Saturday, June 27, 2015

Common written examinations conducted by IBPS

Banking is one of the most sought after career choice among the students at present. It is an entry into a well paid, secure and status career. Though it may appear that these jobs are meant for commerce/economics students but the factor is that majority of bank officers like probationary officers are from different streams of education namely – agriculture, engineering, medicine, dental etc.,  Though the public sector banks are now appointing management graduates. Chartered Accountants and Chartered Financial Analysts, bright graduates from any subject can get entry in the public sector banks through an All India Examination conducted by them; however, for probationary officer examinations are still for graduation from any stream – science/arts/commerce.

 The emergence of technology driven banks have broadened the scope and range of banking service and entry of financial institutions are into the short term lending business is resulting in needs for more professionals. Now banks are engaged in selling mutual fund products and insurance products. Apart from the above, they are dealing in securitization, business credit cards, consumer loans, housing loans, housing loans besides trading in gold and forex activities. Generally  banks look for people having good communication skills, good interpersonal skills and the ability to deal with customers in an effective manner, alert nature and basic knowledge of the banking industry (such quality is necessary for interview). On account of computerization of the entire functions in the banking industry, people with good computer knowledge are preferred much.

Career opportunities in banking sector:
In view of the facts as mentioned above, joining public sector banks as probationary officers or clerks or specialist officers on the basis of common written examinations conducted by IBPS – Institute of Banking Personnel Selection has become a stepping stone for the career growth in the banking industry

Eligibility criteria and general information about the examinations:
Degree in any discipline from a recognized University (Some banks prefer 60% or 55% in graduation and some banks prefer 60% in 12th examinations and 55% in graduation examinations.
Any equivalent qualifications recognized by Central Government. They should possess a certificate in computer literacy – however, some banks do not give much importance for computer literacy at the time of recruitment

Age: Minimum 21 years – Maximum 30 years. However, maximum age limit may vary in some cases. It may be 28 years, 29 or 30 years. The details can be found from the concerned websites

A candidate should be either a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal, a subject of Bhutan etc., The details are available in details in the websites.

Pattern of examinations:
The selection of banking personnel is based on the following criteria:

a.   Common written examinations: IBPS is conducting common written examination for candidates. The eligible candidates should furnish the details through online mode and the payment also has to be made through online mode only. The details are made available through IBPS websites
At present there are two examinations conducted by IBPA – Preliminary examination and final examination effective from 2015 onwards. The candidates should successfully complete the preliminary examination so that they become eligible to appear for final examinations.

In the case of preliminary examination there are three subjects namely – Reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude and General English. The candidates should score minimum marks in each subject apart from minimum overall score as prescribed by IBPS. Those who score the minimum marks in each subject apart from the minimum overall score become eligible to appear for final examinations conducted by IBPS

In  the case of final examination, there are five subjects namely – Reasoning ability, Quantitative aptitude, General English, General awareness with special preference to banking industry and Computer awareness.

An estimated composition of question paper is as detailed below:
Name of the subject
Number of questions
Time duration

Reasoning ability

Two hours

Quantitative aptitude
General English
General awareness
Computer awareness/Marketing aptitude
Descriptive English

One hour

Normally the question papers are in the above pattern; however, in the case of examinations conducted by IBPS for State Bank of India and associate banks, the pattern is slightly different. Anyhow the subject composition is the same for all examinations conducted for recruitment of clerks and officers in all banks.

Similarly the weightage given to the questions differ from one subject to another. For example, each question in reasoning ability carries one and half marks whereas each question in computer awareness carries half mark.

On the basis of marks obtained in the written examinations, a merit list is prepared and the selected candidates are called for group discussion and interview. This stage carries 50 marks divided as 20 marks for group discussion and 30 marks for interview.

Previous years’ question papers are available in the market for all subjects including preparation for interview.

Candidates who are willing to get recruited in banks should work hard and do as much practice tests as possible so that they are capable of answering the questions in the final examinations in a comfortable manner.

On account of more and more number of candidates are appearing for the examinations, there is tough competition and very few get the opportunity for being selected in banks.

Separate examinations are conducted by IBPS for the following categories:
01.                Clerks in nationalized banks
02.                Probationary officers in nationalized banks
03.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in nationalized banks
04.                Clerks in Regional Rural Banks
05.                Probationary officers in Regional Rural Banks
06.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in Regional Rural Banks
07.                Clerks in State Bank of India
08.                Probationary officers in State Bank of India
09.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in SBI
10.                Clerks in State Bank of India associate banks
11.                Probationary officers in State Bank of India associate banks
12.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in SBI associate banks
Candidates can very well appear for all examinations as detailed above and they have better opportunities for getting selected in anyone category
The score obtained in common written examination is valid for one year and the candidate can appear for the interview for the concerned category within the period for one or more banks. Nowadays IBPS is conducting interview process collectively for all nationalized banks and not individually.

Apart from the above, separate examinations followed by interview are also conducted by IBPS for recruitment as assistants, administrative and field officers in public sector insurance companies. The examination pattern is similar to banks and in the case of general awareness, more number of questions will be on insurance matters. 

How to prepare for competitive examinations?

