Success Story of Abhay Sharma Selected in IBPS PO 2019 Says “If you are good at heart and positive in attitude, no one can stop you even in this harsh world.”

| Updated On June 2nd, 2020 at 05:20 pm

Hello Everyone,

My Name is Abhay Sharma, I am an average student with perseverance and dedication. This was my First Attempt and also my 1st serious attempt at any Bank Exam. (Previously gave SBI PO and Canara PO just for self-evaluation). My story till graduation remained the same as most of the Indian teenagers. 10th–>Maths Science–> (Failed in IIT and AIEEE)–> Got admission in Private Engg College (Computer Science). Then I decided to take my Govt. Job aspiration seriously– opted to study for UPSC during graduation. But not everything happens as per your aspirations. I got selected in TCS via Campus Placement- cleared written (Quants+ Reasoning+ English ) test of all 3 companies I appeared for. My average knowledge helped me do that. I Joined TCS and worked as ASE for 1.5 years (I can call it the best experience in my life– Trivandrum–>Kolkata– One of the most contrasting places in India to be, in terms of development and Human Development). The experiences of both places initiated a debate within me – Are these cubicles of the IT sector will be my life or I want to change something around me, outside of the cubicle. I decided to choose the latter.

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But you need to have a reality check before you take big decisions like these. For eg. I was earning a handsome amount; I will be unemployed, with no source money for enjoying the way I was enjoying luxuries at that time and most important of them all— Am I capable of clearing the Govt exams which in today’s India gives anyone chills, on seeing the number of applicants. So I decided to give SBI PO in 2017-with little bit preparation– didn’t clear the Prelims but by some margin of 4 marks. This boosted me that with proper preparation I will clear Banking exams at least.

resigned on 2nd October 2017 with the strategy that I will prepare with all my heart for UPSC but If I fail than Banking will become my Safety Net. From New years eve of 2018, with a dedicated mindset of clearing the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2018, I started my preparation. In between, I wanted to give another reality check to myself- gave Canara Bank PO exam, the result– failed but the margin of failure was 15 marks – Not bad with no preparation. 

Now came the testing time- appeared for UPSC CSE 2018--(prepared at my home- with no guidance)– was unable to crack it– missed cutoff by 12 marks— Got 84/200. This was not bad at all with self-preparation of 5 months (at least today I can say that) #POSITIVITY. After that, I went to Bangalore for IAS preparation– got completely indulged in it– Ya it has CSAT paper but 33% is what is required to qualify it. 1 year of no preparation for Quants, Reasoning at all. I appeared for CSE Prelims 2019– cleared it by at least margin of 15 marks. I was going to write mains– this confidence can make you feel Overpowered. But I was aware of the Dangerous consequences of what can go wrong in all this (ie– failure in the interview even by 1 marks will start a completely new cycle of the whole year of preparation and appearing for UPSC). This awareness led me to fill the form of IBPS PO 2019 (Today I think so this was one of the best decisions I have taken). I gave UPSC Mains exam with my full preparation (last half of September). Post that I wanted to relax as the UPSC exam process makes your brain feel tired. I did not focus on IBPS PO pre-preparation. I just went and gave the exam– to my surprise- I cleared it( ENGLISH was my savior). But here comes the catch– I was too confident of my UPSC selection at that time that I took PO mains lightly but not that lightly. I opted for a crash course by Bankersadda and used my analysis and Reasoning. I gave the PO mains exam and after coming out of examination hall I was not feeling content with my performance. BUT when I saw Good attempts -subject wise I was able to gain some of my confidence back. After that, it was all about waiting for results of UPSC Mains-but Time tests you, the result got delayed due to some court case. But here comes the surprise for me, the result of IBPS PO mains came before UPSC- I was selected for Interview (that was pleasant for me as at least my backup plan was working).

