IBPS PO 2020: How to Prepare for Reasoning Section?

Updated On -

Jun 9, 2020

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Anam Shams

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IBPS is all set to conduct the Preliminary exam and Mains exam for Probationary Officers Recruitment. 

The candidates have already indulged themselves in doing the preparation for PO Exam 2020. In both the Preliminary and Mains exam, the Reasoning section is considered as a scoring section. The aspirants preparing for IBPS PO Exam 2020 require focus and ample practice for scoring good marks.

Reasoning, mildly put can turn out to be your golden goose. You can either score heavily or waste a lot of time and still score less. This section rewards your hard work and training. The more you have prepared, the better you score.

Look at the below picture, what do you see?

If you see the glass of water Half-full: It is called Optimism.

If you see the glass of water Half Empty: It is called Pessimism.

Now, what if I say that the glass is completely full? Well, welcome to our concept. It is called Reasoning.

IBPS PO Technically

Reasoning – The action of thinking about something in a logical, sensible way. This section tests your thinking ability that how fast and accurate you are, on the basis of given facts and figures. This section can’t be split inside of the given time without appropriate practice, so applicants must practice more and more with these given IBPS PO Reasoning Preparation tips.

IBPS PO Reasoning Topics

The IBPS uses this section to understand the level of logical thinking in the candidates. It also describes that a candidate is able enough to understand, comprehend, analyze, and find answers to a question. Here is the list of reasoning items that create various IBPS reasoning questions. You should focus on these given notes below.

Verbal Reasoning Test Non-Verbal Reasoning Test Analytical Reasoning Test



Number Series



Blood Relations

Direction Sense Test

Logical Venn Diagrams

Alphabet Test

Sitting Arrangements

Mathematical Operations

Arithmetical Reasoning

Inserting the Missing Character

Number, Ranking and Time Sequence Test


Logical Sequence of Words

Alphanumeric Sequence Test

Puzzle Test

Mirror Image

Water Image

Paper Folding

Paper Cutting

Counting the Number of Figures

Dice Problems

Five Figures Series

Missing Figure Series



Statement and Conclusions

Statement & Arguments

Statement & Assumptions

Cause and Effect

Courses of Action


Check IBPS Interview Preparation: Tips & Strategy

Strategy for Main Chapters to Prepare Reasoning for IBPS PO

Aspirants should pay enough attention to each of the sections. For the Reasoning section, there are some questions in this which doesn’t take much time to solve. You will find out the best way out of several others to solve puzzles, coding-decoding, input-output, etc. in the Reasoning Section only through practice.

Inequalities: Make sure to practice at least 5 sets of Direct Mathematical inequalities or Coded inequalities. 5 questions on inequalities will surely appear in the exam. Mathematical inequalities are simpler. So, preparing well for Coded Inequalities can easily add 5 to 7 marks to your account.

Puzzles: These are relatively easy, so don’t be afraid of tackling them. There may be 1 puzzle of questions based on Double Lineup or Scheduling.  Most of you get intimated by the length of these problems and don’t attempt them. Try at least 10-15 different sets of each type of Puzzle.

Coding & Decoding: Once you understand the fundamentals of Coding & Decoding, it is an easy topic to score. This will likely appear as comprehension of 5 questions in the exam. Questions will be based on Coding in Fictitious language or Coding by letter shifting. Try at least 10 sets on Coding in Fictitious language and 15 questions on Coding by letter shifting, in all different varieties.

Input-output: These are generally easy but time-consuming. There may be a comprehension of 3-5 questions on input-output. You can easily make this your quickest and easiest topic by practicing it on a daily basis.

Syllogisms: This could be a tricky topic and requires clarity of the concepts involved in Syllogisms. Up to 5 questions on syllogisms could appear in the exam. Practice at least 50 questions on syllogisms. Try to focus on the more difficult concepts in Syllogisms like questions with Negative Conclusions and questions with Possibility cases. Solving these will make you perfect even in the basics as it will shape how you approach these questions. The simplest way to solve these questions is via Venn diagrams.

Data sufficiency: These are generally simple and scoring. Try these problems from a wide range of chapters including Directions & Distance, Coding & Decoding in Fictitious Language, Ordering & Ranking, Blood Relations.

Seating Arrangement: It is a tricky topic and you could easily lose marks if you miss out on even a single case. You will likely get at least one comprehension of 5 questions or at most two on seating arrangement. Problems can be either of – Circular arrangement or Linear arrangement. In this, the most negative information will be given making the problem even more difficult. So, practice different arrangements. Try at least 15 sets of circular and linear arrangements each.

Analogy: Practice 20 questions each of number based analogies, letter-based analogies, GK based analogies, and meaning-based analogies.

IBPS PO Reasoning Trend Analysis

The first step for the preparation of Reasoning Ability for IBPS PO is to trace the pattern of paper from previous years and analyze the expected trend for this year. Here is the Expected number of reasoning questions in 2020 based on previous IBPS PO reasoning paper.

Reasoning Chapter Topic No. of questions in 2018 No. of questions in 2019 Expected no. of questions in 2020
Statements Conclusions 7 5 6-8
Puzzle test Circular seating & linear seating 6+1=7 5 9
Puzzle test Selection 6 3 10
Puzzle test Comparison 7 4 5-8
Coding-Decoding Message coding 4 7 6
Puzzle test Classification 2 5 7
Output tracking Word input 1 2 2
Puzzle test Blood relations, direction, ranking - 2 6-8

Though the reasoning is an important and scoring subject yet English language test and Quantitative Aptitude are also equally important topics. As IBPS PO Exam 2020 will have sectional cut off and category-based cut-off, candidates should complete other subjects on time as well and attempt full-length mock tests for IBPS PO 2020 several times.

Hence, it is advisable to navigate quickly through the paper of reasoning and try solving the topics that you find more comfortable. For example, if a question is given with a large paragraph or some sequence of sentences followed by 5 questions. Then, try solving the complete statements in not more than 3 minutes. Hence you will be able to attempt 20-25 questions in 12-15 minutes.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.