How to Best Utilize 20 minutes in each Section In IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020: What to start and What to leave?

The major concern of every aspirant who is appearing for the banking exam is time management. As we all know that every banking exam has a certain time duration/sectional duration in which the candidate is supposed to attempt the questions. Just like the upcoming banking exam of IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020 that is scheduled to be held on 5th, 12th, and 13 December 2020 also has a sectional time duration of 20 minutes each. That means that the candidate has to attempt the questions in each section in 20 minutes of time duration. In this article, we will be discussing how aspirants can utilize these 20 minutes and ensure scoring good marks. Let us first look at the detailed exam pattern of IBPS Clerk 2020.

IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020: Exam Pattern


Name of Tests(Objective)

No. of Questions

Maximum Marks



English Language



20 minutes


Quantitative Aptitude



20 minutes


Reasoning Ability



20 minutes





60 minutes 

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How to Best utilize 20 minutes in each section?

In the banking exams,, the candidates have to take out time for reading and answering the questions within the given time frame. This can be a big hurdle between them and good marks as some of the questions attempted by them in a hurry can cause them negative markings. Let us discuss how they can best utilize these 20 minutes in each section.

What to Attempt first?

The best way to utilize time is to prioritize those questions which the candidate thinks are easier than others and can be solved quickly. Let us look at this section-wise

English language: In this section, fill in the blanks, para jumbles, cloze test, are some of the topics that A candidate can attempt quickly without consuming time. As far as topics like spotting error and reading comprehension are concerned candidates should attend to these questions afterward as they are more time-consuming and they might hamper the time utilization.

Reasoning ability: This section is time-consuming but there are some topics like blood relations, coding-decoding which can be solved easily if the candidate has thorough practice. Other topics like sitting arrangement and problem solving can be attempted afterward as they are a bit more time-consuming.

Quantitative aptitude: As we all know that this section is based on The practice of the candidate. Candidates need to choose questions that they can solve easily and attempt them first. Stressing over questions that are difficult to solve will only kill time.

What to Leave?

There is always a situation where the aspirant is stuck in a dilemma while solving the question of whether he/she should leave it unattempted. Let us have a look at some situations where a candidate must leave the question not only to save time but also to prevent any deduction of marks.

  • More time-consuming questions shall be attempted at last because they might consume time that could be invested in other questions.
  • Questions over which a candidate is unsure. If a candidate is not confident while solving a question he/she might be on the edge of losing marks that is why it is always feasible to save marks and leave the question.
  • Questions that a candidate thinks are out of the concepts that he/she has studied so far then there are the majority of chances that he/she is going towards negative markings. That is why the candidate needs to leave that question and move on to another.

Keeping the above situations in mind candidates can make sure that they attempt the questions correctly and utilize the time given for each section.

Why is time management important?

Time management is very important in not only the banking exams but also in every competitive exam. Let us discuss some points on why time management is important in banking exams:

  • In the banking exam, there is always a time duration that is given to the candidates in which they have to attempt the questions. Time management will ensure that the candidates do not go off-track and miss out on questions.
  • There are some situations where candidates leave questions on attempted in which they could have scored well. This leads to the downfall of their overall score. That is why it is important to manage time in the banking exams so that no scoring question is left un-attempted.
  • Time management also prevents negative markings. If a candidate is investing most of his time on a single question for which he is unsure, with the ability to manage time he can leave that question which might have caused him negative marking, and try to attempt questions that are more scoring.

Utilizing time in banking exams will not only make sure that the candidates perform well within the time limit but will also ensure that they score maximum marks in the exam.