Cracking Competitive Exams

Here’re some tips to crack competitive exams



Today's world is a world of competition.A student needs to prepare in advance and move on with a solid strategy and strong perseverance. Gone are the days when percentage mattered and was the only criteria to determine who was fit for a job. Today, central and state Recruitment Agencies like SSC, UPSC, IBPS, etc all conduct competitive exams to select the right candidates. To secure a place in banks, FCI, Central government departments, you need to qualify an exam. Recently, 17.5 L candidates appeared in SBI PO exam for 1500 vacancies. Every year, millions of candidates appear in IBPS-CWE from whom only 8 percent are declared qualified.
In order to prepare well, one needs to be focused. Here are some tips to crack these exams:
Almost all of these exams consist of the following four sections:
English Language and Comprehension
Numerical Ability
Reasoning and Logical Ability and
General Knowledge
English Language and Comprehension:
This test comprises of English Grammar Skills, Vocabulary and Comprehension. Studying and understanding the basic rules of grammar such as parts of speech, tenses, articles etc, is required. For this, a candidate may choose any good book on grammar. Since English is a very delicate language, utmost care should be taken to deal with questions on sentence correction etc. Next is vocabulary. Since there are so many words in English, it's not possible to learn all of them. Building good vocabulary can't be done overnight. Being in touch with words on a daily basis is necessary. Read a page of a newspaper daily. Keep a dictionary handy. Whenever you encounter a strange word, look up in the dictionary and note it down in your vocabulary notebook. Doing this, new words can be learnt and current affairs brushed up.
One very useful method to guess the meaning of words without knowing them is to learn Root Words. Root words are not many. A thousand or two of them will be enough to guess the meaning of English words with a considerable level of certainty. Let's take an example. What's the meaning of the word 'Pseudodont'? You may not be knowing the meaning right now, however, if I tell you that Pseudo means False and Dont means Tooth, can you guess the meaning now? Yes, it means a ‘false tooth.’ You can find Root Words in books and on the internet.
A good Vocabulary Base of Words and Phrases and a strong hold over grammar is enough to attempt correctly around 80 percent of this section. The rest consists of questions based on given passages. Read them carefully to answer the questions. Moreover, read diverse topics from Economics, Science, History, etc daily; one article a day.
Numerical Ability
Numerical Ability or Quantitative Ability has always been a nightmare for the most of the students. Start all over again if you're among those. Go back to your primary classes. Study about BODMAS, HCF, LCM and Simplification. General Mathematics is asked in these exams.
We're afraid of Mathematics and, therefore, we avoid it. We're so obsessed with the unwillingness to do it. Let's work on it.
There are some tricks and techniques that can be learnt to increase speed. In such exams, every second counts. The time allowed is nearly half the number of questions in the paper. Speed can be increased by learning tables by heart, learning squares, learning cubes, etc. Calculators are not allowed. Have a clear understanding of the concepts first and then apply the learned short-cuts and tricks.
Reasoning and Logical Ability:
This section tests your ability to think and analyze. This section asks you questions from varied areas: blood relations, series completion, coding-decoding, direction tests, deductions, seating arrangement, input-output, odd-one-out, etc, etc. A good familiarity with the questions is a prerequisite. When you know the questions, you can prepare well. After that, practice is required. There are some techniques to deal with some of the topics. Study them and try to apply them. But learning them from books is a complicated affair. Learn them from some expert or take some coaching classes. Moreover, there are some basic patterns by which questions are framed. Learn about all patterns. Let's take an example. Number series questions are asked wherein the next number is obtained following some pattern like Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Prime Number operations, Squaring, etc, etc. Finally, if you do not know any technique, apply common sense. Believe me, it works if techniques fail.
General Knowledge
This section is one of the most important sections because it takes less time. If you know the answer, the question takes a few seconds to answer. Start your paper with this section. You can do this section in around 20 minutes. You'll save bonus minutes. This will boost your confidence. You'll feel relaxed.
This section consists of questions from History, Science, Economics, Geography, Sports, Current Affairs, etc. A medium-sized book of around 350 pages will be enough. Note that I am talking about competitive exams of this type and not about Civil Services Exam type, where extensive General Study is needed. Following are some of the important and likely topics: World Organizations. Tennis Tournaments. Oscar Awards. Banking Terms such as CRR, SLR, Repo Rate, etc. National Income Concepts like GDP, GNP, etc. Budgets. World Food Production.
Apart from all this, following tips should be kept in mind:
Make your plan in advance according to your own strengths and weaknesses.
Keep all the required things such as pen, pencil and watch handy.
Start with the section that takes the least time such as GK or Computers.
Focus on your weaknesses and try to minimize them. Remember, a small Percentage Improvement will increase your chances manifold.
Stay cool in the examination hall.
All the best!

(Abrar Ul Mustafa is an MBA and has qualified Competitive Exams like SSC-FCI, IBPS-CWE. He currently teaches in Greenland Business School, Hawal, Srinagar. Feedback at

Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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Cracking Competitive Exams

Here’re some tips to crack competitive exams



Today's world is a world of competition.A student needs to prepare in advance and move on with a solid strategy and strong perseverance. Gone are the days when percentage mattered and was the only criteria More

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