How to deal with sectional timings in SBI PO Pre 2018?

SBI Probationary Officers exam 2018, the trend setter and show stopper of the year among banking exams, has come up with another set of challenges to make this difficult exam an easy ride for few and tough for the rest.

This year, prelims have undergone a significant change where in sectional timing is introduced and sectional cutoffs are totally scrapped from the menu. People who are hungry would gulp with opportunity like a lion while others would be scratching their heads in amusement and would once again find it a roller-coaster ride.

This is going to be your “Chak De India” moment except for the fact that you will have 60 minutes of your life comprising of all the drama and twists. Sectional cut-offs come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Why it is introduced?

This is introduced with the objective of giving a level playing field to every candidate. Everyone would have equal time for each section and your strong and weak subjects would get equivalent time. Sectional cutoffs remove the hustle bustle of solving it quick but at the  same time can spoil your accuracy in your weak subjects. Without sectional cutoffs, someone like me completed the whole English section in 10 minutes and snatched that time to devote it to my weak area i.e. Quantitative Aptitude. This gave me an advantage over others given my accuracy was good.

Another change of doing away with sectional cutoffs has evenly balanced the equation and you no more need to worry about whether I have attempted enough or not. But the caveat here is that it leaves you with a lot of choices and accuracy could be screwed up due to no sectional cutoffs.

How to deal with this?

This is a million dollar question and indeed a bigger worry for people who are writing this exam since past couple of years. For newcomers, it wouldn’t be a thing to worry. Let’s look at the ways of dealing with sectional timings and no sectional cutoffs:

  1. Don’t rely on a single subject to score good. No matter how quick you are, nobody can get all 30 questions right in 20 minutes. If you are poor in English or say any other subject, work hard and become average or above average at least.
  2. Don’t give up on your temptations to mark on intuitions. Sectional timings have this disadvantage that when you have enough time, you re-look upon questions recurrently and mark few based on “this could be” thought.
  3. Now you won’t have the choice to pick your favorite subject first. It can be anything out of the three and hence, be ready for some grind initially and smooth ride afterwards or vice versa.
  4. Accuracy is the ultimate success mantra. Everything just boils down to this quintessential thing in competitive exams. Accuracy wins you extra marks and keeps you stable during examination.
  5. Scrapping of sectional cutoff means you don’t need to worry about scoring enough in each subject. But any how try and score few marks in each subject due to equal time in each section. Utilize those 20 minutes extremely well.

Also, the overall cutoff is expected to slide a little bit down in this case which is a good sign for serious aspirants. But all this is just a prediction and avoid all this hoopla of expected cut-offs and sectional timing thing. Eventually, preparation remains same except for few tweaks here and there which a sensible aspirant should swallow courageously.

If not, Testzone mock tests are always there to give you a real feel of the exams and if given seriously, could change the course of your career in a couple of months.

Good Luck!

Ankit V, SBI PO 2016