Analysis of the IBPS Clerical CWE
( Held on 27th November 2011 – Afternoon Slot )
The first of its kind, "Common Written Examination (CWE)" for recruitment to clerical cadre posts in 19 Public Sector Banks was conducted on 27th November, 2011. The CWE was conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection(IBPS). A whopping 44 lakh candidates are expected to appear for this exam . This exam is scheduled for 27thNov, 4thDec and 11thDec2011.
To help you understand the IBPS Bank Clerical CWE paper better, we provide you a comprehensive analysis. First, let us look at the snapshot of the exam.
Snapshot of the Bank Clerical CWE Exam
Number of Questions
Now let us take a look at the detailed analysis of the different test areas. The different test areas from which the questions were asked in the exam were Reasoning, Numerical Ability, General Awareness, Computer Knowledge and English Language. There were 50 questions, all objective type, in each of these 5 test areas.
(1) Numerical Ability:
The type of questions that appeared in this section were very much on the lines of the different Bank Clerical examinations conducted earlier. This section was on the expected lines without any surprise element to the student.
There were 20 questions on Simplifications and Approximations. Compared to earlier Bank Clerical exams, the calculations involved were less tedious. For example, the questions like (a) square of 14.5 (b) 13% of 190 + ---- = 111 etc, were direct and could be solved quickly. For the students who had done their home work, these were cake walk and the students who were well prepared would have cracked around 15 to 17 questions in 15 minutes.
There were 5 questions on finding the missing number in the series. 3 questions were easy and 2 were of moderate level of difficulty. A correct attempt of 4 questions in 5 minutes is a good score.
Coming to the individual questions, there were 25 questions covering almost all the major topics. The questions were aimed at testing the basic conceptual knowledge. A student good at the basic fundas would have solved the questions easily. Time and Distance had 5 questions and PPL, TD and Mensuration were the major contributors with five, five and three questions respectively from these topics. A correct attempt of 15 questions ( in 20 minutes ) is a very good score.
Overall this section can be rated as easy to moderate with a few difficulty questions in all the areas. A score in the range of 32 - 35 can be considered a good score in this section.
The topic wise break up of the questions is captured in the table given below.
No of Questions
Series (Finding the missing number)
Profit & Loss
Simple & Compound Interest
Time and Work
Time and Distance
Permutation & Combination
(2) English Language
The paper was a mixture of simple and moderately difficult questions. Questions based on grammar were predominant (20 questions). There was a new question type (fill in the blanks). The approximate time needed to answer this section would be 30 - 35mins.
The RC passage consisted of 370 words. It was an article from the economist. It was moderately difficult to read and understand but the questions were simple.
There were 15 questions. 10 questions based on comprehension and 5 questions based on vocabulary.
Of the 10 questions, Two were sentence completion type. Eg: The PMI based on the survey was.................... Two were questions based on identifying the true statement in one and the false statement in the other. The rest (6 questions) were detail based.
In the 5 vocab-based questions, 3 were identifying the synomym and 2 were identifying the antonym of the given word. 3 words were simple (Still, Tame, Yields). Two were moderately difficult (Slump, Reinforcing).
There were 20 questions based on grammar.
Five were inappropriate usage of a word (grammar or spelling). These were simple. Eg: Software makers in India are facing a huge presure.
Ten questions were on identification of the incorrect part of a sentence. These were a mixture of moderatley difficult and simple questions.
Five questions were on selecting the grammatically correct option for the bold part in the question sentence. The errors were simple. Eg: the most knowledge
There were 15 questions on vocabulary with 10 questions on Cloze test and 5 questions on Fill in the blanks. There were 5 questions of the new type fill in the bank. Each question had a pair of sentences with a blank in each sentence. One word which would be apt in both the blanks was to be selected. Eg: I. He asked me to ........ over the fence. II. We should keep the valuables in the ..............1. vault 2. cross 3. safe 4. tie 5. locker. These questions were moderately difficult since it depended upon knowing the different meanings of a word.
The cloze test was a paragraph of about 50 words. The topic was economics. There were 10 blanks in the passage, which had to be filled in from the choices.
A good student, well prepared with CAREER EXPRESS Material, can score about 30 – 35 marks in this section.
The reasoning section of the paper was on lines similar to the past Clerical exams conducted by different banks. The one exception was Decison Making questions. The Decison Making questions were part of earlier Bank PO examinations but not present in Clerical examinations. All the 5 questions on Decison Making were easy.
The questions on Statements & Conclusions (Symbols and Notations), Deductions were of moderate difficulty. The questions looked easy but once student started solving them, they would found it lengthy and time consuming.
