Hello and welcome to exampundit. The above four pretty much sums up the lessons I have learned during my preparation time. There was a time when I used to study 12 hours a day, no kidding. I woke up with a book in my hand and went to bed with another one. Soon, I started solving puzzles in my dreams. And with this much hard work, I was pretty sure that I will clear my exams in the very first attempt. But guess what, I was wrong. I faced 26 failures back to back before getting placed in Punjab National Bank in the last IBPS. That was when I learned that I need to be smart worker more than a hard worker.
It was very hard for me to change the way I studied and plan out a completely new strategy. I had satisfied my ego with highest marks in my school, a silver medal in my graduation (B. com) and a gold medal in my post-graduation (M. Com). But it was all in vain because here I was sitting unemployed trying to figure out what went wrong.
I decided to take it easy and set a rather lenient time table for myself. I woke up at 7 am and started my day off with half an hour of meditation and yoga. It helped me stay focused and improve my concentration. Then around 8 am I started with reading the newspaper. I gradually shifted from The Hindu to The Economic Times and I really liked the enhancement of vocabulary. I referred EP current affairs section to prepare my notes and understand the gist of the headline. After an hour of juggling between the pages of newspaper I took a break of next hour and completed my routine jobs during that time.
Around 11, revitalised with another dose of energy, I started with the subject that requires most of your concentration – Reasoning. I solved 3-4 hard level puzzles and some questions from any one topic of logical reasoning. This took around 2 hours. Then it was again a break time and also lunch time for me. After having lunch, I picked up any editorial from the newspaper or EP and read it 2-3 times to completely understand the meaning of it and then made some notes of the same. This continued for around 30 minutes, then I solved some exercises for another 30 minutes and then I took a nap for one and a half hour. Yes, the brain needs rest too.
My evenings used to be dedicated to Quants, Computer and General awareness. I practiced quants for 1 hour daily and focused more on speeding up my calculations rather than learning new topics. Then I solved some computer quizzes for half an hour. I tried to cover one topic a day so I don’t get confused. And at the end of the day, I made notes of static GK or Banking and revised my previous notes.
My Sundays were dedicated to speed tests, analysis of them and strategizing the upcoming week according to the result of speed test.
Although at first it seems like it is not enough but if you calculate it this way – 6 hours * 90 days = 540 hours of study – no one can stop you from cracking the next exam. This is what my mother always reminded me when I felt I was not putting enough efforts. I kept some points in my mind throughout the prep: –
- Never stick on one question. Don’t take it on your ego. Encircle it and leave it and try it next day.
- Keep increasing the level of your questions day by day. Practicing pre level questions will make you feel better as most of them will be correct but it is not giving your mind the required food.
- Hop on to the right place where you can get authentic material and good level of questions. I always trusted EP for this.
- Make organised notes for everything, even English. I made three copies for GK – one for banking and financial awareness, another for static GK and last was a thick copy for daily current affairs.
- Enjoy the learning process, every minute of it.
- Don’t let yourself get affected by any disbelief or negativity. It ruins your confidence and preparation more than you realise.
- Eat healthy! Avoid junk or fast food. It makes you feel lethargic and sleepy.
- Keep repeating I know I can and I will throughout the day.
P.S.: – I followed the same routine and have managed to crack the main exam of SBI PO. This made my belief firmer that Quality is what matters over Quantity.
Also, apart from the constant belief of my parents in my abilities, there was a silent friend that has no idea how much it has been contributing me throughout. Exampundit! I was always a silent reader here but I always relied on the materials provided by EP team. Even if I failed to complete all the materials I downloaded from different websites, I always made sure to do a thorough reading of the EP Monthly magazine and daily articles. Trust me, it is more than enough to get you through!