Preparation Strategy for SBI PO 2019 | Step by Step Guide
One Question might be hitting your mind that should You start Preparing for SBI PO 2019.
A big ‘Yes’ in reply to your question!
Yes, you should start preparing for SBI PO 2019. The earlier, the better. However, I always urge every exam aspirant to prepare for an exam ‘realistically’.
Please read the complete answer with patience as it’s really important for you if you are preparing for SBI PO 2019 exam.
Let’s first understand what’s changed in past 2–3 years.
Before 2015, in every bank exam some specific sets of questions used to come and almost every serious exam aspirant used to score high in those days. But this has changed since SBI PO Mains 2016 in which the pattern of the questions changed to the level where maximum of the candidates found it difficult to score even 2–3 marks specially in Reasoning and English language section. Similarly, earlier if we talk about Pre level exam, the same pattern of questions used to be followed across various shifts and the candidates who used to have their exams in later shifts, always got an upper hand through memory based papers that get available on different websites only few hours after the 1st shift paper is held. But, this has also changed now and today, you don’t witness the same set of questions in two different shifts.
Now, the point is, if you are preparing for SBI PO in year 2019 which is hardly 90–120 days away, you must be very good at fundamentals so that even if pattern changes in real exam, you must be able to score higher than the rest.
Now, let’s talk about the strategy part.
Step 1. Get to know where you stand at present.
Have you ever observed how a team of army officers prepare themselves for a battle? They weigh every aspect of it, their strengths as well as weaknesses in terms of availability of men, weaponry, equipment or any other resource required to achieve the ultimate aim. Then, they go ahead and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their enemies as well. Believe you me friends, a competitive exam is no less than a battle today. So, if you are really a sincere aspirant, leave everything else and check where you stand at present if you take an SBI PO Pre Full length test today.
Step 2. Gauge the gaps you need to cover
When you go through your test performance analysis, keep a keen eye on the gaps you need to cover. For example, in percentile section, if you achieve a percentile more than 85, you can interpret it as a fair performance and you just need to keep on attempting mocks while keeping your focus on increasing your number of accurate attempts with every test. If it is between 70–90, you really need to work on your weak areas and accuracy part. And if at all it’s below 70%ile, I would suggest you to strengthen your fundamentals first before you plan to attempt any exam, whatsoever. I urge all of you not to have any fancy dreams like “I will have to crack SBI PO 2019, no matter what.” Believe me, this won’t help. If you have a strong base, are good at fundamentals, you’ll be through applying a right approach.” But, if you are consistently landing among 50–65%ilers, you sincerely need to work upon the basics first.
Step 3. Make a list of:
A. Topics that are of high weight-age and you are quite good at them.
For instance, let’s take Quantitative Aptitude section into consideration. In this, Data Interpretation or Simplification/Approximation are some of the topics that have high weight-age (10 or more marks) and you are also quite comfortable solving the questions from these topics.
Action to be taken: You just need to keep practising different types/levels of these questions every day with an aim to sharpen your skills.
B. Topics that are of high weight-age and you are weak in them.
These may be ‘Find the error’ in English language, ‘Floor based Puzzle’ in Reasoning section or ‘Caselet DI’ in Quantitative Aptitude section and you find it really difficult to gain marks out of them.
Action to be taken:
Invest at least 45 minutes every day to learn the basics of these topics and try building command over them over the time.
C. Topics that are of low weight-age and you are weak in them.
Let’s say you are not comfortable solving questions of ‘Probability’ or ‘Permutation & Combination’ and you are not so good at them either.
Action to be taken:
Truly speaking, if I were in your place and if I had an important exam after 45 days or so, I would never start anything new. Instead, I would focus more on the topics that come under type A and B mentioned above but as you are starting early you can give at least 30 minutes a day for such topics.
