Bank exam preparation

Bank jobs comes with immense job security. Lakhs of aspirants apply for bank jobs and only thousands make it to the final merit list. With a thorough understanding and preparation these exams are not farther away from achieving. Let’s look into various Bank exams conducted annually in our country.

IBPS Exams

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection or IBPS act as an autonomous body which recruits and conducts public sector bank examination in India provided positions on various profiles offered by banks. The exams conducted by IBPS are:


Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Probationary officer or IBPS PO includes the responsibility of banking business, business development and clerk supervision. The examination is conducted in three tiers or stages – The preliminary exam, mains and interview. Applicants need to crack three stages to achieve the post. English language, Reasoning and numerical ability test constitutes the preliminary exam. The mains examination includes the computer aptitude, data analysis/ interpretation, English analysis and general cum economy awareness. The final tier is the interview. Preliminary exam is just an exam of qualifying nature. Aggregate of mains exam and interview determine the final.

IBPS Clerk

The data entry and clerical works in banks are dealt by the IBPS clerks who are appointed through a selection procedure including two phases or stages. IBPS clerk examination is similar to that of IBPS PO exam. It includes the preliminary exam and mains exam. Applicants need to crack these two stages to achieve the post. English language, Reasoning and numerical ability test constitutes the preliminary exam. The mains examination includes the computer aptitude, Quantitative aptitude, English analysis and general cum economy awareness. Marks obtained in mains examination determines your selection in the job.

SBI exams

State Bank of India (SBI) belongs to the public sector which recruits its personnel through exams conducted by their authority, and doesn’t include in IBPS. The careers offered by SBI  are highly recommended and coveted. Following are the exams conducted by SBI:


The business interests of the bank, clerical work supervision, bank administration and other functioning of these branches are conducted by SBI PO. The examination is held in three phases including preliminary exam, mains, interview with group discussion and group exercise.. While the preliminary exam constitutes numerical ability and reasoning, English language tests etc, mains exam includes objective and descriptive sections. The objective section of SBI PO exam covers data analysis and interpretation, English language test, general economy awareness and computer aptitude and reasoning. The descriptive section constitutes essay and letter writing. Candidates who cleared mains exam have to undergo group exercise and interview to make it up to the final merit list. Furthermore, the aggregate scores of the mains exam and interview/ group exercise determines your final score in the list.

SBI Clerk

These front end staffs of SBI deals with data entry works and direct interaction with the bank customers. The examination is held in two phases; preliminary exam and mains. While the preliminary exam constitutes Numerical ability, Reasoning and English language. Mains exam includes objective and descriptive sections. The objective section of SBI Clerk exam covers Quantitative aptitude, English language test, general economy awareness and computer aptitude and reasoning. The descriptive section constitutes writing skills like essay and letter writing.

RBI exams

Reserve Bank of India or RBI is the banker to the Indian government, which directly serves the nation. Being a RBI personnel is a great honour and prestige as you are associated to nation serving. The positions offered by RBI are given as follows:

RBI Assistant

Data entry and daily operations in bank are handled by the RBI assistant. Exam is conducted in two phases including the preliminary and mains exam. Cracking these tiers alone wouldn’t take you to the position, as the final level of RBI assistant exam called language proficiency test is be cracked. Preliminary exam includes numerical ability, reasoning ability and English language while mains exam consists of reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude, computer knowledge, general awareness etc. Once you qualify these phases, candidates are admitted to a final test called language proficiency test which will be conducted in the concerned state’s official language.

RBI Grade B Officer

The RBI Grade B officer exam is conducted for an entry-level manager post in the Reserve Bank of India. The exam is conducted in three stages – Preliminary exam, mains exam and interview. In prelims, candidates have to prepare on general awareness, reasoning ability, English language skills and quantitative aptitude. Mains examination focus on questions from finance and management, English language, economic and social issues, statistics and economics. Interpretation skills and general awareness is analyzed in the personal interview of RBI exams.

NABARD Grade A officer recruitment

NABARD recruits personnel for Grade A officer or assistant manager post through examinations conducted in three phases – Preliminary exam, mains exam and interview. The preliminary exam checks your quantitative aptitude, reasoning, English language proficiency, general awareness, economic and social issues, rural development and agriculture. You are eligible for mains exam once you crack the prelims. The mains paper covers descriptive sections including English writing skills, economic and social issues, rural development, agriculture. General posts syllabus include rural development and agriculture while agricultural issues for candidates who applied for manager agriculture post. Furthermore, candidates are put to test on proficiency in interpreting laws regarding banking, cyber laws, industrial laws, co-operative laws, rural non life insurance, direct financing, staff matters like, commerce and property transactions etc. The final NABARD merit list is announced based on the aggregate of mains score and interview phase.

How to prepare for Bank Exams?

Understanding the curated exam syllabus is a very crucial step in preparation. Moreover aspirants should be well versed with the exam pattern too. Most of the above mentioned bank exams are conducted either in two or three phases. The exam pattern may different with different bank exams. The preliminary section of most of these exams follow the similar pattern and syllabus which includes reasoning ability ( 35/35 ), English language proficiency test, ( 30/30 ), quantitative aptitude (35/35) that totals to hundred questions in prelims.  

The normal trend shows a varying pattern and syllabus in mains examination. Reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude, computer awareness, general awareness, English language are the topics covered in mains normally.

  • In the course of preparation, aspirants should be updated with the topics and syllabus for the exam and further prepare a blueprint for exam preparations. Follow newspapers and culture the habit of reading them everyday for updating finance and business news. Newspapers like Business line and The Hindu is suggested for the same.
  • Design a comprehensive timetable and a study strategy, so that you can cover the entire syllabus before two months of the final exam. This boosts your confidence and helps you gain time in rewinding topics you have followed and learned.
  • Identify and categorize topics based on your strength and weakness so that extra focus can be given to those topics which appear difficult.
  • Start with mock tests when you are well versed with the syllabus. This helps you attain speed and gives you a better idea of time management and pattern stimulation.

Topic wise preparation for bank exams

Reasoning Ability preparation

Design a blueprint based on the difficulty level where the important topics comes initially followed by topics that can be scored well. Jotting down major points can help you rewind the topics at the end of preparation. Practice mock tests regularly.

Quantitative aptitude

The paper covers chapters and topics from the syllabus curated up to 10th grade. Therefore it is crucial to remember the important formulas, theorems and tables. Prepare and appear for practice mock tests frequently. School level mathematics should be covered in the preparation for quantitative aptitude.

General awareness

Cultivate the habit of reading newspapers daily where you should read the newspaper completely. The Hindu, Business Line, Economic Times etc are recommended. This will help you to boost your vocabulary and writing skills along with current affairs and general knowledge. Take GK quizzes frequently. You can download the aptitude app from play store, which covers the entire syllabus for a bank exam. Aptitude study materials are also available in form of textbooks with almost 1500 pages covering all the syllabus for SSC exams. Start your online preparations today itself! 

Also, watch Malayalam review of The Hindu Newspaper daily in our YouTube Channel.

English language

English language proficiency is a major area in bank examinations where you have to attend descriptive sections including letter and essay writing in mains and other tests in preliminary exams. Cultivating reading habits especially magazines and newspapers are advised. The Hindu is the most recommended national daily where you have the editorial sections to improve your vocabulary and grammar. Focus on synonyms, antonyms, conjunctions, prepositions etc.

Bank exams are an arm away from cracking if you have a proper study plan designed and all you have to do is swing into action and start preparing.