How to Prepare for PSU Exams
- If GATE score is a criterion, then the candidate will have to directly go in for the personal interview or a group discussion followed by the personal interview, or as specified by the PSU.
- If GATE score is not a criterion, then the candidate will have to clear the exam conducted by respective PSU, which will be then followed by a Group Discussion and a personal interview.
What is a PSU exam?
Before getting into what is PSU exam, let us first understand what is PSU. PSU is the abbreviation for Public Sector Undertaking. These are units owned by the government of India and may be corporations or state-owned enterprises. These have been established with the intent to undertake commercial activities on behalf of the government. The PSUs regularly undertake large projects, and in the process generate numerous job opportunities. By clearing the PSU exam, you can get employed in PSUs.
Is GATE compulsory to get employed in a PSU?
Many PSUs recruit on the basis of the GATE. In fact, for most of the PSUs, the GATE is a primary criterion that candidates have to fulfil in order to apply for the various available positions. Some of the PSUs where the GATE is mandatory are: HPCL, Power Grid, NHPC, NTPC, Mazagon Dok Ltd., BPCL, IOCL, NLC, GAIL, NFL, Vizag Steel, CEL, NPCC and MECL.
However, some PSUs recruit without the GATE score.
Exam Preparation Tips for PSU exam
Like mentioned above, many PSUs require a GATE score. Here, the candidate will have to prepare for GATE and also apply for the vacancies in individual PSUs, as and when they release their notifications. And if GATE score is not needed, then the candidates will have to take the exam conducted by respective PSUs.
If you are going via GATE
If you are applying in a PSU where GATE score is needed, then you will have to first clear the GATE. In that case, you will have to begin preparations well in advance. The GATE is comparatively a tough exam to crack. It is an all-India entrance examination that tests a candidate on his complete understanding of various subjects in Engineering and Technology. It is held on behalf of the National Coordination Board, GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bengaluru and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). These eight institutes have the sole authority to conduct the GATE exam.
The test is meant for engineers and is mainly a gateway to prestigious institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science for advanced studies. However, since the PSUs have also begun considering the GATE score for recruitment, people aspiring to secure a PSU job should begin concentrating on the GATE.
Each PSU would have its own exam pattern, but here are few generic points that may be of help to you:
- The PSU exam can usually be broken down into two sections: technical and non-technical. The technical section concentrates on the subject specialisation of the related stream, while the non-technical part includes General Awareness, Reasoning and Aptitude, Current Affairs and English Reasoning.
- Candidates should prepare for both the sections. Usually, 50 to 70 percent of the questions are from the technical section, while the rest are from the non-technical section.
- Refer to past question papers, if possible. That will give you an idea as to what to expect. Solving the question papers will also help you understand your areas of strength and weakness.
- Consult as many reference books as possible.
Group Discussion is an activity where a topic would be given and the candidates will be asked to discuss and share their viewpoints. The Group Discussion is conducted to judge the behaviour of a person, to check his leadership skills, his team-building ability, cooperation skills, and presence of mind. There are no specific rules to prepare for the Group Discussion; however, these points may be of use:
- Keep yourself abreast with the latest in Current Affairs. Reading newspapers and watching television regularly will help to a great extent.
- Concentrate also on general knowledge. You can brush your GK by referring to an year book or taking online quizzes on various subjects.
- When the topic is given to you during the Group Discussion, understand it properly. In case of any doubt, ask immediately.
- Then quickly gather your thoughts. Be precise and sharp in your thoughts.
- Communicate your points in a smart, precise manner. Remember, it is not necessary to talk too much. What is important is that what you are talking should have relevance and make sense.
- Communicating the correct points is very important. To excel here, you can have mock group discussion among your family or friends, where they can give you a topic and begin a discussion. This way, they can tell you if you are able to communicate your points effectively or not and if at all there is a communication problem, you can rectify it.
- At the Group Discussion, try to take the lead. Do not force to lead but let it happen gradually. You can lead by initiating a different view to the topic or by giving very relevant points that have not yet been shared in the discussion.
- As you are speaking at the Group Discussion, put in an effort to exhibit the knowledge that you have about the topic - you can do this by drawing references, citing incidents or by giving examples.
- Try to be in control of the discussion as far as possible and as the discussion is nearing to an end, try to conclude by summarising all the points discussed so far.
- On the day of Group Discussion, dress in comfortable clothes and be confident of yourself.
- Avoid loose talks and stick to your point.
- Be in control of the discussion but also give others a chance to contribute.
- Use easy language that everyone can understand.
The personal interview will basically test your personality. Before going for the interview, learn all about the PSU and its various projects. See how best you can contribute to these projects. This will help you give ideas to them during the interview. Also, figure out if the company is facing any challenges or has any competition or threats from within. If you are aware of all these, the way you answer their queries during the interview will automatically enable them to understand how much you know about them and your keenness to work on their projects. Also, be prepared with answers about your strengths and weaknesses.
Last but not the least, be yourself at the interview and answer all the questions confidently.
Best of luck!