Monday, 30 November 2015

5 Tips for Exam Preparations

Preparing for an upcoming examination can be a stressful and exhausting task, if not approached correctly. You might be the kind of student who gets increasingly nervous as the day of the exam draws nearer; if you are, this article is tailor-made for you, although students who take a relatively more relaxed approach can benefit equally from it.

Tip No.1: Lose That Fear!

Productivity takes a backseat when you’re ruled by fear: Fear of not having enough time to prepare or not preparing well enough, fear of going blank when the paper makes its way to you, fear of not matching your(or your parents’) expectations, the list goes on. Fear only holds you back, and the stress it brings to you reduces your brain’s efficiency, so that your (otherwise baseless) fears actually come true!

Tip No.2: Time It Out!
Prioritize. The most important portions of your coursework should obviously take more of your study time up. Make a schedule that is realistic and stick to it, rather than assigning too much for you to do in any particular day and then ending up disappointed at not being able to do so. Spend more time on subjects that are not your strong suit, but don’t neglect the ones you think you’re good at, either.

Tip No.3: Get your Two S’s: Sleep and Sunshine!

Your brain converts short term memory into long term memory when you sleep, and REM sleep improves recall dramatically. Getting less than the recommended amount of sleep can reduce your memory’s efficiency drastically, and you shouldn’t skimp on your sleep under any circumstances. Organize your day so that you aren’t left with the option of pulling all-nighters and cramming last minute.
Sunshine gives you Vitamin D, which is necessary for your brain to work at its best. Go out for a walk in the sun and reap the rewards when you ace your exam.

Tip No.4: Don’t get distracted!

When it’s time to study, don’t keep checking your phone(switch it off if you find this hard!) or making excuses to get up and take an unscheduled break (scheduled breaks are necessary, though!). Tell your family and friends to allow you to have your study time so that you don’t get distracted. Keep your eye on the prize, and reward yourself when it’s time for a reward. Be true to yourself (don’t cheat by saying and don’t get disheartened!

Tip No.5: Motivation and Revision
Remind yourself of what you’re good at, and don’t beat yourself up over minor hiccups. It’s well accepted that having time to revise is amazingly helpful, and will help you feel assured and confident in your ability to answer tricky questions when the time comes. Remember that you can’t do everything at once, but you can do it all over time. Keep faith in yourself and do your best!

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Friday, 27 November 2015

7 Tips For Job Seekers That Hiring Managers Wish You Knew

Remember that getting hired is a decision that is a direct consequence of how well you market yourself, and more importantly, it is basically the product of the conversation between you and the hiring manager.
As a job candidate, you have probably already heard all the common tips about how to impress the interviewer. Firm handshake? Done. Good eye contact? Check. Cut the “likes” and “ums” from the dialog? Check.

Even so, you might find that you’re still struggling to get that break in the job market and secure the position you want. We may be able to help. One of the biggest things to remember is that hiring is a two-way street. For you to have a greater chance at finding the right match for yourself, you need to inculcate clarity and openness into the hiring process. Remember that you are making a decision just as much as the companies are!

Here are some tips that hiring managers secretly wish you knew and that can greatly increase your chances at finding and securing the perfect position for yourself.

1. Your Resume Isn't as Significant as You Think

Hiring managers are well aware of the fact that resumes aren’t the ultimate authority when it comes to judging the candidate, and that they can, in most cases, get a much better picture of who you are by evaluating your entire online presence – your social handles, work portfolio etc, which are all usually more up-to-date and revealing than resumes. So make sure that all these are such that they reflect on you well.

2. Hiring Managers Don't Only Want to Interview You

They actually want to have a good chat with you and to be able to decide mutually if you should work together. So get comfortable, don’t appear harrowed or under pressure, talk about each other’s goals, if you can float some ideas you have for growing the company, discuss your work values, and see if you click.

3. Past Accomplishments aren’t as Important as Future Growth

Work history can be good to know, but the past is exactly that: the past. The company’s future is the main thing. Spend more time talking about what you see in the company’s future, what you can bring to it, how you can increase it’s value; rather than go on about positions you might’ve held.

