Wednesday, 1 July 2015

4 Sutras to Score More in Verbal Aptitude

4 Sutras to Score More in Verbal Aptitude
 When you think of Verbal Aptitude, you know it involves understanding words; the relationships they share with each other, how words are connected to make meaningful contexts and it becomes our job to comprehend those contexts using some clues and hints.
 It is a critical component in your exam and it takes practice to master Verbal Aptitude. It is not enough if you just read a lot but you are equally required to listen, write and speak to ace this section.

Here are the 4 sutras to help you score more in Verbal Aptitude.
1.      Logical Thinking & Reasoning
Usually questions pertaining to Jumbled Sentences otherwise called as Paragraph Formation and aka Sentence Formation fall under this category. The objective here is to logically connect word parts or sentences to form meaningful contexts. The mantra is simple - You identify the subject, then identify the action and then connect and create the remaining sentence.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
·         are given to /cannot be/people who/quarrelling/happy
·         that/lived in/halls/I dreamt/I/marble
In the first one, the subject is 'People', the action is 'quarrelling' where you also have a helping verb - 'are'.
Now, let's connect: People who are given to quarrelling cannot be happy.
Let's do the second one, the subject is 'I' and the action is 'dreamt' and 'lived'.
Now let's connect: I dreamt that I lived in marble halls.

Another question pattern would be 'Analogies' which involves understanding the relationship between words.
Let's take an example:
Marathon is to race as hibernation is to
·         Winter
·         bear
·         dream
·         sleep
All we need to do is understand the relationship between the stem pair 'Marathon and race' and then identify the word that shares the same relationship as the stem pair. Now, Marathon is a long-distance race and Hibernation is an inactive state resembling deep sleep. Now, these are literally definitions, so we have our key words in the definition and all we need to do is look for options that project the keyword.

2.    Grammar - Get your basics right
Typically questions like sentence correction or improvement, finding errors, selecting words, active- passive voice or direct - indirect speech fall under this category.

Let's take an example:
If I had known / this yesterday/I will have helped him/ no error
If you are familiar with 'If conditionals', you would be able to immediately recognize that this is an example of a third conditional where the form is "If+ past perfect tense, would have +past participle" and that the error is in part 3 where you change ‘will’ to ‘would’.
Now you know how important it is for us to know our basics and the rules when it comes to grammar. It makes life so much more easier.

3.    Vocabulary - It’s all about the words and their meanings
Question types like Synonyms or Antonyms, spellings, one word substitutes and even idioms and phrases will fall under this category. So a good knowledge on root words will come handy, apart from good amount of practice writing to ensure your spellings are in place and make sure you understand the difference between the literal meaning and the implied meaning when it comes to idioms and phrases.

4.    Comprehension
A good knowledge and understanding on vocabulary will help you with this category. Learn to understand context as a whole, identify the main theme or message. Learn to read between the lines. Your ability to summarize, paraphrase and interpret will prove beneficial. So, question patterns like Reading Comprehension, Cloze Passage and completing statements will no longer pose a challenge.

So, the 4 Sutras for you to keep in mind when it comes to Verbal Aptitude are
  1. Logical Thinking and Reasoning
  2. Grammar - Get your basics right
  3. Vocabulary - It’s all about the words and their meanings
  4. Comprehension
Remember, apply and practice them to ace this section on Verbal Aptitude.
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Friday, 26 June 2015

Wish You Grand Success in SBI PO 2015 Exam

If you are aspiring for a banking career and looking forward to join SBI, India’s largest Bank, you will be keen to make a great first impression this week. The Phase I Exam scheduled for June 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2015 gives you the opportunity to start your path to success.

TalentSprint wishes you grand success in this Exam.

You are invited to share your experience in this exam as a comment below.  

You may share:
a.      How you found the exam and how you have performed?
b.      What challenges were found by you in the new format of the exam?
c.      What kind of questions were asked?
d.      What experience other exam participants shared?

This will not only help you to share your experience, but also get feedback from others and help others who are going to take the exam subsequently.

