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September 23, 2016

Success Story of Namrata Dash (LIC AAO 2016)

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  • Name: - NAMRATA DASH
  • Qualification: - B. TECH in ECE (2014 pass-out with 83%)
  • Final Selection: - LIC AAO 2016 (Roll No. - 2661011912)
  • Category: - GENERAL
It’s not a success story; because “Success is not final, Failure is not fatal.” Still you can say it’s a hard fought battle won by me. ‘Life’ Insurance Corporation of India became my ‘life’ line.

Just two days before my birthday, I got a “SPECIAL GIFT”; I can say a “SURPRISE GIFT” on 7th September 2016 in the form of LIC AAO. The PROUDEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE arrived when my NAME was in the FINAL SELECTION LIST of LIC AAO 2016. That 17-page PDF changed my life.

The journey was emotional, yet exciting!

Termination from Infosys & Infosys Nostalgia :

After passing B.Tech in ECE, I joined Infosys (selected in written, interview) through the so-called campus placement by our college. But after only 3 months of training, I was terminated from Infosys, because I could not secure a mere 65% marks i.e. minimum (I secured 56%) in their training programme exams. I couldn’t write a JAVA program and DBMS Oracle Query! I was depressed and I went through depression for few more months. Then gradually with passing of time I forgot that scar as well as sweet memories (Infosys’s world class training centre with world class facilities, delicious foods, and multiplex) and time healed me. And today I can say those past memories have been deleted from my mind automatically and permanently. I no longer have any relationship with the bitter truth (Termination).

There are two darkest days in my life till now. First; the day when I was thrown out of Infosys and second; the day when I didn’t qualify IBPS PO-V Main Examination. Coming to the first one, when Infosys fired me, I was plunged into darkness. I cried the whole night of the termination day. My friends who were there with me tried to make me feel better by saying that, “Everything in life happens for a reason. Something better than this, is waiting for you. You go out of here and enjoy.” But I didn’t know what to do, which way to go, for which job to prepare for, so many thoughts clustered my mind. I was completely shattered. I was nowhere. Some of my friends there had earlier persuaded me to cheat in the training exam and get passed. But I am not a cheater, whereas some of them cheated and passed the exams. The only difference between them and me was that; they got their job confirmed by passing the exams by cheating from each other’s computer screens and I lost my job because of no cheating.

I have a REASON to succeed i.e. “Unsupportive Parents” as stated in one of the success stories I have read recently.

Then the real story began; I struggled with myself mentally. Those people, who once poured their blessings for my getting into Infosys, started ‘cursing’ me. In the mean time, I decided not to run after private sector jobs and showed interest in banking sector. So to get start and guidance, I joined Mahendra’s coaching classes and started my preparation for banking exams formally in December, 2014. My parents and other family members were simply disappointed at my decision to go for banking sector.

Often my eyes were filled with TEARS by listening to my parent’s harsh words, but I didn’t pay heed to them. Tears are good for eyes!! I was on the path of my preparation. I was on my way and they were theirs. Anyway, those verbal attacks on me by my parents made me stronger and motivated me to work harder and excel in exam and interview. I am thankful for them for this purpose. My father forced me to again apply for private software companies like TCS, Infosys etc. but I didn’t listen to him. My mother used to give examples of my two cousin brothers (elder to me) and say, “See, they are earning huge amount of money in dollars in foreign countries; you are nothing in front of them.” Most often, my mother was uttering the word ‘Infosys’ like chanting a ‘Shloka’ of Bhagvad Gita! She used to blame me and my inability to perform at Infosys. She was stuck up at ‘Infosys’ as if it was the greatest among all and highest paid job! She was repeating the sentence “You failed in your previous job, you couldn’t do it, so you also cannot achieve anything more in life” as if that was the ‘only’ job available on ‘earth’! She was refusing to move further. Every sentence she uttered, she included the ‘Infosys drama’. My parents were against me. I was fed up with all these, but didn’t give up. The impact of termination from Infosys was so powerful that I developed an unusual type of anxiety (a strange sensation in my eyes), according to my eye doctor. With passage of time, it became normal.

