Strategy to Crack EPFO Exam in First Attempt - Topper Alok Singh
Alok Singh secured the all-India rank of 118 in EPFO 2017. After serving as an Assistant Officer for one and a half years, he moved to the Indian Railways Accounting Service having secured an all-India rank of 628 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination in 2018. He has had a very interesting journey in his career and his strategy for cracking the EPFO exam is minimalist in its approach and prefers smart work over unplanned hard work.
Alok started with defining the syllabus. There are mainly 9 parts –
- General English
- Indian Freedom Struggle
- Current Events and Developmental Issues
- Indian Polity & Economy
- General Accounting principles
- Industrial Relations & Labour Laws
- General Science & Knowledge Of Computer Applications
- General Mental Ability & Quantitative Aptitude
- Social Security in India
It is prudent to treat each section separately.
Alok suggests reading the Hindu daily and picking up new words and phrases to improve your vocabulary. Check out previous years’ questions and practice questions of a similar level.
Indian Freedom Struggle
Alok recommends Spectrum’s Modern History book by Rajiv Ahir. It diligently covers all parts of the vast subject that is History that you need to know for this particular examination. No other source is needed.
Current Events and Developmental Issues
The last 12 months of current affairs are essential for this exam. Cover them diligently with special emphasis on welfare schemes and developmental projects. Reading a newspaper daily is highly recommended. Other than that, monthly revision magazines should suffice.
Indian Polity And Economy
For Polity, you need not look beyond Laxmikanth. That is the only source you need to cover. Other than that, new bills and any particular constitutional sections called on in recent news is important.
For Economy, unlike Civil Services, you need not cover Ramesh Singh. Instead, use the book by Sanjeev Verma for conceptual clarity and understanding, and focus heavily on current affairs related to the economy.
General Science & Knowledge Of Computer Applications
Sciences as well as Computer Application both cover vast areas that are impossible to cover in a year completely. Instead, Alok suggests one picks up the Lucent General Knowledge book and covers it thoroughly. He also recommends focussing heavily on Biology as it is the portion most science questions are framed from.
General Mental Ability & Quantitative Aptitude
The level of questions asked in this potion in the EPFO exam is the same as SSC CGL. Alok recommends completing RS Aggarwal and solving Previous Years’ Questions to secure good marks in this section. He also suggests trying to score a 100% in this section to drive up your total.
General Accounting Principles, Industrial Relations & Labour Laws, And Social Security In India
These three form the main crux of the questions asked in the EPFO examination. As this is a specialization, most aspirants struggle with it. Alok recommends not giving into studying it as a degree subject, but rather focus on it as a quick fix with deep conceptual clarity.
For this, he recommends the book “EPFO Industrial Relation, Labour Laws & Social Securities In India” by Karan Chaudhari, published by Chaudhari Publications. It has all relevant sections of the syllabus covered, along with previous years’ questions.
Also, specifically, focus on the government schemes in the recent news as a chunk of the questions related to social security are asked from that section.
Advice to EPFO Aspirants
Keep your accuracy above 90% and try to attempt at least 90 out of the 120 questions set. You need to score well above 70 to ensure a proper rank. For the last few weeks concentrate wholly on revision and practicing aptitude as that will help you score high.
Alok wishes you all the very best.