by students. The actual break-up of questions can be different from what has been presented here.

SNAPSHOT:

Number of Questions (Objective) 200
Marking Scheme 1 mark per question
Negative Marking 0.25 marks per question
Number of sections 4
Number of Choices 5
Duration (Objective Paper) 120 minutes
Duration (Descriptive Paper) 60 minutes
SECTIONAL SUMMARY:

Section Number of questions Good Time Allocation
Reasoning 50 30-35 min
Data Analysis and Interpretation 50 30-35 min
General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers 50 15-20 min
English Language 50 25-30 min
(1) Reasoning:

The questions on Circular Arrangement(wrt blood relations), Statements & Assumptions, Deductions were difficult. There were a few easy questions in this section on Coding-decoding, Odd Man Out, Non Verbal reasoning. Rest of the questions were of moderate difficulty level. There were 5 questions on Odd Man Out this year ,when compared to previous years,where only 2 questions used to appear from Odd Man Out.The pattern / question set on Business related critical reasoning was given for the first time ever in this exam.

Overall, this section can be rated as moderate to difficult in nature.

The break up of the questions from various topics is given below.

SN.O Topic No of Questions
1 Circular Arrangement(WRT Blood Relations) 7
2 Coding Decoding 6
3 Odd Man Out 5
4 Data Sufficiency 5
5 Deductions 6
6 Input Output 5
7 Non Verbal Reasoning 5
8 Statements & Assumptions 4
9 Critical Reasoning 7

Total 50
(2)Data Analysis and Interpretation:

The distribution of questions in this section is given below.

(a) Quant - 9 questions ( P&C – 2, One each from TD,RPV,Venn diagrams,Mensuration,Number Series and 2 Qs from Numbers(very basic questions on square roots)

(b) Data Interpretation – 41 Questions

The sets on DI had 6-7 questions, unlike in the previous years, where the DI set was followed by 5 questions.No single – question based sets on DI.

There were three sets on tabular form – 7 questions each in two sets and 6 questions in the third set. All the questions based on the tables were lengthy and time consuming.

There was one set on Bar Graph(based on amount of rainfall received in 3 cities over 5 months) with 7 questions.This set was the easiest of the entire lot of DI sets.

There was one set on pie chart and one on line graph,each of which had 7 questions each.

Overall, this section was easy, but the solutions to the questions on DI ( for the sets where the data was given in tabular form) were very lengthy, involving lot of calculations.

(3) General Awareness/Computers/Marketing:

Most of the questions in this section were easy. Almost all the questions on General Awareness were on current affairs.The questions based on Marketing and Computers consisted of standard definitions/abbrevations.

The following is the break up of questions that appeared in this section:

SN.O Topic No of Questions
1 General Awareness 30
2 Marketing 10
3 Computers 10

Total 50
(4)English Language:

This section was on expected lines and as per the pattern that has appeared in the previous SBI exams.The following table gives the topic wise break up of questions:

SNO Topic No of Questions
1 Reading Comprehension (2 Passages with 15 & 10 questions each) 25
2 Grammar (Sentence Correction) 10
3 Para Forming Questions 5
4 Close Test 10

Total 50

To summarize:

A couple of surprises in the Reasoning section – set on circular arrangement (w.r.t. Blood relations), the critical reasoning set related to a Business Situation would have made it seem that the reasoning section was difficult.But there were quite a few easy ones as well in that section.

The Data Interpretation and Analysis section had 9 questions on quant, which is double the number of questions that one can expect in Quant in the SBI PO paper.Each of the DI sets had 6- 7 questions, breaking the tradition of 5 questions / set.

The GA and the english sections were on expected lines.

Descriptive Writing – Duration 60 Minutes . Marks - 50

Essay - I- 250 words - 12 marks

Three Choices. Answer any one.
(1)Financial inclusion
(2) Technology in banking
(3) ...............

Essay - II - 150 words - 10 marks

Three choices. Answer any one

(1) Rural Development - disadvantages and the solution

Letter - 8 marks

Three choices.Answer any one
(1) Write a Letter to close savings bank account
(2) A Seminar on developement in technology in banking is happening at a place on a particular day. Write a letter informing your friend and advising him to attend the seminar

Precis Writing

There was 1 precis task - a passage of about 450 words to be summarized in 150 - requiring candidates to display the ability to identify key ideas and theme and present these in brief, retaining the idea-flow.

Comprehension

Apart from the above,a small passage on Reading Comprehension was given.This was followed by five questions.The questions had no choices.Students were asked to answer each of these questions in a line or two.

This analysis is based on feedback given by students. The actual break-up of questions can be different from what has been presented here.

