How to Prepare General Awareness for IBPS Exams: A Complete Guide!

By Neeraj Mishra|Updated : October 31st, 2017

General Awareness section in any IBPS Examination proves to be the Achilles’ heel for a number of candidates and that is because of the vast syllabus attached to this section. That is the main issue with this section because other that, it does not require any special brilliance or much time in the examination. Still, many students fail to secure the sectional cut off marks in this section. If you have to score well in this section, the preparation has to be smart and to the point so that you know only the important information.

General Awareness Preparation Tips

General Awareness Section Decoded: Let’s look back to 2016

The most effective way to prepare for any examination is to go through the previous year papers and understand the pattern and then apply it to the present context. Another thing is that general awareness is the only section in which there has not been much change even in the era of the surprisingly new patterns observed in the recent examinations. As the most recent frame of reference, let us first look back at the last year papers of IBPS RRB Officer, IBPS RRB Office Assistant, IBPS PO and IBPS Clerk examinations and we shall find the common pattern cutting across all these examinations:

1. Current Affairs: Majority of the General Awareness Section is based on current events of both national and international importance. It is not that only banking or economy related current affairs are there but there is everything starting from sports to new appointments to government schemes or state news. Out of the total 40 questions, current affairs consist of around 22-25 questions, on an average in any IBPS examination.

Note: We regularly publish GK materials which include - Weekly One-Liner, Monthly Digest & GK Tornado. Download all the important GK files and go through it. This will surely help you all in scoring good marks in GK section. 

Download GK Tornado for IBPS RRB Mains Exam 2017

2. Static GK: This part has mainly seen reduction in the number of questions over the period of time and out of the total 40 questions, the number of static GK questions is around 5-6 and questions are mostly based on abbreviations, countries and capitals, sports and trophies and players, Indian culture etc. but there are times when you may get 1-2 questions from geography or history or Indian polity even.

Download Static GK Digest for IBPS RRB Mains Exam 2017

Download Weekly One-Liner 

Download Monthly Digest

3. Banking and Insurance Awareness: Mostly this part is about banking awareness but sometimes questions from insurance sector are also there. This makes up the rest of the 12-15 questions in the general awareness section. Here questions are basically from:

  • the various banking terms, economics, taglines and headquarters of banks etc.
  • Regarding dynamic banking awareness, you may get questions on the new payments banks and small finance banks, on their headquarters, starting place of operation etc.
  • Apart from these, digital banking related questions are also on the rise and that is why, you may get a number of questions on issues such as internet banking, electronic fund transfer, mobile banking, Aadhaar based banking service etc.
  • But keep in mind, questions are basic in nature and hence, there is no point in going through banking terms or aspects in great detail.

Now: the Strategy of Preparation

Once you are well aware of the pattern of the examination, you start preparing for that. The strategy should be made very clear in your mind especially about this section because the syllabus is huge and you have to study selectively.

1. Concentrate on current affairs: This is the first thing to do because the weightage of current affairs is more and you have to study limited materials for this. Regarding current events, the duration of events asked in the examination is of the last 3-4 months, maximum, before the actual examination.

  • Hence, first choose two or three standard sources to study Daily GK Update, attempt Daily Current Affairs Quiz and once you are finished with 15 days or 7 days, revise that.
  • With every passing duration of 7 or 15 days (as you have decided), you revise what you have read so that you can retain it.
  • Apart from this, take daily tests so that you are always in touch with the current events.
  • It will take you to that level where after seeing the question, you will immediately know the answers without even going through the options.
  • The key is the revision in this part and without that, you cannot retain the knowledge.

2. Static GK Part should be prepared but not to be relied on much: Well, this seems very weird at first, but the truth is static GK questions are the strong areas of IBPS because of the vastness of it. Just prepare from the previous year papers and revise that. Obviously, for 1-2 marks, you won’t study history or geography for banking examinations. If you rather invest it in other sections, you will stand benefitted.

Remember, General Awareness is not the section you can rely on in order to increase your score but this is the one where you have to be in the competition by scoring the sectional first and then picking up as many marks as possible, without taking much risk.

3. Banking awareness part should be prepared well: This part consists of - Banking Terminology, Current Banking Awareness, Financial & Economic awareness and Static Banking. 

i. Banking Terminology - This is one of the easiest parts of Banking Awareness. Nowadays, most of the questions related to banking term asked in the exam are from Digital banking topic.

