How to Crack IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021 Exam in First Attempt?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Tips to Crack IBPS Clerk Prelims in the First Attempt: What strategy should be followed to crack the IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021 in a single attempt? With the release of IBPS Clerk notification, you must be in search of the “how to prepare for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021 exam” in the first attempt.

To clear IBPS Clerk 2021 exam, it is very important to prepare and execute a foolproof IBPS Clerk Prelims preparation strategy. And implement those strategies during the prelims exam in order to ensure that you clear the exam on the very first attempt.

This year, a total of 7800+ IBPS Clerk vacancies have been released. As the number of vacancies is increased as compared to last year, you can definitely expect tough competition for which you need a preparation strategy for IBPS Clerk Prelims. From the past year’s experience, it is expected that the level of the Prelims exam of IBPS Clerk will be of easy to a moderate level and the cut-off of the exam might go high (up to 80+ expected).

Keeping this in mind, we have compiled the best strategy to prepare for IBPS Clerk 2021 from scratch.

Understand IBPS Clerk 2021 Exam Pattern

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Pattern

The total number of questions asked in this exam is 100 and you will get only 20 minutes to solve each section separately. Try to attempt maximum questions in each section so that you can qualify in all three sections individually and manage to qualify overall cutoff of the IBPS Clerk 2021 exam. Below shared is the exam pattern of prelims:

Name of the Section Number of Questions Maximum Marks Time Limit
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 Mains Exam Pattern

In IBPS Clerk 2021 Mains, the candidates will be allotted 35 minutes for General English, 45 minutes to solve (Reasoning and Computer Aptitude), 45 minutes to solve Quantitative section, and 35 minutes for General & Financial awareness section. It implies that you will have sectional timing to complete each section. On another side, 40 questions will be asked in General English, 50 questions from Reasoning & computer, 50 questions from Quantitative and the rest 50 will be coming from General Awareness.

Name of Tests

No. of Qs.

Max. Marks


General English



35 minutes

Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude



45 minutes

Quantitative Aptitude



45 minutes

General/Financial Awareness



35 minutes




160 minutes

Best Preparation Tips to Crack IBPS Clerk 2021 in First Attempt

1. Strong command of the basics of each section

  • First and foremost, build a strong grasp on the conceptual knowledge of each topic of all three sections. Understand the chapters one by one.  You have enough time in hand to get the conceptual clarity of each chapter. 
  • Once you are thorough with the concepts, start practicing questions. More questions you solve, the better speed, accuracy, and concept clarity you will achieve.

2. The best approach is to do section-wise planning, focus on your strengths and weakness and work on them accordingly

3. Solve the questions first in which you are more confident. If you are good at solving questions of the number series, then attempt this topic first, or if you are an expert in Error Spotting or Puzzle/Seating arrangement then, start with these topics. This will give you a lot of confidence and fetch you maximum score in minimum time.

Keeping this thing in mind, we are below sharing a section-wise strategy to help you further in your exam preparation.

Strategy for the English Language 

Undoubtedly, there are many candidates who are weak and below average in the English section and feel worried while attempting this section. But if you prepare well, this section can prove to be the most scoring section in the exam. It is important to note that the level of Questions in the English section will be easy and you can easily attempt 25+ questions in the exam.

Try to practice questions from each topic on a daily basis in order to acquire proficiency in this section. Analyze your attempt after practicing it and do not repeat the same mistake during the exam.

During the exam always try to attempt the English section in the following order:

(i) Fill in the Blanks – Level (Easy)
(ii) Cloze test – Level (Moderate)
(iii) Spotting the Error – Level (Moderate)
(iv) Sentence Improvement – Level (Moderate)
(iv) Para-jumbles/sentence rearrangement – Level (Easy)
(v) Reading Comprehension – Level (Easy to Moderate)
(vi) Spelling correction – Level (Easy)

Study Material

Strategy for Reasoning Ability 

Many of you have a good command of this section. This section is considered as one of the scoring sections in the exam. You can attempt as well as score high in this section if you manage to answer maximum questions with 100% accuracy. Before approaching this section, always make sure that don’t waste your time in attempting lengthy and confusing questions. Just attempt all the easy questions first and then move to the next section.