Everybody called me a looser after returning from Infosys. On that day itself, I decided to prove and show my worth to the world. Whenever my parents say something to me, I become speechless and turn into a mute spectator. I don’t have any right to utter a word from my mouth.

‘If you have lost a job, remember this: There are other jobs out there, may be better than the one you lost!’

My childhood friends; Umakant and Rubi stood by me. They fully supported me and my decision.
I bought some bestselling motivational & inspirational self help Books such as: 1)“The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale, 2)“The Power of Now” by Echkart Tole, 3)“Who will cry when you die” by Robin Sharma, 4) “YOU CAN WIN” by Shiv Khera (The Best), 5)“TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO !” by Schuller , 6)“The Magic of Faith” by Joseph Murphy, 7)“Success is Never Ending, Failure is Never Final” by Schlluer, 8) “Finding your strength in Difficult Times” by David Viscott, 9) “Believe in Yourself” by Joseph Murphy. I took help of the above books and those books were my resources, they were like my friends and everything and will be friends forever. That’s why I am alive today taking a positive view towards ‘life’. The first five books I mentioned above are amazing, the best and of must buy! Read at least one page from these books everyday and you will definitely get inspiration. While studying and working, remember those words, sentences and move ahead.

In order to forget the Infosys incident(flashback), almost every day I kept listening to motivational songs(of Hindi films) like; ‘Aashayein..’, ‘aas paas hai khuda..’, ‘Itni Shakti Hame Dena Daataa..’ etc... Do the same. It surely helps to get your spirit up.

The ‘MADE EASY’ Drama:
After being terminated from Infosys in Dec 2014, I was so mad about getting a ‘job’ that I unintentionally took some quick and wrong decisions. I was somewhat driven by my parents’ words. In between attending bank coaching class, in February 2015, I took admission in ‘MADE EASY’ coaching institute for PSU(BSNL, Nalco etc)/GATE coaching by paying Rs. 10,000 in advance and then after paid the rest of the amount i.e. Rs. 48,500. So total admission fees were Rs. 58,500. After attending classes (6 pm-9pm) for first few days, I realized that I have made a big mistake! Those very high standard engineering subjects, questions/answers were going over my head. I thought, I was walking on the wrong path and suddenly changed my mind to discontinue going to ‘MADE EASY’. My friend Umakant also made me aware of the current job scenario, how difficult it is to get a job in core technical sector nowadays, on the other hand, rapid growth in banking sector jobs. But what to do?? I requested their official to refund my money, But after so much drama he directly refused to return money. And the chapter ended there itself. So in this way, I simply threw away Rs. 58,500 into the dustbin. Then I have apologised to God for this unpardonable mistake. I guess my parents have already forgiven me as they are saying nothing regarding that incident. I had written an apology letter to God also. I think God also pardoned me after 1 and half year in the form of bestowing upon me LIC AAO. I got a lesson; I shall never repeat this type of mistake in life.

About IBPS PO-V Debacle :
The ‘dark’ future ended there at Infosys and a whole new ‘Bright Future’ was awaiting me. Then I never looked back again after getting started towards a bright future. On 16th November, 2015 result of IBPS PO Main was declared. After seeing ‘Thank you for appearing’ on screen, I became totally blank for a while. Everywhere darkness was there. Then after 2 hours only, tears came into my eyes. I cried a lot and could not sleep that night at all. My eyes were swollen. It’s very heartrending to fail in the 2nd stage (Main Exam) after clearing the 1st stage (preliminary exam). One time happiness in seeing results, then another time negative result; unhappiness. That means no meaning in clearing the preliminary exam! Wasn’t that Infosys termination tragedy enough for me that God battered me with another tragedy?? I could not qualify IBPS PO Main. What matters most is; I lost the CHALLENGE with my father which he gave me to clear a bank exam in today’s cut-throat competition. Again I was shattered. He won, I lost. My success story remained half-way. It could not be completed. Dreams dashed, hopes dashed...Perhaps, it is my punishment by GOD for throwing away Rs. 58,500 in Made Easy, earlier that year. Yeah! That’s a possibility...

