IBPS RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims- A Complete Preparation Strategy
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IBPS RRB 2020 Registration ended yesterday for 4,624 vacancies of RRB Officer Scale I and 3,800 vacancies of RRB Office Assistant. The fact that IBPS RRB-IX 2020 notification was released when there were no other banking notifications in sight was a big relief to banking aspirants. We hope that all the banking aspirants would have registered for these 8,424 vacancies of RRB OS 1 & OA and now that the registration process has ended, banking aspirants would have started the preparation of Prelims exam. If you have not started yet, we suggest you start the preparation of Prelims as soon as possible.

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A Complete Strategy to Clear RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims

The Prelims exam of RRB Clerk will be held in the month of September/October 2020. In this article, we will be briefing you with the complete preparation strategy for RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims. Following this strategy will definitely help you clear the Prelims exam. Before we proceed, please make a note that there is no substitution for daily practice. You need to devote at least 4-5 hours towards the preparation of both the sections (Reasoning & Numerical Aptitude). These hours should be used for:

  • Practising both the sections
  • Analyzing your performance (the errors you made & the questions you skipped)
  • Taking corrective action to improve your performance. 
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Evaluate Yourself by Taking a Mock Test

Before you get started with the preparation, it’s extremely important to understand your current level of preparation. Only when you know which topics you are good at, and which topics you need improvement on, you can go ahead with a concrete preparation strategy. There are different strategies you should adopt for the topics which are your strengths and weaknesses respectively.

  • Let’s say you are good at calculating in your mind so in that case you should finish solving simplification & approximation, and other questions which require calculation first and secure their marks. This way you will be using your strengths to get as many marks as possible. But you should not leave these topics unattended now. In fact, you should practice so many questions on these topics (which are your strength) that you get a real mastery on them and solve them quickly in the actual exam thereby saving time for other topics.
  • On the other hand, the topics in which you feel that you still need improvement, you should revise the concept again and again by referring to books & online videos and try to understand where is the gap. You should not think like, ‘so what if I skip these topics’. Remember, all the questions which appear in the exam are a mix of easy, moderate & difficult questions. What if easy questions in the exam are from those topics which you have skipped. Remember: all the successful aspirants properly study as many topics as possible.

Now that you have learnt on how to use your strong & weak areas to maximize your marks, let’s proceed with the step of identifying your strong & weak areas. How do you know which areas you are good at and which areas need improvement? An easy & logical step is to take a Mock Test of IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2020 Prelims. Taking a Mock Test has a number of benefits:

  • Get the look & feel of an online controlled environment
  • Questions will be from those topics which have been asked in the exam in the previous years
  • Number of Questions & their difficulty level will be as per the official exam pattern of RRB Clerk Prelims
  • You get an insightful analysis after taking the mock test which will include a listing of your weak & strong areas
  • You also get to know your All India Rank & Percentile which tells you your position amongst all the aspirants who have taken the mock test
  • Detailed Solution of all the questions are provided so that you can check the mistakes you made in the mock test and don’t repeat any mistake in the actual exam
SBI Clerk Prelims Free Mock

The best part is that you don’t have to pay anything to take this mock test. So what are you waiting for? Take a Mock Test of RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims Now.

IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2020 Prelims Exam Pattern

Now that you are going to start your preparation, it is extremely important to understand the exam pattern of this exam. The exam pattern of RRB Clerk Prelims is pretty simple. You need to solve 40 questions each of Reasoning Ability & Numerical Ability (total 80 questions) in 45 minutes. Here are the details:

SectionMediumNo. of QuestionsMinimum Marks
Numerical AbilityEnglish/Hindi4040
Total 8080


  • Total duration is 45 minutes.
  • Candidates (for both posts) have to qualify in both the tests by securing minimum cut-off marks.
  • Adequate number of candidates in each category, depending upon requirements, will be shortlisted for Online Main Examination.
  • Negative marking of 0.25 mark is applicable on each incorrectly answered questions.

RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims Syllabus

Knowing the complete syllabus is extremely important if you are serious about RRB Clerk Prelims preparation. You need to check the basic concept of each & every topic mentioned here. Also, practice at least 70-100 questions on each & every topic. Try to learn & develop the tricks & shortcuts of each topic mentioned here and try implementing them when solving the questions.

Reasoning AbilityNumerical Ability
Alpha-numeric/ Alphabetical SeriesAge Problems
Analytical ReasoningBoats and Stream
Blood RelationsClock and Calendar Problems
Coded InequalitiesData Interpretation – Charts and Graphs: Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Chart; Tabular; Caselet; Mixed DI
Coding and DecodingData Sufficiency
Data SufficiencyLCM and H.C.F
Directions and DistancesMensuration
Double Line-upMixture and Allegations
InequalityNumber Series
Input OutputNumber System
Order and Ranking/DirectionPartnership
Puzzles – Box based, Floor, Calendar, Day/Months based, etc.Percentage
SchedulingPermutation and Combination
Seating Arrangement– Linear, Circular, Facing Inside/Outside, MixedPipes and Cisterns
Statement and ConclusionProbability
Statement-Course of ActionProfit, Loss and Discount
SyllogismQuadratic Equations
 Simple and Compound Interest
 Simplification & Approximation
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Reasoning Tips for RRB Office Assistant Prelims Preparation


  • Don’t leave all the puzzles for the end. Check which puzzles are easy or moderate and solve them first.
  • Solve a lot of puzzles. This will help you analyze the given information fast and which will eventually help you in identifying easy/moderate puzzles
  • When solving a puzzle, start with definite information. It is not advisable to start with negative information.
  • Take all possibilities into account and don’t presume anything.


