The Institute of Banking and Personnel Selection has put out the notification for IBPS Clerk 2020 recruitment and candidates can fill the online application form from September 2nd 2020 to September 23rd 2020. Consisting of two stages, IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020 and IBPS Mains, it paves the way for the selected candidates to work in public sector banks such as Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and others.


The IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020 examination is due to be held on December 5th, 12th and 13th 2020. Owing to the breakneck competition, it is important to study through a solid IBPS Clerk preparation strategy and in this article, we present you just that along with highly effective IBPS Clerk preparation 2020 tips.

IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020: Exam Pattern

The IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020 examination comprises of three stages as mentioned below. Further, it should be noted the test-takers need to clear individual sectional cut-offs for each section to qualify for the Mains examination. As for the marking scheme, 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer and -0.25 marks deducted for each incorrect answer. You have 60 minutes for the whole exam divided sectionally. The following table lists down more details for better IBPS Clerk preparation 2020.

Section Questions Marks Time
English Language 30 30 20 minutes
Numerical Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 60 minutes

IBPS Clerk Preparation Strategy: Underlying Tactic

Another crucial piece of information, candidates must keep in mind is that the IBPS Clerk 2020 – Prelims is qualifying in nature, that is, marks obtained at this stage is not counted towards final allotment. You just need to score above the declared cut-offs for each section and that is enough to get you shortlisted for the Mains. Our suggestion is to keep a target of 73-78 questions with 100% accuracy so even if you get 10-15 questions, you will still be in good shape for clearing the cut-offs. The general difficulty level of the exam stands somewhere between easy-moderate with 10-12 advanced level questions.

IBPS Clerk Preparation 2020: English Language

Here are a few vital IBPS Clerk preparation 2020 tips and suggestions you can take advantage of in the English Language section.


  • Topics: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, Error Detection, Jumbled Sentences, Active & Passive Voice, Cloze Test, Vocabulary [Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word Substitution], etc.


  • Strategy: For Reading Comprehension, it is important to recognise the elements of the passage given.


First comes the Passage’s Theme/Main Idea. This relates to the topic the passage deals with, that is, something like ‘Widespread Effects of Climate Change’ or something along those lines. It is the foundation on which the arguments, counter-arguments and conclusion are based upon.


Then, the Author’s Idea and Relevant Counter-Arguments. The author of the passage puts forward his views and ideas as to what he thinks about. Further, you will also be presented some counterpoints of view.


Lastly, Conclusion. This is generally a short last paragraph which sums up the information and arguments presented and tries to bring them to a fitting closure.


In addition to these, there are other elements like imagery, factual information, multiple points of view and much more.


  • For questions like Error Detection, Sentence Correction, etc., be on the lookout for trigger words like ‘but’, ‘however’, ‘and’, ‘or’ which signal a continuous sentence and thus help in eliminating choices.

IBPS Clerk Preparation 2020: Numerical Ability

The Numerical Ability section contains 35 questions of 1 mark each to be completed in 20 minutes. The following tips will help you shape up a secure IBPS Clerk preparation strategy.


  • Topics: Profit & Loss, Simple & Compound Interest, Time & Work, Average, Ratio & Proportion, Case Study Analysis, Number System, Permutation & Combination, Probability, Graphs, Speed & Distance, Time & Work, Simplification, Partnership, Percentages, etc.


  • The questions test the fundamental numerical abilities like familiarity with basic mathematical operations like BODMAS, divisibility, comparison with numbers, simplification of equations, signs and conversion, variables. Furthermore, the question paper twists and combines two or more topics into one single question. The difficulty level of this section is typically easy and leaving 5-8 questions, others can be done in 12-15 minutes.


  • As for starting approach, begin with a glance over the questions to get a rough idea. Shortlist the questions you feel comfortable with. Our suggestion is you start with topics like averages, simplification, partnerships, percentages, linear equations and ratios to give much-needed confidence.
  • Recommended IBPS Clerk 2020 Preparation Books: NCERT Mathematics textbooks Class IX & X; Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Aggarwal; Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha/ McGraw Hill Education.

IBPS Clerk Preparation 2020: Reasoning Ability

Similar to the above section, the Reasoning Ability section also contains 35 questions to be completed in 20 minutes.

  • Topics: Blood Relation, Seating Arrangement, Cause & Effects, Assertion & Reason, Statements & Conclusion, Coding-Decoding, Word Formation, Directions, Syllogism, Alphabet Test, Puzzles, Inequalities, etc.


  • In the first 10 minutes, cover the questions on Coding-Decoding, Syllogism, Puzzles, Series, and other questions which aren’t necessarily asked in a passage-based manner. Then, move on to Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, and Directions. Going by past year trends, around 15 questions were asked from Puzzles and Seating Arrangement and roughly 15 questions more from Syllogism, Series and Coding. The above approach will give you a great start.


  • As stated above, the passage-based questions can get a bit twisted as it contains a Problem Statement which must be analysed for missing links. The Questions that follow explore the missing links and put forward a certain scenario. Further, the given Choices list down both plausible and implausible options. The key is to rephrase and simplify the statement as much as you can. Then, eliminate the implausible and extreme options and find the right answer.



The most effective IBPS Clerk preparation strategy, by far, is to have a level-headed approach, have confidence in your preparation and yourself. Remain composed and give your best.


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