RRB NTPC Preparation – Strategies and Last-Minute Expert Tips

RRB or Railway Recruitment Board conducts the NTPC or Non-Technical Popular Categories exam to recruit candidates for the positions of Assistant Station Master, Traffic Assistant, Commercial Apprentice, Traffic Apprentice, Goods Guard, etc. all over India. These positions come under Non-Technical Popular Categories graduate and undergraduate posts in numerous Zonal Railways and Production Units of Indian Railways.

With such less time in hand, students need to pull their socks up and devote themselves to RRB NTPC preparation. Since crores of candidates have applied for the RRB NTPC test this year, the competition is high and seats are limited. Keeping this cut-throat competition in mind, Team Buddy4Study has created a preparation strategy for candidates with effective last-minute tips to forgo exam jitters and ace the upcoming RRB NTPC exam.

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RRB NTPC – Exam Pattern

Before moving onto the RRB NTPC preparation tips and strategies, you need to have a clear idea about the new exam pattern. This can assist you in designating the practice time for different sections.

RRB NTPC Preparation 2021 – Number of Questions in CBT 1

Subjects Number of Questions
General Awareness 40
General Intelligence and Reasoning 30
Mathematics 30
Total 100

RRB NTPC Preparation 2021 – Number of Questions in CBT 2

Subjects Number of Questions
General Awareness 50
General Intelligence and Reasoning 35
Mathematics 35
Total 120

RRB NTPC Exam Pattern

Name of Examination RRB Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) posts (UG & PG posts) 
Recruitment Board Railway Recruitment Board
Advertisement No. Cen 01/2019
RRB Recruitment Official Website www.rrcb.gov.in 

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RRB NTPC Exam Date (Stage 1 CBT) From 15th December 2020

1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th April 2021 (6th phase)

Duration of RRB NTPC Exam Stage 1 CBT 1 hour 30 minutes or 90 minutes

2 Hours for PwBD candidates

Examination Mode Computer-based Test (online mode)
Medium of Exam The exam will be conducted in 15 languages

English, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Assamese, Konkani, Manipuri, Urdu

Type of Questions Objective/Multiple-Choice (MCQ)
Number of Questions 100 (Stage 1)

120 (Stage 2)

Allotment of Marks Stage 1

  • General Awareness – 40 marks
  • General Intelligence and Reasoning – 30 Marks
  • Mathematics– 30 Marks

Stage 2

  • General Awareness– 50 marks
  • General Intelligence and Reasoning– 35 marks
  • Mathematics– 35 marks
Marking Scheme +1 for Every Correct Answer

– 1/3 mark for every incorrect answer (1 mark will be deducted for every 3 incorrect answers)

RRB NTPC Preparation – Strategies and Tips

After the exam pattern details of RRB NTPC 2021, here are the tips and strategies for the candidates, which they must follow for an effective RRB NTPC preparation.

Tip #1 – Create an Effective Study Plan

The first tip to prepare well for RRB NTPC is to manage your time well and create a well-thought-out study plan. You need to create the plan after analysing your strengths and weaknesses and separating the topics based on it. While creating a timetable, you should also keep slots open for revision and mock tests. 

Take help from the RRB NTPC 2021 syllabus and allocate time and energy to each one of the topics based on their difficulty level. Even better, you can take the help of a priority matrix to create an effective timetable and study accordingly.

RRB NTPC Preparation Pattern – Priority Matrix

Matrix 1

Easy and Important Topics

Matrix 2

Fairly Easy Topics but can be Studied Later

Matrix 3

Important Topics but Quite Difficult

Matrix 4

Difficult Topics

The main idea behind creating this priority matrix is to understand and segregate easier topics from difficult ones. 

Tip #2 – Section-wise Preparation Tips

As per the RRB NTPC syllabus 2021, there are 3 broad sections from where questions will be asked:

  1. General Awareness
  2. General Intelligence and Reasoning
  3. Mathematics

It is necessary to plan an effective RRB NTPC preparation and study plan so that you can effectively cover the entire RRB NTPC syllabus. You can do it by adopting a disciplined approach and preparing for your exam section-wise.

RRB NTPC Preparation – General Intelligence and Reasoning 

  • This section comprises 30 marks in CBT 1 and 35 marks in CBT 2 exams. Being an equally challenging section as the rest, candidates are advised to practice as many questions as possible. 
  • Learn various shortcuts and tricks to solve maximum questions in this section. You will need this knowledge to solve logical and abstract reasoning questions

RRB NTPC Preparation – Mathematics

  • This section comprises questions from class 10 and class 12 syllabus but presented in a tricker manner. 
  • There will be 25 questions from Number System, LCM, HCF, Decimals, Fractions, Ratio and Proportions, Time and Work, Simple and Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Time and Distance, Elementary Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, Percentage, Mensuration Elementary Statistics, etc. You must practice useful shortcut techniques to increase your overall speed and excel in this section. 
  • You can also take the help of the practice books that are used for the preparation of other competitive management exams. 
  • Practice memorising the formulas and try to reduce the time to solve mathematical questions.

