In the recent days, candidates aspiring for a career in banking and other financial institutions are on the verge of an increase. Keeping in mind their convenience we have created here a quick overview and guide on one of the few renowned banking examinations taking place every year. IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) Exam is one such which we shall be discussing in here broadly.

About IBPS SO Examination 2018

Conducted by the Department of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, IBPS SO is an examination specialized for the post of Specialist Officer from various posts such as – IT Officer (Scale-I), Law Officer (Scale-I), Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale-I), HR/ Personnel Officer (Scale-I), Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I),  and Marketing Officer (Scale-I). It is an opportunity for those who have completed their specialized degrees in BE/ Btech/ MBA/ MCA etc. to get into the banking sector in the professional cadre.

The Application fee for the examination is Rs. 600 (for General and OBC) and Rs. 100 (for SC/ST/PWD categories)

Official Notification Dates

The notification dates for IBPS SO 2018 Exam are as follows:

  • Online Registrations/ Applications – November 7 to 27, 2017
  • Written exams (prelims) – December 30 & 31, 2017
  • Prelims Result Declaration – January 12, 2018
  • Main exam – January 28, 2018
  • Main Exam Result Declaration – February 7, 2018
  • Interviews – March 2018
  • Final allotments – April 1, 2018

Participating Banks and Exam Centres

The banks which usually take part in recruitment of the IBPS SO examinations are namely, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank, Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, Bank of India, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, ECGC, Punjab & Sind Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, IDBI Bank, etc.

However, last year the number of vacancies for IBPS SO 2017 had gone down to 1315 due to less number of banks’ participation. It is thus, expected to be similar for 2018.

The exam centers for IBPS SO Examination are usually covered in all major cities and union territories of the country.

IBPS SO 2018 Cut-Offs

The IBPS SO 2018 cut-off details for each post is given as follows

Post SC ST OBC UR
I.T. Officer (Scale-I) 41.00 32.27 46.73 50.93
Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I) 41.40 38.53 46.07 29.00
Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale-I) 38.67 NA 43.07 45.53
Law Officer (Scale-I) 47.67 46.00 52.93 59.00
HR/Personnel Officer (Scale-I) 50.00 47.67 59.33 63.07
Marketing Officer (Scale-I) 63.33 55.67 67.00 70.5

Source: Entrance Corner

IBPS SO 2018 Recruitment Process

There has been a change in the exam process for IBPS SO 2018. Previously, the recruitment process included only one examination followed by a personal interview. However, from this year onwards the exam pattern will be as follows:

  1. Prelims – which will consist of 150 questions of 125 marks on English language, reasoning, and general awareness/ quantitative aptitude. 2 hours is allotted to complete the prelims paper.
  2. Mains – which consists of a section 0f 60 marks with questions related to the post applied for on “Professional Knowledge”.
  3. Personal Interview

Only candidates who clear the cut-off marks for Prelims shall be eligible for the Mains exam and those who clear the cut-off for the Mains Exam shall move on to the Interview Stage.

The post-wise division of marks for the Prelims and Main Examinations of IBPS SO 2018 are given as follows:

IBPS Preliminary Exam Pattern for IT Officer, Agricultural Field Officer, HR/ Personnel Officer, Marketing Officer (Scale I)

Test Name Question Marks Duration
Reasoning 50 50 02 hour
English Language 50 25
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50
 Total 150 125

Source: IBPS Recruitment

IBPS Prelims Paper Pattern For Law Officer & Rajbhasha Adhikari

Test Name Questions Marks Duration
Reasoning 50 50 02 hour
English Language 50 25
General Awareness 50 50
 Total 150 125

Source: IBPS Recruitment

IBPS SO 2018 Mains Section Pattern

For the Posts of Marketing Officer, IT Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, Law Officer

Test Name Questions Marks Duration
Professional Knowledge 60 60 45 Minutes
 Total 60 60

For the Post of Rajbhasha Adhikari Mains Exam Pattern

Test Name Questions Marks Duration
Professional knowledge (Objective) 45 60 30 Min.
Professional knowledge (Descriptive) 2 30 Min.

IBPS SO 2018 Eligibility Criteria

The Eligibility Criteria for an IBPS Specialist Officer usually differs as per the different posts. Citizenship, age limit and educational qualification are the 3 common parameters that need to be fulfilled to be eligible for the IBPS SO 2018 Examination for any position.

  • Age Criteria – The candidates shall be 20-30 years of age and age relaxation is given as per government norms for different categories as follows:
  • Citizenship Criteria– To fulfill this criterion, a candidate must be any one of the following.
  1. A resident of India
  2. A subject of Nepal
  3. A subject of Indian Origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire, Burma, Nepal, Sri Lanka
  4. Refugees from Tibet who moved to India and settled permanently in India, prior to 1st January 1962

Educational Qualification – This criterion holds different for different posts as per the given table

Name of the Post Educational Qualification
I.T. Officer (Scale I) 1)Four years engineering/Technology degree in Computer Science/IT/Computer Application/Electronics and Communication Engineering/Electronics and Telecommunication/ Electronics and Instrumentation OR
2) Post Graduate Degree in Computer Science/IT/Computer Application/Electronics and Communication Engineering/Electronics and Telecommunication/ Electronics and Instrumentation OR
Graduates having passed DOEACC ‘B’ level exam
Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I) 4 years graduation degree in agriculture/ Horticulture/ Animal Husbandry/ Veterinary Science/ dairy Science/ Agricultural engineering/ Fishery Science/ Pisciculture/ Agri Marketing and cooperation/ Co-Operation and Banking/ Agro-Forestry
Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale I) Post Graduate in Hindi (English should be a subject at the graduation or degree level) OR Post Graduate Degree in Sanskrit  (English and Hindi should be a subject at graduation level)
Law Office (Scale I) A bachelor’s degree in Law and enrolled as an advocate with Bar Council
HR/Personnel Officer (Scale I) Graduate and Full Time Post Graduate Degree OR

Full time Diploma in Personnel Management/ Industrial Relation/ Labour Law/HR/ HRD/ Social Work

Graduate and Full Time MMS (Marketing)/ MBA (Marketing)/Full time PGDBA/ PGDBM with specialization in Marketing

Some Mock Tests for IBPS SO

  1. https://www.toprankers.com/ibps-so-mock-test
  2. https://www.oliveboard.in/ibps-so/
  3. http://www.wisdom24x7.com/recruitment_exams/bank_exams/ibps-specialist-officers-exam-online-practice-test.html
  4. https://www.prep.youth4work.com/Government-Jobs/IBPS-Specialist-Officer-Test

IBPS SO 2018 Exam Summary

Since now we have got a detailed overview of the IBPS SO examination, let us make a short summary about how to crack the IBPS SO 2018 Examinations for a better understanding and knowledge:

  1. Prepare a fool-proof strategy and practice lot of Mock Tests
  2. Sectional and Overall cut-offs are very important for clearing each stage of IBPS SO Exam. Hence, section-wise preparation and stronghold should be the focus.
  3. It is advisable to keep a check on the Official IBPS SO Cut Off 2017, Provisional Allotment list & Reserve list of the interview along with the previous year cutoff from time-to-time and to compare and analyze them.

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