SNAPSHOT
Number of Questions (Objective) 200
Marking Scheme 1 mark per question
Negative Marking 0.25 marks per question
Number of sections 4
Number of Choices 5
Duration (Objective Paper) 120 minutes
Duration (Descriptive Paper) 60 minutes
SECTIONAL SUMMARY
Number of questions Number of Questions Good Time Allocation
Reasoning 50 30-35 min
Data Analysis and Interpretation 50 30-35 min
General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers 50 15-20 min
English Language 50 25-30 min
The topic wise break up and difficulty level of questions is given below.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Table 7 (Set based) Easy to Moderate
Line Graph 8 (Set based) Moderate
Line Graph 1 (Individual) Easy
Pie Chart (1 Pie Chart) 1 (Individual) Easy
Table 2 (Individual) Easy
Simplification 5 Easy
Data Sufficiency (3 Statements) 5 Easy to Moderate
Series (Wrong Number Series) 5 Easy
Caselet 5 (Set Based) Difficult
Individual Questions (Simple Equations,Ration,Percentages,Profit & Loss,Time & Work,Mensuration,Probability) 11 Easy to Moderate
Reasoning Ability
Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Input Output 3 (Set Based) Easy
Deductions 6 Easy
Non Verbal Reasoning (Series) 5 Moderate to Difficult
Puzzles (Circular Distribution) 7 (Set based) Difficult
Coding Decoding 6 (Set Based) Easy
Puzzles (Row Arrangement) 6 (Set Based) Difficult
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements) 5 Easy to Moderate
Critical Reasoning (Inference,Strong & Weak Arguments,Cause & Effect) 6 Moderate to Difficult
Individual Questions (Odd Man Out,Symbols Notations) 6 Easy to Moderate
English Language
Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension(2 Passage were given.1 passage with 15 questions and the other passage with 10 questions) 25 Moderate
Cloze Passage 10 Moderate
PFQ 5 Easy
Fill in the Blanks (2 blanks) 5 Easy to Moderate
Phrase Replacement 5 Easy to Moderate
General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers
Topic No of Questions Difficulty Level
GA 25 Easy to Moderate
Marketing 12 Easy
Computers 13 Moderate

The first of its kind, "Common Written Examination (CWE)" for recruitment of POs/MTs in 19 Public Sector Banks was conducted on 18th September-2011. The CWE was conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection(IBPS).About 14 lakh candidates had applied for this exam .The examination was conducted in two slots, morning slot from 9.30am to 1pm and evening slot from 2.30pm to 6pm.

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.

Snapshot of the 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: 3 1/2 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

The type of questions in this section were on lines similar to the questions that have appeared in the different Bank PO exams earlier.The two question types which did not appear in this paper, as compared to the earlier Bank PO exams, are (a) column-wise comparisons of roots of a quadratic and (b) Data sufficiency.

There were 10 questions based on simplification and approximation. At a glance these questions appeared to be easy and every one would have started solving these first. But when students got down to solving themthey would have found them to be lengthy and time consuming. A good student would have attempted 6 to 7 questions in 10 minutes.

There were 5 questions on series.The questions involved finding the wrong number in the given sequence. The students who were aware of this question type, would have solved them comfortably.

3 to 4 correct attempts in 5 minutes is considered to be good.

Coming to the individual questions, there were 10 questions.These questions involved a good mixture of concepts and logic from various topics like Simple Equations, Ratio, Percentages, Simple Interest-Compound Interest and Averages.The questions were aimed at testing basic conceptual knowledge.

As regards to Data Interpretation, there were 4 sets of 5 questions each. Two sets were based on the data given in tabular form, one set on pie chart and one set on Bar graph. Of these the set on Bar graph was very easy. All the five questions on Bar graph were direct and simple without any lengthy calculations. The students who had practiced the basic question types that appear in DI , concepts of percentages and speed maths techniques would have had an added advantage. An attempt of 2 to 3 sets in 15 minutes is considered good.

Overall, in terms of difficulty level, this section can be considered to be moderate to difficult and an attempt of 30-35 questions, with not more than 2-3 wrong is considered to be very good.

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

The question types and the topic wise break up of questions in this section were the same in both the slots. The level of difficulty also did not vary much in the test conducted in the two slots.

Topic No of Questions
Simplifications 5
Approximations 5
Series(Finding the wrong number) 5
Probability 5
Individual Questions:
Simple Equations 3
Ratio 1
Percentages 3
Averages 2
Simple & Compound Interest 1
Data Interpretation:
Table(2 Sets) 10
Bar Graph(1 Set) 5
Pie Chart(1 Set) 5
Total 50
(2) English Language

The Bank PO CWE presented the same pattern in both slots, in the Verbal Ability and Descriptive Writing sections.