But here comes the date 15/01/2020- I would say one of the toughest days of my life— at 5 AM in the morning I opened the UPSC website just to check the declaration of result out of curiosity and YES this curiosity ruined my whole month of January. My roll no was not on the holy PDF. I was devastated, this was the nightmare that used to haunt me. For the next 2 weeks, I was not in any mood other than thinking of what blunder I had made. But I have to recollect myself for IBPS interview and I did (PERSEVERANCE and SITUATIONAL AWARENESS), gave the interview with whatever confidence I was able to show to the Panel. It was a nice conversation in the end. After the interview, I left again for Bangalore for further preparation of UPSC.

In March, the mains scorecard came, I got 92.13 which is 20+ marks more than cutoff, this gave me some hope regarding positive results from IBPS. And Yes my strategy was up to the mark, providing dividends for my investment. I think so, this behavior of strategizing and analyzing any exam, originated in me because of the nature of the UPSC Civil Services Exam. (With huge syllabus along with no boundaries and unpredictability of exam– you have to strategize and analyze)


My strategy is more about using your analyzing ability than doing Hard work with no analysis

First of all, you have to analyze the Exam, the pattern, scheme, and Previous year Question Papers and pattern of Questions also ( additionally- look at the cutoff to understand- difficulty)— here you have to use the REAL reasoning. Now after this, You have to identify and understand your strengths and weaknesses. When you combine these two, you will be able to create a strategy that will be near perfect for you. But in this whole process, you have to be HONEST with yourself because blunders in self-analysis will spoil every hard work and efficiency of you. The base must be strong and honesty with yourself will make it stronger.

My Score Card
  • Prelims
  • Mains

  • Final Result

MY FINDINGS- Subject wise:-

Quantitative Aptitude:- This was my weakness as I was not able to do practice and my speed of solving question is not even average

For prelims– I gave free hand to myself- for the first 3 min in 20 mins – I selected the questions which I can solve correctly- and I solved those Ques. only

For Mains- You know cutoffs from the past two years were around 4-6 marks My weakness in Quants will not hamper me here much– I can concentrate on 5 to 10 Question only for whole time slot— Again 5 mins I utilized for finding these 10 Question— I chose the simple BAR Graph Question- did all 5 Questions of it– 10 marks done– cutoff cleared– tried 2 more but they came out to be wrong

Reasoning Ability:- I can weigh Myself as average in this 

For Prelims-– 3 mins for selecting Questions– rest time to solve

For Mains-– 5 mins for selecting Question– rest to solve

But here comes the catch– I didn’t practice Questions but only saw videos of Crash course of Bankers Adda–from it- The thing I analyzed was — If variables are more than 3, I cannot solve puzzles in stipulated time and this can lead to wastage of my time.

I did not attempt any Puzzle in my Mains Exam– I did all standalone 16 Questions– and Yes, I was confident in those as I got my answers matched with the options– All 16 I did come out to be correct.

English Language:- I weigh myself- Above average

The strongest point for me– I cleared this exam mainly because of my English – I have no shame in stating that But be confident in your preparation, not overconfident— you have to analyze and view the type and structures of the question so no surprise welcomes you in mains exam

General Awareness- as an UPSC aspirant- I was knowing some facts and Economy basics– the average I watched all videos of Bankers Adda crash course– I worked hard on this, like really because in UPSC concepts overpower Facts but here in Bank Exams- its completely reversed But I made a mistake– I prepared Current Affairs of 6 months ie May to October 2019– and did not focus on November Current Affairs-even I failed to recognize my intuition( I downloaded compilation but failed to go through it)–And in the exam, 50% Questions were related to November. I still attempted 32+ Q but my marks were not that much- only 20 marks — 