4. Put All Your Needs For Success on The Table

It’s important to find common ground with a hiring manager, and this requires you to be frank about your needs for success and happiness. Similarly, ask about the hiring manager’s needs. Can you relate, and do you think you click?

5. Hiring Managers Evaluate You Based on Your Questions

It’s important to not be fearful (or too pushy), strike a balance and ask questions of every hiring manager you meet. Your questions help the hiring manager understand you fully—your interests, concerns, and passions. Likewise, you’ll get personalized responses from different people, which will give you deeper perspective into whether the position is the right one for you.

6. Verified Is Good

Although this may seem somewhat like a harsh truth (because it is!), it’s best to acknowledge that hiring managers tend to support applicants who know someone they know, and have possibly even been referred to them by. This is because these candidates have been vouched for by their trusted network, and this goes a long way. Hence you should aspire to build and maintain a healthy professional network to the best of your ability.

7. Hiring Managers Would Like to Enjoy The Process

Recruiting has developed a status for being a difficult chore. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. Interviewers value your drive and passion and if you can convey these in your conversation, you’re headed in the right direction. Both the candidate and the interviewer are getting to know each other at the start of a new and potentially rewarding association. If the start of this relationship is productive and fun, it’s a given that it’ll only grow with time!
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Important Questions in Interviews, And How to Answer Them

Many companies incorporate a strategy while interviewing employees that aims to disarm or otherwise unnerve potential employees who often think that they couldn’t have prepared any better, only to be disappointed and even shocked at the end of an interview. They just can’t handle some of the questions as well as they ought to.

These kinds of questions help employers eliminate bad hires, and make sure that the candidates can hold their own, think fast and perform gracefully under pressure. However, while the notion of answering these questions can appear daunting, with a little practice applicants can turn them to their advantage and use them to stand out from the crowd.

No matter how smart you are, or think you are, the truth is that preparation is key, and rehearsing tricky questions is the only proven way to answering confidently.

Here are a few of these questions and the strategies to adopt while answering them.

1. Could you tell me a little about yourself?
Most interviewers use this question to assess your poise, style of delivery and communication ability, as well as to gain information. Don’t give a speech about your entire life history. Instead, briefly cite recent personal and professional work experiences that relate to the position you're seeking and that support your credentials. Even better, prepare a personal branding statement that quickly describes who you are and what you can bring to the company.

2. What are your greatest strengths?
Focus on four specific skills that employers hold in high regard: self-motivation, initiative, the ability to work in a team and the willingness to work long hours.

Briefly summarize your work experience and your strongest qualities and achievements that are directly related to the responsibilities of the job you are applying for.

3. What are your weaknesses?

Most interviewers don't expect you to be perfect or reveal your true weaknesses. The best thing to do is to turn this question around and present a personal weakness as a professional strength. Let's assume that you're a workaholic who tends to neglect family and friends when working on important projects. You can turn this around by saying that you're result-oriented, meticulous and remain involved in projects until you've worked out all the kinks, even if it means working extra hours or even on the weekend.

4. What can you tell me about our company and/or industry?

Don’t skimp on your research. Check out the company website, especially their "About Us" section.. Write down key points that you can mention when asked. Interviewers want to know that you're interested in them, and even view the opportunity as more than just a job.

5. Aren't you overqualified for this position?

No one, or hardly anyone expects you to say "yes" to this question in today's job market. If you do, the interviewer may think you'll grow disgruntled and leave the company. Instead focus on the experience and the skill set you'll bring as well as the value they'll receive by hiring you.

6. What sets you apart from other applicants?

The interviewer who asks you this is actually probing your readiness for the job, and the willingness to work as hard as required. Describe how your experience, qualities and achievements are going to make you an asset.

7. Where do you hope to be in three years?

The absolute worst answer to this is to say that you want to be president of the company or have the position the interviewer currently holds. Instead, talk about your motivations; especially what will motivate you on this job and what you hope to have accomplished.

8. Do you have any questions? Can you think of anything else you'd like to add?

Don't say "no," or imply that everything has already been thoroughly discussed. If you think the interviewer has any doubts, now's the time to make him see why choosing you is the most logical course of action he can undertake. Show your interest in the company: prepare some key questions in advance. Asking about the company’s corporate culture or what the interviewer likes best about the company will give you insight and let the interviewers know that you're interviewing them as well.