  • For e.g. - What is the meaning of "C" in PCA? Prompt Corrective Action (Asked in SBI PO 2017)
  • What is the full form of USSD? Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (Asked in SBI PO 2016)
  • In USSD, first 'S' stands for - Supplementary.
  • In EFTPOS, E stands for? Electronic (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) (Asked in IBPS PO Mains 2016)
  • So, you need to well aware about current & static banking terminology. Two or three questions are generally asked from this part. 

ii. Aware about Current Banking Awareness - You should always aware about the daily current happening in the banking sector. Write down the important news in your notebook and revise the same at the end of the day. You can fetch 5-6 marks easily from this part. 

  • Current Banking Awareness news includes - Mobile app launched by different banks, New appointment, Schemes launched by banks, Guidelines & important announcement made by Reserve Bank of India, Payment Bank, Small Bank, etc. 
  • For e.g. - India’s growth for 2018-19 as projected by IMF? (Asked in SBI PO 2017)
  • According to RBI annual report, what is near-report gross value added (GVA) for 2016-17? 7.6% (Asked in IBPS PO Mains 2016)

iii. Financial & Economic Awareness And Static Banking - This part requires study of basic banking awareness because you are not supposed to know everything even before entering the bank. Hence, study only the public aspects of banking and functions related to RBI, policy rates etc. Do not try to go much deeper into the JAIIB books of Principles of Banking because that is not what is expected of you, by IBPS. The mantra is to study and revise and at the end, take tests as many as possible.

  • Financial & Economic awareness questions include - About Fiscal Policy, GDP, Debentures, Budget, Basel Norms, Capital Market, Money Market, etc.
  • For e.g.
  • Currency risk a type of? (Asked in IBPS PO Mains 2016)
  • Fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 pegged at __________ of GDP? (Asked in SBI PO Mains 2017)
  • Static Banking awareness questions include - About Repo Rate, CRR, SLR. BSBDA account, NABARD, Cheque, Negotiable Instrument Act, Banking Regulation Act, NBFC, History of Banking, etc. 
  • For e.g. - BSDBA withdrawal and transfer limit? Rs10,000 in a month (Asked in IBPS PO Mains 2016)
  • Cheque written by drawer and dated at some point in past is called? Ante-dated cheque (Asked in SBI PO Mains 2017)

Check GK Questions Asked in SBI PO Mains 2017

4. This section demands revision: This may be true for other sections as well but it cannot be truer than in the context of this section. GK section needs revision as many times as possible. Revise till the time you can answer by just seeing the question. Don’t rely on options in the examination hall and remember, the syllabus of only this part is limited whereas, for both static and banking, questions can come from a vast area of knowledge.

5. Practice, practice and more practice: Another sentence that will hold true for any section but for this, it is easier and also takes very less time. So, keep on practising the daily quizzes from various sources, the monthly current affairs quiz etc and the day you get your answers just by looking at the question, your preparation is done. For other parts as well, this holds true.

6. Don’t take unnecessary risks: This is one section where you either know the answer or you don’t. There is nothing in between and that is why do not mark answers for which you are not sure of.

  • Remember, it feels during the examination that we may be doing the right thing but after the examination, that hardly becomes true.
  • So, first try to score as much as possible to clear the sectional cut off and if you are not confident, don’t just attempt because you have time in hand or you want to increase your attempts.
  • More attempts will not fetch you more marks, more accuracy is also required for that.

7. Don’t waste much time on this section: If there is no sectional timing in the examination, do not spend too much time on this section rather you can utilize the same in solving another math problem or a puzzle in reasoning. There you may get marks for sure but here, if you are not sure, you are not going to get anything other than negative marks. Just remember don’t rely on this section for scoring much because it is not in your hands in this section.

Must remember -

  • General Awareness section is one where you do not require to be fast but the accuracy is required as usual.
  • Accuracy also comes with rote learning in this section and that implies you forget and you cannot answer.
  • There is nothing in between you know or you don’t. Very important tip for this section is that you have to play according to your strengths and also according to the weightage of various parts of the section.
  • Focus more on current affairs, then banking awareness and then static GK.
  • Don’t take chances in this section only because it takes very less time because remember that one wrong answer can derail your chances of selection.
  • This section should be dealt with smartly and for the purpose of mastering it, you have to be exactly that.

Below is the link of the Gk Questions Asked in Previous Year IBPS Mains Exam - 

1. IBPS RRB Officer Scale I Mains Exam 2016: GK Questions Asked

2. IBPS RRB Officer Assistant Mains Exam 2016: GK Questions Asked

3. IBPS PO Mains Exam 2016: GK Questions Asked

4. IBPS Clerk Mains Exam 2016: GK Questions Asked

All the best!!
Team gradeup


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