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Quantitative Aptitude and Numerical Ability: What’s the Difference?

Nov 4, 2016 16:02 IST

    Recently, IBPS has released notifications for officers in both public sector commercial banks and regional rural banks apart from office assistants in both public sector commercial banks and regional rural banks. The examination pattern has changed for IBPS RRB with the introduction of prelims and mains examination whereas for IBPS PO and Clerical, it has largely remained the same as last year. One thing is very interesting in all these notifications and it is that for clerical cadre, IBPS has prescribed numerical ability whereas for officer level posts in both the organizations, it has gone for quantitative aptitude. Now, these two sound similar at the first instance, but there are basic differences between the two. In this article, we shall try to find out the differences between these two subjects.

    Quantitative Aptitude and Numerical Ability: How are they different?

    As an experienced and able examination conducting body and recruitment agency, IBPS has obviously given a lot of thought to this difference in nomenclature in clerical and officer level examinations for banks. Now, you need to understand the difference between the two so that you can prepare accordingly and score well in order to get selected in a bank.

    • Level of Difficulty: As is obvious from the notification, there will be difficulty in the level of questions in these two subjects. One is for clerical cadre recruitment whereas the other is for officer cadre. Numerical ability will test your ability to deal with numbers by making you face questions on numbers only and no logic is going to be involved in those questions other than this. In case of quantitative aptitude, though, there will be a combination of both since it is about logical aptitude as well as your ability to deal with numbers.
    • The pattern of questions: There will be difference in the pattern of questions for both the subjects. In case of numerical ability, the questions will be from simplification, number series, arithmetic questions, algebra etc whereas in case of quantitative aptitude, you are expected to face questions on probability, permutation and combination, data sufficiency etc since it is mainly about your ability to apply your knowledge for things around you.
    • The faculty required to solve the questions: If you are going to be a clerk in a bank, you will not have any decision making authority and because of that, your only duty will be to deal in large numbers. You do not have to apply anything in your daily job but in case of an officer, it is mandatory that you have to apply your knowledge and analysis to understand the pattern of something in order to take accurate and prompt decisions easily and without any delay.
    • The skill sets tested: Yes, IBPS has consciously done this in order to test different set of skills required for different posts. For a clerk, the only job is to deal in cash or any counter where he or she will have to deal with numbers only. On the other hand, in case of officers, you need to deal in numbers to take decisions and for that to happen, you need to understand the pattern of things, otherwise, it is difficult to take an informed as well as right decision regarding something.
    • Time factor: For numerical ability test, the main objective is to test the speed of the candidate along with his or her accuracy whereas in case of quantitative aptitude, the only objective is to understand a question and then apply your knowledge base to get it solved. Think about the situation in a bank: A clerk needs to serve so many customers but he has to only give them cash or take cash from them or print passbook or open a fixed deposit account or savings account etc whereas an officer is surrounded by people with various issues ranging from pension to loans and an officer needs to deal with all of them at the same time after understanding the problems. This is going to be tested in the examination as well and IBPS has rightly done this.

    IBPS is experienced enough to take the right decision in its arena of conducting recruitment tests successfully and efficiently. It has decided to introduce separate subjects for clerical and officer level examinations with a cause and it is that the posts require different set of skills. It is now your responsibility to decode this objective of IBPS and prepare accordingly.

    All the best!!

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