How to prepare GK & Current Affair for SBI PO Mains exam
As per the tentative dates of SBI PO Mains exam, as released in the official notification, student save approximately three months left for its preparation. Considering the level of competition, you cannot afford to wait for your prelims result. Pattern and difficulty level of exams has been changing each year. When you look at previous year’s cut-off, you will notice that the highest cut-offs are for General Awareness. This means that you can easily get a good score in this section as compared to Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning.
Here are some guidelines along with some precious tips which you can follow in order to boost your General Awareness and Current Affairs score in the SBI PO Mains exam:
- Before making a study plan, you must make your personal assessment by taking up at least two to three mock tests. This will help you in determining how much you need to work on each section and allot time accordingly.
- The best time to memorize and learn new concepts is in the morning or afternoon when your brain is not exhausted. For practicing math and reasoning questions, evening time is best.
- In banking, many questions are asked from banking awareness. For static banking awareness, you should prepare various banking terminologies, abbreviations, history of Indian banking system, RBI monetary policies, effects of changing repo rates, capital and currencies etc. You can also find the compilation of important topics of banking awareness on gradeup, which are important for your upcoming SBI PO exam or any other banking exams. It is an evergreen topic which will be helpful in all the banking exams that you will be taking up regardless of the time. So, it is better if you start early with this part as this needs to be in your permanent memory.
- For current affairs part, you can start reading the newspaper if your other sections are strong and you can devote more time to this section. But if you don’t have enough time you can go for our monthly digest, in which we have compiled all the relevant topics like recent mergers and acquisitions, RBI’s monetary Policy, Agreements & MoUs recently signed by India with other countries, international summits, budget-related news, GDP and other economy-related news etc. which are important from the exam perspective. This will enable you to prepare even few weeks before the examination and keep all the information in your short-term memory. Keep in mind that questions can be asked on any of the events that took place up to (or some time more than) six months before the date of the exam.
- Watching news headlines on TV is also helpful strategy if you find it difficult to memorize data in written form. But make sure you watch the headlines part only as there will be a lot of irrelevant/useless/false or misleading information which will be a waste of time for you.
- Be it SBI PO or any other govt/public sector exams, General Knowledge is also an evergreen topic which means this needs a place in your long-term/permanent memory. So you need to prepare for this topic from the earliest stages of your preparation and keep on revising at the regular intervals. A book by Lucent Publications is highly recommended. If you don’t have enough time to go through that entire book, you can also filter out the relevant topics which are important for banking exams. Start with your favorite topic will help you in giving an initial boost of motivation and increase the likelihood of following your study plan. Use a highlighter to mark the important topics/words while studying GA will also enable you to concentrate longer.
- Mnemonics: It involves converting words to pictures which much easier to remember than words. This technique is also helpful with the concentration part as it makes learning fun and enjoyable. The concentration power of your brain depends upon your passion or liking for the task you are performing. You might have observed that you have great concentration while playing a particular video game. But when it comes to doing math, your concentration might not be that great.
For example, Krishna river flows near Vijaywada town (To remember this, you can visualize Pandavas being guided to victory by Lord Krishna.).
There are various techniques which you can use in order to remember different facts of General Awareness. These are:
- Splitting: Under this technique, the words are split and one needs to identify the link between the split parts.
For instance, Zambia is the capital of Northern Rhodesia (To remember this, visualize different roads (Rhod ) packed with traffic jam (Zam).
- Linking: Under this technique, the 1st alphabet of different words is used and with the help of that, one can think of a hypothetical sentence, which is easy to remember. This technique is especially helpful when you need to remember some facts in a sequence.
For example, if you need to remember the different atmospheric layers in proper sequence (say decreasing order of height), which are Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Troposphere, a hypothetical sentence: “I M Spiritual Teacher” can be formed.
- As there will be section timing allotted for each part, you will get a lot of time for General Awareness section. So make sure you read the question slowly and carefully.
- Make sure you go through all the options. Sometimes when you can’t remember the answer to a particular option, it is very helpful to go through the options. You can also use option elimination technique which involves removing all the irrelevant options to reach the final answer.
- Using the numbers to your advantage. In some questions, there might arise a situation when you are confused about two particular options for a particular question. According to the rules of probability, you have 50% chances of losing 0.25 marks and the same chances of gaining 1 mark. So it is wise to do the guesswork in this scenario.
- Use your resources smartly. Considering the tentative dates, you do not have much time left for the exams. So make sure you use all the technological/old school resources at your disposal in order to make the optimum use of your time.
For example, attempt online quizzes of GK (current, static and banking awareness based) for better revision.
Similarly, while sitting in a noisy location, you can put on your headphones and listen to some GA videos. We have many such videos available on our youtube channel.
- While reading/memorizing, make sure you are in a calm/peaceful environment. It helps you concentrate longer. If you cannot find such a place, you can use earplugs or earmuffs or a combination of both depending on the noise levels. You can also plug in your headphones and turn on some white noise audio (easily available on the internet) to cancel out the surrounding noises.
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