  • Here you will be given mathematical equations followed by conclusions. You need to choose the right conclusion which follows.
  • Practice a lot of questions to get the basics of inequality correctly.
  • Don’t presume the conclusions will be same for every question. Double-check the conclusions before marking the answer.
  • There will be a handful of questions from this section out of which 2-3 would be easy. Identify the easy ones first and answer them. Try to pick 1-2 moderate level question as well but don’t give more than 1 minute to them.
  • Try to infer the connections from the given statements before going through the conclusions.

Seating Arrangement

  • Generally linear and circular seating arrangements come in exams. Nowadays, other variables are also added like people’s favourite cities etc. which obviously increase the difficulty level.
  • Just like puzzles, start with taking the base of info which is certain. Use the given information and rule out the possible combinations in order to find the right ones.
  • Don’t start with any negative information.
  • In case you are confused with left side/ right side in a circular seating arrangement questions, keep yourself at the position to find out the left side/ right side.


  • These questions are mainly about conclusions based on the given statements.
  • Consider using the venn diagrams or try memorizing the rules.
  • In case the statement & the conclusion is same, the conclusion will not follow from the given statement.
  • Do enough practice beforehand to answer these questions quickly.
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Numerical Ability Tips for RRB Office Assistant Prelims Preparation

Simplification & Approximation

  • Memorize squares of numbers up to 40, cubes of numbers up to 30 and tables until 30.
  • Memorizing the fractional equivalents of decimals will make your calculations easy.
  • Solve at least 100 questions on this topic and try to calculate in your mind itself.
  • Consider BODMAS rules while solving these questions.
  • If the options have a significant difference between them, you can do a bit of approximation and thus save your time.

Number Series

  • Solve at least 100 questions of missing number series and wrong number series.
  • If the number series has an increasing trend, the multiplication and/or addition operators would have been used.
  • On the contrary, if it has a decreasing trend, the division and/or subtraction operators would have been used.
  • If the series shows sudden surge/decline, square/cube/square root/cube root might be in the play.
  • If the trend is uneven (i.e. increasing and then decreasing and so on), there would be a combination of any of the above factors at work.
  • If you are unable to sense any logic in the differences between numbers, check for the differences of the difference.
  • There can also be a combination of different mathematical operators which you need to consider.

Data Interpretation

  • Be familiar with different kinds of forms in which data is provided viz. pie charts, tables, bar graph, tabular chart, mixed chart, line graph etc.
  • A big chunk of the questions involves the concepts of percentage, averages, and ratio. Be crystal-clear with their concepts and understand the usage of shortcuts. Remember, knowing shortcuts is important but what is more important is knowing when to use which shortcut.
  • When solving DI questions, use approximation wherever you see its scope. Approximation comes particularly handy when there is a considerable difference in values of different options. However, be informed that this skill comes by practice.
  • Make a list of the topics you are not so good at. Solve a number of questions and see what is that you are getting stuck at and work on it to improve your performance.

Quadratic Equation

  • Be familiar with the format of a quadratic equation and solve at least hundred questions on this topic.
  • While solving questions, try to do calculations in your mind. For example, while solving x^2 – 5x + 6 = 0, you need to think of 2 numbers in such a way that their product is 6 and their addition/subtraction is -5. These numbers are -3 & -2. You need to divide them with coefficient of x^2 and multiply them with -1 to get the answer. Practice will make these steps easy and you can do these calculations in your mind itself.
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Miscellaneous Topics

Questions from the below topics are also asked. It’s recommended that you understand the basic concepts of all of these topics and solve a lot of question on them. Prepare all the topics and don’t skip any. You never know from which topic you can get an easy question in the exam.

  • Profit & Loss
  • Simple Interest & Compound Interest
  • Averages
  • Problem on Ages
  • Boats & Streams
  • Mixtures & Allegations
  • Probability
  • Pipes & Cisterns
  • Time, Speed & Distance
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Time, Work & Wages

This is all from us in this article. As you may have observed in this article, that practice is absolutely required to clear this exam. You can find Free PDFs on a number of topics on our platform. Also, you can take Numerical Ability & Reasoning Quizzes which are updated on a daily basis. Before you leave, don’t forget to take a Free Mock Test of RRB Clerk 2020 Prelims Mock Test to assess your preparation level. If you have any input/feedback for us, please mention it in the comments section below.

Wishing you good luck with your preparation!

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