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In-Depth Jobs

volume-13, 29 June - 5 July 2019

Upcoming Career Opportunities in Banks-II

Arti S

Give more attention to the areas in which you find yourself weak: Human beings are not computers in which everything is programmed and standardized. So it is alright if we're weak in few areas and strong in other areas. The most important thing is to overcome this weakness and turn this too in your list of strengths. The standard curriculum which we pursue in school and college rarely includes a major part of tests which we are expected to attempt in a competitive examination of banking, insurance etc.So, if a fresher just out of college finds initial discomfort while going through questions of reasoning, and quantitative aptitude etc., there is nothing unusual about it. However one should appreciate the fact that if we really want to succeed in the competition, we’ve to learn, practice and possibly master what is expected to be asked in the examination. In our country English and Mathematics are weak spots for many. So a bunch of such aspirants should do everything to fix this weakness. Again you've to customise your preparation according to the requirements of the examination. On a lighter note you don't need to be a Shakespeare for English or a Ramanujam for Mathematics.

It is also possible that one finds weakness only in certain particular areas of a subject. For example in English one may be confused about the use of articles (a, an, the) or may face difficulty with regard to tenses .The need is to be aware of the topics where you need more preparation. Your allocation of time should be in accordance to that.

Initial focus on qualifying in preliminary examination: When you apply for a competitive examination which has more than one part you have to adopt a strategy which is slightly different from the one adopted for a single phase examination. Of course, in both the cases your objective is to come out as a winner.

For RRBs and PSBs, as the so called written examination is divided in two stages, you need to make sure that you qualify in both the examination, but as we know unless you're not in the merit list of preliminary examination, you'll not get to appear in the main examination and in case of officers one will be called for interview only after qualifying in both preliminary and main examination. Your comprehensive preparation will cover all the sections included in preliminary and main examination, nevertheless you'll do well if a couple of weeks before  you focus entirely on the sections included in preliminary examination. There have been cases of candidates who worked very hard and could've qualified in main examination, but didn't fare well enough to make to the merit list of preliminary examination. You need strategic preparation, not just preparation. It's good that in the preliminary examination , candidates are administered just two sections. Also to relaunch your preparation for the main examination, you better don't wait till the results of first examination are announced. It will be in your own interest to not loose any time.

Applying  for multiple (more than one) positions: Many  candidates are in dilemma if they should apply for just one position or should try for more than one position. To clarify a situation is explained. Miss A is a graduate and by virtue of her qualification, she is eligible to appear in civil services as well as  in all  of the four banking examination ( clerk and officer in RRBs  and for the same positions in PSBs). If she is only keen to become an IAS officer with no interest whatsoever in a banking job, she may keep away from the process which we've been discussing in this article. On the other side take  another candidate Mr B who is clear that he doesn't want to become a civil servant (for reasons of aptitude or whatever) and finds a banking career attractive. He doesn't have  to apply to Union Public Service Commission for appearing in Civil services examination. After this he is left  with many different choices. He may apply for  positions of officers in both sets of banks or for positions of clerks in both sets of banks .The other options are  his applying to only one set of banks  for both the positions  or for any one position (clerk or officer) in both sets of banks. There will  also be candidates who will fill a single application for one particular position in only one set of banks.  There are candidates who only want to become officers and there are candidates who have already concluded that they can't become officers and apply for only clerical positions. Also it is not difficult to find people who don't want to work in  villages  and who  will never apply for a job in RRBs.

We've to be  more judicious here and consider applying for both positions in both set of banks .In this process you'll be required to make  four applications. Except for those who have strong reasons not to follow the above, this recommendation may be worth while  taking into consideration the following-

-              The fee you pay for 4 examinations is  not much compared to increase in possibilities of selection, if you prepare well.

-              The test pattern is largely similar for clerical and officers position , so the candidate is not required to make separate  preparation. You have to make only some additional preparation and work with different set of questions ,as the difficulty level may be somewhat higher in case of test for officers. All said and done you've to make an integrated preparation.

