How to prepare for bank promotion exam

Last updated by BankersClub on June 19, 2020

If you are appearing for promotion in your bank this year, you might have various questions in mind and the most important one is “How to clear the bank promotion exam”? What to study for the promotion test and interview? What questions are asked in promotion test in public sector banks? Which books to buy? 

You must have a clear strategy in mind to clear the promotion test. For that you need to find the answers to following questions:

  1. What is the syllabus for the promotion test? What topics are covered?
  2. How to study for the test and interview?
  3. How much time to devote for the study?
  4. What is the right time to start studying for the exam?
  5. Where can I find the material for a bank promotion test?
  6. Where can I find the mock test for bank promotion? 
  7. What is the weightage of different parameters for the promotion?  

We have answered all your questions here to give you clarity about the promotion test and to help you achieve good marks in your promotion exam.

Syllabus for bank promotion exams

What to study for the bank promotion test?

Internal promotion exams/ tests in public sector banks cover following topics/ areas:

Banking related law such as Banking regulation Act, the RBI Act, Negotiable Instrument Act, commercial laws such as Indian Contract Act and other related provisions of various acts concerning banks, banking and business for example, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, companies act, RTI act, Consumer Protection act, FEMA, PMLA etc.

Besides laws, the test syllabus of bank promotion tests covers RBI guidelines/ regulations governing banking, loans and advances etc. This inter-alia includes Banking Ombudsman scheme, relevant guidelines governing advances and restrictions thereon, foreign exchange related guidelines etc. BCSBI is an important topic.

Bank specific schemes, products and guidelines are asked in the promotion test. This include, MSME loan products, retail loan schemes, agriculture loan schemes, deposit products, type of accounts, type of debit cards, credit cards, internet banking, mobile banking, delegated powers for sanction etc. 

For detailed topic wise syllabus click here.

How to study for the test and interview?

Check out the syllabus given above. Divide the syllabus into 3 parts, 1st part – those topics, which you have practical knowledge, 2nd part – those topics you already possess some theoretical knowledge  and lastly those topics which you only either heard or even didn’t heard.

Now, in the first phase consider strengthening the knowledge of those topics which have dealt practically. This will take your minimum time and will give maximum benefit.

In the second phase, revise the topics, for which you already possess some theoretical knowledge (may be due to your educational background or JAIIB/ CAIIB or any other reason). This will also not take much of your time. 

In the third phase, now study the topics, which you are going to study first time. Try to link the topics to practical situations to remember properly. 

Make short hand written notes to revise. The notes for the entire syllabus should not be more than 15-20 pages. Revise the notes on a regular interval to memorize.

How much time to devote for the study? 

If this is your first promotion test or the last promotion test was more than 5 years back, you’ll need to put in some good time. Although, it depends on your existing level of knowledge and ability to grasp the subject.

But if you start preparing 2 months before the exam, one hour daily would be enough. You can devote 4-5 hours in the last week. This will give you roughly 75-80 hours.

Make a schedule to prepare for the exam. Write down the deadlines to finish the topics.

After each topic attempt the questions for that topic. After completing 25% of the syllabus, attempt all the questions again. Repeat this after completion of 50% and 75% syllabus. 

Take atleast 3 mock tests after completing the syllabus.

What is the right time to start studying for the exam?

It’s always earlier the better. But given the time constraints bankers face, you should ideally start preparing atleast 2 months before the exam. The more you procrastinate, the less time you are left with. So start devoting atleast 1 hour from 2 months before the exam. If you travel by public transport, you can utilize the commutation time for this. 

Where can I find the mock test for bank promotion? 

You can find the mock test for bank promotion test at bankerslub here. There are also free mock tests. 

Pattern of bank promotion tests

For internal promotion exam for officers from scale -I to II, Scale II to III, Scale III to IV and Scale IV to V, public sector banks give weightage to different parameters.These parameters are:

  • Written test
  • Interview
  • APAR (Annual Performance Appraisal Report)
  • Group Discussion
  • JAIIB/ CAIIB passed
  • Branch experience
  • Educational qualification
  • Professional degree

Maximum weightage is for written test marks and then interview marks for then for APAR. Some banks also conduct Group Discussion for some scales (mainly higher levels) before the interview. In some banks for some scales, written exam is only qualifying, that means the marks obtained in written test are not added for final marks for promotion but it is important to qualify the test for appearing in interview.

There are marks for clearing JAIIB/ CAIIB (generally 2 marks), 2-3 marks for professional qualification or masters degree and 5-10 marks for branch experience.

Written tests generally consist of around 150 multiple choice questions of one mark each. Generally there is no negative marking in the test.

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