In this post, we will discuss about the preparation strategy for NICL AO Mains Exam 2017.

Before preparing and strategizing for any exam, it is very necessary to understand the pattern and the types of questions which come in the exam. It will not only help you with a good preparation plan but also give you glimpse of the key areas which you need to focus on.

NICL AO exam consists of two papers- objective exam paper and subjective exam paper. The objective exam is of 120 minutes’ duration and has five sections- Reasoning ability, English Language, Quantitative aptitude, Computer Knowledge and General Awareness. Descriptive exam is of 30 minutes’ durations and consists of Essay, Comprehension and Precis Writing.

English Language

English Language section consists of generally 40 questions with a maximum mark of 40. Each wrong answer will fetch you a negative mark of 0.25. So you need to be very careful while attempting the questions of this section.

The topics from which questions appear in the exam is given below
  1. Spotting Error 
  2. Fill in the blank 
  3. Idioms/Phrases 
  4. Sentence Correction 
  5. Reading Comprehension 
  6. Cloze test
  7. Para jumbles

To attempt this section thorough understanding and careful reading of the questions is vital. Once you understand what the question demands, you can easily answer the questions. Once you get the essence of the question, half of your work is done. This will come to you when you have sufficient practice in this section.

Cloze test, Idioms and phrases, spotting the error, fill in the blanks are the scoring topics in this section. So, during your preparation, try to gain command over these sections. This will give you a clear edge over the other aspirants. Concentrate on these questions from the beginning of your preparation.  Idioms/ Phrases are such type of questions which do not have any specific strategy. You can answer these questions only if you have previous knowledge of these idioms. Try to be thorough with these types of questions.

Spotting error and sentence correction questions require a sound knowledge of grammar. Brush up the concepts of subject-verb agreement, use of modals and auxiliaries, conjunctions, articles and prepositions. Follow a standard grammar book for rules and revise them periodically but do not overdose yourself with grammar rules. Be very thorough with the basic grammar rules.

Reading comprehension and Para jumbles are the type of questions which you need sufficient practice to ace.  The RCs may be story based or factual based, but in both the case you need to get the gist of the passage.  You can figure out the type of RC from the first paragraph itself. While attempting a RC always try to judge the level of RC and compare your level of comfort. If the Passage uses too much jargon which you have never come across or think its way above your level, it is always wiser to leave the passage and proceed to other questions rather than wasting your precious time. Leave your ego aside and make judicious use of your time.

During the preparation time, daily read Hindu and Economic Times. You can also read foreign newspapers such as Guardian etc. (helps in increasing reading speed during RCs). Read as much as you can. It will not help you increase your reading speed but also increase your level of comprehension. It will also greatly increase your vocabulary. Good reading habit and a decent vocabulary is what will get you through this section.

Give time to each topic one by one. Do not rush through the topics all at a once. Don’t over exert yourself with one topic. It will not only bore you but decrease your retention capability.

Practice as much as you can from different mocks, previous papers, reference books, practice papers. Only Practice and practice will let you smoothly sail the section. Never underestimate the topics and equally prepare the topics depending upon your weak areas and forte. Weak areas will always need your special attention.  Work on it...!!!

Reasoning Ability

This section consists of 40 questions with a maximum mark of 40. Average difficulty level of this section is expected to be Moderate level. It consists of the following topics-
  1. Syllogism
  2. Seating Arrangement
  3. Linear Arrangement
  4. Circular Arrangement
  5. Logical Reasoning
  6. Input-output
  7. Blood Relation
  8. Coding Decoding
  9. Miscellaneous Questions

The puzzle and arrangement type of questions form a major chunk of the questions in this section.  If you give this section your dedicated effort, this can be a high scoring section because in puzzles questions are asked in sets and there is very less probability of getting these questions wrong as these can be cross-verified with the given information in the question.

Try to learn each topic one by one. Don’t rush through all the topics at once. Learn the basics and tricks in each of the topics. Learn the basics by studying from reference books. This will help you grasp the concepts and will help you grasp the concepts and will help you in solving the questions. Improve accuracy and speed. Try to practice as much as possible. This will only help you increase your speed and accuracy.

