Saturday, June 27, 2015

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. 

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