Competitive examinations are entirely different from regular semester or term end examinations conducted in schools and colleges.  When a student comes out successful in term end examinations or semester examinations, he is awarded with a certificate for having completed the course. However, when it comes to competitive examinations of any type namely; examinations conducted by Union Public Service Commission,  examinations for recruitment in Regional Rural Banks, examinations for recruitment in nationalized banks conducted by IBPS etc., the student has to master the techniques in getting as much marks as possible in the allotted subjects so that he is able to score better score and become eligible for the interview process. A student who had performed during his school or college days cannot be expected to perform in a better manner for competitive examinations.

Apart from the above, the recruitment boards are fixing age limits for selection of the candidates and as such the candidates are having lesser number of years within which they have to perform better in the examinations and get selected in any of job postings.

In the case of IBPS  Bank examinations, the combined examination is conducted taking into consideration four subjects namely; reasoning, quantitative aptitude, General English, general awareness and computer awareness. in respect of general awareness which normally consists of forty objective type questions, the questions are selected from  banking awareness and general knowledge with particular reference to recent happenings. It can be found that more than  60 to 70 percent of the questions are found to be from economics, finance, insurance, capital market and banking. Unless the student has pre hand knowledge on the above subjects, he may find it difficult to answer the questions on those topics.
Normally, the student should be in a position to attend 30 questions on banking/economics and the remaining 10 questions on current affairs provided the total numbers of questions on general awareness are estimated as 40.

In order to score better marks in general awareness, knowledge about various banking/insurance/mutual fund terms is a must and the student apart from reading a quality book should earmark most of his time in doing as much practice tests as possible in the above topics.

It is better that the students select a quality book consisting of practice test papers and do the exercise at home as many times as possible and in order  to  have sufficient knowledge on banking subjects for attempting the test papers the student should  read the subject point by point rather than on descriptive style.

For better practice the under mentioned tips can be followed up:
01.                Attempt one test each time. Fix a time limit of 15 minutes for attempting 30 questions and it is better to use a pencil instead of pen for marking the answers so that for practicing the questions for the second time, the pencil marks can be easily erased and the questions can be attempted any number of times. More practice makes the student more comfortable and he gains more confidence for appearing for the examinations.

02.                The students should check up with the answers provided after attempting one test and find out as to where they stand. In case of poor scoring, it means, they  have to improve their study efforts further.
For understanding the banking and related topics in a better manner, instead of reading many books, selectively one or two books consisting of update information can be referred.

In order to score better cut off mark on the written/computer based objective type tests, the three guidelines as mentioned below can be followed up:

01.                Instead of reading essay type information for banking and related topics, reading by way of bullet points is found to be much helpful for answering objective type questions. The student should always keep in his mind that the answer is already available in each question in anyone of the five options(a,b,c,d,e) and his job is to locate the exact answer and  this is possible only by the students who have been doing better homework in updating their knowledge from different sources and test practices. For attempting questions on general awareness, the student requires a good and strong memory power.

02.                It is better to refer previous year question papers as much as possible so that the student can have an idea  of the nature of questions asked.

03.                The student can get good marks by doing as much practice tests as possible in all subjects and the only short cut for scoring good cut off marks is “Hard work” and “Regular test practice” only. 

What would happen if the Earth stopped rotating?

We can confidently believe that such an incident will never happen. Earth is a small planet in the entire atmosphere. It finds a place in the atmosphere by means of its rotation since such rotation generates a magnetic force. The earth is connected with nearby and distant planets by means of the magnetic force generated.
In case the earth stops rotating, the following events may happen.
Plant life: All parts on the earth derives the source of light from sun and when there is no rotation, the plants on one side of the earth can get continuous supply of heat and they may virtually die within a couple of days. Likewise, the other side of the earth which is not visible to the sun gets no light or heat and the plants start losing their lives within a few days. When there is no rotation, there will be no movement of wind force and plants lose vital oxygen
Water: Water flows from one part of earth to another part since earth rotates. When there is no rotation, water stagnates in a single place and water on the dark side of earth starts freezing and such water is of no use to plants and other lives. Similarly water exposed to continuous heat becomes a vapor and such vapor mixes with air in the atmosphere.
Occupation: Once earth stops rotating, plants, human beings, animals, birds and insects do not get sufficient water, oxygen and food and they die soon. Even if humans start surviving, the pattern of occupation will change depending upon the place they live – either on the dark side of the earth or the bright side of earth.
Human Value: Humans suffer a lot for their survival and there can be no human value at all and human value exists only when people live in a peaceful situation.
Education: Humans try to find ways and means by which they can survive on earth and such learning will be an education for them.
Transport: The movement of objects takes place when there is gravitational force. Humans and other objects live on earth on account of gravitational force and when there is no rotation, there will not be any gravitational force and there can be no movement and transport can happen only when humans start living in the new situation and it can happen after millions of years only.

Season and climate: On account of more heat rain starts pouring. Now earth stops rotating. There may be more rains on the bright side of earth which is visible to sun and there may not be any rains and the places can be full of ice on the dark side of earth. People and other creatures can live on places which are nearer to both dark side of earth and bright side of earth.