But see, again 1 year later, I WON the challenge given by my father! My WIN => his DEFEAT. I think, it is the perfect ‘REVENGE’ of 3 things at a time; 1) Infosys,2) IBPS (because of ibps po main failure) and 3) my parents. I took the Revenge not by getting IBPS PO 2016, but by getting even a better one; LIC AAO 2016. I didn’t have to wait and go for IBPS PO-VI exam itself, though had applied for.

God’s delays are not God’s denials.

Earlier I was dreaming of appearing in IBPS PO V interview (sitting in front of interview panel), even before appearing in online written exam. Was it my mistake?? Is it a fault to see a dream? I had never thought in my dream that I would not qualify ibps po main exam. At least I must have passed the written stage. Then rest interview would have been in God’s hands. Alas! It didn’t happen. God’s will is something different. I know, He will not again repeat that mistake of sending me to a place, where I cannot perform and I will perish (Infosys). He will give me a job or send me to a ‘safer place’ where I can perform well and live in peace. Keeping in mind this job termination fear factor, He is making me wait till a good job comes in my way. He is intentionally delaying the process of presenting me an Officer Job. That’s why He didn’t make me qualify ibps po mains 2015. He might not want me to enter into the banking sector! Can you imagine a B.Tech graduate got disqualified continuously in two important exams only due to reasoning subject!! Now believe it. I thought if I didn’t get ibps po 2015, I would have died. I was feeling like dying after seeing my result status. But the self help books saved my life. Salute/kudos to those authors for saving my life! Again 2015(ibps po failure) turned into a disastrous year like 2014(Infosys termination). I had already used each and every resource for preparation starting from coaching institute to books, online video tutorials, websites’ quizzes, PDFs, notes, best online mock tests (Oliveboard and Practicemock) etc..Still nothing was working!

About IDBI Executive controversy:
I had appeared in the IDBI Executive (On contract basis) exam in May 2015. Thankfully, I cleared the online written exam. I prepared thoroughly for the interview (as I wanted to have an interview experience) and appeared in it. I was selected through second waitlist which was released on 3rd January 2016. The medical test was on 11th Jan. I was in a dilemma whether to join idbi bank or not. The reasons were; 1) the job was contractual (not permanent), the future seemed uncertain; 2) The bank is soon going to be privatised. Still, I went for medical test (wasted 1 day). Afterwards, I thought a lot and decided not to join as I was confident that, I have the capability to be an Officer. If I can become an Officer by waiting for some more days with big opportunities coming; why to waste my career in idbi?? Also at that time (idbi joining date) LIC AAO exam was coming closer. As written in idbi offer letter posting was at Mumbai, I rejected the offer and brought my focus back on lic aao.

As I didn’t join idbi, my father warned me, “Mind it!! You are throwing a job which you have got. So you are not going to get a job anymore in near future. It will surely cost you heavily. You have to pay the price.” I became SPEECHLESS as usual by listening to his discouraging words.

About not appearing in Clerk/Assistant Exams:
Many people were advising me to apply for SBI/IBPS CLERK Exam and get it (Also I know I can get a clerk job easily). But tell me one thing genuinely, is ‘CLERK’ the ‘substitute’ for ‘PO’? Clerk is not the SUBSTITUTE for PO! But for me, as of now, LIC AAO is the true ‘SUBSTITUTE’ for IBPS PO.

I wanted to be an officer only, not a clerk. So I decided not to apply for clerk/assistant exams, though I appeared in a few assistant exams in 2015 for practice purpose. My father at times insisted me to apply for clerk also and said, “You can get promotion and be an officer after working for a few years as a clerk. I never listened to him! My uncle (who is in SBI as Branch Manager) also told me that if I could not manage to get an officer job directly I should appear for clerical exams. He told that he had also joined SBI as a clerk long back and today he is Branch Manager.