There were 5 questions on Data Sufficiency. Questions on Data Sufficiency appear very rarely in Clerical examinations. All the five questions were based on reasoning. Each question was followed by two statements. All the questions are of moderate difficulty.
The five questions on sequence were of moderate difficulty.The chance of commiting error was high.
There were 10 questions on Analytical puzzles. Out of these 10 questions, 5 questions were on Circular Arrangement and 5 questions were on Distribution. All the questions on Circular Arrangement were easy and could be solved in no time but the questions on Distribution required more time.
As expected there were 10 questions on non verbal reasoning. All the questions were based on five figure series.The logic to be applied for these questions was lengthy and difficult. Students should not have spent too much of time on these questions as they were time consuming and difficult questions
There were 5 individual questions from the topics like Coding-Decoding, Word formation, Digit sequence, Letter sequence etc... All the questions were direct and did not require much time to solve.
The topic wise break up of the questions is given below.
No of Questions
Deductions(2 Statements, 2 Conclusions)
Data Sufficiency (2 Statements)
Non Verbal Reasoning (Only Series)
Symbols & Notations:
Statements & Conclusions
Students who had worked on the Mock papers conducted by CAREER EXPRESS..... would have found that the reasoning section of the CWE was no different from those in the mocks.
An attempt of 35 questions, with not more than two to three wrong, is a good score.
(4) Computer Knowledge:
Overall this section can be classified as Easy to Moderate with 6 to 7 difficult questions. The questions were designed to test the candidate's familiarity with the basics of computer. There were as many as 17 questions from MS office (with 10 on MS word and 7 on MS excel). The other questions were from Computer fundementals , Architecture , Internet , Software concepts, Memory etc..
There were no questions on DBMS, E-Commerce, Powerpoint, Computer Networks, Operating System. The questions relating to internet were not easy and required a student's acquaintance with the internet to answer the questions.
A score of 30 + in 20 minutes is considered a very good score.
CAREER EXPRESS.. students who have attended the classes and practiced the Mock papers would have had an added advantage
The following table gives the topic wise break up of questions
Introduction to concepts of Computer
Basic Computer Architecture
MS Office: WORD
MS Office: EXCEL
General Computer Knowledge
(5) General Awareness:
The question paper contained questions based on a wide range of topics like, Banking, Economy, Current Affairs- National & International, and few questions on Sports and Literature.
Banking dominated with 1/3rd of the Section (17 questions ). Out of this 6 were easy, like the question - Public sector banks are regulated by.............
And 8 questions were moderate like (a) crossing of a cheque means .., (b) Increase of NPA's is associated with banks......
The remaining 3 were difficult, covering topics like ASBA stands for ... & (b) In BR .. R
stands for ... etc.
In economy related topics, there were 5 questions, 4 of which were moderate .. like question on
What are government's schemes for school children?
The difficult question was " Which state started electronic auction of iron ore stocks to iron & steel
producers at the instance of Supreme Court ?"
In the current Affairs-National category, there were 7 questions, out of which, 2 were easy like
Who is the Current Railway minister? Who is the father of India's Nuclear program?
In the current affairs-International issues, of the 6 questions, 3 were easy, like question on
UNESCO works in which fields, and which is the member country in G-8.
There were 2 moderate questions-- who is the current PM of Japan ( 5 have changed in 2 years and the 6th one taken charge in September 2011) and Salva Kiir Mayardit , 1st President of
which country.There was 1 difficult question in Current Affairs-International category, Which agreement between India & Afghanistan , enables that country to sell goods in India without paying tax ?
There were 4 questions on sports, two of them easy, like which sports does Saina Nehwal belong to, and
which countries to host the next summer olympics and the balance two were moderate
which trophy is of cricket, and which is a not a term of Hockey?
There were 3 questions on Awards, one was easy, Which award is conferred on Dr.Harish Handa & Neelima Mishra in 2011? and one question MP Goverment's awards for Music and dance can be classified as moderate, whereas one question was difficult, What's the award given to Mr.Ahluwalia in 2011?
There was a question on Literature, which can be classified as Difficult as the question was about an old author Maxim Gorky & books written by him.
There was a miscellaneous category question, on World Ozone Day.As there are almost 200 different
category dates for the student to remember, this can be classified as difficult.
A good score in this paper would be 23 -25 out of 50
Students who followed CAREER EXPRESS classes, material and Mock papers and wre well prepared, would be able to score 30+ in this section.
To summarise , the paper was lengthy and the level of difficulty was easy to moderate.