Preparation tips for General Awareness – RRB PO/Clerk (Main)

Preparation tips for General Awareness – RRB PO/Clerk (Main)

The IBPS RRB Officer and IBPS RRB Assistant Exams for recruitment of Officers and Office Assistants in Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are organized by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). These Mains exams for Officer grade are held on November 5 each year while the exam for Assistant Mains is held on November 12. 

Importance of General Awareness section

One of the most important sections in these papers is General Awareness. This section can help you score good marks and improve your overall performance. Here’s why:

  • You have the opportunity to 40 on 40 in this section based
  • Can help you with time as you don’t need to calculate or solve equations. If you solve this section fast, you can utilize your time for other sections that are more time consuming 
  • Candidates can achieve the overall cut-off marks by doing well in this section

How to prepare

When preparing for General Awareness, candidates are usually overwhelmed by the range of topics to study from. Then, the study material available in the market is huge, but there’s more to know than that. This intimidates candidates, so here are some tips which to help you prepare well.

Step 1:

Before you start your preparation, be very clear about the topics that you need to cover. The extensive your preparation is, the better your chances of getting a 40 on 40 score are. Let’s take a look at the topics that are covered. Some of the key topics from which questions are asked may include:

  • Banking related questions – examples: which bank launched a new app, or which bank started a new feature etc. 
  • International Organizations, Days and events – examples: headquarter of UNESCO, World health day, National Girl Childs day etc. etc. 
  • New appointments (national and international) – examples: The Prime Minister/President of a country (especially people who were in news 6 months before the exam), Chairman of a bank etc. 
  • International and national events – examples: Where and when was the current World Economic Forum meeting held etc.?
  • Economy and Business – examples: who acquired whom, which company has entered into a new market segment, product launch, etc. 
  • Sports and Extracurricular activities – example: who won the Wimbledon championship, who is the national record holder for 100 meter race etc. 
  • Awards and honours – examples: Who won the noble peace prize for Chemistry, Who won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for journalism recently etc.?
  • Others (currency, capital, country, arts, buildings and national heritage sites, political leaders both local and international) – pay special attention to countries, people, buildings, natural calamities etc. that were in news especially in the last 3-4 months leading to the exam. For example, what is the currency of China, what is the largest power plant in India, what is Article 370 etc.? 
  • Publications, Books and Authors: Biographies, new books by famous authors released in and around 4 months leading to the exams, World Literature Festival etc. 
  • Government Schemes – Look at this in detail. Examples: NREGA, Atal Pension Yojana etc.  
  • Committees, Associations etc. – examples: Study about important committees and commissions both in India and abroad. For example, Srikrishna Commission etc.
  • GDP and Rankings – examples: health index, corruption index – who tops and where is India is ranked. Also look for GDP predictions of different countries. 
  • Science and technology and defence – News related to NASA, ISRO, Eclipse in news, names of meteors that passed by in the recent times etc.

Step 2:

Read and prepare extensive notes that you can use to both study and revise as you near the exams.  Get yourself an A4 size notebook with an Index table. Ideally use a 200/300 pages note book to start making your notes. 

A point to remember: If you note down everything that you are reading, then you will land up with one more book to read. Therefore it is vital to plan how you take your notes. Here are a few tips:

Tip 1 – Categorize your topics 

The brain needs order to make sense of the huge amount of information you are reading. This is where categorizing your content will help. By grouping information into understandable categories, you can quickly assimilate and reach the necessary information. 

As you read, think of all the categories under which you can take your notes. The more the number of categories you have, the better it is to trace and read up on. 

For example you can think of the following lines. (Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and you can add your own set of topics to the list). 

Authors  List of World Capitals  Nobel Prize winners
Banking Apps List of books released  Stock Exchange News
Events and Happenings  Political Parties in news Presidents and Prime Ministers of Countries 
Calamities and Disasters Buildings, Factories, Dams, Power Plants and Statues  GDP of countries
International Organizations and their Headquarters   Controversies  Mergers and Acquisitions 
Central Government Schemes  State Government Schemes  Stock Exchange Events 
Name of Chairman of Banks and PSUs  Scams  World ‘Days’ 
Indian History (particularly post-1857 revolution) World History (particularly post-1857 revolution) High Court News
Supreme Court News  Banking procedures  Geographical features  
Indian Constitution  Political Parties  Economic Trends 


Tip 2 – Prepare an index

Use your categories and create an index for your topics. For example, each topic should have a serial number, topic title and page numbers. Leave enough number of pages per topic. Your index may look something like this 

# Topic Title Page Numbers 
1 Authors and Books  2 – 6
2 Events and Happenings  7-14
3 Mergers and Acquisitions  15 – 25


Tip 3 – Enter in correct category

As you read, start entering notes in the correct category. For example, if you read in news about ‘Prudential Global Investment Managers (PGIM) completes acquisition of DHFL Pramerica Asset Managers’, enter this in the pages assigned for the Mergers and Acquisitions topic 

Tip 4 – Use memory techniques to retain information 

Look for memory techniques to aid your retention capabilities. 

For example, one technique you can try is called Spaced Repetition. This technique was propounded by a psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus. The idea here is that if we space learning over a period of time, with time gaps in between, then the learner has time to process and internalize the data and therefore is more likely to remember it over the long term.

In this technique, you visit the same material in regular intervals of time, i.e. you space out your learning time. This is what you can do. 

On day one, you study about one topic. Memorize it and then revisit the same topic after 3 days. Then revise the topic again after 8 days, then after 10 days, 15 days and finally 30 days. If you forget something, go back to day 1 and then follow the same spacing technique. 

There are plenty of other memorizing techniques for you to choose from. A lot of these techniques are easily available online and you can also download apps that can help you study using these techniques. 

Some other general tips include: 

  • Check out previous years’ papers to be familiar with the plan of the paper. 
  • Be familiar with the Indian constitution and political system. Learn about political parties, pressure groups, etc. Questions relating to amendments can also be expected as also the responsibilities of the Parliament, State Legislature, Supreme Court, High Court, etc.
  • Regularly read the newspapers for the past four months. To be up to date on the news, download a good news app or news shorts.
  • Practice mock papers in GK and current affairs. 
  • Attempt quizzes online and test your knowledge and stimulate your mind. 
  • Refer to Malayalam Manorama year books and other good standard books. 
  • Look for good eBooks on the Net and use these free resources to prepare for the exam. 


General Awareness may seem vast, topic wise, but by preparing thoroughly in the above-mentioned areas, candidates can surely ace this section. 

Good luck!

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