RRB NTPC Preparation – General Awareness

  • One of the foolproof ways of solving this section is by being up to date with the latest news and current affairs. 
  • Read the newspaper (whether in print or online) daily. You can get tons of information on different topics related to current events of national and international importance, general science and life science, Indian polity and governance-constitution and political system, and many others. 
  • Follow valid online resources (websites and mobile apps) to keep up with the latest happenings in the country. You can follow the Manorama Year Book, which is one of the highly sought current affairs books for competitive and entrance examination.
  • It is best if you can take out at least 2 to 3 hours to cover areas related to Business, Politics, and Economics.

Typing Test

  • You need to keep practice typing without any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • As the requirement for English is 30 words per minute for English and 25 words per minute for Hindi, make sure you revise the content before submitting it.

Tip #3 – Practice with Previous Years’ Question Papers, Mock Tests and Books

Solving the RRB NTPC question papers from previous years is undoubtedly one of the best strategies to prepare well for the upcoming exam. You can download and attempt all the RRB NTPC question papers to evaluate your performance in the upcoming exams.

RRB NTPC Question Paper 2016

RRB NTPC Question Paper 2nd April 2016 shift 1 Hindi RRB NTPC Question Paper 2nd April 2016 shift 2 English RRB NTPC Question Paper 2nd May 2016 shift 2 Bangla
RRB NTPC Question Paper 3rd April 2016 shift 1 English RRB NTPC Question Paper 3rd April 2016 shift 2 English RRB NTPC Question Paper 4th April 2016 shift 1 Hindi
RRB NTPC Question Paper 5th April 2016 shift 3 English RRB NTPC Question Paper 5th April 2016 shift 1 Hindi RRB NTPC Question Paper 5th April 2016 shift 3 Hindi
RRB NTPC Question Paper 6th April 2016 shift 1 English RRB NTPC Question Paper 6th April 2016 shift 2 Hindi RRB NTPC Question Paper 9th April 2016 shift 3 Hindi
RRB NTPC Question Paper 11th April 2016 shift 1 Hindi RRB NTPC Question Paper 11th April 2016 shift 2 Hindi RRB NTPC Question Paper 18th April 2016 shift 2 Hindi

You can also practice the mock test. With this, you can practice increasing your speed of answering the maximum number of questions in 90 minutes.

RRB NTPC Preparation – Important Books

General Awareness Mathematics Logical Reasoning
  1. Lucent’s General Knowledge
  2. Manorama Yearbook
  3. Arihant General Knowledge 2020
  4. NCERT Books – Class X, XII
  5. RRB NTPC Books for Mathematics
  1. Quantitative Aptitude by RS Aggarwal
  2. Fast Track by Rajesh Verma
  3. NCERT Maths from Grade 6 to Grade 11
  4. Magical Books on Quicker Maths by M Tyra
  5. Advance Maths by Rakesh Yadav
  1. Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey
  2. Test of Reasoning by Edgar Thorpe
  3. A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
  4. New Approach to Reasoning Verbal, Non-Verbal and Analytical by BS Sijwali and Indu Sijwali.
  5. Lucent’s General Intelligence and Reasoning

Tip #4 – Take a Break

Managing time and preparing for the RRB NTPC 2021 exam tends to make both the mind and body tired. If you take a look at the RRB NTPC preparation tips by candidates who cracked the exam successfully and got recruited in Indian Railway, taking small breaks in between the study time was a common advice.  

Relaxing and taking breaks not only breaks the monotony of studying non-stop, but it also refreshes the mind. This much-needed relief can assist you to study with more vigour and concentration.

Exercising is also a good way to de-stress your mind and body. It is a proven fact that Yoga and meditation calm the mind and increase the power of focusing and remembering information. So, take a walk, eat something healthy and fresh, and meditate before sitting for the next round of preparation with more enthusiasm.

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RRB NTPC Preparation –  Tips by Experts

The foremost thing while preparing for RRB NTPC entrance exam is knowing the time allocated for each section. You need to practice solving RRB NTPC questions at home the same way you would be answering in the actual exam. 

As the examination is of 180 minutes, you need to divide the time wisely for all 4 sections. However, you should not forget to include the time for revision in your preparation time table.

Section-wise RRB NTPC Preparation in 90 Minutes

Test Sections Ideal Time Allocation
General Awareness 30 minutes
General Intelligence and Reasoning 20 minutes
Mathematics 20 minutes
Revision 20 minutes

Compared to the Mathematics section, General Awareness and General Intelligence and Reasoning Language sections are easier to attempt. So, instead of tackling the difficult questions first, start with the easier ones. This tactic will assist you in completing more questions within the allocated time.

