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I am starting my story with a brief introduction of myself. I Abhay Tiwari, a B.com (Hons.) graduate in the year 2014. I didn’t know what to do after my graduation. Nobody was there to guide me so I started giving exams randomly. I had no knowledge of how many competitive and Professional exams are there and what should I go for and why? I knew only one thing that I need a good and a high profile job with lots of money and respect.
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After giving exams like CDS, SSC CHSL, ect. I decided to prepare for MBA. Enrolled in a institute and started preparation. After giving two attempts in XAT and IIFT, I thought Its not for me and also I can’t spend that much money for doing MBA (If I would have thought this before, my 2 years could have been saved – lack of guidance again).
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Started giving SSC and Bank exams in 2016 again. Could not clear a single prelims exam of SSC but cleared Pre exams of both IBPS PO and RRB PO, 2016. But as I had not thought of clearing these, when the result came I was surprised with the result and started celebrating it without thinking that this is just a PRE exam, not final selection. Result of my celebration was that I appeared in Mains but failed by 10-15 marks (don’t remember exactly).
At this stage I decided to fully focus on Banking Exams preparation as I gained some confidence after clearing PRE exams of both.
Just to have interest in study and get the feelings of competitive exam preparation, I enrolled in a institute.
I have appeared in following exams –
2016 – IBPS PO, IBPS RRB PO. = failed in mains
2017 – IBPS PO & Clerk, IBPS RRB PO & Clerk, one or two Insurance exams, and SBI PO. = failed in mains.
2018 – IBPS PO & Clerk (got interview call for IBPS PO but didn’t get final selection), IBPS RRB PO & Clerk (got final selection in RRB Clerk), SBI PO, SBI clerk.
2019 – SBI PO [missed selection in final list by 3 marks out of 100 = 109.75/225 In mains, 28/30 in PI, 7/20 in GD (missed selection just because of this)] – just 20-25 days before SBI PO mains exam I decided not to prepare for SBI PO mains but prepare for SBI clerk because I did not want to repeat the same mistake (running after the exam which is just 1-2 months away) which I had made in these years. I had 40 days approx. for SBI clerk so I started preparing for this and I got selection in SBI clerk. As I needed a job as soon as possible so I had to take this decision.
CWC – Got 89.75 in Pre, could not clear.
ESIC UDC – could not make it to final list.
EPFO ASO – failed in pre – got 93/100. – 1st exam of my life where I attempted 10 mock tests for Prelims.
EPFO SSA – could not make it to the final list because of a mistake in descriptive paper. Yet my attempt was good enough to get final selection.
LIC AAO – failed in Pre because I was not sure if I should guess in the paper as no negative marking was there. I did not guess a single question.
IBPS clerk ( cleared PRE but not attended mains) = Becos I am already selected in LIC, sbi, and RRB PO.
Exams in which I got selected
SBI CLERK (got selection and joined then resigned).
IBPS RRB PO (got selection but not attended DV Call letter) I had not prepared anything for this exam as I was bored of study by this time. If I had not been selected then I would have left Banking exam Preparation. Yet I got 21.31 marks more than the cut off marks. I attended Interview casually and got 57/100 in interview. Got Final Selection.
IBPS PO (got selected in mains but did not attended Interview) I don’t have interest in banking field, I just needed a job for base and I have got this (LIC) so I decided not to attend interview and waste a seat. I have got 17 marks more than cut off so if I had attended interview then I would have been selected here as well. (even if my interview goes average).
LIC Assistant – got final selection and working here now.
ALL THE ABOVE THING I HAVE WRITTEN WAS MY JOURNEY. NOW I WILL DISCUSS SOME POINTS WHICH MAY HELP SOME OF THE ASPIRANTS OF BANKING AND INSURANCE EXAMS.
- From the starting of my preparation, I was not fully focussed, I used to give 50-60% of my efficiency because I was not interested in Banking exams. This is the reason, It took 3 years to get a selection. = Always choose the field in which you are interested – getting selection would be very easy then.
- I have got my first selection in RRB clerk in 2018 January. Got DV call letter in June but after thinking about my future in RRB, I decided not join. Requested my family to give me 6 months time to get a better job than this. And finally within 6 months I got 4 jobs (SBI CLERK, RRB PO, LIC ASSISTANT AND IBPS PO), far better than RRB clerk. = Have confidence in your ability always.
- I have never attempted more than 5-6 mocks for pre and 3-4 mocks for mains for any exam. = but attempting mocks is very important. This shows you where you are, what mistakes you are making, correct those mistakes and move on.
