IBPS AFO changing exam pattern preparation strategy

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How to prepare efficiently for IBPS AFO changing exam pattern in this competitive era

From 2015 to 2020, IBPS-SO AFO has evolved its syllabus or exam pattern faster than any exam, especially for mains or agriculture part. From 2015-2017 when there was only one exam, the agriculture part was a more conceptual type. In 2017 the paper was a little bit tough compared to earlier years as it consisted of questions from various allied sciences viz. animal husbandry, food science, farm power and machinery and few questions from current agriculture but there was a very great change from 2018 onwards. Firstly, the exam was divided into Prelims and Mains, secondly, Mains (agriculture) questions were very different from the previous year as maximum questions from NABARD, schemes, subsidy, ICAR, Agriculture allied parts were asked instead of  conceptual agriculture which puzzled students who prepared by going through previous year pattern. Current Agriculture news and questions from NABARD, Subsidy and schemes are becoming a major focus in IBPS SO AFO exam. So, it becomes a very big challenge to cover this syllabus and look for the “source” from where to get quality material. 

Major areas of concern for AFO aspirants

  1. Syllabus
  2. Source to cover the syllabus
  3. Paper is now similar to NABARD ARD section 
  4. Preparation strategy for this comprehensive syllabus
  5. How to get the facts and what to read in lengthy reports of various departments?
  6. What is the limit of current agriculture?
  7. How to get schemes, subsidy type questions and how to retain the data
  8. How to study conceptual agriculture part 
  9. How to cover syllabus to ensure the selection
  10. Interview question related to agriculture

How to Approach the mentioned concerns

Given below is the detailed approach for every point mentioned above-

  • Syllabus- Here we will discuss the IBPS SO AFO Mains exam pattern. As per the last two-year paper trend, it is seen that about forty percent paper consists of agriculture conceptual along with allied subjects and current agriculture.
  • Conceptual agriculture -questions from agronomy, soil science, horticulture, agriculture extension and economics
  • Allied agriculture – questions from animal husbandry, poultry science, fisheries, farm power and machinery, agro forestry, food science etc.
  • Current agriculture – it consists of very comprehensive part
  • Latest and important Agriculture schemes 
  • NABARD finance schemes and subsidies
  • Bankable Agriculture projects
  • ICAR recent developments and news
  • Production data 
  • Source to cover IBPS SO AFO syllabus- Till now in the market, there is no specific book which covers all the above-mentioned topics or syllabus. One needs to study these topics from various sources which must be authentic and latest, so  we will discuss source for each topic below: –
  • For conceptual agriculture:– 
  • fundamentals of agriculture by Arun Katyayan part 1 & 2
  • General agriculture by Nem Raj Sunda
  • Objective book by Muniraj Singh Rathore
  • For allied agriculture: – 
  • Agriculture at a glance by R K Sharma
  • TNAU notes
  • Current agriculture for above mentioned syllabus
  • Annual budget of Union Government 2020-21
  • NABARD annual report and updates of NABARD from its site 
  • From Nabard or the notes
  • Icar.org and its latest updates
  • For recent data reliable source is PIB

So it is the source to cover all the topics, besides this, there are many other sites and reports which are important