Calmness under fire will demonstrate that you can handle crises on the job just as easily. Remember, interviewers are looking for a candidate who is both competent and confident, someone who not only wants the job, but also recognizes its requirements and can quickly hit the ground running. Answering these questions with self-assurance and conviction can help you outshine other applicants, and put you in prime position to land the job you seek.

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Friday, 20 November 2015

7 Ways to Manage Your Time

When it comes to success, there are no shortcuts, and you have to be willing to put in the time to become the success you envision yourself to be. To do this, however, you have to firstly HAVE the time to become the aforementioned success, and secondly and more importantly, you have to USE the time you have available to you in the most efficient, resourceful way possible. To help you do just this, here are a few tips that could have you well on your way to that super-successful version of yourself, provided you put in the hard work, of course. Without further ado (don’t want to take up too much of your time now, do we?) here they are:

Make a Time Diary
Jot down how you’re spending your time, over a week at least, to get an idea of just what you’re doing each week; make sure you’re honest, if you spend 25 hours a week watching television, write it down.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with your time currently, you can’t know how to better it and in effect, be more effective.

Learn to Say "No"
Switch off your cell phone and beeper. If someone asks you to do something that you don't have time to do, politely but firmly respond accordingly. And don't feel guilty for doing so.

Time-Based, To-Do List
Lists are always helpful, and you can’t have an effective plan until you have this, a time-based to-do list to know exactly what you have to do, when you have to do it, and how much time you have to do it in.

Let Your Computer Help
There are many time-scheduling software available on the Internet to help you make the most of your time and you should avail of these to get a better handle on your time.

Letting your computer help also enables you to minimize the amount of clutter you have, phone numbers on slips of paper, business cards in notebooks, a desk piled high with calendars and lists and the like.

Multitasking (although possibly dangerous such as talking on the phone while driving etc) can be effective if done properly. Listen to books on tape while commuting. When you watch television, pay your bills.

Don't Be a Perfectionist
Perfectionism is procrastination if you spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that every detail (whether important or not) is EXACTLY the way you want it to be. This excessive attention could be much better used.

Setting unattainable expectations of yourself just adds stress to your life, Kemp explains.
Reward Yourself
Never let any progress, however small, go unrewarded.
It can be as small as spending some time with yourself or getting a massage, but a sense of accomplishment accompanies the confidence and drive to go on and do more.

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IBPS Specialist Officer 2016: Exam Pattern and Syllabus

IBPS Specialist Officer 2016 Notification

IBPS has issued the notification for recruitment of Specialist Officers for Scale-I, to be placed in the participating banks in 2016. This opens up a window of opportunities for all those who hold specialization in the area of Marketing, Information Technology (IT), Law, Agriculture and HR/Personnel.

The selection is through a Common Entrance Examination also referred to as Common Recruitment Process. It comprises of a online examination followed by interview of shortlisted candidates. Those selected in the interview will be placed in one of the participating banks based on their individual business needs. A tentative list of the participating banks is given at the end of this blog.

Let us now quickly look at the Exam Pattern.

There are two patterns to the Common Written Exam which is based on the specialization chosen.

1st Pattern:

Applicable to Law Officer- Scale I & Rajbhasha Adhikari Scale I

Name of the Tests
Maximum Marks
Total Time

120 Minutes
English Language
General Awareness with special reference to Banking Industry
Professional Knowledge

2nd Pattern:

Applicable to IT Officer Scale I, Agricultural Field Officer Scale I, 
HR/ Personnel Officer Scale I & Marketing Officer Scale I

Name of the Tests
Maximum Marks
Total Time

120 Minutes
English Language
Quantitative Aptitude
Professional Knowledge

Except English Language test, all other tests are available in Hindi and English.

Is there a Penalty for Wrong Answers? YES.

There will be a penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at the corrected score. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question. So if you are absolutely unsure, you know how to bet your options.

