14 Step Guide to be Bank PO Success Story Part IIf you are a Bank PO aspirant, you will surely be interested in taking the SBI PO and IBPS PO exams. You could study blindly for the exams, and roll the dice. You may or may not be successful. To give yourself the advantage you need to be prepared with both the complete syllabus and a good strategy. The best way to build a successful strategy is to ask those who have used it effectively to get recruited as Probationary Officers in SBI and IBPS affiliated banks. We collected the experiences of some of the success stories from Testbook users. There are successful aspirants's own account, as to how they prepared, which I have compiled and presented.Credits: Jit Saha, Shivam Verma, Nilaksh Bansal, Bharadwaja Surya, Siddharth Jain, Neha Patial#1. BE MENTALLY PREPARED AT THE OUTSETIs it hard to get there? To become a Bank PO.There is fierce competition to get this job. This can be gauged from the fact that approx. 1 in 1100 students or may be even fewer than that get selected finally. So it was a really, really, tough nut to crack!That being said, it was definitely achievable. With a good plan in mind, it’s possible to crack this exam in 2-3 months. Practice is the key.Being an IT employee, it was a little troublesome for me to appear in paper-and-pen mock tests. I had to be in office on weekends. But “getting digital is the way”.However, the hardest part for me was not the preparation or the exam time. It was the stress that I had to deal with and the wait for results. #2. LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WELLSBI PO 2022 was a test of time. How did you manage it?Mocks! Loads of them! After a good amount of practice, I got to know the areas which take me more time and those which take less. Then I could distribute my time accordingly in subsequent mocks. During my practice with mock tests I always set a target to attempt more questions even if I had to compromise with accuracy at first. Gradually, I started focusing on accuracy. This helped me answer more questions accurately.Once I became confident about my speed, I began to focus on accuracy in other ways. This exam is not just about knowing what to attempt but also about identifying what to skip. You must have the ability to glance through the question and be able to skip it if it seems too lengthy. If you develop this ability, then time won’t be a major obstacle.The order in which you answer the sections is important. I always started off with English because I was aware of the fact that this section is a score booster. I always wanted to answer it with a fresh mind to maximize my score. It allowed me to minimize silly mistakes. To figure out how much time to devote to each section, I solved previous years• question papers. While writing mock tests I stuck to this approximate time limit for each section, no matter how many questions I was able to attempt.Working under deadlines also helped me a lot. I started to enjoy pressure. In fact, I give my best when I am under pressure. But, SBI PO is hardly a cakewalk. I tried to make a balance by choosing an effective way online. I joined Testbook and started to solve regular quizzes on the Testbook app.Overall, it is very important to hold your nerves, not to panic and just enjoy your attempt. #3. FIND THE CORRECT PRELIMS STRATEGYWhat strategy did you apply in the days leading up to prelims?First of all, I glanced through previous years• questions. From this I got an idea about the major topics asked. Then I took all the free Mock Test provided by Testbook. Then I finished the major topics which were less time consuming but were more scoring. I completed all this inside a month and started giving the remaining mock tests.I gave as many mock tests as possible. I solved anywhere from one test per day to three per day. This number shot up to 5-7 mock tests in the last 5 days before prelims. This helped me to be in the rhythm of solving questions. All the while, I did not focus on a single subject but all three at the same time.Analysis of Mocks was the most important part. I went through all the solutions for all questions. I went through the analysis of my performance to understand where I needed to improve. I also avoided those tests that were being difficult for the sake of it. Good marks in mock tests helped build my confidence.#4. GET THE RIGHT RESOURCESWhat all resources did you use to prepare for the exam?Online Sources: Testbook (For mock tests (especially solutions), practice on app, CA capsules, other blog posts)Bankers Adda - IBPS PO, SBI, RRB (For capsules)Investopedia (For understanding banking topics)The Hindu e-paperWhatsapp groupsYoutube channels Offline Sources:RS Aggarwal for QuantFast Track Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma (for shortcuts)Kiran Practice PapersArihant Booklet for Computers and Marketing (just in case) #5. GET SUFFICIENT PRACTICEWhat do you think is the optimum number of mock tests one should take to prepare for the exam? Is it advisable to take more number of sectional tests or full lengths?There is no optimum number. There’s no point in solving mocks if you don’t keep track of your shortcomings and improve them. But I solved more than 20-25 tests for Mains and same for prelims. Your number will vary • take mock tests till you are confident enough to face the exams. Confident means till you start to score 10-15 marks more than previous year’s cutoff.Both sectional and full length tests have their own merits. It would be better to attempt few sectional tests before full tests to get comfortable with each section. Then attempt full length tests. To improve your strategy in any one section, come back to sectional tests. Sectional tests are also easy to practice because one may not like to invest 1 hour at a time. You can invest 20 minutes and can finish the task in intervals. Sectional tests also improve time management because you are restricted to use only 20 minutes.#6. MAKE AN OVERALL PLANHow did you tackle the whole syllabus?It is practically impossible to attempt 200 questions. In fact, I found it difficult to read even 150 questions. So I first identified which topics have to be completely left out. Then I identified some topics like Syllogisms, Input-Output, Inequalities, Quadratic Equations etc. which are easy and can be done with good speed. This is how the syllabus has to be managed. Eventually, get to the tougher chapters.#7. BETTER YOUR STRATEGY FOR MAINS AFTER PRELIMSWhat strategy did you apply in the days leading up to Mains?I analysed my Prelims performance and figured out what was lacking. I worked on my problem areas to make sure I did not get stuck in the same places.Mains require even more practice. Calculation speed has to be blazing fast so worked upon it. I learnt some quick calculation techniques. Tried to read newspapers at a fast pace with understanding to attempt passage questions in minimum time.I gave even more Mock tests and read General Awareness capsules. I gave 2 tests per day for mains, and I analysed each test and went through the solutions after. I studied current affairs and banking awareness in the time in between.Apart from all these, I am grateful to some of my friends who were the part and parcel of my journey to SBI. I created a whatsapp group and kept adding guys with similar mindsets. We discussed whatever questions we got stuck on. This not only created a great bond amongst us but also enriched our knowledge. The name of our group is “Destination Success” where we are just a family trying to help each other maximize our capabilities.Read Part II of the 14 Step Guide to be a PO Success Story to get specific tips for each subject and Mains PreparationGood Luck!