IBPS PO Exam Pattern and Syllabus

IBPS PO Exam Pattern and Syllabus
April 8, 2021
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IBPS sets the IBPS PO Exam Pattern. Therefore, candidates should go through the details of the IBPS PO Exam Pattern and syllabus carefully. To clarify, this will give candidates more clarity on how much time they should dedicate to each topic.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern has three parts:

  1. Preliminary Exam – Online Test (Objective Type)
  2. Mains Exam – Online (Objective and Descriptive Type)
  3. Interview.

The exam format varies depending on the stage of selection. Candidates who pass the prelims exam are invited to take the mains exam. After, they will get an invite for an interview based on their performance on the mains exam.

In addition, the final selection of candidates is made based on their performance in the mains exam and interview.

First, let’s discuss the IBPS PO Syllabus for prelims & mains exam, then we will discuss the pattern of the exams. We will discuss the total marks hold by each section and what are the time allotted.

Table of Contents

IBPS PO Exam Pattern

IBPS PO exam pattern provides details regarding the overall structure of the exam, such as marking scheme, total marks, number of sections, and time duration. Before beginning with the preparation for the IBPS PO exam, candidates must go through the exam pattern thoroughly to understand how they should utilize their time and secure a good ranking.

Preliminary Examination Pattern

  • In IBPS PO Prelims exam has 100 multiple-choice questions. 
  • The candidate needs to qualify in each section of the exam as per the minimum cut-off list. 

The total maximum mark for the exam is 100. And the total time duration is 1 hour.

  • English Language: In English, a test of 30 questions and the maximum marks for the same is 30 marks. The total time allotted for this exam is 20 minutes.
  • Reasoning Ability: It contains an examination of 35 questions, and the maximum marks for the same are 35 marks. But, the time duration of this exam is 20 minutes.
  • Quantitative Aptitude: It also includes the same marking as Reasoning.

Candidates must pass each of the three examinations by achieving the minimal cut-off marks set by IBPS. For example, a suitable number of candidates in each category will be shortlisted for the Online Main Examination, as determined by IBPS based on requirements.

Candidates can find details related to IBPS PO Eligibility, Fees, Exam dates, and more by clicking here.

Main Examination Pattern

  • In IBPS PO mains exam has 155 multiple-choice questions. 
  • The candidate needs to qualify in each section of the exam as per the minimum cut-off list. 

The total maximum mark for the exam is 200. And the total time duration is 3 hours or 180 minutes.

  • English Language: In English, a test of 35 questions and the maximum marks for the same is 40 marks. The total time allotted for this exam is 40 minutes.
  • Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude: It contains an examination of 45 questions, and the maximum marks for the same are 60 marks. But, the time duration of this exam is 60 minutes.
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation: In this paper, the total number of questions is 35, and the marks are the same as 60, but the time durations are 45 minutes.
  • General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness: In this paper, the total number of questions is 40, and the marks are the same as 40. but the time durations are 35 minutes.
  • English Language (Letter Writing & Essay): In this paper, the total number of questions is 2, and the marks are the same as 25. but the time durations are 30 minutes.

Wrong Answer Penalty (Applicable to both the Online Preliminary and Online Main Exams) In the Objective Tests, there will be a penalty for incorrect responses. Candidates will be penalized 0.25 points for each incorrect response, which will be subtracted from their overall score. There will be no penalty if a question is left blank, i.e. the candidate does not mark a response.


IBPS PO Syllabus

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Syllabus

We will discuss the IBPS PO syllabus for the prelims exam, and then we check the details for the mains exam syllabus.

IBPS PO Syllabus for prelims exam consist of 3 sections.

  1. Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. English Language

Here’s the complete list of topics asked under each section:

Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude English Language
Puzzle Number Series Reading Comprehension
Alphabets/Numeric Series & Alphanumeric Series Simplification & Approximation Cloze Test
 Direction sense Inequality (Quadratic & Quantity based) Para jumbles
Data Sufficiency Ratio & Proportion, Partnership Vocabulary Based
Inequalities Percentage Fill in the blanks
Seating Arrangement Mixtures & Alligations Multiple Meaning/Error Spotting
Input-Output Average & ages, Profit & Loss Paragraph Completion
Syllogism Time & work Spelling Errors
Blood Relation Pipe and cistern Word Replacement
Order and Ranking Simple Interest & Compound Interest Column based Fillers and Sentence Connectors
coding-decoding Time & Distance, Boat & stream Word Usage
  Data sufficiency Idioms and Phrases
  Mensuration (2D&3D) Sentence Completion
  Data Interpretation  
  Permutation, Combination And Probability  


IBPS PO Mains Exam Syllabus

IBPS PO Syllabus for mains exam comprises five sections.

