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IBPS PO Exam Pattern:

This article will provide information about IBPS PO exam pattern. The IBPS conducts the Bank Exam every year for those students who wish to secure a bank job. The candidates get a gateway to institutions like the Public banks, SBI, NABARD, LIC and insurance companies, etc.

The examination was first conducted in the year 2011 and started accepting applications via the online mode. It is now known as the IBPS Common Written Examination and selects candidates for 27 public sector banks and RRBs. For the session 2017-18, the pre-exam is scheduled to take place on the 13th, 14th, 20th as well as 21st October 2018 whereas the main examination is to take place on the 18th of November 2018. These are tentative dates and students are advised to keep a check on the official site for more information. The registration process is to start in the month of August the official announcement of which will be made soon.

More than 20 lakh candidates appear for the examination but IBPS provided only 3562 vacancies. This is expected to be more or less the same this year.

IBPS Exam Pattern

There are three phases of the IBPS Exam. They are a preliminary examination, main examination and interview. It is a step-by-step process and it is mandatory for the candidate to clear one before stepping on to the next. Hence, the students first have to take the preliminary test. On qualifying in the same, they will be allowed to take the main examination. Once the students secure the necessary cute off, they will be called for an interview.

 Preliminary Exam

This is an online examination. The total duration for this is 60 minutes and consists of 3 sections, English language (30 questions), numerical ability (35 questions) and reasoning (35 questions), carrying 100 marks in total. Each correct answer carries 1 mark whereas a wrong answer leads to a deduction of 0.25 marks.

Main examination

This is an online examination and has two separate parts. The first part has 4 sections reasoning and computer aptitude (45 questions), English (35 questions), DI and analysis (35 questions) and general economy and banking awareness (40 questions) adding up to a total of 155 questions carrying 200 marks. The duration of the first part is 3 hours and is completely objective in nature. The second part is comprised of English essay writing which is descriptive in nature. The student is given 30 minutes while the total mark allotted to this is 25.


These carry 100 marks with the minimum pass marks as 40. The duration can depend from person to person but usually lasts for 15-25 minutes. A panel, comprising of bank officials, ask questions on the banking sector, general knowledge, candidate themselves, etc. The student must be polished and must carry the necessary documents.

 Examination Syllabus

The examination syllabus is:

Quantitative aptitude: Simplification, Average and percentage, Ratio, DI and data sufficiency, Mensuration, Geometry, Quadratic Equation and linear equation, Interest and P&L, Problems on age, Number series and number system, Speed, time and distance, Time and work, Number system, Permutation and combination, Probability, Mixture and Allegation

GK: Financial, Current, Economics, Sports, Geography, Prizes and honours, Politics

Reasoning: Verbal, Syllogism, Circular seating pattern, Linear seating pattern, Double line up, Scheduling, Input and output, Blood relation, Direction and distance, Order and rank, Data sufficiency, Coding and decoding, Code inequalities

Computer: Internet, Keyboard shortcuts, Memory, Computer abbreviations, Computer hardware and software, Microsoft office, OS and networking, Fundamentals of computers, Fundamentals of terminologies

English: Vocabulary, Grammar, Verbal ability, Reading comprehension

It is to be noted that the syllabus for both, mains and preliminary remain the same. Just that mains have all subjects whereas preliminary has quants, English and reasoning.

Marking Scheme:

There are some pointers one needs to know and understand when considering to take this examination:

  1. The preliminary exam has no weight when it comes to allotment, but only those passing and securing a good result in this will be allowed to take the main examination.
  2. For the objective questions, there will be negative marking in case of incorrect answers. One-fourth of the total marks allotted to that question will be deducted. Hence, the students should remain focused in order to be accurate and correct.
  3. In case the question is left blank, no marks will be given or deducted.

Thus, students are not only required to go through the syllabus format, they are also advised to practice and study materials as much as possible. This will allow them to increase speed, accuracy and confidence. Negative marking can be a game changer in many situations and hence a degree of cautiousness must be incorporated.

Points to remember:

  • Go through the syllabus with utmost care. Mark the chapters you are comfortable with. Start practising and learning those.
  • Do not leave out the questions you are not comfortable with. Spend some time understanding the concepts so that you are in a safe spot as far as answering questions is concerned.
  • For quantitative aptitude, solve as many questions as possible. This will improve your speed and in case of any trick questions, you will be able to solve them quicker. This will give you an edge as compared to other candidates.
  • Read the newspaper daily. But do not limit yourself to only that. Read some serious novels and books. This will not only help you with the GK questions in mains and English comprehension but will also prove to be advantageous in the interview.

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