The Verbal Ability section presented some questions different from what have been seen so far in Bank PO exams.

The section had a total of 50 questions in 6 types, with a total of 25 marks.
There were:

Five Para-completion questions (Verbal Reasoning). These were questions where a paragraph was presented with a blank in place of a sentence that had been removed. From the choices given, and keeping in mind the context of the paragraph, the candidate had to pick the sentence best suited to the blank.

Five Sentence equivalence questions (Vocabulary usage). These were questions where a sentence was presented with a blank in place of a word that had been removed. From the choices given, and keeping in mind the context of the sentence, the candidate had to pick 2 words either of which would fit to the blank.

Five questions on synonymous words/phrases (Vocabulary). These were questions where a given word was followed by choices that present words/phrases. From the choices the candidate had to pick all those that were synonymous with the headword. These 3 question types have not appeared in earlier Bank PO exams.

Five Para-formation questions (jumbled paragraph), of 7 sentences each. In earlier exams, such questions had upto 6 sentences.

15 questions on Cloze test (a paragraph with blanks to be filled). In earlier exams, cloze test presented upto 10 questions.

15 Reading Comprehension questions (7+8) based on 2 passages.In earlier exams, a passage had upto 15 questions, including 6 vocabulary-based questions. This time, though the passages were of the size previously seen, about 600-700 words, each had 7 to 8 questions, including 2 vocabulary-based questions in each of the passages. The passages were on economic and developmental
aspects, presented a lot of detail, and required careful reading.

While the vocabulary-based questions were moderately difficult, overall, the section was difficult. It required a reasonable level of familiarity with English - the sort of familiarity that comes with regular reading. Clearly, the candidates who had been reading extensively, apart from practice in specific areas, would have been able to perform well.

An attempt of 30-32 questions, with not more than two or three wrong, is a good score.

(3) Reasoning

The reasoning section of the paper was on lines similar to the past PO exams conducted by different banks.The one exception here was critical reasoning questions. The format of the critical reasoning questions had changed though the basic way of handling the question remained the same.

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

Topic / Area Number of Questions
Morning Slot Evening Slot
5 5
Critical reasoning(All individual questions) 10 10
Distribution 5 (1 set) 7 (2 sets)
Circular Arrangement 5 (1 set) 5 (1 set)
Linear Arrangement 4 (2 sets) 2 (1 set)
Direction Sense 1 1
Input/Output 5 5
Data Sufficiency(Reasoning based) 5 5
Non- Verbal Reasoning 10 (Series) 10 (5 on Series and 5 on analogies)
Total Questions 50 50

Students who had worked on the Mock papers conducted by T.I.M.E. would have found that the reasoning section of the CWE was no different from those in the mocks. The new type of questions given on Input-Output and Deductions were on lines similar of those given in mocks conducted by T.I.M.E.

An attemp of 30 – 32 questions, with not more than two to three wrong, is a good score.

(4) Computer Knowledge

The overall difficulty level of Computer knowledge section was moderate. All the questions asked in this section in the exam conducted in both the slots, were purely based on the fundamentals of topics like Archtecture , Operating Systems, DBMS,Networks,E commerce and MS Office. A large chunk of questions were based on internet terminology.Among these, 5-6 questions were easy, 4-5 questions were of moderate difficulty level and 3 questions were difficult. Other areas which were covered were based on basic computer architecture, memory, Microsoft Office, Operating System, E-Commerce and Computer networks. The questions on basic Computer Architecture were based on I/O devices of Computer, which were easy to answer. Most of the questions on MS office were based on MS word which were of moderate difficulty level. The questions which were asked on

memory concepts were also of moderate difficulty level.The questions on operating systems, Computer networks and E-Commerce were difficult to answer. A student with a good knowledge of the fundamentals would have scored well. An attempt of 35-40 questions, with not more than 3-4 wrong, is a good score.

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

Topic  No. of Questions    
Acronyms 1
Terminology 1
Introduction 10 concepts of Computer 3
Basic Computer Architecture 6
Memory 5
Data representation -
Software Concepts 2
Operating Systems 4
DBMS -
Computer Networks 4
Internet 12
E-Commerce 4
MS Office: WORD 5
MS Office: EXCEL 2
MS Office: POWERPOINT 1
Total 50
(5) General Awareness

The students who were in a suspense over new pattern of GK questions must have heaved a sigh of relief when they saw the General Awareness section.As was announced earlier in the notification, the questions on Banking sector dominated. However the traditional areas of General Awareness like current affairs, Indian economy, Business GK, Sports etc, had their due share of questions.The distribution of questions under different areas is explained below.