Wish you the very best once again and look forward to seeing you a successful Banker!


Click here to know about BankersChoice Programs of TalentSprint - India’s largest and most successful Bank Exam Preparation Program.

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Know how good communication skills can boost your career

  In today's competitive world, you will all agree that it is difficult to get your first job. However, while getting the first job is your immediate goal you must also equip yourself to progress in that field.
To survive in any field the most essential skill one must have is communication. In fact, “Communication skills are ranked first among a candidate’s 'must have' skills and qualities” according to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Most of the time communication skills is misunderstood as only fluent ‘speaking’ skills but that is not the reality. Communication is more of a package than an individual skill. Along with speaking it is also about writing, listening, presenting etc.
Let us imagine two employees Rubina and Lokesh. Rubina is technically proficient as well as an excellent communicator whereas Lokesh is technically better than Rubina but a mediocre communicator. Who do you think will succeed and progress faster? You got it! Rubina will succeed and progress. Why? Think about it.
Let us take an extreme situation where Lokesh misunderstands a technical problem but gives a perfect solution. At the same time Rubina understands the exact technical problem and gives a solution that can be improved. Rubina will get feedback on how her solution could be improved and Lokesh would have created a poor impression.
A work place is where different people from various cultures, experiences, skills and qualities work together. While it will be easy for Rubina, it will be difficult for Lokesh to succeed. An excellent communicator like Rubina will be able to reduce barriers and be more effective hence increasing productivity and team effectiveness. The team will work harmoniously because of strong interpersonal communication skills.
A good communicator can tailor his/her language according to the audience, through writing and vocabulary besides concisely and clearly presenting ideas.
However, speaking is only the tip of the iceberg. Gestures, postures, eye contact and even appearance speak a lot about oneself even when literally not speaking. At the same time listening skill too plays a vital role to being a good communicator. In fact, we spend 45% of our time listening. Active listening gives more information rather than just passively hearing.
To sum up, you need to balance technical and communication skill. Like every other skill, communication skill too can be improved only by regular practice.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

4 Top IT Career Opportunities in 2015

Transitioning from college to career is not always easy, and this is especially true for recent college graduates.

Software jobs, in particular, have become a major focus of interest among the youth because of its challenging and lucrative nature.  While most of these jobs require a Bachelor’s degree at entry level, further qualifications - a diploma, degree or certification enhances the prospects for the IT career aspirant.

Let’s take a look at some of the highest paying software jobs in the IT field in India:

Software Consultants
Software consultants provide advice and solutions to IT clients on how to enhance their current systems or build new software systems. They generally do performance assessment of client’s current business and its existing software systems. Then they devise strategic plans and offer solutions for implementation of new systems or processes which can fulfil client’s business objectives.

Application Architect
The field of Application Architect is different from that of the Software Engineer or Software Developer. The role of an Application Architect is to use a broader view of the overall software architecture footing of an organization. Along with this, they also handle project management and software development in order to design and create applications that help serve the purpose. All this is carried out by strictly adhering to the organization’s software policies and ethics.

Software Development Manager/Senior Engineer
The basic qualification required for this position is a degree or diploma in software development and application. The roles and responsibilities include managing resources associated with various software projects. A software developer can work on wide spectrum of projects; from financial or information databases to manufacturing robotics, or on embedded software (consumer electronics, mobile apps etc.). As a Software Development Engineer, it is important to be up to date with the latest advancements in technology and, contribute to technical design.  With experience, one can move into related areas or into project management, planning and research.

Mobile Application Developer
With a plethora of mobile development platforms, There has been an exponential growth and the need for mobile applications which has further led to an increasing demand for mobile application developers. The past 3 years has seen rapid growth and the trend is expected to intensify further. A mobile application developer can either work individually or as a part of a team. There are some mobile application developers who offer specialized services, i.e. they develop applications exclusively for iOS, Android or Windows platform exclusively.