Now let us look at the Syllabus for the general test papers of IBPS Specialist Officer Exam:

1. English Language  Section- Word Formation, Passage Correction, Sentence Correction, Spelling, Idioms and Phrases, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms, Theme detection, Passage Completion, Conclusion.

2. Reasoning - Series Completion, Syllogism, Sitting Arrangement, Decision Making, Statement Reasoning, Analogy, Coding and Decoding, Blood Relations, Series Completion, Analogy, Classification etc.

3. Quantitative Aptitude - Numbers, Simplification, Roots, Average, Surds & Indices, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Ratio & Proportion, Boats & Streams, Allegations , Simple and Compound Interest, Stocks & Shares, Clocks, Logarithms, Mensuration, Volume & Surface Area, Permutation & Combination, Probability, Heights & Distances, Partnership, Chain Rule, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Problems on Trains, Pipes & Cisterns, Tabulation, Bar Graphs, Line Graphs, Pie Charts.

4. General / Banking Awareness -  Questions in this section will be asked for testing the candidate’s general awareness of the environments around him and its application to society. These questions will be such that they do not require a specific study of any discipline. Questions on knowledge of current events, India and its neighboring countries, Sports, History, Culture, Geography, Economy, General Polity, Indian Constitution, Scientific Research etc. topics will be asked. More than 50% of the questions will be related to Economy, Banking and Finance.

5.Professional Knowledge - This section will cover the area of specialization which one applies for. For eg. those appearing for IT specialist officer will have questions from a wide range of Information Technology (operating system, languages, networking etc.)  Similarly, those seeking Marketing will be tested on Traditional marketing, digital marketing, etc.

What are the important dates to keep in mind?

The tentative schedule of the recruitment process for Specialist Officer is as below.

Tentative Dates
Online Registration & Payment of Application Fees online
23.11.2015 to 10.12.2015
Online Examination
30.01.2016 & 31.01.2016
Declaration of the result of CWE
February 2016
Conducting  Interview
March 2016
Provisional Allotment of position and location
April 2016

List of Participating Organizations where you have the opportunity to be placed as a Specialist Officer.

Allahabad Bank
Bharatiya Mahila Bank
Vijaya Bank
Canara Bank
Indian Overseas Bank
Andhra Bank
Corporation Bank
Indian Bank
Bank of Baroda
Dena Bank
Union Bank of India
Bank of India
UCO Bank
Bank of Maharashtra
Syndicate Bank
United Bank of India
Central Bank of India
Punjab National Bank
Oriental Bank of Commerce
Punjab & Sind Bank
Any other bank or Financial Institution

How to prepare for CWE?

You need perseverance and also the right guidance to succeed in this exam. The study of the professional knowledge can be pursued on your own. However it is usually seen that maximum guidance is required in the area of Quantitative Aptitude, English Language and Reasoning. That is why TalentSprint has come with short and effective courses for professionals like you who want to become Specialist Officers. The faculty has years of experience in coaching thousands of candidates to become Bank Officers at various levels. Click here to start your preparation with India’s Numero Uno trainer for IBPS Exam.

Want to get premium training for Bank Exams? Get Started


IBPS Specialist Officer 2016: Exam Pattern and Syllabus

IBPS has issued the notification for recruitment of Specialist Officers for Scale-I, to be placed in the participating banks in 2016. This opens up a window of opportunities for all those who hold specialization in the area of Marketing, Information Technology (IT), Law, Agriculture and HR/Personnel.

Read more

Preparing for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies by Anjan Jyothi

I cleared the IBPS PO Exam in the very first attempt. It is not LUCK. It is not FLUKE. My name is Anjan. I did it with TalentSprint. And this is how exactly I did it…

I appeared for the IBPS PO 2015 Exam. .The two stage exam being conducted for the first time, I was not sure, how to prepare. Then, a friend of mine, who was also preparing for the exam, introduced me to a few interesting videos on youtube and found them interesting. I then registered for a free webinar on how to prepare for IBPS PO. That’s when I came to know of TalentSprint and then joined the online program which was one of the key decisions which helped me get ready for the exam.

