Section-Wise Study Plan for IBPS Clerk 2018

The Preliminary exam of IBPS Clerk 2020 will commence from the month of December. To help students prepare for this exam in a better way, here is a section-wise study plan for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020. This study plan has been designed keeping in view the important topics, which usually carry more weightage in the exam and is easy to follow.

The prelims phase of IBPS Clerk consists of 100 questions which account for a total of 100 marks with 0.25 negative marks per question.

IBPS keeps introducing changes in its exam every year; this year sectional time limit has been introduced in the preliminary phase of the exam. So, make sure that you utilise the time before the exam to the fullest, acquaint yourself with the exam details properly and follow the schedule shared below in order to crack this exam in a single go and clear both sectional as well as overall cutoff.

The pattern for the pre – exam is as follows:


S. No.  Section Questions Marks Duration
1 English Language 30 30 20 minutes
2 Numerical Ability 35 35 20 minutes
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 1 hour


Study all the subjects on a daily basis, making sure that you devote a minimum of 2 hours to each subject. Don’t go on referring too many new books now, stick to some standard ones, follow the shortcut methods, tricks to attempt the questions.

Let us go through the section wise study-plan that has been designed for you to utilize the time effectively:

English Language:

The English language is considered as the toughest of all sections but once mastered properly, it can prove to be very scoring. So, focus well on your weak areas and work harder on your strengths. Try to spend a maximum of 40 seconds on each question in order to attempt 30 questions within 20 minutes. Practice each topic given below properly.


Day English Language
Day 1 – Day 10 Focus on building your vocabulary, read newspapers and increase your reading speed. Make yourself comfortable with reading newspaper.
Day 11 Attempt mock test
Day 12 – Day 21 Focus on grammar. Study one topic of grammar on a daily basis and solve the questions based on that topic.
Day 22 Attempt mock test
Day 23 – Day 33 Phrase Replacement
Day 34 Attempt mock test
Day 35 – Day 45 Fill in the blanks
Day 46 – Day 60 Attempt sectional mock tests daily and analyze your performance. Try to increase your score after each test.


The important topics from grammar include error spotting, Idiom, and Phrases, Active and Passive Voice, sentence rearrangement, narration. These topics will help in building your basics.

Building vocabulary is very important as it has a variation in itself, i.e. the type of questions asked in the exam. The questions may include cloze tests, synonyms, antonyms and homonyms, spellings, etc.The questions can be asked both directly and indirectly.

Reading comprehension is the probably the most important topic and can be mastered only with regular practice. Select one good newspaper and read it daily. This will enhance your other areas as well. RC based questions are highly scoring since you have to answerfrom what is already given to you.

Numerical ability:

A lot of students usually fear this section, which may be due to their educational background or the fear of the section in general. However, Numerical ability usually consists of questions that you would have studied and practiced till your 10th standard. So get past all your misconception.

Start attempting mock tests because solving a mock test will let you know the level of your preparation. So, analyze your performance and work on your weaknesses.

Apart from the theoretical concept learn the shortcuts as well, like Vedic maths, shortcuts for multiplication, calculations. Learn how to calculate square roots and cube roots, tables up to 25, fractions on percentages, etc. This might help a lot in speedier calculations, thus saving time for other questions.


Numerical Ability

Day 1 – Day 6


Day 7 – Day 10


Day 11

Attempt Mock Test

Day 12 – Day 14

Ratio & Proportion

Day 15 – Day 19

Data Interpretation

Day 20

Attempt Mock Test

Day 21 – Day 23

Profit & Loss

Day 24 – Day 26

Mixture & Allegation

Day 27 – Day 29


Day 30

Attempt Mock Test

Day 31 – Day 34

Number series

Day 35 – Day 37


Day 38 – Day 39

Number system

Day 40

Attempt Mock Test

Day 41 – Day 43


Day 44 – Day 45

Time speed and distance

Day 46 – Day 47

Permutation & Combination

Day 48 – Day 49

Time & Work

Day 50

Attempt Mock Test

Day 51 – Day 53


Day 54


Day 55 – Day 58

Data Sufficiency

Day 59 – Day 60

Attempt Mock Test


Now follow the sequence given below to answer during exams:

Start with the easy and scoring topics i.e. simplification, number series, average, algebra, profit & loss, number system, etc. The questions from these topics are quite easy and take less time.
Next move on with ratio & proportion, percentage, time, speed & distance, time and work, interests, mixture & allegations, data sufficiency, etc.
Once these topics are covered well, move ahead with the ones which are time – consuming but at the same time hold substantial importance in the exam. These are: data interpretation, mensuration, permutation & combination, probability, etc.

Reasoning Ability:

This section is bit challenging and time – consuming. It needs a lot of practice. Understanding the things might seem easy at first but once put on paper, it usually gets difficult to get the correct answer within the allotted time frame.


Reasoning Ability

Day 1 – Day 3

Blood Relations

Day 4 – Day 6

Distance & direction

Day 7 – Day 9


Day 10

Attempt mock test

Day 11 – Day 15

Mathematical Inequalities

Day 16 – Day 20

Arrangement & Pattern

Day 21

Attempt mock test

Day 22 – Day 26

Order & Ranking

Day 27 – Day 32

Coding & decoding

Day 33

Attempt mock test

Day 34 – Day 40

Circular & Linear sitting arrangement

Day 41

Attempt mock test

Day 42 – Day 46

Double lineup

Day 47 – Day 51


Day 52

Attempt mock test

Day 53 – Day 55


Day 56 – Day 59


Day 60

Attempt mock test


Now follow the sequence given below to answer during exams:

Questions are quite easy and scoring from direction & distance, blood relations, etc. Start with these questions.
Next go with the questions on series, arrangement & pattern, mathematical inequalities. Questions on these topics are bit tricky but once mastered, one can do them in the least possible time.
Coding & decoding and order & ranking questions are easy but practice is must for the same. So this can be finished next within the time frame.
Circular sitting arrangement & linear sitting arrangement are time – consuming but hold sufficientweightage in the overall score. So, attempt themcarefully and try to finish as soon as possible.
The other sets of questions in reasoning include syllogisms, double lineup, scheduling, and classification. One – two questions are asked from each of them. So find such questions and attempt them next in the series.

In reasoning section, all the topics are relevant from examination point of view. It’s not like that you can master one and skip the other. Each should be given importance as it can take up your overall score.

General awareness:

Keep yourself updated with the latest happenings of your surroundings.
This section basically includes the banking news, its rules, and regulations, tagline, headquarters, members, questions on financial awareness and budget, the question on economy, schemes, static GK, etc.
This section forms the base of your selection as it takes the least possible time and one can achieve it with 100% accuracy.
In order to score well in this section, select a good newspaper and read it thoroughly on a daily basis. Make notes while reading which will help you at the time of revision.
Read current affairs of at least last six months. Keep updating yourself on a regular basis.

Based on the above schedule, plan your daily routine. The plan above is flexible and can be modified as per your convenience.
Also, remember that above all, practice is more important. Practice as many mock tests as you can along with the performance analysis. Set a timetable and devise a strategy and stick with the same. Make proper notes and keep a track of time limit. Follow the same and keep a track of your performance. Go through the previous year’s cut – offs and question papers. See whether your preparation can beat that result.

Every year the things are getting difficult. So, be prepared for the changes and set your target accordingly.

Don’t forget to download IBPS Clerk preparation app. It provides free study material, quizzes, mock test, previous papers, and all the notification exams.

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