If I have to give this exam again- for this section I will strategize myself


    • Use your reasoning practically in an analysis of exam as well as your abilities- SWOT analysis
    • Be honest with yourself in the above process.
    • Don’t let your weakness hamper your strengths performance– ALL SUBJECTS ARE IMPORTANT– ALL MEANS ALL- ATLEAST CLEAR CUTOFF
    • Yes an Average student can do much better than a Brilliant student in this exam–(Strategy is the Key)
    • Give importance to all parts of Exam– OTHERWISE- failure may Shock you
    • Behave like humans in Exam— Follow Survival of Fittest by Darwin
      • You cannot do all questions in Reasoning and Quants -( if you are average)– FInd out the weakness of the Question Paper and strike there only
      • If you want to do everything– Many examples I can give you- of failures
    • You cannot do all questions in Reasoning and Quant -( if you are average)– Find out the weakness of the Question Paper and strike there only
    • There are only 1% people who have scored 25+ in quants– cutoff is 5.25
    • THESE PEOPLE are more INTELLIGENT or HARDWORKING than ME– BUT they failed in the most imp step ie to Strategize and analyze
    • Reason of Failure
      • Ignorance of GA
      • Overconfidence/ overdependence on Quants 

The Interview ( My Marks– 72-74)-BHOPAL

  • Again strategize — Your interview will be of minimum 5 mins to max 20 mins– in most cases, it is 10 mins
  • You have to understand- You are not going to be asked 200 words questions– You will get at max 1 min to reply for one question
  • They will ask at least 5-6 questions- you can calculate the equation
  • What to study—- 
    • Current Affairs-– any way you are reading them for other exams
    • Banking— Yes focus on this- But here also scope is limited — Eg Repo, Reverse Repo, RBI functions, NEFT RTGS, etc 
    • Watch Mock interview videos on Youtube
  • USE INTERNET wisely for your benefit— Not to chat on platforms 
  • The most important thing is CONFIDENCE— show your 2000% confidence in those 10-15 mins— answer in whatever language you are comfortable
  • Smile all the time- make them laugh if possible
  • Yes One or two people will try to Grill you there – But show patience – because they are there to do that- it’s their JOB
  • If you have prior experience of other Job– Yes this is the playfield for you– they will ask you from this — You have to be ready for hitting it for a boundary.
  • Dress properly– For Boys–Try to wear 2 piece suit- because It will make you look smart- even if you are not that much in your life
  • The posture gives to you- it instills confidence in you.
  • Be Chill – enjoy the experience– Outside my interview room before the interview
  •  Enjoy your day- don’t be nervous- They are there to select you and you have every reason to be confident as you are appearing for Interview after clearing two stages.


  •  See you all know what you want to do in life– all your marks in school, College become irrelevant when you appear for Government exams like these
    • So either you are born Einstein level intelligent(5% cases) or you have to be hardworking (95%)
    • But you can opt for SMART WORK– much needed in today’s cut-throat competition
  • Don’t get feared by the number of applicants in any exam— Not all are serious
    • Capitalism Lifestyle has made our nature– unsatisfied at everything
    • Some people have ambitions too (I am not judging anyone)
    • EG– UPSC form is filled by 10 lakh people- but only 5 lakh appears for it and in those 5 lakhs- at max 60,000 are preparing seriously for it
    • so your competition is with those 60000 people– but don’t take it lightly also. Since these 60k will die for their selection.
  • Don’t get demoralized by your failures or by successes of others-– you can always learn 
    • For example– If I won’t be able to clear UPSC in my available attempts, I won’t feel that I have wasted my youth in UPSC because UPSC’s preparation made it possible for me to clear IBPS with strategy than Hard work.
  • See in this era of Social Media– Everyone is using Article 19 of Indian Constitution (Freedom of Speech and Expression)
    • There are both Positivity and Negativity around you– And Negativity in present in much abundance 
    • Everyone is trying to climb over other– even if it requires unethical means like- bullying, demotivating, demoralizing, etc– BUT
    • You have to keep your focus- ignore such people and Believe in Yourself
  • Quote--” If you are good at heart and positive in attitude, no one can stop you even in this harsh word”

Thank You all, I hope You all be successful in your life. Most Important of all-– Make Your PARENTS Proud— they have lived with sacrifices to see the day when you will make them proud. (especially your Mother).

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