Importance of Prelims

IBPS PO Prelims is just around the corner. You will be competing with lakhs of aspirants for some 4,252 vacancies. Prelims for sure is a gateway to a lucrative banking career. But did you ever wonder why a prelims is conducted before the mains exam? Well! The reason is: prelims is conducted as a rejection test as it selects only around ten times the number of vacancies and rejects the remaining applicants. And here the purpose of prelims ends. In fact, the marks of prelims are not even accounted for in the final selection. So the question remains, what all is required to clear the prelims?

Sectional and Overall Cutoffs

You need to score at par or higher than the cut-offs in prelims to qualify for the mains. And this applies to all the three sections and the total of all the three sections. Let’s have a look at the previous year cut-offs to get an idea.

IBPS PO Prelims Cutoffs in 2017

Sections Max Marks GEN Cut Off OBC/SC/ST Cut Off
English Language 30 5 2.75
Reasoning Ability 35 10 6.75
Quantitative Aptitude 35 7.75 4.75


Overall IBPS PO Prelims Cutoff in 2017

Cutoff (Out of 100) 42.75 42.25 36 28.50 28.75 23.25 15.75 17.75


Once you glance over it, you understand that the cutoffs of all the three sections are quite achievable. But that is until you have a look at the overall cutoff. The overall cut-off is 42.75 which is 20 more marks than the total of all the three sectional cutoffs. It is obvious that you need to do excessively well in one or more sections to compensate for those 20 extra marks.

Note: These cutoffs are of 2017 and are only used for reference and understanding. This year’s cut-offs, depending on several parameters may change.

How Mock tests aid you in clearing Sectional cut-offs

Mock tests simulate the actual test in terms of several parameters like number of questions and their difficulty level, sectional time-limits and interface. In simple terms, mock tests give you the opportunity of taking tests similar to the actual test, try different strategies in those tests and stick with the one which fetches you maximum marks. Another benefit is, when you take a number of mock tests, in the actual exam you don’t feel completely uncomfortable as you know that you have “been there done that!”.

Mock Test Analysis

The analysis which you get after taking a mock test provides input on a number of fronts. Not only it highlights your weak areas, it also provides a detailed explanation of incorrectly answered questions. What’s more! It also provides your rank vis-a-vis other test takers so that you know how much more efforts you need to put to be in the top ranks. The analysis also highlights the segment where you spent comparatively more time. When revising and practicing, ensure that you cover as many of your weak areas as possible. Also, give your best in each of the section in the actual test. Not only will this help you in clearing each of the sectional cutoffs, it will also help you achieve a good overall score.

Practice, Analyse, Repeat

It all boils down to practicing via sectional and mock tests with a study plan, working on the analysis to improve your weak areas and keep a tab on your performance in mock tests. Doing this will definitely help you in sailing past cutoffs, be they sectional or overall ones.

Hoping that this article will help you in your preparation, we wish you all the best for your exam!

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