Editorial Articles

Volume-5, 5-11 May, 2018

BANKING - A Career to Bank Upon

Usha Albuquerque &
Nidhi Prasad

Banks are the backbone of a country's economy. Banking has emerged as one of the most preferred career options among the young generation today. Moreover, technology has transformed the global 24x7 world of banking and financial services in terms of new products, more sophisticated customers and changing cost structures. This along with the widespread use of computer technologies and applications have all combined to transform the structure of the banking industry. The Internet has emerged as an important medium for delivery of banking products and services such as net banking, funds transfer, use of ATMs, mobile banking etc, so it is not surprising that this highly charged environment has transformed many banks creating increased opportunities for those with both financial and digital skills.
Banking careers include personal banking and loan officers, relationship managers, wealth advisory, book keeping professionals, auditing clerks, finance service representatives to name a few. For the beginners, it is the first step towards understanding the global economy, discovering the challenges of the marketplace and identifying themselves with a career that provides them with tremendous opportunities, both within the country and abroad.With new banks coming up every year owing to privatization of services, the industry indeed provides sufficient room for graduates of any field.
Banking is a career that offers opportunities to students from all streams, be it humanities, commerce or science. However, to make a career in banking, you must be good at numbers, that is, your mathematics must be strong enough to interpret and analyze numerical data.Job opportunities for graduates and post-graduates in banking are excellent in India. Once you complete a professional course in banking, you will be offered a position with private banks.
The banks conduct written tests and interviews to recruit aspirants to their firm. There are two levels of bank recruitment - Clerical and Probationary Officer. There are a lot of job opportunities for plus two passouts as well. The Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India conduct examinations for Probationary Officer posts every year.The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts recruitment examination for filling up vacancies of probationary officers in all the public sector banks of India. IBPS is conducting two tests per year for recruiting aspirants to the nationalized banks in the clerical cadre. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) conducts recruitment examination for its Grade-A and Grade-B officers. Several other private and public-sector banks also conduct tests for recruiting candidates to the clerical and managerial cadres.
After becoming a graduate in Arts/Science/Commerce one can do Post Graduate Diploma in Banking or you can do MBA Finance & Banking, or MBA Banking from reputed B Schools in India. After pursuing professional courses like CA, CMA, CS, LLB, also you can join banks.
Eligibility criteria in banking sector jobs:
For IBPS Officer's exams and NABARD the minimum eligibility criteria is graduation degree in any stream from a University recognized by the Govt. of India or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government.
For SBI and SBI associate banks the eligibility criteria for Bank PO Exams is a degree in any discipline from a recognized university and for Clerical grade exam Minimum 12 standard (10+2) or equivalent qualification or Diploma Course passed after Xth with minimum of 60% marks or degree graduation level from a recognized university. Along with a basic qualification, banks also  require aspirants to have basic computer knowledge and proficiency in language.
*Bank Probationary Officer (Bank PO): This is a managerial position in a bank. After the essential 1 to 2-year training, candidates are designated as Assistant Managers (AM) or Deputy Managers (DM).
*Bank Clerks: As the name suggests, this is a clerical position in the bank and can be considered as entry level job in a bank
*Specialist Officers (SO): Banks also hire candidates for specialist profiles like - IT Officer, HR Officer, Marketing Officer, Finance Officer, Law Officer, Agriculture Officer etc.
*Communication skills.
*Problem solving.
*Customer service.
*Numeracy skills.
*Organisation and time management.
*Leadership and team management.
For joining government banks, one needs to appear for entrance exams after graduation. IBPS, NABARD and SBI conduct exams for vacant bank positions.  Mostly, private banks conduct their own written exam for hiring candidates.
One must clear a CWE (Common Written Examination) conducted by IBPS for 19 public sector banks. RBI, SBI and Private banks have their own separate examinations as per requirements and vacancies of the bank.
Lakhs of aspirants appear for Bank Exams like IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, IBPS RRB, SBI PO, RBI Grade etc. to get placed in one of the reputed banks of the country every year. These bank exams are conducted at national level throughout the year. Candidates who aspire for a banking career must be aware about all the Banking exams and start preparing.
In the last few years, the IBPS exam (CWE 7) for hiring candidates was held online. The exam was in two parts: Tier 1 or IBPS Preliminary Exam and Tier 2 or IBPS Mains Exam.
IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern
The IBPS PO preliminary examination is of one hour duration and is conducted online. It has 3 sections having 100 questions in total with a maximum score of 100 marks. There is negative marking in IBPS PO pre exam as 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer. Candidates must clear the sectional cut-off to qualify for the IBPS PO Main exam.
*English Language
*Numerical Ability
*Reasoning Ability
IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern
IBPS has added descriptive paper in its mains exam.
The IBPS PO Main exam is also held online; it has 4 sections having a total score of 200 marks of 180 minutes duration and descriptive paper 1 section having a total score of 25 marks of 30 minutes duration.
The IBPS exam will have 5 sections and the time limit for attempting each of the five sections is different, but the total time duration is 180 minutes for objective and  30 minutes for descriptive. The candidates must attempt the sections in the same order and within the allotted time fixed by the examining body. The candidate can not leave the existing section before the time allotted. The next section can only be attempted after the current section is completed. There is a negative marking with a deduction of 0.25 marks for every mistake.