The questions that appeared in both the slots were based on a wide range of topics like, banking, economy, current affairs - national & international and a few questions on sports and literature.

In the exam conducted in the morning slot,out of the 50 questions on General Awareness, banking dominated with 17 questions coming from it. Out of these 17 questions , five questions were easy(Who is the largest shareholder of nationalized banks) and 8 questions were of moderate difficulty level.(questions based on fixed & recurring deposits etc..) The remaining 4 questions on core banking, and cross selling by banks etc, were difficult.

There were 10 questions related to economy, three of which were easy (question on increase

in petrol pricing affecting other products prices etc.), four questions were of moderate difficulty level (question on Unique identification number & issuing authority, name of the card etc.) and the balance of three questions were found to be difficult. (What is meant by LLP in context of Foreign Exchange).

Under current affairs - national topics, there were nine questions out of which 4 appeared to be easy (question on Lokayukta). Five questions were of moderate difficulty level (questions like literacy rates as per Census 2011 report etc.) and there was one difficult question on financial inclusion.

Under current affairs-international issues, out of nine questions, four were relatively easy ( like the one on German chancellors visit for receiving Jawaharlal Nehru International prize in May2011) and the remaining five were of moderate difficulty level.(question on USA's debt ceiling limit etc.). There were three questions on sports and two questions on literature, all being moderate toeasy.

An attempt of 35 - 38 questions, with not more than two or three wrong, in about 20 minutes is a good score.

Now let us look at the analysis of this section of the paper conducted in the second slot.

Out of the 50 questions, there were 16 questions related to banking. Out of these 16 questions, six were easy. (question on "interest rate on FDs higher/lower than normal savings accounts, etc.). Of the rest , seven were found to be of moderated difficulty level (questions on KYC norms, & NPAs etc.)The remaining four were difficult (questions on NEFT, and inter bank transfer codes for NEFT etc).

From topics related to economy, there were 10 questions, five of which were easy.(question on Microfinance originator etc.).Among the rest, three were of moderate difficulty level(question on Capital markets, inflation & Price rise etc.).The balance two questions were difficult. (one question on self-help groups, and another one on ASBA (Applications Supported by Block Amounts), a stock /share issue concept).

Under current affairs-national topics, there were six questions out of which three were easy.(question based on West Bengal CM's predecessor, CM of which state resigned in illegal

mining case etc.) and remaining three questions were of moderate difficulty level.(questions on location of copper mines in India, SFIO is under the ministry of .... etc.).

Under current affairs -international issues, there were 10 questions. Five of these were easy. (question on which country's credit rating is down graded from AAA to AA+, attracting world-wide attention etc. ) and the remaining five were of moderate difficulty level(Name of South Sudan's president etc.).

There were four questions on sports, three of which were relatively easy. (Michael Helps plays which sport etc and one question was difficult (Virdhawal Vikram hade, qualified for which sport for 2014 London olympics)

An attempt of 32 - 35 questions, with not more than one or two wrong, in about 20 minutes is a good score.

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 are as follows.

Letter Writing:

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

Essay Writing:

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

Precis Writing:

A precis in 130 words of a passage of about 300 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.

This analysis is based on feedback given by students. The actual break-up of questions can be different from what has been presented here.

SNAPSHOT:

Number of Questions (Objective) 200
Marking Scheme 1 mark per question
Negative Marking 0.25 marks per question
Number of sections 4
Number of Choices 5
Duration (Objective Paper) 120 minutes
Duration (Descriptive Paper) 60 minutes
SECTIONAL SUMMARY:

Section Number of questions Good Time Allocation
Reasoning 50 30-35 min
Data Analysis and Interpretation 50 30-35 min
General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers 50 15-20 min
English Language 50 25-30 min
Reasoning

The critical reasoning questions increased the difficulty level of this section.The time required to be spent on this section is 30-35 minutes. An attempt of about 40 questions with an accuracy of 85-90% is possible. This can yield an excellent score. The average number of attempts would be 30 questions with 90% accuracy.

Area
No of questions
Total Individual
Set based Easy Moderate Difficult
Coding & Decoding 3 3
3

Letter series 1 1
1

Sequences 3 3
2 1
Symbols & Notations 6 1 5 1
5
Direction sense 1 1

1
Word Formation 1 1

1
Critical Reasoning





Inferences 5
5

5
Strong & weak arguments 5 5


5
Assumption 5 5

5
Deductions 5 5
1 4
Analytical puzzles (Circular arrangement) 5
5 5

Decision making 5
5 5

Non-verbal
Missing figure
5 5
5

Total 50 30 20 23 12 15
Data Analysis and Interpretation

This section had 50 questions overall, of which 3 questions were on probability, 2 on permutations and combinations and the remaining on Data Interpretation. There were no questions from Arithmetic. There were four sets of 5 questions each on tabular representation of data, a set based on a combination of bar graph and line graph, and a set based on two pie charts.