Start with those questions which are not lengthy and which appear easy to you. It is always a good idea to attempt the Reasoning section in the following order:

(i) Syllogism – Level (Easy)
(ii) Inequality – Level (Easy)
(iii) Coding-Decoding – Level (Easy)
(iv) Miscellaneous Questions – Level (Moderate )
(v) Linear Arrangement – Level (Moderate )
(vi) Circular Seating Arrangement – Level (Moderate )
(vii) Puzzle – Level (Moderate)
(viii) Input-Output – (Moderate)

Note: Circular Seating Arrangement/ Puzzle – Puzzles and seating arrangements often dominate the section in the exam. Pick those puzzles and seating arrangements that are comparatively short and of fewer variables. Try to do other topics first before attempting Puzzle/Seating Arrangement questions to make use of precious time efficiently.

Study Material

Strategy for Numerical Ability   

Quantitative Aptitude is the most scoring section in all the Clerical exams, only if prepared well. Do not start the quant section with those questions which are lengthy or involve too many calculations. It is always a good idea to attempt the Quant section in the following order:

(i) Data Interpretation Questions on Data Interpretation are usually scoring, short, and not very time consuming, and thereby should be the first ones to be solved.
(ii) Simplification / Approximation (Easy)
(iii) Number series – Please do not stick to trying to solve number series questions. Skip the questions, if you are unable to find the series.
(iv) Miscellaneous questions – Average, Profit & Loss, Time & Work, etc.
(v) Quadratic Equation – Moderate 

Note: You must not attempt questions serial-wise. Attempt those questions which appear easy to you.

For faster calculation skills, it is essential to be proficient with very basic mathematical knowledge. Learn shortcut tricks to find squares, cubes, square root, cube root, multiplication and make sure to learn & revise –

  • Tables up to 25
  • Squares up to 30
  • Cubes up to 25
  • Common percentages and their fractional & decimal equivalents

Study Material

Preparation Tips for General & Banking Awareness 

None of the sections is easy, however, if you are up to date with Current Affair, GK, Banking & Financial Awareness you will be able to crack this section. For Main Exam, you need to focus on (Economy) & Static news of the last 5-6 months. To score maximum marks (30+) in this section, make a habit of reading & revising the news on a regular basis. Just divide the topics & plan your schedule to cover all the important news.

Please try to cover news from different topics, which are mentioned below –

(i) Banking & Financial Awareness –

  • Banking Terminology,
  • Recent RBI News like – Monetary policies, Important guidelines,
  • SBI Bank in News, ICICI Bank, other banks in News,
  • Committees, etc.

Banking Awareness Quiz

(ii) Current Affairs –

  • National + International News,
  • Sports News,
  • Awards,
  • Summits & Conferences,
  • Schemes,
  • Agreement & Deals, etc.

Daily GK Quiz

Topic Wise Current Affairs Quiz

(iii) Static GK – 

  • Parks, Dam,
  • Thermal Power Plants,
  • Mountains,
  • Temples,
  • Stadiums,
  • Airports, etc.

Strategy to Crack IBPS Clerk Prelims 2021

Here are some tips to help you boost your performance in IBPS Clerk Exam 2021-

1. A fast approach to achieve success in the IBPS Clerk Prelims exam is to find and attempt easy questions first. You will be in a safer zone if you can get yourself 21 to 27 marks in each section.

2. Each question needs a certain time to get solved, the ratio of the question to time allotted in the IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam is less than 1. Thus, skip all the time-consuming questions and do them later when you are sure that you have attempted as many easy and scoring questions as you could have.

3. Time Management is very important, especially for the Preliminary. Give more and more mocks, to practice giving mocks in a defined time limit.

4. Solve all the previous years’ solved papers and practice them properly. This will familiarize you with the exam pattern.

The candidates can also get free video classes from the Experts. Click here for Free Video Classes

Other Important Links-

IBPS Clerk Notification 2021 IBPS Clerk Apply Online 2021
IBPS Clerk Vacancy State Wise IBPS Clerk Salary
IBPS Clerk Syllabus 2021 PDF IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern
IBPS Clerk Cut Off IBPS Clerk Books
IBPS Clerk Mock Test IBPS Clerk Online Coaching

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Best of luck for the exam.

IBPS Clerk

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