Mastering Number Series Questions in Bank Exams: 5 Effective Tips

Bank exams are known for their challenging numerical aptitude sections. And one of the many problems in these sections often includes number series questions. These questions require candidates to identify patterns and relationships among a sequence of numbers. While understanding the concept is crucial, there are specific strategies that can help aspirants tackle these questions more effectively. So, delve into five expert tips to excel in these questions during bank exams.

Observe Number Position and Interval

One of the key strategies to solve this series of questions is to observe the position of numbers in the sequence and the interval between them. Start by identifying the difference or ratio between consecutive numbers. If the sequence has a consistent difference, it is an arithmetic progression. Conversely, if there is a consistent ratio between numbers, it is a geometric progression. Understanding this fundamental concept helps in deciphering the pattern more easily.

For instance, if you notice a sequence like 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10, you can quickly recognise it as an arithmetic progression with a common difference of 2. This realisation can save precious time during the exam.

Look for Common Patterns

Number series questions often contain hidden patterns that recur throughout the sequence. These patterns can involve basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Identifying these patterns can significantly simplify the problem-solving process.

For example, if you encounter a sequence like 3, 6, 12, 24, or 48, there is a consistent pattern of doubling each number. Recognising this pattern will enable you to predict the next number in the series, which would be 48 * 2 = 96.

Analyse Multiple Levels of Patterns

In some of these questions, there may be multiple levels of patterns working simultaneously. To solve such questions effectively, candidates should break down the sequence into smaller parts and analyse each level of the pattern separately.

For instance, consider the series 2, 6, 18, 54, 162. While the primary pattern is a geometric progression with a multiplication factor of 3, there is also a hidden arithmetic progression within the sequence. Breaking it down into smaller parts (2, 6, 18 and 54, 162) reveals the dual-level pattern, making it easier to predict the next numbers.

Use Backtracking for Validation

Once you have identified a potential pattern and predicted the next number in the sequence, it’s essential to validate your answer. Backtracking involves applying the pattern to the previous numbers to ensure it fits consistently.

For example, if you believe the pattern in the series 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 is multiplication by 2, you can backtrack by multiplying ten by 2, which equals 20, and then 20 by 2, which equals 40, and so on. This confirms the validity of your pattern and solution.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Mastery of these problems, like any other skill, comes with practice. Aspirants should solve a variety of number series problems from previous years’ papers and practice sets to hone their analytical skills and pattern recognition abilities. Regular practice also helps improve speed and accuracy, which are essential during time-constrained bank exams.


In conclusion, mastering number series questions in bank exams is a combination of understanding underlying concepts and implementing effective problem-solving strategies. By observing the number of positions and intervals, identifying common patterns, analysing multiple levels of patterns, using backtracking for validation, and dedicating time to practice, candidates can significantly improve their performance in this challenging section. Remember, practice makes perfect, and with the right approach, you can conquer these series of questions with confidence during your bank exams.

Leave a Comment