A line graph of profit percentages and a table with marks of some students are question types common to such exams.

Type of graph/ question Description No. of questions Level of difficulty
Table Price and number for six products 5 Moderate to difficult
Caselet Number of employees, depts, males and females 5 Moderate to difficult
Bar+ line Number of children – percentage of girls 5 Easy
Quant Probability 3 Easy to moderate
Quant Permutation and combinations 2 Easy to moderate
Two Tables Number of students passing or failing 5 Easy – 2q
Moderate – 2q
Difficult – 1q
Line graph Profit percentage 5 Easy to moderate
Table Percentage of marks of 6 students 5 1 easy, 4 moderate
Bar graph Number of people – mobile services 5 Easy
Table Distance traveled by 6 trucks 5 1 time consuming, 4 easy
Two – Pie charts Number of students attending interview and getting selected 5 3 moderate, 2 easy

A time span of 30 minutes should be spent in this section. The case-let can be avoided. A careful internal selection of questions in each set helps a student in answering more questions within the stipulated time.In most of the sets, we find mix of difficulty levels. However, all the 5 questions on bar graph were easy. The line graph based on profit percentage too was easy to solve.

28 questions with an accuracy of 90% can be considered to be a good attempt. Attempting 32 questions with 90% accuracy can be considered a very good score.

General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers

This paper had 25 questions on General Awareness, 12 questions on Marketing and 13 questions on Computers.

Questions on General Awareness were mainly related to current affairs, with an emphasis on banking and Indian economy. There were a few pertaining to international current affairs and only very few were stock G.K. questions.

Candidates who have kept themselves abreast with current affairs of the past six months would have answered about 15 out of the 25 questions on General Awareness.

Questions on marketing were general in nature. A candidate with a general understanding of marketing would easily have answered 6 to 8 questions out of the 12 on marketing. A majority of the questions were those discussed in the classroom or present in our coaching material.

English Language

The English segment of the exam was quite challenging, and candidates would have found it moderately difficult unless they were well-prepared and careful.

There were 20 RC questions - 2 comprehension passages each followed by 5 questions of detail and context, and 5 on meanings, opposites and usage of words and phrases. The first was a 300-word passage on the Indian Banking system, while the second was a 400-word passage on Bio-technology in agriculture. While the passages were not difficult to read, the choices were quite close and required careful examination.

There were 5 vocabulary questions - identification of pairs of synonyms and antonyms. Though the words were large (such as appalling, excruciating, superfluous, construe, and so on) they are in regular use and frequent readers would have come across most of them.

There were 5 Paragraph Formation Questions, of 5 sentences each. These were difficult, requiring identification of the theme sentence and grasp of idea-flow.

There was a Close test passage on the recession, with 10 blanks to be filled with appropriate words picked from the choices. 3 were easy picks, 5 were of moderate difficulty, while 2 were difficult because of the closeness of the options.

There were 10 sentence correction questions, comprising of long sentences with multiple errors. Various aspects of grammar were tested. These questions were difficult and time-consuming, requiring familiarity with and application of the rules of grammar.

Descriptive Writing:

There were five different types of questions in Descriptive Writing. The topics given indicate that the candidates were expected to display not only effective expression but also general awareness and mature thinking. The candidates who had developed their skills through frequent writing practice would have been able to deal with these tasks adequately.

The first was a letter of 150 words, out of 3 choices given. They were not as simple as they seemed at first sight (the benefits of trekking, a college student seeking the parent's permission to join a college excursion, an employee seeking paternity leave of 10 days).

The next task was a paragraph of 150 words on a topic out of 3 given. All were matters of general awareness for a young adult (pertaining to the environment and society). The candidates needed to present essential information and detail as reasons in support of a viewpoint.

The third task was an essay of 250 words on a topic out of the 3 given. Here the candidates would have had to display a balanced perspective apart from awareness (of social, economic and business issues).

There was 1 precis task - a passage of about 450 words to be summarized in 150 - requiring candidates to display the ability to identify key ideas and theme and present these in brief, while retaining the idea-flow.

Apart from the above,a small passage on Reading Comprehension was given.This was followed by five questions.The questions had no choices.Students were asked to answer each of these questions in a line or two.