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How to crack the IBPS Clerk exam

By Vaibhav Mehta
November 13, 2015 08:57 IST
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The exam will test candidates for English language, reasoning and numerical ability skills.

The entrance examination for recruitment of clerical positions in various public sector banks in India is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

The IBPS Clerk Prelims examination for the year 2015 is scheduled to be conducted on December 5, 6,12 and 13, 2015.

As per the official notification, the IBPS Clerk 2015 will be conducted in two phases -- Preliminary and Mains.

Those candidates who qualify in preliminary examination will be eligible for the mains exam.

More than 5 lakh candidates will be appearing for this exam, contesting hard for a handful of seats.

To make matters slightly easy, we have come with some preparation tips curated especially for IBPS Clerk Prelims by our group of experts.

The paper pattern

The IBPS Clerk Prelims will be conducted according to the following pattern:

Maximum marks: 100

Test duration: 1 Hour (60 minutes)


The test will contain three sections, namely:

English: 30 questions

Numerical Ability: 35 questions

Reasoning: 35 questions

The test will consist of 100 questions, with one mark awarded for each correct answer and 0.25 marks deducted for every wrong answer.


The second step in preparation is getting acquainted with the syllabus for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2015.

1. English Language

There will be 30 questions (easy to moderate difficulty) covering the following topics:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Cloze passage
  • Error spotting
  • Parajumbles
  • Vocabulary and Grammar

2. Reasoning

In the reasoning section of IBPS Clerk Prelims 35 questions will be asked across all difficulty levels, with most of the questions falling under moderate difficulty level.

The topics to be covered are:

  • Seating arrangement
  • Coding – Decoding
  • Syllogisms
  • Blood relations
  • Inequality
  • Miscellaneous (Puzzles, Data Sufficiency, Analogy,Ordering and Ranking, Directions)

3. Numerical Ability

Comparatively, the toughest section IBPS Clerk Prelims 2015.

The number of questions asked from Numerical Ability is 35, covering the following topics:

  • Ratio, Proportion
  • Percentage
  • Averages
  • Profit and Loss
  • Time and Work
  • Time Speed and Distance
  • Mixtures and Allegation
  • Simple Interest and Compound Interest
  • Data Interpretation
  • Permutation Combination
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Simplification
  • Number System

Preparation Tips

  • Starting today, digest the syllabus and pattern.
  • Go through each topic’s question. You will immediately reckon your likability for each topic. You will notice some topics are easy for you and some are a bit tedious.
  • Identify your strong and weak topics and write them down..
  • Focus most of your strength on sharpening your strength.
  • Start reading a book or any English literature for increasing your reading speed and improve your vocabulary
  • Go through individual concepts and solve basic questions.
  • Identify shortcuts and tips tricks for the topics in which you are strong.
  • Start using these new learned tips and tricks to solve questions.
  • Start giving full length and sectional mock tests.
  • Analyse your performance in mock tests and identify questions which are gobbling up most time.
  • Scour for previous year question papers and start solving them in time bound test.
  • If you find you are lagging with some marks, then focus on areas where you can increase your scores.
  • Keep practicing hard.
  • Never take suggestions from ‘Well-wishers’ and focus only on your preparation.

The day before the exam

If you have followed this preparation plan for IBPS Clerk Prelims, you have prepared exceptionally well.

Have no worries, get a sound sleep of eight hours and have light food. All the best for the next day!

We hope you find the above preparation tips useful.

Have questions about the  IBPS Clerk Prelims? Post them here!

The author of this piece, Vaibhav Mehta is education consultant at, a Bangalore–based online test-preparation company for government/PSU jobs.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Steven S/Creative Commons


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Vaibhav Mehta