Don’t remain stuck on a complicated or difficult question. If you are stuck on a question for more than 30 seconds, leave it and move ahead to the next question. You can come back later and solve it.

RRB NTPC Preparation –  Basic Topics to Revise

There are a few basic RRB NTPC topics that you can easily cover and revise without any hassles. Candidates are advised to dedicate at least 2 hours to each test section a day to prepare for RRB NTPC exam. 

RRB NTPC Preparation – Basic Topics to Revise for RRB NTPC

General Awareness General Intelligence and Reasoning Mathematics
  • Current Events of National and International importance
  • Art and Culture of India
  • Common Abbreviations
  • Indian Literature
  • Important Government and Public Sector Organizations of India, etc.
  • Environmental Issues Concerning India and World at Large
  • General Science and Life Science (up to 10th CBSE) General Science and Life Science (up to 10th CBSE)
  • Famous Personalities of India and World
  • Indian Polity and Governance- constitution and political system
  • Common Abbreviations
  • Flora and Fauna of India
  • General Scientific and Technological Developments including Space and Nuclear Program of India
  • Transport Systems in India
  • Flagship Government Programs
  • UN and Other important World Organizations
  • Games and Sports
  • Basics of Computers and Computer Applications
  • Physical, Social and Economic Geography of India and World
  • Monuments and Places of India
  • Indian Economy
  • History of India and Freedom Struggle
  • Analogies
  • Seating Arrangements
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Mathematical Operations
  • Decision Making
  • Puzzle
  • Similarities and Differences
  • Maps
  • Completion of Number and Alphabetical Series
  • Statement – Conclusion
  • Syllogism
  • Coding and Decoding
  • Statement – Courses of Action
  • Jumbling
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Relationships
  • Interpretation of Graphs
  • Number Systems
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Time and Work
  • Profit and Loss
  • Percentage
  • Time and Distance
  • LCM and HCF
  • Mensuration
  • Decimals
  • Ratio and Proportions
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Fractions
  • Elementary Algebra

RRB NTPC Preparation – Effective Last-Minute Tips

Solving the previous year’s RRB NTPC question papers is undoubtedly a tough nut to crack. While time management tips to prepare for RRB NTPC 2021 help in planning the study routine, execution requires extra effort. Buddy4Study advises you to consider these aspects to execute your RRB NTPC preparation plan.

  1. Do not stray from the time allotted for one subject. The RRB NTPC preparation routine should be followed diligently. Revisions should never be missed.
  2. Topics should be studied from easy to difficult level
  3. You should remember the theories and formulas related to the Mathematics section.
  4. Devote quality time on preparing the different sections of RRB NTPC syllabus.
  5. Don’t get stuck to only one subject. Your self-created time table should have variations to prevent you from having a mental block.
  6. Instead of reading something new, it is best to revise the RRB NTPC syllabus.
  7. Instead of practising orally, the written format should be opted for while practising RRB NTPC question papers. 
  8. Designate a time to solve each question and gradually practice reducing the set time.
  9. Learn formulas, shortcuts, and tricks to solve sums quickly.
  10. If stuck on a particular problem, divert your mind by studying some other topics or revising previously read topics, and then come back to solve the problem

RRB NTPC Preparation –  FAQs 

What books are best to study a week before RRB NTPC?

Although there are several RRB NTPC preparation books available in both the online and offline market, 4 of them are fulfils the purpose of overall exam preparation:

  • NCERT Books Class 10 and 12
  • Lucent's General Knowledge
  • Arihant General Knowledge
  • Manorama Yearbook

How many questions do I need to solve in RRB NTPC?

You need to solve 100 questions in RRB NTPC CBT 1 exam and 120 questions in the CBT exam. Each question carries 1 mark. However, candidates should be careful as 0.33 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer.

How many times can I attempt the mock tests to crack the RRB NTPC exam?

There is no fixed limit to attempt the mock tests to prepare for RRB NTPC. The more a candidate practices, the higher will be the chance to crack the RRB NTPC exam.

Should I continuously prepare for RRB NTPC?

A diligent RRB NTPC preparation along with small breaks is the appropriate way to prepare for the exam. Taking breaks and exercising relieves the mind and body from exhaustion and invigorates the person to start studying again with enthusiasm.

What should be the ideal approach to crack RRB NTPC?

Attempt mock tests and practice previous year question papers to prepare for RRB NTPC exam. Keep track of time and assess the number of questions that you can solve in 90 minutes. With daily practice, try to answer 100 questions within 1.5 hours. On the day of the exam, try to stick to these timings.

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