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Overview – Bank PO & Bank Clerk Exams

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Overview of the Banking Sector in India
Banking and Finance sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the India. A career in Banking, that too in a public sector bank has been one of the most preferred career options for most of the young Indian graduates. The Indian banking system consists of 27 public sector banks, 21 private sector banks, 49 foreign banks, 56 regional rural banks, 1,562 urban cooperative banks and 94,384 rural cooperative banks. In FY17-18, total lending increased at a CAGR of 10.94 per cent and total deposits increased at a CAGR of 11.66 per cent. India’s retail credit market is the fourth largest in the emerging countries. In short, this sector is witnessing a multidimensional growth both nationally and internationally. A very obvious implication of this growth is a huge requirement of a skilled manpower in this sector. The extensive use of IT now a days also indicates the need of skilled manpower. Overall, banking services are not limited to only providing bank accounts or loan but has gone much beyond the imagination of a common man.
Career Opportunities

The banking sector is providing a very attractive career opportunity to each eligible individual in the country. To avail this opportunity, the aspirants have to appear in banking examinations. These examinations are held or two different positions in the public sector banks namely bank clerk and bank probationary officer (PO).

The minimum eligibility to appear in the Bank PO Examination is that the aspirant has to be Graduate in any discipline from a recognized university and must be 21-30 years of age (Age relaxation of 5 years is given to candidates belonging to SC and ST and an age relaxation of 3 years is given to the candidates belonging to OBC categories).
The minimum eligibility to appear in the Bank Clerk Examination is that the aspirant has to be Graduate in any discipline from a recognised university and must be 20-28 years of age (Age relaxation of 5 years is given to candidates belonging to SC and ST and an age relaxation of 3 years is given to the candidates belonging to OBC categories).
Overview of Examination
Note that for SBI PO and Clerk, the examination is conducted by SBI whereas for the remaining public sector banks Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts the examination. The syllabus for these examination consists of Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Computer Aptitude, General Awareness and Banking Awareness.

The Bank PO examination has three stages namely Preliminary examination, Main Examination and finally GD and Interview. A candidate is required to qualify preliminary exam, mains exam as well as the interview process in order to get listed in the merit list announced by SBI after conduction of all the three phases are complete. Marks secured in the Preliminary Exam (Phase-1) are not considered for selection and the candidate must qualify Phase-2 and Phase-3 separately to be eligible for selection.
The Bank Clerk examination is conducted in two phases – preliminary exam and mains. No interview process is required for the selection to the post of Clerk.
For IBPS Clerk, Merit List is made based on the cumulative score of both the Preliminary Examination as well as the Mains.
For SBI, Score of Mains Exam is taken into consideration for the final selection for the post of Clerical Cadre.
For a detailed overview of syllabus and pattern of Bank examinations click on links on side bar.

Suggested Strategy for Tests
By now, you must have understood that to fulfill your dream of making a career in banking sector, a thorough planning is necessary which requires understanding the pattern of examination papers (keeps on changing), knowing the weightage given to various topics and identify your weak areas in every subject. Once you are finished with these you may adopt the following suggested plan to prepare for the examinations –

  1. Prepare a time schedule by allocating more time to the subject/areas which you find more difficult. Your schedule must include newspaper reading and watching morning news on DD on a daily basis. Do not forget to make notes of important news including news related to banking and finance.
  2. Reasoning and GK are very scoring topics, so you should prepare these well. To do so, our suggestion is to solve the GK papers repeatedly.
  3. Prepare the quantitative aptitude topics by practicing more and more. Develop your own short tricks as well as use those available in books or online but do not be depend solely on these as they may not be applicable to all questions. Practice mental calculations. Learn tables by heart.
  4. Test yourself by solving the past papers within the time limit. Join a good online test series, if you can afford it.
  5. Last but not the least – eat well, sleep well and be relaxed. Always take some time out of your schedule to spend it with your friends, family or in a hobby. You can also include some physical exercise in your schedule as physical fitness will also keep you mentally fit. Remember the old saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

Best of Luck

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