How do I Prepare for IBPS CLERK Preliminary Examination 2019


Today we will be discuss IBPS Clerk Preparation Plan for prelims exam to help you score better in all sections. Click here for IBPS Clerk Recruitment Notification.

IBPS Clerk Prelims is scheduled to be conducted from December in 3 slots daily. As per the latest changes in Exam pattern it is recommended to go through syllabus, Exam Pattern & Previous Year Papers of IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam 2018. It is also suggested to take a free IBPS Clerk mock test from Makemyexam and check your preparation level.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Pattern:

The IBPS Clerk exam occurs in two stages: Prelims and Mains. Both these papers follow the online method of conducting written examination. The structure of the exam is as follow:

Phase-1: IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam 
The preliminary exam of IBPS Clerk CWE is an online exam testing a candidate on the basis of their aptitude, intellect, and English. There are three sections in total and the candidate must clear the cut off of each section to proceed to the mains exam round. Candidates are required to solve the question paper in the time frame of 20 minutes for each section. The composite mark of the paper is 100 and the passing marks are decided by IBPS that is likely to change every year depending on the level of difficulty of the exam.

S.No. Section No. of Questions
1 English Language 30
2 Numerical Ability 35
3 Reasoning Ability 35
Total 100


  • IBPS Clerk Prelims exam will comprise of 3 sections i.e Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude & English Language.
  • A total of 100 question will be asked in Prelims exam divided 35, 35 & 30 in Reasoning, Quant & English Respectively.
  • Candidates will have a composite time of 1 hour to solve all the sections.
  • There will be negative marking of 0.25 for every wrong answer.
  • We advice you to go through syllabus and IBPS Clerk preparation tips to score better in your IBPS Clerk prelims Exam.

Phase-2: IBPS Clerk Mains Exam
IBPS Clerk 2019 Mains exam will also be an online exam. The question paper will contain 190 MCQs of one mark each. 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer. The total time duration for this section will be 160 Minutes and each section has separate timing. Exam Paper will be divided into five sections

S.No. Section     No. of Questions Duration
1 Reasoning\Computer Knowledge  50 45 minutes
2 English Language  40 35 minutes
3 Quantitative Aptitude      50 45 minutes
4 General Awareness(with special reference  to Banking Industry)  50 35 minutes
Total 190 160 minutes

IBPS Clerk Prelims Preparation Plan: 10 tips to crack IBPS Clerk Exam

1. The most important thing to remember is that marks of clerk prelims will not be added to your overall marks. This means you do not need to be the topper or score maximum marks in clerk prelims. Clearing the prelims is enough,focus on the following three factors.

  •  Time management- It is concerned with how do you attempt the question paper to ensure you do not miss any questions. How to divide the time among sections and in what order questions should be attempted?
  • Accuracy- As evident by IBPS PO Mains analysis , it is making sure that you minimise the number of wrong answers and negative marking, so that marks per question gets maximized
  • Speed- How to improve the speed to attempt questions faster? How to do quick calculations? How to increase reading speed?

2. Manage your time in such a way that you are able to go through all the questions at least once in the exam. The reason behind it is there are many questions which are deliberately designed to be complex and end up grabbing the lion’s share of time. A good time management strategy helps you identify questions which are easier and hence, can be solved in less time.

3. For the perfect time management strategy we got in touch with candidates who cleared last year’s examination and came to the following conclusion

  • Go for the English section first. It takes minimum time and you should be able to complete it in 10-15 minutes max. section takes minimum time. You should be able to attempt it in about 10-15 minutes.
  • With English done in the first 10-15 minutes, you need to divide the next 45-50 minutes depending upon your subject preference. If you are good in Quant, allot more time to it and vice versa. The ideal time to attempt Quant and Reasoning section is 20-25 minutes.
  • So the order of attempt should be- English –  section you are confident of– then the section you are most scared of.

4. In individual sections,  attempt the questions in the following order: first the questions you know and can solve quickly, then the questions you think you can do but are time consuming. Remember never try and waste your time attempting the questions you are not confident of solving. There are a lot of other questions to solve and score. Your aim is to clear the paper, not top it.  You can attempt the questions in two phases –  in first phase attempt the questions which are easy and take less time to solve. In the second phase(if time permits) attempt questions which are hard. This way you will be able to clear sectional cutoffs and get a high score.

5. In English, only guess if you are at least 40-50% sure of the answer, i.e. you will be able to eliminate 2-3 options.

  • Focus on topics like Reading Comprehension, Cloze Test, Parajumbles .(click on topic to see tips and tricks)
  • Start with comprehension. This may take 5 minutes but has the highest accuracy. This will help you clear the sectional cutoff for English comfortably.
  • Attempt cloze test and parajumbles next to increase your overall score.
  • English section is the highest scoring section of IBPS Clerk Prelims.

6. For Quantitative Aptitude, there is no scope for guessing. Your aim is to have 100% accuracy. Attending less questions with higher accuracy is more rewarding than attempting more questions with less accuracy. Double check your solutions and be extremely conscious. Prepare the following topics for Quantitative Aptitude section of IBPS Clerk Prelims 2015. (Click on the topic to see concepts, tips tricks, video solutions and attempt quizzes)

  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Decimal and Fractions
  • Percentages
  • Averages
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Profit and Loss
  • Time, Speed and distance
  • Time and Work
  • Data Interpretation 

7. Logical reasoning:This section also requires 100% accuracy. Do not blindly try to solve all the questions and aim for the highest marks. Instead attempt questions from the following topics:

  • Seating Arrangements
  • Coding and de-coding
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Blood Relation
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Speed

8. Although speed matters a lot, it can sometimes come at the cost of accuracy. Generally the following type of questions require speed.

  • Reading Comprehension: You can consider reading the questions first before reading the passage. This way, while reading the passage itself, you will be able to mark the answers and all questions will be done in only one reading of the passage.
  • Data interpretation- If the answers are numbers not close to each other, then you do not need to do accurate calculations. You can round off the numbers and do approximate calculations and mark the answer closest to the answer you calculated
  • Long calculations- You can work on speed mathematics. Memorize Tables till 20, squares till 30 and cubes till 15.

9. In the last 15 days, attempt atleast 1 mock test daily from Makemyexam with honesty for 1 hour duration. Appearing for mock tests help you gauge your preparation levels and help you improve upon them, if necessary.

10. Online mock tests simulate the official online exam scenario, enabling you to experience the exam in real time and get acquainted about navigation in the exam application. After attempting online mock test, you can evaluate your performance and identify which questions took the maximum time and avoid taking them in IBPS Clerk Prelims exam.

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