5 Key Success factors

Here are the 5 secrets that helped me clear the IBPS PO in first attempt

1: Planning:  I made a detailed plan as suggested in the webinar. I committed to prepare for 3-4 hours every day so that I can cover the wide range of subjects required. Also, I decided to prepare for both the stages in one go.

2: Executing the Plan:  This was the  most difficult part. I wanted to do 30 minutes of calculations every day, read 2 newspapers every day and 2 hours of preparation and 30 minutes of practice. it was initially difficult for me to commit 3-4 hours. However, I could after a week of persistent self motivation was able to be in line with the plan. This is when I started getting confidence on my readiness for the exam

3: Falling into a rhythm - The next two weeks, I set into a rhythm of preparation. Weekly Live Doubt Clearing Sessions helped me to take stock of where I stood and how things were moving.  Also, the weekly tests conducted helped me to take stock. Yes, I started with below 40% performance in the tests. But, I could see myself improving week on week.

4: The final push:  The final push came during the last 1 month. I was able to increase the time to almost 5 hours a day. The LIVE refresher sessions for IBPS Prelims and Final exams helped me revise my learnings and more importantly practice different types of methods to solve the same problem. I was able to, at this point of time, understand the areas where I am strong in.

5: Key Factor:  As both Rohit sir and Sylvia madam had repeated 100s of times duing their live sessions, only 3 key factors to succeed. Practice, Practice and more Practice. I realized that this is absolutely true. I had taken 100s of tests, practice calculations even when going out ( I started adding, subtracting and multiplying the first and last two numbers of cars when I was travelling :-) and I continue to do so well after the exams are over). I was amazed at the power this gave me.


Preparing for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies by Anjan Jyothi

I cleared the IBPS PO Exam in the very first attempt. It is not LUCK. It is not FLUKE. My name is Anjan. I did it with TalentSprint.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Interview 101

Sometimes even the best candidates can fail at any interview. So how do you crack the perfect interview?
That is one question every candidate has been trying to figure out since the very first day. So how is the perfect impression created within a few minutes of meeting? Maybe these few steps can highlight what you should focus on, during your interview:

Research is a primary essential for any interview! A well-research driven candidate shows high prospects in the future of the company. You’re research would also prepare you for tackling questions and make you ease into the company environment.
You should also research on what role you would be playing in the company. Check their past work and portfolio.

Dress Well.
Our society emphasizes a lot about first impressions. To be honest, all of us tend to judge a person in the first few seconds, and a lot of that judgement deals with how they present themselves.
You can never be overdressed or overeducated, is how Oscar Wilde puts it.
The bottom line is you should dress how you want to be addressed.

Be Punctual.
A part of your first impression highly depends on punctuality! Why? Because in the professional world, Time is considered as Respect. And no one would like to disrespect their new employer at the very first meet.

Be Yourself. Be Confident.
Remember, an interview is not all about communicating your qualifications but also about your personality. So be yourself and be confident! Confidence is a reflection that you can handle responsibility.

Be Attentive.
The employer will ask you questions about yourself, and your past work. Make sure you answer to the point. Also if you have any questions, go ahead and ask. This shows how interested you are in the company.

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Monday, 16 November 2015

The New IBPS Clerks Exam Pattern and Syllabus

IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern

Multi-level filtering is the new norm everywhere and the IBPS Clerks Exam is no exception to this. Till 2014, IBPS followed a single level exam, viz. Common Entrance Examination. But owing to the overwhelming applications, the Institute has decided to filter out applicants through a TWO-Level exam, the Preliminary and the Mains.

Candidates who qualify in Preliminary examination and shortlisted will have to appear for Main examination. And those shortlisted in the Main examination will subsequently be called for a Common Interview to be conducted by the Participating Organizations and coordinated by the Nodal Banks. The list of the participating organizations is given at the end of this blog post.

But first take a look at the pattern. IBPS seems to have boiled down to just three important sections for the first level screening in Preliminary exam; Reasoning ability, Numerical ability and English language. Though English language has 5 marks lesser than the other two, we feel it is very important, considering the competition. The allocation of marks looks like this,

A) Preliminary Examination

S. No
Name of Test
No. of questions
Maximum Marks
English Language
Composite time of
1 hour
Numerical Ability
Reasoning Ability


Even though Preliminary exam is touted to be an easier part, the fact that IBPS has chosen these sections in the Prelims, indicates that these are the sections they are hoping to eliminate the most. So do not neglect the Prelims.

