NICL AO Mains Tips and Tricks to Crack the Exam

Dear Banking Aspirant,

The most anticipated NICL AO preliminary results have been announced. Congrats to everyone who have cleared the exams.

If you haven’t checked your results. Please check here.

NICL haven’t divulged the marks for the preliminary exams , so we didn’t know the exact cutoff for each section and also the overall cutoff. Banking and Insurance exams are getting tougher and one should have a exceptional strategy to crack the exams. So follow a good strategy which will make your preparations uncomplicated and the best way to crack the exams.

Stages of NICL AO 2017 Exam

  1. Preliminary
  2. Mains
  3. Interview

NICL AO 2017 Mains Exam Pattern

There are two sections in the NICL AO mains exam. The first section consists of Quantitative aptitude , Reasoning ability , English language and General awareness. The second section consists of descriptive section.

The descriptive section has to be typed in English only and it is of qualifying nature. The descriptive section has a separate cutoff. One has to get the required cutoff marks in the descriptive section to clear the mains exam even though it is of  qualifying nature.

CutOff marks for NICL AO 2016 :

Last year’s Mains exam questions ranged from moderate to difficult in all the sections. Usually general awareness part is the easiest part in the first section and you can score the maximum marks in this. So do give special attention to it and also never forget insurance awareness too is important. Take a look at last year’s NICL AO Main’s cutoff marks.

Check NICL AO Cutoff 2016

Section-wise Cut off for NICL AO Mains 2016

Sections Maximum
Section wise Cut Off Marks
English Language 50 12.25 8.00
Reasoning Ability 50 20.50 16.75
Quantitative Aptitude 50 9.75 7.25
General Awareness 50 13.25 10

Over All Cut Off Marks for NICL AO Mains 2016

Category Overall Mains
Cut Off
(Out of 200)
UR 99.25
OBC 88.25
SC 81.5
ST 72.25
HI 67.50
OC 75.75
VI 84.75

Descriptive Paper Cutoff Mark for NICL AO

Category Cut Off
(Out of 30)
UR 15
OBC 15
SC 13.5
ST 13.5
HI 13.5
OC 13.5
VI 13.5


The first section consists of 40 questions each in quantitative aptitude , reasoning ability, English language , general awareness with special reference in insurance sector and computer knowledge. The total time period of the first section is 120 minutes. Unlike Bank exams which have individual time limit for each section , this exam doesn’t have individual time limit for each section , the total time of the first section is 120 minutes. The descriptive part has to be taken immediately after the first section and the answers has to be typed in with the help of a keyboard. Descriptive section consists of 3 questions and the answer has to be typed with a time frame of 30 minutes.



  • The uncomplicated scoring part in this section will be Simplification/Approximation , quadratic equation and Number series.
  • To score higher in this section you will definitely need to consider solving Data Interpretation sets and miscellaneous questions.
  • Data sufficiency questions have been also asked.
  • We cannot assure the exact sets of DI , but you can expect 3-4 sets in this exam.
  • The level of difficulty for this exam , as said would range from moderate to difficult .


  • Mostly every aspirant tries to solve the reasoning questions firts because it doesn’t take much of your time and it requires only logic to solve the problems rather than the usage of formulas.
  • If you feel the same as said above , do attempt this section and the easiest scoring part in thi section would be Syllogism , inequalities and Coding-Decoding.
  • There has been a shift in the questions being asked in the syllogism section as sometimes reverse syllogism questions are asked. Mostly you can expect the normal method of choosing the correct conclusions based on the statements given. Also brace yourselves for the other method too.
  • Coding- Decoding questions have also become tricky and it requires immnese amount of practice to solve the different and complex questions.
  • You will not find difficulties in solving the inequalities questions as they are simple and easier to crack.
  • Puzzles and seating arrangements questions are the trickiest ones after syllogism. Also it is hard to crack but do take notice that it is not really unsolvable. Constant practice of various puzzles will definitely help in cracking these types of questions. Also if you find it too hard to crack in the first endeavor , Never hesitate to back off  because you are writing to get selected in the exam and not trying to master the concept of the puzzle and seating arrangement.
  • The other concepts asked in this section ranges from data sufficeny , order/ranking , blood relation and directions and these are the easiest questions to score and sometimes maybe tricky.


  • Most candidates find this section to be the hardest one to crack , as the level of questions often fall in the difficult category.
  • The different topics asked in this section are Reading comprehension,cloze test, error spotting,para jumble and fillers.
  • Do give equal importance to this section while preparing as this may even become the maximum scoring part , if the questions were asked easy the exams.
  • Normally Reading comprehension passage would range from 2-3 paragraphs and usually 5-6 questions would be easy to answer.
  • To answer the cloze test and error spotting questions , you should have a sound knowledge on the grammar rules. The pattern of the error spotting have changed in the due course of time. Among the options , you have to select the option which has an error. Do practice all the types in error spotting to score maximum.
  • Everything in this world can be mastered , So break the jinx that you could not score maximum in English. Constant practice along with right preparation method will help you to score the required marks in this part.


  • The easiest scoring part in this section will be the general awareness. It will help you to boost the overall marks. Mostly current affairs and static GK questions constitute to around 20-25 questions.
  • The other questions will also be from the recent events but with a special reference to the insurance and banking industry.

 NICL AO Insurance Awareness Capsule 

  • Mostly the previous 3 months current affairs will be useful in cracking those questions. You have to give special importance to static GK questions as we cannot predict the type of questions asked and do remember there are plenty of facts and information to read.


Basic knowledge on computer terms and other software packages will help to crack this section.



  • You may be asked to write a Essay or letter. Other than that you may be even asked to write a precis.
  • Do give equal importance to this section , as this is of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in this descriptive section will not be taken into account for the overall marks.
  • You have ample time to prepare for the mains exam, So prepare accordingly.

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