-              In comparison to many other organizations, promotion is easier in RRBs and PSBs. So even if you join as a clerk, you may look forward to getting promoted as an officer. In many PSBs now promotion from  clerical to officers' cadre is happening within 2-3 years. Of course it will vary from bank to bank depending on vacancies and other policies. One wise step would be to pass the  associate examination of the Indian Institute of Banking  and Finance  as early as possible after you join a bank. For this qualification additional marks are allotted in the promotion process. You get  extra increments also.  If one is keen to  become officer earlier, the option to apply in the next selection process of IBPS is always available while working. There have been large number of cases  of young people joining  a bank as clerk and then becoming an officer in the same or other bank, by qualifying in the new process that followed.

Preparation before the test

Depending on the time available to you on daily /weekly basis, you should formulate your strategy for preparation. Some of you would be a regular student with limited extra time everyday while some would  be out of college/university and have enough  exclusive time for preparation. You've to make sure that your preparations do justice to all sections. Your preparation has to be at three levels- (1) Understanding the style and  pattern of questions in different segments, (2) finding ways to solve them and (3) practice. Along with this you have to make yourself better equipped in terms of knowledge for succeeding in the test. To illustrate, for general awareness, financial awareness, banking and computer you've to take help of general knowledge books, magazines and other material. For language papers you need to refer to the grammar part, idioms and phrases etc.

There are exam preparation guides available in the market covering all tests. You may take one or two such guides. Many competitive magazines  (mostly published monthly) provide solved/unsolved questions from previous examinations. Studying these closely will benefit you. In case of solved papers, you may attempt the questions without looking at answers and then check how you have fared. Also there are practice books available. If some of your friends or acquaintances are also to appear in the exam, such resources can be shared  with them .With planned group study you get benefitted and keep yourself inspired.

Using web resources

Today's tech savvy  generation keeps exploring web contents. If you search on internet, you'll find ample material which can help you in your test preparation. Test pattern, test analysis, sample papers ,guidance to navigate the test; all these  can be found. You've to be a little discreet  in your search and seperate wheat from  the chaff.

Needless to add that it is necessary to make a  preparation schedule and follow that.

Strategy during the test

In case of multiple choice question, as we all know, out of the 4-5 given choices, only one matches the required answer and we have to identify that. Here two distinct approaches can be possible-one is selection and the other is elimination. In questions where you are sure of the one option  which is correct, you may easily mark your choice. Otherwise you should adopt the approach of elimination. Options  about which you  are sure  that these are not the right ones, should be kept aside and final choice should be made from the remaining answers. Even if you decide to randomly mark the answer ,when you find that there is not enough time to deliberate on remaining questions, you should make your choice after leaving out least possible answers.

It is very important to read the question right to know how to answer it. Since the time given is limited, it will be good if you can understand the question in one reading only. Also you should use your keyboard skills to the fullest by using minimum time in clicking at the chosen option or moving from one question to other or changing your answer, where you decide to do so, etc.

It has been found that a large number of candidates are not able to attempt all the questions. Their time gets over before reaching the last question. The sad part of this situation, for a candidate is missing out some of those questions in which she could have easily scored. So when you find that lot many questions are remaining and time is running out, don't get stuck up at a particular question  and move forward. At the end if you're left with time, you may come back to the earlier question(s).

Don't think that the answers would be obvious. This may happen with only few questions. You should be ready to do the mental exercise of exploring the right option.

As there are large number of vacancies available in banks, your chances of success would also be obviously higher, just that you have to work hard to prepare well. If you're eligible  and are interested in a banking career , turn your gear on for the forthcoming examinations.

(Disclaimer: Suggestions and recommendations in this article are based on past selection processes. Candidates are  advised to refer to instructions and guidelines of the  latest selection process in which they would be appearing.)


The author is an academician email: artmumb98@gmail.com

                Views expressed are personal.