  • Now the query of many of the students who also aspire for higher and prestigious exam like NABARD- the ARD section is similar, so how to complete syllabus so that preparation for both the exam can be done simultaneously is a big concern, and as per last three year exam pattern, NABARD Prelims ARD section and AFO agriculture part is quite similar as both the paper consist of current agriculture, current production data and allied part. So if you cover the above mentioned syllabus with above sources you almost have maximum coverage but not 100% as you cannot cover the whole agriculture graduation syllabus from these 2-3 books and also these books are for the preparation of JRF exams not designed for banking.  As there is no special book so you can refer to them for concept and for special notes of conceptual which form an important part of the IBPS AFO exam, you can go for ixamBee high quality material.
  • Now if we talk about the preparation strategy for the IBPS SO AFO exam, you need to cover your conceptual agriculture first and then current agriculture. Many times it is seen that many good students remain busy with covering agriculture conceptual part ignoring the current agriculture which cost their selection, so a balance must be there in both parts. As far as good strategy is concerned, first focus on Agriculture conceptual part ( no deep knowledge is required) and secondly, two months are sufficient to cover current agriculture part, however, regress study on current agriculture must be started prior to one month of exam. If you analyse the recent Preliminary exam of NABARD, questions on current agriculture were 15 to 20 days prior to the exam. So one-month current affairs regarding agriculture, ICAR, NABARD is very important.
  • RBI Grade B exam is really a very good exam for a very formidable post, so it requires knowledge of RBI reports, IMF reports etc. but as IBPS AFO is concern there is no such requirement of these report even if you skip the NABARD annual report it won’t give much impact on your marks.  You should be well focused on the relative updates and PIB updates.
  • Limit of agriculture concepts is similar to calculating the limit of SKY.  As you all have studied various courses in agriculture during your graduation programme and even students from allied sciences or from AGRI B Tech have the idea about the course of agriculture so believe with little focussed approach you will nail it. You are not going to do research in the bank, IBPS just seeks the basic Agriculture knowledge from you viz. cropping pattern, crop growth conditions, varieties of important crop, soil types, nutrient management & deficiencies etc. So if you adhere yourself up to the quality notes of ixamBee courses, you will not skip a single question in the exam. If you undermine the exam pattern which nowadays consists of more current agriculture than conceptual you will definitely lose marks. So before the Preliminary exam you should study conceptual agriculture as much as you can but after Prelims, you should focus on notes and current agriculture.
  • How to get scheme, subsidy, production data and how to remember it-  The Best source is NABARD site or ixamBee pdf  because many schemes are launched by various ministries and directly given to the banks so preparing yourself the subsidy schemes is really very daunting task, so here at ixambee,  our content creator will be doing this work. As far as production data is concern you must have knowledge of last year production estimates and recent estimate launched by the Government for the current year, both are equally important for all viz food grain production, horticulture production, fisheries, dairy production etc. and you must revise again and again and discuss them in your friend circle so that you do not forget the digit during the IBPS SO AFO or any Agriculture exam.
  • For covering conceptual agriculture, ixamBee has designed very crisp, to the point and exam related concepts which are very easy to remember. We have already discussed the limitations of conceptual agriculture in earlier paragraphs. Even the books suggested above are designed to cover the syllabus for jrf/srf exams and may not be much useful for banking so there is no use of such vast conceptual knowledge. One more way is to give more and more mock tests to analyse yourself. Here you can go for ixamBee mocks that are absolutely free and designed keeping the latest exam pattern in mind.
  • To ensure your selection, prior to IBPS SO AFO Preliminary exam along with Quants, Reasoning and English you must study conceptual Agriculture part as much as you can or you can simply read books or literature if you have time but after IBPS SO AFO Prelims, you must focus on current agriculture and give maximum mock test. At Least one mock test daily for IBPS SO AFO Mains exams, this will definitely ensure your selection
  • Interview- Interview has a huge impact on the choice of the bank because the marks of the interview can change all over marks with huge differences, so it has very high importance. Basically, we all have given interviews at various levels after leaving school so you have little knowledge and exposure about your interview skills on the basis of which you can analyse your weakness, skills, strengths etc. Generally, an interviewer seeks and rates your performance via, body posture, gesture, answering ability, way of response, how you start, how you end etc. so just make a list and work accordingly. You can also give mock interviews to get a real exam-like feeling. It will help you in analyzing yourself for all these aspects. 

You can also go for ixamBee online course for IBPS AFO which is designed keeping the latest questions trend in mind.

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Senior Executive - Content Development @ ixamBee. Himani has completed her PG in Earth Sciences and believes in educating, informing and cultivating readers through her writing. She wants to explore every field in life because she believes knowledge is limitless. She is a nature lover, traveller and explorer and believes in the saying - Never say, you do not have any choice, it's always your choice because no matter what age or what stage you are, you always have the freedom to go for your choice of career in life.She has cleared IBPS PO exam and reached up to interview stage.
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