The IT sector in India has emerged as the most lucrative sector in India, followed by Finance. It is showing growth and expansion like never before. The IT arena has been attracting a lot of young talent chiefly because of better prospects and amazing pay packages. So take your pick of a dream career and we wish you all the very best!

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Top 10 Skills you need to be a good Java Developer

Java Development or Java Programming career involves high level of programming knowledge and long hard working hours. Java professionals are recruited in organizations where Information Technology plays a major role, especially companies that deal with website development, database designing, software testing, cell phone programming, internet or intranet designing etc.

Here are the 10 things you can do to become a sought-after Java Programmer:
  1. Keep coding: To begin with, learn the basics. Go through a tutorial, do the exercises, and as you go through the lessons, try writing a code. While writing, make sure you understand each line. Write code on paper which has a good chance of compiling. Write/copy-paste same piece of code/configuration again and again. Keeping configuration snippets like, jdbc configuration etc. and utilities like StringUtils, ReflectionUtils, DBUtils – these are always helpful.
  2. Build a strong foundation in OOPS:  For a Java Developer having strong understanding of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is a must. Without having a strong foundation on OOPS, one can't realize the beauty of an Object Oriented Programming language like Java.
  3. Practice, practice, practice and follow technology trends: Look out for new framework and stay updated. Write a simple client server TCP service such as chat or read up on Design Patterns and try to use them. You can learn when they help and don't help. Study the source code of various successful, popular frameworks where you can see the internal working mechanism of the framework and lot of best practices.
  4. Keep solving problems:  All software is designed to solve some user problem and a wide array of smaller problems that make it up. As a good Java developer you should understand the class loading process and how it works, have an understanding of garbage collection, when is it triggered and even know how to minimize it. Know when to use design patterns such as Singleton, Factory, Fly-weight, Builder, Object Pool, Iterator, Strategy, Visitor and Composite.
  5. Master the core APIs: You may be strong in theoretical knowledge, but one should have very strong hands on experience on core APIs like java.lang.*, I/O, Exceptions, etc. And when it comes to Web application development, no matter which framework you are using, having strong knowledge on Servlets, JSPs is a must.
  6. Participate in conversations: When you start working on a new technology the best and first thing to do is, subscribing to technology forums. Whatever the issue you are facing, someone else might have already faced it earlier and might have found the solution. Follow good blogs and respond/comment on posts with your opinion. Enthusiastic technology freaks share different perspectives of same technology on blogs.
  7. Display an ability to deal with people: Beside technological skills, a Java developer should possess a set of personality traits. As a software developer you should be able to effectively deal with other developers, managers, and even customers.
  8. Possess excellent written and communication skills: As a good Java Developer you should build upon research and analytical skills, problem solving and lateral thinking ability to challenge, conceptualize, and recommend simpler, improved, and alternative solution(s) within your team. After all, you need to deliver results.
  9. Reflect your leadership skills: Being a good leader, listener and mentor with ability to provide advice and feedback, share knowledge, face challenges, handle pressure, and admit mistakes.
  10. Keep going: There is always something to learn. Never stop reading. Create a personal brand for yourself and build a reputation for yourself in the industry. Take part in software and architectural development activities. Set aside time to practice your skills and to write code and build things. 
There is no such magic or a quick fix that can make one a good Java Developer. The basic thing to do is to follow a step-by-step method to reach a point of proficiency, and one day you will be there, as a good developer.

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Monday, 30 March 2015

5 Things to Research before a Job Interview

It’s an interview that you have been getting ready for but have you done your homework? Have you searched and researched about the company that you are interviewing for?

It is critical that you should know about the company – it demonstrates that you have a reasonable understanding of the organization and their business and most of all that you will take your work seriously and are likely to be an engaged employee. Having a good background knowledge about the company gives you an edge.

