How To Prepare For Competitive Exams In 2019

A compiled list which aims to shed light on the preparation strategies required for acing the significant entrance exams held across the country.

ndia has over 75 lakh candidates appearing for different competitive exams every year.

India is undoubtedly a land of opportunity, but considering it is a heavily populated country with millions seeking employment, who decides who should get to seize those opportunities? 

India has over 75 lakh candidates appearing for different competitive exams every year and this number is increasing at a whopping 28% CAGR. 

To segregate worthy applicants from the rest, a safe and egalitarian method was devised to on-board deserving candidates for various positions, which is now deemed as a ‘competitive exam.’ These exams assess the aspirants’ perseverance, patience, resourcefulness, time-management and above all, the hunger to grab the coveted prize despite all odds.

Mentioned below is a compiled list which aims to shed light on the preparation strategies required for acing the significant exams held across the country. 

JEE/Engineering Entrance Examination

The Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) to offer students admission into the undergraduate programmes in the most prestigious institutes of the country; the IITs, NITs and other centrally funded technical institutions. 

JEE has two rounds, viz; JEE Mains and JEE Advanced. The former is a fully computer-based test while the latter is held partially online and offline. The exam tests the students’ aptitude and grasp over the subjects Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and even Drawing. Therefore, the key to acing the JEE Exam is to be thorough with the concepts and NCERT books, besides practicing Mock Tests. H.C. Verma for Physics, O.P. Sharma for Chemistry, M.L. Khanna and R.D. Sharma for Maths should do the trick. 

Byju’s and Toppr are learning applications which offer Preparation Tablets for Classes 11th-12th for JEE. Engaging video lectures, myriad preparation tests and a personal online teacher are of huge help when it comes to JEE, or any competitive exam for that matter. 

MBA Entrance Examinations (CAT, XAT, SNAP, TISS) 

The exam season for the management entrance exams has officially commenced. CAT, the most important management entrance exam amongst all, was recently conducted and is closely followed by IIFT and XAT exams respectively. NMAT, SNAP and TISS are other premier entrance exams and record registrations of over 2 lakh candidates every year. These exams are considered as a gateway to glorious careers because they not only help in securing admissions into the best B-Schools of the country, but also create future leaders in diverse corporate careers.  

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma is the most popular book for QA for CAT. VARC by Arun Singh and Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma are the best ones for VARC preparation. Arun Sharma again reigns supreme among DILR authors. Mock Tests are a sure shot way to improving one’s scores exponentially. Since all management exams tests speed, accuracy and time, they do require rigorous preparation and an effective strategy on the students’ part. 

While Career Launcher and IMS are considered to be the best among offline coaching institutes, Career Anna is considered as the Mecca of Online CAT and MBA Preparation, with a learning app, video based learning, online tests and a personalized mentor-ship. Career Anna also lets a niche set of students aiming for TISS, NMIMS, MICA and Symbiosis to prepare through customized exam specific online coaching programmes.

Civil Services Examinations (CSE/UPSC)

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nation-wide competitive exam for recruiting candidates to join the prestigious services like the IAS, IFS, IPS among others.

CSE is arguably the toughest exam of the country wherein only the best emerge winners. It is conducted in two phases, Prelims and Mains followed by a Interview/Personality Test Round. The candidates who get selected are recruited and trained for various services by the Central Government and then allotted to different State Cadres.

The road to cracking CSE is a long and tiresome one, but not impossible. 10-12 hours of aggressive preparation regularly must be paired with devouring the NCERT books from classes 6th-12th respectively. 

Bipan Chandra can be referred to for History, M.Laxmikanth for Polity and Arihant and R.S. Aggarwal would be really helpful in aiding the CSAT preparation. Manorama Yearbook is indispensable in GK preparation. Websites like, Byjus’, Career Anna, StudyIQ and Unacademy provide both study material and online coaching for those willing to prepare from the comfort of their home. 

Banking Entrance Examinations (IBPS, SBI, RBI, Insurance)

Banking exam primarily tests a candidate’s banking/financial awareness, reasoning ability and command over the English language. Arihant, Pearson and Tata Mcgraw are the best for polishing Arithmetic, Quant, English and even GK. Also, identifying strengths and weakness, mastering the concepts, practicing Mocks and time-management is key to qualifying these exams. 

Additionally, one can go to BankersAdda, Gradeup and to enhance the level of their preparation. 

One can also resort to reputed coaching institutes for guidance, though it is not mandatory. There is a plethora of study material available both online and offline. One can ace any competitive exam by identifying the pre-requisites of the concerned exam, devising an effective strategy and following it religiously.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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