Despite all these advice, I was not biased by anyone and kept myself stronger enough to get only the OFFICER Job and, today I proved it also (Assistant Administrative Officer in LIC)! I wanted to become officer means officer, nothing less than that. No one could stop me from becoming an Officer.

Setting your Target:

You might have heard the proverb “Jack of all trades, Master of None”.

If you are really interested in banking sector, then AIM for Bank Exams only and the same applies for SSC. If you are aiming IBPS PO or SBI PO then don’t think of preparing for SSC-CGL (My motto). I have seen many aspirants preparing for Banking and SSC simultaneously (I wonder, don’t know whether they get success or not, maybe they get but very rare cases). The fact is that the syllabus of bank exams and ssc exams is completely different although some chapters overlap, for this reason; you cannot focus well on one thing at a time. Even if studying for bank exams require less hours (6-8 hrs) in a day, stick to it. Whereas along with bank exams you can appear in various insurance exams like LIC AAO/NICL/NIACL/OICL/ UIICL AO/Assistant etc.. Because both banking and insurance (both come under financial services sector) exams have the same syllabus and almost same pattern. Preparing for bank/insurance exams do not require you to study for long hours, give much effort, only 5-6 hours after you attain a certain level, will do.

Target only one thing at a time. You are not going to do JOB at all places whichever you get. If you are getting failure in one or several attempts mean your success also lies there (maybe delayed).

As I have read in one book, there is nothing called ‘failure’. It’s not ‘failure’, it’s called ‘Temporary Defeat’. It is necessary. It again reminds you that a few more mistakes/things need to be corrected. Suppose say, I fail in ibps po, that doesn’t mean I will now change my mind and stop appearing in po exams further and switch to another exam e.g ssc and the vice-versa is also true.

My view on ‘Criticism’:

Criticism helps a human being to grow and advance in life. Yes, I was hurt with the statements given to me by my parents. But their criticism helped me stay motivated and work even harder. I am thankful to them for this. For getting success you must have some critics who always criticise you and your work very badly.


Hadn’t I been come out of Infosys, I wouldn’t have landed in a Govt. job today! So I am very much thankful to Infosys for this (I don’t have their emailid otherwise would have definitely sent a ‘Thank you’ Note to Infosys!). Hadn’t I tasted the failure in IBPS PO 2015, I wouldn’t have been able to find out my weaknesses (Reasoning) and succeed in the next big exam (after ibps po ’15) i.e. LIC AAO 2016!

Believe me; God has already set up everything for you. All you have to do is to follow HIS Path.

Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you...It does mean God has a better idea!
Failure is the highway to success. Tom Watson Sr, of IBM, said,
“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”

Exams I Appeared in 2015 :-

I was just applying for exams randomly without setting a target. So the failures were inevitable. Among them, first 10 were without much and consistent preparation, as at that time I had not come across all the online resources (websites like Gr8 etc). However, in most of these exams, my scores were closer to the cutoffs like in SBI PO and RBI Assistant.
1. SBI Associates Clerk (first ever experience without knowing anything, score-114, cutoff-148)
2. IBPS IT Officer (Managed to attempt only 65 out of 200!!, though read IT from Arihant book, no in-depth knowledge)
3. SBI Specialist (IT) Officer
4. SBI PO (Preliminary cleared with 47.5 marks, Main exam not cleared, Mains mark=86(objective) cutoff=80(obj), with descriptive(overall) marks I don’t remember)
5. IDBI Executive (got it, didn’t join, reasons above earlier)
6. LIC ADO (gave just for sitting in an exam, written qualified, interview appeared, no final selection thank god, u know it’s purely marketing job, not so good)
7. RBI Assistant (written not cleared, score-155)
8. IDBI Manipal PO (written cleared just touched cutoff, interview appeared, again thank god no final selection, u know reasons!)
9. IRDAI Assistant
10. UIIC Assistant
Then with some serious preparation and strategy, I went on to target IBPS RRB PO and the most important recruitment of the year IBPS PO-V.
11. IBPS RRB Officer Scale-I (failed in reasoning by 1 mark, overall marks just above cutoff though)
12. IBPS RRB Office Assistant (written cleared, my score-121 cutoff-118, no final selection after interview, again thank god it was assistant!)
13. IBPS PO-V (Score in Prelims=58 [attempt 57], Score in Mains=89.25 [attempts 103, cutoff 76, failed in Reasoning-> cutoff 10, mine just 6.75 with 13 attempts due to foul attempts in logical reasoning])
*I got this much total marks due to very high marks in ‘GA’ and English (20.25/40)
*My GA marks were 32.75 out of 40 [attempts 34]
That’s why I felt very bad at my failure!
14. RBI Grade B (In phase-I failed in QA by 0.5, though hadn’t prepared for phase-II)
15. NABARD Development Assistant (qualified in written, marks-169[attmpt 164] but alas! The recruitment was cancelled afterwards becoz of Modi Govt. declaring withdrawal of interview process from junior level posts)