Here are the 5 things you must do to ensure you have an intelligent conversation at the interview:
  1. Understand the Industry Context
    What is the industry all about? What are the market trends? How does the company work? Who are the different players? What services  are they involved in? What products do they offer?
  2. About the Company
    Spend a lot of time on the company’s website. Read about their Mission and Vision Statements, Location, History, Press Releases, Annual Reports, Blogs and more. Know how the company has positioned itself differently from its competition.  Being able to confidently talk about the company, backed by facts, makes an extremely good impression in an interview. 
  3. About Community Interaction
    Google and you will get a lot of information about the events and happenings. It may be possible that the interviewer may mention recent events during the course of the interview.
    Peep into LinkedIn and check on company page for updates. (At the same time, update your profile too) They may notice that you have viewed their profiles. Follow their conversations on Twitter and check the Facebook page for interactive posts. 
  4. About Company Structure
    It is also important to know about the hierarchy or the chain of command. Each company has its own organization structure. Understanding the organization structure gives you an insight into the business' objective, the different functions, enterprise or department and the nature of the company. 
  5. About The Company Community and Employees
    Will you ‘fit’ well in the company? It is equally important to know about the company culture if you want an answer to that question. Find and connect with past or current employees to understand why the company is special to them and topics to avoid during the interview. 
The more you research about the company you want to work in, the better prepared you will be to answer at the interview. This will make you more confident and that in turn will set you apart from the rest of the candidates.

So go ahead and ACE the interview like a PRO! 

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3 Things you should NOT do while attempting an Aptitude Paper

Aptitude Test is the first hurdle and the top most topic that is on a student's mind when it comes to the recruitment process for a government job, a private job or for that matter entrance exams for further studies. Aptitude round evaluates a student’s basic arithmetic, mathematical, logical and analytical skills.  Though it is simple in nature, students find it difficult due to lack of preparation and the right approach.  In this article, we provide insights on how to approach the aptitude topic for any competitive exam.

Here are the 3 things to avoid while dealing with the aptitude round during the recruitment process:
  1. Following the Order:  Many of us have the habit of mechanically attempting questions from the beginning to the end in objective tests and then complain  about  insufficient time to solve the paper.
    However, it is not time that makes us fail but attempting questions in an orderly way irrespective of the nature  of the question that is the real problem. Student don't give enough thought to how  difficult or easy a question is, in terms of methodology and the amount of time it takes to solve it.  So the right approach to apply will be to skim through the questions within a minute and identify and attempt the easy questions first.

  2. Attempting Easy but Lengthy or Difficult Questions:   Generally in Aptitude exams viz. Bank exams/ SSC etc, we get 36 seconds to solve a question. Sometimes this whole process of solving difficult questions becomes tricky as it plays with the ego of an intelligent mind acting against them and as a result a lot of time gets wasted.
    One must  understand the fact that, marks are awarded equally for both difficult and easy questions so completing all easy questions before attempting the difficult ones  is very important. This aids in attempting a  good number of questions altogether in the Aptitude Paper.  Keep in mind “Even Kohli does not play all the balls of a good bowler rather he hits boundaries when a loose ball comes around”. So, the game plan should be to apply this strategy of completing the easy questions first, making time as your friend and easing the situation for yourself.

  3.  Doing Simple Calculations  viz. 12X18 or 14X17 or 272 : Were the answers flashing in your mind while reading or are you thinking of picking up a pen and paper to solve it? If you answered them like 2X3 or 22 , your preparation is on the right track else  you probably neglected the simple stuff which could cost you dearly in the Aptitude Section.
    These simple calculations take 5 to 10 secs to solve for some and 1 sec for those who memorize simple tables, squares, cubes etc.. “Even the best batsmen  practice their signature strokes without exception” so why not you?
Aptitude tests no longer have to pose a challenge. You have all the tools that you need, you just need to put it in practice. As much as knowing what to do is good, knowing what not to do is equally important so learn to focus on the right approach and save time. Keep practicing!

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Friday, 20 March 2015

5 Interview Mistakes You Should Avoid

You are appearing  for your first ever job interview and you want to make an impression. Your resume talks so much about you, but are you ready to match not only what you've put down on your resume but also about what it takes to get the job? Employers are very particular about who they hire. Even a small mistake can get magnified when it comes to competitive jobs and opportunities.

