IBPS Clerk Quantitative Aptitude – How to Prepare for it?


Institute of Banking Personnel conducts several employment examinations every year and one of them is IBPS Clerk. IBPS selects candidates for Clerical Level Jobs offered by various banks under it.

IBPS clerk examination does not feature very high level questions, but the enormous competition for this exam makes it difficult. More than 40 lakh candidates apply for this examination, and the number of seats is generally a few thousand. Therefore, without much change in the difficulty level, this examination is becoming harder and harder to crack every year.

Quantitative Aptitude section is an important part of all entrance and employment examinations, and so is for IBPS Clerk. According to the latest examination pattern, 35 out of 100 questions in the preliminary examination and 50 out 190 questions in Mains examination will be from Quantitative Aptitude. Since candidates need to clear the sectional cut off for each part, preparing properly for Quantitative Aptitude section is essential.

So to help you crack the Quantitative Aptitude Section of IBPS Clerk Exam, we bring you some important tips and tricks.

Identify the break-up of questions

Although the syllabus has a reasonable number of topics for the QA section of IBPS clerk, but still a candidate must understand the importance of each topic for the exam. Thankfully, the topic wise distribution of questions in both Preliminary and Mains examination of IBPS Clerk has not been changing much over the years. Take a look to the following table to understand the break-up of questions in both stages of exam –

ChapterQuestions Asked
Number Series5
Quadratic Equations5
Data Interpretation5-10

ChapterQuestions Asked
Number Series3-5
Data Sufficiency1-5
Data Interpretation5-10
Number System1-3
Permutation-Combination and Probability1-3

Solve past year papers

Solving past year IBPS papers is a must. These papers are not only the best source of practice, but they also help you in identifying the relevant questions to practice.

Solving past year papers is a good tactical advantage as it will help you identify the trend of the type of questions being asked. Therefore, try solving past year papers of at least 10 years. You can find them online or buy books which contain such questions in specific.

Identify your comfort zone

Identifying your areas of strength is very important. Someone might be good at Arithmetic problems, while some are good at DI, or simplification. The fact is that in order to succeed, you need to ensure almost a perfect level of accuracy in the topics which you are strong at.

Since the cutoff is generally high, you also need to ensure that the circle of your comfort zone is not a small one. So identify your strengths, make them stronger and try converting your weaknesses into strengths.

Develop your strategy

It is very important to have your own strategy in mind while going for the exam, whether it is the preliminary or the mains exam. In preliminary exam, you are given a composite time of 1 hour, so you must make sure that you give adequate time to all 3 sections.

QA is a scoring opportunity for some, while for some it is just a matter of clearing the sectional cutoff. Both the things work in your favour if you clear the cutoff. The point is to understand how you are going to approach the paper and how you will clear the required cutoff. Therefore, do prepare a strategy to ensure maximum success.

Take regular mocks

Preparing with mocks has n number of benefits. They replicate the actual exam-like condition for you, help you identify your preparation level and help you develop a proper strategy.

Therefore, it is quite necessary that you take adequate amount of mocks. Ideally, one should take round 10 mocks each for preliminary and mains examinations. Website like Cracku, Oliveboard and Testfunda provide some good quality mocks for IBPS Clerk examination.

Building speed is necessary

A total of 100 questions in 60 minutes in preliminary examination (all 3 sections combined), and 50 QA questions in 45 minutes in mains examination; this means that time per question is less than one minute.

Therefore, if you do not have speed in solving questions, you can never succeed in this exam. Therefore, try building speed in solving QA questions. Practicing with mocks is the best way to increase speed.

Be smart, but avoid risky shortcuts

Many candidates tend to cram a lot of shortcuts to build speed. However, the problem is that you can have a lot of shortcuts for a single topic, which makes it difficult to remember.

Also, many shortcuts are question-specific, and if you applied them on other than the specified type of question, they won’t work. Therefore, rather than resorting to a lot of shortcuts, go for conceptual learning and identify smarter ways of solving the questions. Mugging up shortcuts is surely not a very good strategy.

Make notes and revise them periodically

Preparing notes is a healthy habit to succeed in any competitive examination. There are some specific concepts which one needs to remember in topics like Mensuration, Quadratic Equations, Algebra and arithmetic.

Therefore, to keep rules of these chapters in mind, you should make a notebook listing all these rules. Re-read this notebook a multiple times to make sure that you don’t forget a single basic thing.

Try avoiding pen and paper

While trying to solve questions really fast, using pen and paper can decrease your speed per question. Therefore you must try that you solve the questions without using pen and paper.

This will not only reduce your time per question, but will also help you keep your energy level balanced throughout the exam. Therefore, although it is allowed, but try to avoid using pen and paper.

Faster Calculation is always an advantage

There are some questions which are entirely calculation based, rather than being logic based. So if you have a faster calculation speed, it will always benefit you.

On the other hand, if you have a below average calculation speed, chances of you succeeding in the QA section are very low. So if you take 30 seconds to find 33% of 150, of 169/5, and other candidates are taking just 5 seconds, then you know that they are going to score better.

Therefore, do spend some time in improving your calculation speed, and you will see how it benefits you.

Online sources can prove handy

Although it is necessary to start by solving questions from basic books designed for IBPS QA preparation, but there are many online sources as well which provide excellent content.

You can access these online tools in both the phases of preparation – while learning the concepts and while practicing. On YouTube, there are channels like Unacademy, Study IQ and WiFi study which can help you with your preparation. Apart from this, you can use websites like Adda247, Testbook and Oliveboard. ‘

Speed, Accuracy and Confidence are the three most important attributes to clear IBPS clerk exam. Also, smart work has also become an integral part of preparation. Competition is huge, but it does not mean that you can’t crack this exam. So this year, prepare well and make sure you get the job you desire. Good Luck!

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