Penalty for Wrong Answers (Applicable to both the Preliminary and the Main examination)
There will be penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at the corrected score. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question. So if you are absolutely unsure, you know how to bet your options.

Language Option:
Every section, except the English Language section, is available in both Hindi and English.

Is there a Cut-Off? Yes:
Every section has a minimum cut-off. Not only this, but there is a cut-off for the over-all score as well that is fixed by IBPS after the results are tallied. As a candidate, you need to clear both these cut-offs to enter the Mains exam.

B) Main Examination

After you qualify in the Prelims, you will be eligible to appear for the Mains exam. For the Main paper the old pattern of five sections and a composite time of 2 hours has been retained.

Now let us take a look at the Pattern for the 2015 IBPS Exam.

No. of Questions
Maximum Marks

Composite time of 2 hours
Quantitative Aptitude/ Numerical Ability
General Awareness ( with special focus Banking Industry)
Computer Knowledge

The Syllabus and the sub-topics in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning are given below.

Syllabus for Preliminary Examination:

  1. English Language
    1.   Finding errors
    2.   Vocabulary
    3.   Idioms and Phrases
    4.   Fill in the blanks
    5.   Sentence Completion
    6.   Jumbled Sentences
    7.   Cloze Passage
    8.   Reading Comprehension
  2. Numerical Ability
    1.   Speed Maths
    2.   Simplifications
    3.   Approximations
    4.   Number System
    5.   LCM and HCF
    6.   Average
    7.   Percentage
    8.   Profit and Loss
    9.   Simple and Compound Interest
    10. Ratio and Proportions
    11. Allegations and Mixtures
    12. Ages and Partnership
    13. Time and Work
    14. Time and Distance
    15. Data Interpretation
    16. Set Theory
    17. Caselet
    18. Data Sufficiency
    19. Mensuration
  3. Reasoning Ability
    1.   Coding and Decoding
    2.   Ranking
    3.   Element Series
    4.   Directions
    5.   Alphabet
    6.   Circular Arrangements
    7.   Linear Arrangements
    8.   Assignments
    9.   Blood Relations
    10. Coded Inequalities
    11. Syllogisms
Time is the most precious resource for you. Judiciously allocate it to study the topics above. There is no substitute for preparedness. As mentioned in the beginning, these exams are held in partnership with reputed Banks. Following is an impressive list of Banks that should inspire you to put in your best. We wish you all the best.

Calendar of Exams/Events:

Download of call letters for online exam - Preliminary
18.11.2015 onwards
Online exam – Preliminary  
05.12.2015, 06.12.2015,  
12.12.2015, 13.12.2015
Result of Online exam – Preliminary
December 2015
Download of Call letter for Online exam  - Main
December 2015
Online exam – Main  
02.01.2016, 03.01.2016
Declaration of Result – Main  
January 2016
Download of call letters for interview
January 2016
Conduct of interview  
February 2016
Provisional Allotment  
April 2016


1.   Allahabad Bank
2.   Andhra Bank
3.   Bank of Baroda
4.   Bank of India
5.   Bank of Maharashtra
6.   Canara Bank
7.   Central Bank of India
8.   Corporation Bank
9.   Dena Bank
10. Indian Bank
11. Indian Overseas Bank
12. Oriental Bank of Commerce
13. Punjab National Bank
14. Punjab & Sind Bank
15. Syndicate Bank
16. UCO Bank
17. Union Bank of India
18. United Bank of India
19. Vijaya Bank
20. Any other bank or financial institution


The New IBPS Clerks Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Multi-level filtering is the new norm everywhere and the IBPS Clerks Exam is no exception to this. Till 2014, IBPS followed a single level exam, viz. Common Entrance Examination. But owing to the overwhelming applications, the Institute has decided to filter out applicants through a TWO-Level exam, the Preliminary and the Mains.

Read more