Therefore, it is imperative to be aware and understand how to avoid these 5 common interview mistakes.
  1. Not researching about the company and the job that you have applied for
    If you have no clue about the job or the company you are interviewing for, you appear clueless about what you want and may automatically get disqualified. You should understand the company’s current needs - tap into social media, search for blogs or articles and keep yourself well-informed.
  2. Not appropriately dressed
    This is one of the biggest mistakes; wearing the wrong attire for an interview. One doesn’t have to make a fashion statement nor does one have to spend a lot of money to buy expensive clothes however it is important to look well dressed, professional and polished. First Impression matters. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes. So pay attention to your grooming.
  3. Arriving late    
    Job candidates who arrive late reflect poor time management skills. Always respect the interviewer’s time; it shows that you are reliable and mean business. If you are not serious and professional enough to be on time for your own interview you leave a very poor image of yourself and lose your chances of getting hired.
  4. Helping yourself to a chair before it is offered to you
    It is polite to wait to be offered a seat. Don’t just enter and sit without being asked to. This can even amount to arrogance. Basic courtesy and professional etiquette is extremely important. You need to be aware of how to conduct and present yourself irrespective of the confidence you feel in an interview room. 
  5. Over-explaining answers
    Answer to the point. In order for you to do this, you need to have clarity on the question. Take a couple of seconds to structure what you need to say to be specific. Do not rattle off as this leads to rambling. It is a sign of nervousness when you start sharing information that is irrelevant.  Do not bore your interviewer by being too talkative either. Remember to stay on track while answering. A good idea would be to practice ahead hypothetical interview questions, this increases your confidence. And when you are confident, you tend to relax, actively listen and respond appropriately.
"The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare."
 The better prepared you are, the better your chances to ace ‘the’ job interview. 

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10 Must-Have Skills to Start a Successful Career

The day you start your college, is the day you should start updating your skills. This way slowly and surely you will build all the necessary skills increasing your chances of success at that first job interview significantly. Take a look at the 10 skills you must start developing today for a better career.
  1. Start building a global mindset –  Get an insight on how firms operate, what is happening in different industries, how they work across geographies and get to know about their products. In other words - expand your general knowledge.  
  2. Develop the ability to communicate better – It is important to be able to converse with people inside and outside an organization effectively. The more people you talk to, the better your chances at the interview. The interviewer wants to hear you and also wants to know how well you can articulate or explain an answer.
  3. Sharpen leadership skills – Can you prioritise, work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well? Can you think creatively about problems? Take responsibility for your own ideas? Able to motivate and direct others? If not, then it's time to hone these skills.
  4. Perfect your teamwork skills – Being able to work with other people is a key skill that employers look for. Put in your thoughts but also try to understand others’ opinion. Eventually it is collaboration at work that helps deliver positive results. 
  5. Flexibility – Adapt successfully to changing situations and  environments.
  6. Practice Time Management – Working life presents many challenges. Learn how to prioritise assignments and prepare to work on deadlines. ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’.
  7. Refine your Communication Skills – You need to be able to express yourself concisely, but you also need to be a good listener and good at asking questions. Your ability to communicate well will be one of the most noticeable things about you during the job hiring process.
  8. Develop Problem Solving Skills – This is all about using logic, as well as imagination, to make sense of your situation and come up with an intelligent solution. It can be about anything - from trying to solve a computer problem to organising a company event. 
  9. Practice Confidence – Learn the art of striking a balance of being confident in yourself but not arrogant; to believe in your colleagues and the company you will work for. If you are confident, then you are capable.
  10. Enhance office etiquette – Everything is new for you, but knowing how to act in an office is extremely important. The way you sit, say goodbye and shake hands, all make a difference in getting a job.
Take time to think about the skills listed above.  Write down some examples and see where you stand. Identify your skills and the possible gaps. Use it as a benchmark to improve and differentiate yourself.  An excellent academic record alone will not compensate for a weak skill set as employers expect today's graduates to be a high performing employee.  It is a challenging world out there; be prepared to face it with skills that matter.

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