# Apply Smart tactics to master Numerical Aptitude (in IBPS PO Bank exams)

IBPS PO bank exams have been creating a buzz among today’s youngsters. These exams have influenced lakhs of students across the country to attempt and achieve success. Students and even employees, see this as a bright opportunity to enter the government sector, in which the entrance exams are very difficult compared to IBPS.

According to the candidates who’ve attempted the exam, the challenges they faced are less time available and standard cut-off marks in all the sections. Numerical Aptitude being the toughest sections is allotted with maximum marks. The reason for it to be tough is intricate calculations and tricky questions. But, it is called only tough, but not impossible. So, here are a few tactics, tricks, logics to clear this section confidently and quickly.
Solving a Numerical aptitude question involves the following steps:
1. Clarity in understanding the question: All the questions fall under the scope of definite categories like time and distance, time and work, ratios and mixtures, series etc. Read the question clearly to decide the category it belongs to.
2. Identifying the right logic/formula: Each category has certain sub categories. For example, consider a question that belongs to ‘profit and loss’ category, the sub-categories would be loss percent, profit percent, selling price, buying price etc.
3. Quick application & calculations: Every question is based on a concept/logic; apply the logic to solve the problem.

Target time to complete the above steps is less than a minute per question, which can be achieved only through thorough practice. So, allocate sufficient time practicing questions of all categories and their sub-categories.

Use ‘Smart tips’ to crack the Numerical Aptitude with ease:

• Check the options first in questions related to arithmetic operations. If they are not closely connected, round-off the figures in the question and solve. The result is less accurate, but easier to calculate. Do not use this technique if the options are very near to each other in value.
• Substitution of options is one of the effective tactics to solve certain problems. Especially for profit and loss problems.
• Keep noting the information as read the question. It provides required numbers handy while solving different problems.
• Underline the important points in the question. It helps in quick references.
• Use shortcuts for calculations. Sufficient practice in shortcuts will save good amount of your time.
• Use Vedic mathematic tricks to calculate complex arithmetic, for instance 3-digit multiplications
• Highlight with a tick mark the questions you save for solving later. It helps track unsolved questions during last minute revision.
• Manage the space for rough work cautiously. Highlight the rough work related to doubtful questions for referring later.

All the above tricks would work wonders for you with sufficient practice. Because it is practice that brings Perfection and Progression!!

Sridhar K,
Sr. VP, TalentSprint

# Getting a Job as a Fresher IT Engineering Graduate

According to an article in economictimes.com, around a quarter of 2014 Indian IT Engineering Graduates will have trouble getting a job this year. Many other fresh grads will have to take jobs where the skills required fall far below the actual skill base they have upon leaving the college. That’s pretty discouraging if you’re a fresh IT Engineering graduate. So let’s talk a little bit about what the problem is and, then, let’s see if there aren’t some solutions out there that can help you get a job and get working in the field that you went to college for.

The Issue As It Stands
There are too many IT Engineering graduates coming out of Indian colleges to fit in an area that has been shrinking as of late. To take a more focused look at the problem, one must take in to consideration the bigger picture. India produces more IT Engineers than both the United States and China combined…an estimate that falls somewhere around a million and a half bright-eyed new job entrants every year.

Now…the industries where most of these new hires typically find placement; information technology and manufacturing, have been steadily cutting back on the number of new hires—a trend that is approaching a decade in consistency.

This probably wouldn’t be the case if not for the explosion of outsourcing that prompted so much growth in both the number of institutions producing graduates and the number of new graduates themselves. If you haven’t heard…outsourcing has slowed down as world economies have contracted since 2008.

So what to do if you’re an IT Engineering graduate and you are greeted with this terrible news straight out of college? Find a new career path? Take what you can get? Turn to a life of crime (not so far from the truth)? Go elsewhere? Well, all is not doom and gloom…there are some solutions.

The International Market
Faced with the prospect of an uncertain…if not downright impossible…job market, you might want to consider the prospect of finding your fortunes away from home soil. India has only recently become a permanent member of the Washington Accord. What does this mean for new Indian IT Engineering graduates who may not have a degree from one of the more preeminent colleges in India? It means that the degree you worked so hard to get is now recognized outside of India…America, Japan and Australia are just a few of the 17 countries where an Indian with an IT Engineering degree can now apply their degree and their trade.

Before you pack your bags however, find out which of these 17 countries are the best fit for you…not only in terms of employability but in terms of lifestyle. While IT skills translate fairly easily, culture shock can send you scurrying for home.

Rely On Tried and True Techniques

In a difficult job market, there is very little you can do to effect change and land a job. But, one way to ensure that you remain unemployed…or underemployed, is to ignore the things people are doing to land jobs right now.
In an article for LinkedIn.com, Lou Adler, a consulting and search firm CEO lays out 12 different ways that prospective hires can go about increasing their prospects for getting a job. Among these are some fairly obvious methods…like finding out who hiring managers are, along with some more uncommon ideas like creating a video resume, applying your skills to a problem the company is currently having and sending out a custom email that sets you apart from all the stock ones that a hiring manager receives.