Pre vs Mains
Most of you tend to start preparing for Mains only after the completion of Pre exam. I believe, it’s not a sound strategy as after Pre you get less time to prepare for Mains. However, the other side of the coin is that you can only follow Mains before Pre, if and only if you are one among those who are above 90%ilers in mocks and are confident of their success in Pre. If you are not able to reach even the 60–70%ile in a mock test, you won’t be able to even think of Mains before Pre. It’s harsh but it’s true.
Insight # 1. The actual competition lies among the top 10%. As huge as 90% candidates are the ones that fall under one of the categories mentioned below:
I. People who fill form because everyone else is doing so.
II. People who apply for SBI PO because their parents want them to do so.
III. People who fill form because they just want a government job, no matter how different the syllabus and question pattern in Bank exams are from those of the rest of the exams.
This clearly, suggests that as a candidate you need not be a wizard of Quant, Reasoning or English language. You just need to be ‘a bit’ better than the rest. Mark my words - If you are constantly maintaining a percentile above 90 with an accuracy percentage between 85–95% in your mocks, nothing can daunt you.
Insight # 2. It’s mostly English language that makes the difference between a successful candidate and a failed one.
For past 8 years I have been observing one thing which is common among all the students who got selected in different Banks is the fact they all were good at English language. If you yourself could observe, you can deduce that the most changes in pattern that happen, happen in English language section only. So, if you are ‘naturally’ good at English language, you already have an upper hand over your peers as far as Bank exams are concerned. And if you are not, two things can still save you:
I. You must be a master of the other sections that can fetch you marks to reach the overall cut off marks. And
II. You must be good enough to reach the sectional cut off marks with high level of accuracy. Suppose, you just need 6–7 marks to achieve the cut off marks. Here, I won’t ever suggest you to attempt 20–25 questions out of your guess-work. Go through all the questions with patience and choose only 8–9 questions which you can answer correctly.
Insight # 3. Accuracy is the key to success in Bank Exams.
I have been laying stress on this aspect for past 2–3 years and those who got to understand this, have surely reaped great benefits.
Insight # 4. The tougher the exam, the easier it is for you to crack.
Yes! You read it absolutely right dear friends. Let’s understand how it goes.
In general, when you enter the exam hall, you get in with some specific goals on your mind. “I will attempt at least 30 questions in Reasoning.”, “No less than 30 in Quant is what I am aiming at.”, “I will definitely attempt at least 20 questions in English section.” There are a few examples of these set goals. Now, guess what? The exam starts and you find an absolutely different set of questions on your computer screen. 5 min passed with 2 attempts, next 5 min passed with only 5–6 questions attempted, and now you think you almost lost your chances. Last 10 min left and you, thinking it would help you fetch at least 3–4 more marks, decide to try your luck and started marking options randomly. The result is obvious, you fail to make it through.
Let’s now discuss another scenario.
You enter the exam hall with a mindset that you will answer the easiest questions first, attempt every question on its merit and will never attempt a question if you are not sure of its answer. The exam starts and you experience a complete change in pattern but you don’t panic because you understand the fact that if the pattern has changed for you, it must have changed for others as well. You, sticking to your strategy, try to pick the easiest set of questions first, no matter in what number they are there in the paper. Then you move to the next level of questions and if you find them too difficult to solve, you just leave them un-attempted.
So, the point is - It is actually easier to reach on top (in terms of percentile) in a tough exam because when an exam gets tough, the weak panic and make mistakes and the wise make the most of such an opportunity by staying calm and playing strategically.
I think I have covered a lot of ground here. In this answer of mine, I am not going to write on how to improve English language, how to be good at Quantitative Aptitude, what sources to follow, etc. You can browse through my previously written answers in which I have tried covering all these points in detail.
If you have anything specific to discuss, please feel free to drop a message. I will try to answer your queries to the best of my ability.
“Cracking an exam is more about ‘strategy’ than sheer ‘hard-work’.
All the best!
Mention in comment if you need any help!