While practicing a question, try to solve it by using different approaches. This will help you develop your logical bent of thinking capability. Practice as much as you can. Lay your focus to arrangement and puzzle type questions.  Try to figure out your areas of strength and weakness and work accordingly.

Quantitative Aptitude

This section consists of 40 Questions. Average difficulty level of this section is expected to be tough.
Questions in this section are asked from the following topics:
  1. Number Series
  2. Data Interpretation
  3. Miscellaneous Questions
  4. Data Sufficiency
  5. Quadratic Equations

Data interpretation consists of Ratio and average base questions and Miscellaneous section consists of topics such as – Profit loss, average, SI & CI, Ration and proportion, Time & Work, Time & Speed, Distance boats and stream etc.

As this section is difficult in nature, try to devote more time to this section. Daily 3 hours of preparation for this section is needed. Understand the basics and concepts thoroughly. Refer a book for covering the basics. It will help you to group the concepts in order to solve the questions daily. Memorise the important formulae. Read each topic and switch topics in between to keep you interest in the topics. Once you are clear with basics, move onto books which can appetize you with the much-needed shortcuts.

Never jump directly to the questions without getting your basics right. This is the greatest blunder you can afford. After you complete a topic and get thorough with your basics, move to solving the questions.  Make note of all the important formulae, it will come handy during your revisions.

 Pay special focus on Data interpretation and miscellaneous questions as more questions are from this section. Learn tables, squares and cubes till 30. Learn to conversion of fractions to percentage from ½ to 1/20. It will help you in calculations and let you save time in exam conditions. Calculation is very crucial in this section. Try to be fast at calculations.

General Awareness

This is a scoring section in the exam and comparatively easier than the other sections provided you have been regular in preparation for this section. It consists of questions from static GK and current affairs.

Devote daily 2 hours for the section. Economics forming a larger chunk of this section devote more time to it. Be regular in this section. Make short notes/memory maps for current affairs and revise them daily. For static GK, read the topic according to your interest. As static GK is very vast, it cannot be mastered. Remember, it is not UPSC. So, don’t overdose yourself with static GK. As GA forms a mandatory section of all banking exams, practice the GA section of exams like IBPS, SBI etc.

Read Newspaper and magazine daily. Be very thorough with the current affairs of at least 5 months as this will form a crucial part of this section. It will help you a lot with your knowledge of current affairs. At least read the current affairs of last four months. Know about the different schemes and initiatives undertaken by the Government recently. These types of questions have a high probability of coming in the exam. So, the more thorough you are the higher you can score. You can also go through GK tornado launched by gradeup for efficient preparation of this section.

Computer Knowledge

This section would comprise of 40 questions and they would carry a total of 40 marks. You will be asked questions based on topics like, History and Fundamentals of Computer, Internet, MS Office, Important Shortcuts etc. Have a thorough practice of these topics and make sure that you practice quizzes from this section regularly.

Descriptive Exam

It is 30 marks section with 30 minutes’ duration. This section would comprise of essay writing, Comprehension and precis writing questions. Practice these types of questions. Get an idea of the format of these types of questions and the specified word limit.

These types of questions test your ability to communicate, organize and structure your ideas. So, try to improve your writing skills. Strengthen your vocabulary. Read a lot of newspapers, editorials, write ups on current issues and practice them. Get a rough idea of what is happening around you at the national/international level and hot topics. This will greatly help you as most of the essay questions will be based on these types of issues. Read different blogs and magazines pertaining to social issues. This will give you a better insight.

You can start your preparation by following standard book for essay and letter writing. Write essays on regular basis or on alternate days. Remember, developing writing skills will take time. So the sooner you start, the better you get till the D-day.

Lastly, practice & practice a lot. Practice makes a man perfect. It is the only way which will help you in the exam. Only learning concepts and basic will not help you unless you know their application and approach in different questions. You will develop this habit once you have enough practice.

Do not forget to revise what you have leant. Try to revise each and every day. Otherwise you will forget what you have learnt the previous day. In your time table give some time for revision. It will help you retaining what you have learnt before.   

You can download gradeup, bankexam preparation app here!
All the best for your exams..

Team gradeup..!!