Reach Out to Those in Your Field with Jobs
You may not know a single person who has walked out of college with their IT Engineering degree and found a job. Don’t let that get in your way. According to a forbes.com survey, Networking is still the number #1 way to land a job. It doesn’t even matter who you know. It matters how you go about getting to know people that can help you out…grow your contact chain. If you don’t know anyone, your college and your professors…along with professional organizations, can get you started in your quest to network your way to a job.

Don’t Give Up
It’s always easy to throw in the towel and walk away. Numbers change, economies change…job markets change. Take these steps to increase your chances of success:

• Develop “practice-oriented” technical skills and sophisticated soft skills.
• Prepare your inner global professional.
• Invest in a skill-development program...now!
• Use your brain—it’s what got you your degree in the first place.

# Preparing yourself for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies

Doesn’t matter what field you’re looking to start a career in…having someone on the inside who’s been through what you’re about to encounter, passed the exams, and actually got the job they desired to share their story is always an advantage. Shashidhar is one such person. Shashidhar is currently employed as a Probationary Officer with Canara Bank. If you’re looking to become a probationary officer, he’s been where you’re heading…namely the IBPS PO exam.

The IBPS PO Exam, a mandatory requirement created by the Institute for Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), is a two-part exam made up of both a written section and an interview. Typically the exam takes place from September and selections for positions are made a few months thereafter.

The Written Exam
The written exam is made up of 200 questions and delves in to five areas where the candidate needs to display a certain level of expertise. Those areas are:
Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, Command of the English Language, General Awareness and Computer Understanding.
The Interview
The interview portion of the PO Exam is conducted through a partnership with the candidate banks and the IBPS. Candidates are quizzed based on several important factors that all play in to their ability to do the job of a Probationary Officer. The interview focuses on these primary traits:

Reasoning, Observation and Mental Acuity
Before you think that having a overload of charm can get you by,  Shashidhar will tell you, “you must understand that the interview portion is based on problem solving and also involves questions that revolve around many of the same traits that they test for in the written exam, i.e., Computer Skills, English language, etc. You need to know your stuff.”
With this in mind, here’s a piece of preparatory knowledge. According to  Shashidhar, “Many portions of the test align directly with what I was trained on, but I also found some areas where, with the help of TalentSprint, I was able to truly prepare and go in confidently since I had the necessary knowledge…practiced knowledge to pass the test.”
He goes on to say that, “TalentSprint is one of the better institutions that have helped career-minded individuals get ready for exams like the IBPS PO Exam by focusing on the direct areas of questioning that candidates will be required to display knowledge of.”

Strategies for the Probationary Officer Exam
There are many ways that one can prepare for the exam, perform well and land their dream job as a Probationary Officer for some of the country’s largest banks.

Preparatory Institutions
One way to truly prepare for the exams, and the method that  Shashidhar credits for his success, is that of a preparatory support from TalentSprint. There are many advantages of going with an institute like TalentSprint. You can study at your own pace and on your own time. They break the test down in to sections and have both informative lectures and mock tests on each section that help really build confidence… Shashidhar adds that, “after my preparation, I felt ready because I knew the material and I was prepared.” TalentSprint also taught  Shashidhar a variety of the tricks and shortcuts that he applied to pass the test and get the job he wanted.

Study and Practice
With all the areas of coverage there’s no shortage of skills where you need to show a high level of comprehension. Now that you have a better understanding of where the exam will focus, sharpening your abilities in each of these areas will go a long way towards making you comfortable when you go in to the exam. That comfort level will equate to better test scores.

Increase Your Banking and Worldview Knowledge
The general awareness portion of the test will specifically target your understanding of the present state of the banking industry and, true to its name, will also test you on your general awareness of the world around you…in other words, current events. While this portion of the test is heavily skewed towards banking,  Shashidhar advises that you stay fresh on what’s happening in the outside world as well, i.e., the economy and policy, both in terms of the banking industry and Indian society as a whole. “Having a well-rounded understanding of the whole picture will make you that much more successful, so scour the newspaper, periodicals, new books and, of course, watch News channels on television. That’s my personal advice”.

Know English
Almost a quarter of the exam will focus on your comprehension of the English language.  Shashidhar improved his command of English by reading English-language newspapers and magazines. He also suggests that you practice speaking English in the mirror or to those around you. Learn a few new English words every day. These are a just a few of the techniques that  Shashidhar recommends.

Plan It Out
You want to make sure that you at least have a chance to get to every question. Before the test,  Shashidhar wrote down all the areas that he needed to cover. He says that, “With that list, I was able to break down the exam into areas that I felt strong and areas where I knew that I had some weakness. So, I focused heavily on areas I was weakest in, and simply honed my skills in my strong areas. I did the same with the test…moving quickly through areas I was strong at…managing my time so that I could  focus properly on those areas that required more thought.”

Take Mock Tests
Nothing prepares you for the IBPS PO exam like running through it beforehand. Now, while you can’t take the actual exam, preparatory institutions like TalentSprint have mock tests you can take to better prepare you for the real thing. Of course, if you’re more of the do-it-yourself type, mock exams can also be acquired online.

Sridhar K
Sr. VP, TalentSprint