*Reasoning and Computer Aptitude
*General/Economy/Banking Awareness
*English Language
*Data Analysis & Interpretation
IBPS PO Interview
The candidates who have qualified the mains exam will be called for an interview which will carry 100 marks. To qualify for the interview a candidate is required to score 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates).
The merit list is prepared on the basis of marks obtained in main examination and interview. IBPS works out the final score with weightage of marks given to the main examination and interview in the ratio of 80:20 respectively.
Penalty for Wrong Answers:
A penalty for every incorrect answer is marked in the Objective Tests of both Preliminary and Mains exams. Every wrong answer is penalized by deducting 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question. There is no penalty for leaving a question blank, i.e. in case no answer is marked by the candidate.
Final Score Calculation for IBPS PO Exam:
There are certain important points on the basis of which the final score for the IBPS PO exam is calculated:
* Marks scored in the Preliminary Exam (Tier-1) will not be considered in the final score. These are only considered to qualify Mains Exam (Tier-2).
* Candidates need to qualify Phase-2 and Interview individually to be eligible for final worth.
* The ratio of marks between CWE Main exam and  interview for final merit list will be 80:20 respectively.
* The aggregate of 100 marks is used for the final merit list for each category. Candidates with high merit rank in each category are finally selected.
NABARD Grade A  Exam
NABARD Exam Pattern & Selection Procedure. There are three phases of the NABARD Exam Pattern:
*Prelims Exam - online (objective MCQs)
*Mains Exam - online (objective MCQs + Descriptive)
NABARD Exam Pattern - Prelims
The NABARD Prelims Exam is common for recruitment of all 10 posts of Grade A Officers. This will be an objective type online test. This year NABARD has reduced the weightage of reasoning quantitative sections and added it to the economics and Agriculture & Rural Development subjects.
*Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude         
*General Awareness     
*Economic and Social Issues
*Agriculture and Rural Development    
There is negative marking of 1/4 marks for every wrong answer. Mains exam will be held on 6th June 2018. This will be an objective and descriptive type online test. Let us have a look at the NABARD Exam Pattern for Mains Exam. NABARD Phase II Exam consists of:
*Paper I - Common for all 10 posts
*Paper II - Different for all posts
*Paper I:  General English           
*Economic & Social Issues & Agri. & Rural Development
*Paper II: For all other discipline  of the post
*There will be negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer.
*If you get sufficiently high rank, you will be called for Phase III Exam i.e. Interview.
*The Final Merit List will be based on marks obtained in Mains and Interview.
NABARD - Interview
*The third stage will consist of an Interview for 25 marks.
*The final selection of the applicants for the post of Assistant Manager in Grade 'A' (RDBS) will be based on their performance in the Main Exam and Interview taken together.
SBI PO examination is conducted by State Bank of India to select eligible candidates to the post of Probationary Officer. SBI PO is one of the most coveted jobs in Banking industry and a dream job for millions of aspirants across India.
The SBI PO recruitment exam is the most premier among the public-sector bank exams in India. It is considered a little difficult compared to the bank entrance exams conducted by IBPS. The recruitment process for Probationary Officers at SBI consists of 3 stages:
*Preliminary Examination
*Main Examination
The written examinations are conducted online, followed by an interview round. The structure of exams is as follows:
Phase-1: SBI PO Preliminary Examination
*Numerical Ability
*Reasoning Ability
Phase-2: SBI PO Mains Examination
The SBI PO Main Exam has a total of 250 marks, consisting of an objective test of 200 marks followed by a descriptive test of 50 marks. Both the Objective and Descriptive Tests are online. Candidates must answer Descriptive test by typing on the computer. The Descriptive Test is administered, immediately after completion of Objective Test. There is separate timing for each section.
S. No.
Name of Tests  
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude            
No. of Questions
S. No.
Name of Tests  
Data Analysis & Interpretation 
No. of Questions
S. No.
Name of Tests  
General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness              
No. of Questions
S. No.
Name of Tests  
English Language
No. of Questions
Descriptive Test:
The Descriptive Test has a duration of 30 minutes with a maximum score of 50 marks. This is used to test the writing skills in English Language via Letter Writing & Essay Writing. Descriptive Test paper of only those candidates is evaluated who have scored qualifying marks in the Objective Tests and are placed adequately high as per total marks in objective test.
Penalty for Wrong Answers:
There is penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests of both Preliminary and Mains exams. A wrong answer to an objective question by the candidate will lead to a penalty of one fourth of the marks assigned to that question. For example, 0.25 marks will be deducted as penalty for wrong answer to a question that carries 1 mark. There will be no penalty for leaving a question blank, i.e. if no answer is marked by the candidate.
Phase-3: Group Exercises & Interview
The aggregate marks of candidates qualifying in both the Objective Tests and Descriptive Test will be arranged in descending order in each category. Adequate number of candidates in each category, as decided by the Bank will be called for Group Exercises and Interview. The qualifying marks in Group Exercises & Interview will be as decided by the Bank. Group exercises account for 20 marks while Interview accounts for 30 marks.
There is no gain without an effort, some gain with lots of effort and wonderful gain with smart effort.With proper planning, preparation, good speed and accuracy  one can crack Banking exams
*Go through the complete syllabus and pattern of bank exams.
*Start preparing and daily give minimum 2-3 hours to your preparation.
*Utilize your weekends properly.
*Read newspaper every day for general awareness.
*Improve your vocabulary.
*Try to give online mock tests on weekends.
*Analyze yourself, your abilities, and strengths and focus more on your weak areas.
All the Best!
(The Author is Director & Senior Counseling Psychologist) Careers Smart E-mail: careerssmartonline@gmail.com