How to prepare for banking and insurance exams and get final selection – according to my experience
- At first “decide what you want to be?” because if you get into a job where you don’t have interest then you would not be happy and again run behind your dream job/business (as i am doing now). So why not at first choose your dream job/business then work for it.
- Now you should make a plan for it (if you want to clear it as soon as possible – because without planing you will be wasting your time here and there and finally come to the same path so why not plan that path from the starting). Many people who spend 3-4 year in preparation (i was one of them) and finally quit it at the last stage where a little more effort is required to get selection. the main reason behind that is lack of planing, they don’t plan and just run behind the exams.
So plan for a exam which is at least 6-8 months away (if you are a beginner), according to me this is the least time in which one can clear exams like banking, insurance, ssc, etc. target your exam, plan your schedule, sources,etc and stick to it till you achieve your goal.
The reason I did not quit after 2-3 years was that I knew I am not giving my 100%, the day I will start giving my best, selection will be very near.
GA ( can be a game changer for them who are weak in other sections)
- The Indian Express/ The Hindu– any one – many aspirants ignore it as it takes time and also is sometimes boring to read but believe me, this helps in ga, essay, English, and GD and PI. Just read and make your own short notes and revise them, as examiner ask GA questions directly from news paper so even if you don’t remember the answer, sometimes it helps to guess correct answer if you have read newspaper.
in my case, in all the exams of 2019 i guessed many questions and got it correct just because i used to read news paper. = sbi clerk (100% sure – 29, guessed – 13, marks – 39), rrb po (100% sure – 18-19, guessed – 14-15, marks – 25.5), ibps po (100% sure – 6-7, guessed – 12-13, marks – 11), lic assistant (100% sure – 19, guessed – 24, marks – 24.75). as you can see, calculated guessing always fetches you positive marks but for that you will have to read news paper.
- Daily Current Affairs – Adda247- read daily news and note down news in digital mode, categorically (like, national news, international news, defence, etc – this helps in memorising things) so that at the end of the month you will have your own collection of current affairs from both newspaper and one website, like this you can cover most of the news and get ready. At last if you have more time then only go for any other sources, just to add on the missing news.
NOTE – categorically, in digital mode make your notes from both news paper and daily Current Affairs site (adda247). It helps very much in revision at the end of the month and also just before the exam. If you can not make digital notes then write it in copy but revise it 3-4 times. Revise all the notes 3-4 times to fetch good marks.
After revising these notes, if you have time left with you then go for study iq daily and best 200 MCQs.
At first I used to read English grammar book, vocab book/collection, etc. but nothing helped me much. In last 1-1.5 years of my preparation I used to read news paper (news and editorials both) and some mock tests and these two helped me immensely in English section. Now in most of the exams you just need to read and understand the para so if you read news paper you will develop your grammar, vocab, understanding, etc. No need to do anything else. But yes if you have time you can follow a good grammar book for basic clarity. And making notes of vocab and revising them depends on person to person so if you can you do it.
Puzzle is what I used to practice the most. So just have basic clarity of all the topics then go deeper into it, like find the shortest method for arriving at the answer. Your practice gives you the shortest way of your own to solve puzzles. So practice as much as you can. Have a target of practicing daily atleast 5-6 puzzle and 1 other topic (syllogs, coding-decoding,etc.)
This is the section where if you just have your basics clear then you can fetch good marks. no need to learn so many formulas. Just work on your basics. and practice basic calculations daily for ½-1 hour.
I never practiced much for this section. The only thing which I did was basic calculation practice and have my basics clear. Then attempting mock and analysing them is must. Without analysing you will loose much marks in this section. I used to get maximum marks from this section only. In IBPS PO 2019 also I attempted 14 questions of 2 marks and got 28 marks. And before IBPS PO 2019 exam I had not practiced maths from last 2-3 months.
Conclusion – I used to read news paper with much focus, read editorials and try to understand them, write editorials in your own words (helps for descriptive part), practice puzzle and 1 other topics of reasoning daily. ½ hour basic calculation practice, nothing special for English, and taking mock and analysing them.
Attempt less mock but analyse all the mocks with concentration.
I used to attempt one mock of mains and analyse it in two days. (as this was a boring task for me).
When analysing mocks –
Attempt all the questions of every section again with a stopwatch in your front. Write the time you took to attempt every question and then compare them with your real time you took to attempt in the mock. By this method you will get to know where you are wasting your time. Sometimes our speed in the real mock is less as compared to when we attempt the same question normally. The pressure on mind when we take mock is the reason behind it. By this method you can increase your speed and get know where you are lacking while attempt real mock. And this will fetch you 20-25 marks extra. You can try it.