Tips to crack Reasoning Section IBPS PO Prelims 2015

Dear IBPS PO Candidates,
As part of our 10 TIPS to CRACK IBPS PO in 10 days series, we promised to publish 3 articles to crack individual sections of IBPS PO Prelims (English, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude).

Today, we bring you 10 tips to crack Reasoning Section of IBPS PO Prelim 2015.
Reasoning, mildly put can turn out to be your golden goose. You can either score heavily or waste a lot of time and still score less. This section rewards your hardwork and training. The more you have prepared, the better you score.
1. Lets start with a topic wise breakup of Reasoning Section in IBPS PO Prelim 2015. The total number of questions from this section is 35 :
TopicNo of Questions
 Coding Decoding3
 Blood Relation2
 Direction Sense2
 Seating Arrangement5-10
Note: We have made above topic wise break up using our internal analysis. This break up is only to give you an idea of the pattern of original exam and how can you utilize your time more efficiently.
Order of Attempt and Time allocation
2. If you are excellent to good in Reasoning section,  then you can should attempt it as your second section, after completing English(or Quant, we recommend english). Since you are good at this section, you can allocate 20-25 minutes to attempt it. This gives you 35 seconds per question if you attempt all the questions. Remember hastily attempting all questions may decrease your accuracy and result in less marks. So before you sit for IBPS PO, check the list of topics in this section, identify the least time consuming topics based on your strengths and attempt them first.
3. However, if you are one of those folks who feel their reasoning capabilities aren’t as good as their Quantitative and /or Verbal, we would recommend that you to attempt this section at last and allocate no more than 15 mins to it. You can easily clear cut off by identifying the category based on the following tip.
Categories of Reasoning Questions
4. Categorization will help you prioritize questions based on your skills and the time consumed in solving each category. Reasoning questions in IBPS PO can be divided into three categories:
  • Easy and less time consuming Question:  Irrespective of whether your reasoning abilities are strong or weak,  these questions should be your first target. They are fairly easy to attempt, take less time and have higher accuracy. These questions fall in the following topics:
    • Classification/ Odd pair
    • Series Completion/ Analogy
    • Direction based tests/ Direction Sense Test
    • Number, Ranking & Time Sequence Test
    • Alphabet test/ Dictionary
You can expect around 10-12 question from this category in IBPS PO Prelims 2015
  • Medium Difficulty Level Questions : The second category of questions in the reasoning section. You can expect around 15-17 questions from it. The time taken and accuracy percent in these questions will depend upon how much time you have spent practicing these questions before the exam. Try answering questions from the following topics and if you are not able to achieve high accuracy in any particular topic then our recommendation would be to avoid them in exam. There is no need to take extra risk. The mantra is to get high accuracy in less time. The medium difficulty level topics are:
    • Syllogisms
    • Inequalities
    • Blood Relations
    • Coding Decoding
    • Data Sufficiency
For candidates who have average to weak reasoning skills the above two categories combined are enough to clear the sectional cut off as well as score some marks for overall cut off. Remember if you get stuck on a question you would lose precious time which you could otherwise use for scoring well in other sections of exam.
  • Time Consuming Complex Questions :  IBPS PO Prelims will have around 2-3 sets of these questions and every set will contain 4-5 Questions. This takes the total to 10-15 questions. These should be attempted at the end depending upon how much time you have left. Apart from practice you will also need good judgement to score in these questions. Don’t play around with this category if you aren’t sure you will answer correctly. The topics are:
    • Seating Arrangement
    • Complex Puzzle
    • Floor Puzzle
    • Input Output Machine
What to do in last week before IBPS PO Prelim
5. Start solving last year questions on reasoning section of IBPS PO from any good publisher. We would recommend Kiran or Arihant. Use the above categorization to identify your weak and strong sections and spend time getting familiar with them. Focus on mastering the first two categories as you can surely score 20+ just by solving questions from them.
6. If reasoning is your weakest link, just aim to clear the sectional cut-offs by practicing first category question thoroughly and choosing those questions from second category in which you are comfortable and can solve accurately. Attempt 17 + questions and with good accuracy to clear sectional cut-offs.
Common Mistakes to avoid
7. Writing down everything on paper
We are so accustomed to pen and paper that even while practicing for an ONLINE exam, we tend to write down questions on paper and then solve them. This habit can create a lot of problem during exam. No doubt you get rough sheets to solve but  writing everything down on paper actually wastes valuable time. Online exams are designed for faster calculations. As we pointed out you just get 35-40 seconds per question, so it makes sense to do the calculations in the brain. While practicing try to develop codes that you understand .For example in relationship questions you don’t have to write everything. Just develop codes or signs for Male/Female, sibling relationship etc and solve them.
8. Experimenting
IBPS PO Prelims Exam in not an ideal place to experiment. Whether it’s a time division or a new shortcut you have developed, don’t try that in exam. The more familiar you are with the solution, the better and faster it will be. Mock Tests are good place for experimenting. Stick to your strategy with which you have prepared while attempting the final exam.
9. Pride
Pride can become your Achilles heel in the IBPS PO Prelim exam. To elaborate, while solving some question you get stuck and start thinking “Oh I am so smart, how can i not solve this ? ” or  “I am an Engineer, i will solve it no matter what”. So you try again and again until you realize that you wasted 5 minutes to attempt it. Maybe you did solve that question but at the end of it you would have lost the ability to score in questions that were easy and end up scoring way below your potential. Whenever you are faced with questions that are more complex than usual, the smart move would be to leave them and proceed to solve the remaining questions. Remember, you are here to clear IBPS PO Prelim rather than letting the world know you are the boss.
Topic Wise Questions
10. Here are some topic wise questions and tips to solve them.
1. Seating Arrangement Questions.
2. Data Sufficiency Questions.  
We hope these suggestions help you in clearing cut-offs and score heavily in reasoning section of IBPS PO Prelim 2015. Remember to share these tips and help fellow candidates.
We agree that we might not have been able to cover all your queries. Please feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments section below and we’ll be more than happy to answer them.
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