Exams I appeared in 2016:-
1. SBI IT Officer (I was not interested in IT officer as I haven’t studied IT subject that much in b tech as my branch was ECE, still appeared becoz of my father’s persuasion)
Then after I tightened my belt and gave much effort in the following exams. Then I started getting very closer to the cut off, for which I got the much needed confidence to give my 200% in all upcoming exams.
2. SIDBI Grade A Officer(Assistant Manager)
*This exam was the turning point and my gateway to LIC AAO; as I got inspired to secure more marks.
*My marks- 134.50 in objective [attmpt-135] (obj. Cutoff 125) But couldn’t clear the overall cutoff.
*My overall marks (obj.+descriptive)= 160.5 out of 250 (cutoff- 162.75)
3. IBPS IT Officer (qualified in written with very less marks in IT professional knowledge; appeared in interview, no final selection, IT officer was not meant for me as I lacked prof. Knowledge)
*However, good score in both Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude boosted me further, gave me more confidence.
Then it was the ‘turn’ of my life changing event!!!
4. LIC AAO (Finally Selected !!!) :
*Details of Score:->
I. Reasoning --> 89.75 (out of 90) Attempts-30/30
II. GK, Current Affairs--> 44.75 (out of 60) Attempts-24/30
III. Computer ---> 50.25 (out of 60) Attempts-22/30
IV. Quantitative Aptitude-> 86.00 (out of 90) Attempts-28/30
Total Weighted Score= 270.75 (out of 300) Total Attempts-104/120 (Excluding English) [I think lic has mistakenly interchanged my GA and Computer marks !]
English-> 17.75 (out of 40) attempts-23/40 [I did less in English knowingly as it was only qualifying]
• Note- English was Qualifying in nature. Marks not added.
 Marks Secured in Interview- 42 (out of 60)
 Overall(written+interview)=270.75+42= 312.75 [cut off- 306]
5. NABARD Grade A (Prelims qualified, my score-122.75 attmp-131, cutoff 112, but couldn’t appear in Main exam due to UIIC AO exam on the same day)
6. UIICL AO-Scale I (Generalist) [Written qualified, appeared in Interview, No final selection...]
7. SBI PO (Qualified prelims as usual 47.5, not qualified Mains)
*[But No Regrets, as I have already been waiting for 2 imp. Final results(LIC AAO & UIIC AO)]

Strategy’ to crack written exam:

I have marked one thing always, aspirants ask for strategy. So I am sharing the same below. I also followed some strategies shared by successful candidates in their success stories.
My Weakness- After ibps po-v debacle I came to know that, I was struggling in Reasoning High level puzzles and Syllogism’s possibility concepts related questions.
So firstly I watched Oliveboard’s all video lessons of all subjects as if I started my preparation again from the scratch, solved the examples, practice tests (both chapter and section wise) from Oliveboard. I cleared my doubts in Syllogism by watching some good YouTube videos.
Secondly, I purchased the books (names mentioned below) recommended by E(xam)P(undit) and practised from them (QA/DI & Reasoning).
  1. Quantitative Aptitude:
    • Books 
      • Quantitaive Aptitude by Abhijeet Guha (Tata McGraw Hill Publication)
      • Data Interpretation by K.Kundan(BSC publication)
      • Short-cut tricks and methods by Talentsprint’s videos on youtube and also shortcuts taught by Mahendra’s faculty helped a lot.
  2. Reasoning:
    • Book- Analytical reasoning by M.K. Pandey (BSC Publication)
    • I used to solve reasoning Quizzes (containing Syllogism and PUZZLES) posted on various websites daily.
  3. English:
    • Honestly speaking, I did not read any book for English. I read ‘The New Indian Express’ newspaper everyday without fail and read The Hindu vocabulary given in Gr8AmbitionZ. I have a good command over English language. This section has never trouble me in any exam (except SBI PO Main 2016!!)
  4. Computer:
    1. Nothing special, no specific books I followed for this subject. I used to study from coaching class’ notes, attempt quizzes posted by websites. Also referred PDFs shared by them. You can follow any book also.
  5. General Awareness :
    1. This was my ‘STRENGTH’. GA is an important weapon to use in exams. I scored 32.75/40 in GA in IBPS PO Main ’15, by following this strategy-->
For Current Affairs,
  • First of all, make a diary or notebook (usually a thick one) as per your convenience.
  • To study Daily Current Affairs (CA) Updates, the MORNING hours (7 AM-11 AM) are the BEST TIME, neither evening nor night. With fresh mind, you can remember everything very easily at that instant itself. No burden on you later at all. A particular day’s CA is finished and digested that day itself.
  • Note down important headlines from the English newspaper you read in the notebook.
  • Read Daily Current Affairs updates everyday without fail. (Important)
  • Ques) from where to read daily CA updates?
  • Ans) From at least 5 and at most 8 websites/blogs one after another.
Along with reading, write down all the headlines one by one in your notes as well as important points in that news if any. Every day after reading CA updates by the above method for 2-3 hours, then attempt all the CA/GA(static gk also) Quizzes posted on those sites daily.
  • The above work should be included compulsorily in your daily routine like eating, sleeping... The Earth may stop rotating for a while, but I never missed current affairs updates (reading+writing) for a single day from this wonderful website.
Next step is; revise your CA notes whatever you have written in every 5 days. Then read all the monthly PDFs. After all these complete, you can just have a look over the ‘Master In Current Affairs’ Magazine (Error free not guaranteed!). And lastly, read the final GA PDFs (e.g. CA e-Magazine by EP, GA Capsule by Gr8 etc..) which are uploaded for the particular exam you are going to appear (for the complete revision). Follow the posts regularly given in the above mentioned blogs so that you will never miss anything.

For Banking/Financial Awareness, I studied my notes (given by Mahendra’s faculty).

For static GK, refer pdfs shared on sites.
  • Especially, for LIC AAO 2016 exam, I followed the book ‘Kiran’s LIC AAO Practice Book’ recommended by EP. I solved selected questions of Reasoning and Quant. Aptitude from the practice sets of that book. It helped me a lot as the level of questions was very good and matched up to standard of real exam.
Online Mock Tests::
Finally coming to online mock tests, I took
  1. Oliveboard (Best)
  2. Practicemock (2nd best)
Go with anyone of them or if you need more practice, go with both.

‘Strategy’ for Interview:
For interview preparation (long term), I had kept a thick notebook. I wrote all the expected questions that can be asked along with answers (searched from Google, best buddy). Referred interview Q/A PDFs given in various websites...I revised my notes very often. I made 5 segments ;
  1. Personal/HR(prepared answers myself), 
  2. Graduation subjects and basics of computer/IT, 
  3. Banking and Financial Awareness, 
  4. Current Affairs(Trending topics/issues of last1-2 month before interview, Modi Govt’s schemes), 
  5. GK (static, & Who’s who e.g. cabinet ministers, CMs, Governors, CJI etc...) for easy studying at any time. I recorded my answers in mobile’s voice recorder to listen my tone for rehearsal purpose.

“Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently.”

-The End-

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