  1. Data Analysis
  2. General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness
  3. English Language
  4. Reasoning
  5. Computer Aptitude

The complete IBPS PO Syllabus for mains is discussed below:

Data Analysis  General/Economy/Banking Awareness  English Language  Reasoning Computer Aptitude 
Series Current Affairs (4-5 Months)  Reading Comprehension  Puzzle  Internet 
Number System, HCF &LCM,  Banking and Financial Awareness  Error Detection  Syllogism Memory 
Inequality (Quantity based)  Static Awareness  Vocabulary  Input-Output  Memory 
Ratio & Proportion, Partnership    Phrase Replacement    Seating Arrangement  Keyboard Shortcuts 
Percentage    Word Association & Replacement  Blood Relations  Computer Abbreviation 
Mixtures & Alligations    Sentence Improvement  Direction sense  Microsoft Office 
Average & ages    Para Jumbles    Data Sufficiency  Networking
Profit & Loss    Cloze Test    Logical Reasoning  Operating System
Time and work & Pipe and cistern    Spelling Errors    Inequalities Computer Software 
Simple Interest & Compound Interest    Fill in the blanks    Coding-Decoding  Computer Hardware 
Time & Distance, Boat & stream    Column Based Fillers     Computer Fundamentals/Terminologies 
Permutation, Combination & Probability    Word Usage     Number System 
Mensuration (2D&3D)    Sentence Connectors, Rearrangement & Completion    Basic of Logic Gates 
   Data Interpretation          

In addition from above topics candidates have to write letter and essay as a part of descript test for English language.


Books for IBPS PO

The best IBPS PO books sufficiently address the exam’s syllabus. They are simple to follow and contain material pertinent to the IBPS PO syllabus and plenty of practice questions. 

The following is a list of the finest IBPS PO preparation books, organized by subject:

Reasoning Ability: 

Although this subject is included in the Mains exam with Computer Aptitude, it should be studied independently. The following are the best books on the subject:

  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S Agrawal
  • A New Approach to Reasoning by B.S Sijwali and Indu Sijwali
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K.Pandey
  • Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal
  • Logical reasoning by K Kundan

English Language: 

Even though no publications other than the usual IBPS guides appear to be relevant to the IBPS PO test at first look, these books cover practically all of the themes covered in both stages of the exam:

  • High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin. 
  • How to Read Better and Faster by Norman Lewis
  • Reading Comprehension, Ordering of Sentences, Ordering of Words and Cloze Test by Dilip Khushwaha
  • Descriptive General English by S P Bakshi & Richa Sharma
  • Essential Grammar in Use (3rd Edition) by Raymond Murphy

Quantitative Aptitude:

Because the Quantitative Aptitude component of the syllabus is common to PO and management entrance tests, there are a plethora of publications accessible. The top textbooks for this subject, however, are

  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by R.S Agarwal
  • The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude by Dinesh Khattar
  • Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma
  • Objective Mathematics for Competitive Exams by Tarun Goyal
  • Quantitative Aptitude Book by Wiley’s Publication
  • Teach Yourself Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma
  • Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma (Arihant Publications

Computer Aptitude: 

The IBPS Computer Aptitude Syllabus is not extensive. The mains exam includes this subject. The following book, is made up of activities and tools that we use every day in modern offices, is sufficient for the topic:

  • Objective Computer Awareness by Arihant
  • Computer Knowledge by Disha Publications
  • Objective Computer Knowledge & Literacy by Kiran Publications

General Awareness, Economy, and Banking: 

This is a topic that has a lot of coverage. As a result, newspapers, weekly current events publications, and books should be used to prepare. The majority of current affairs questions are based on events within the last three to four months before the exam. The following are some valuable books on the subject:

  • India Year Book by Publications Division, Government of India
  • Banking Awareness by B.K Raut and S.R Behera
  • Apart from these books, The Hindu and Indian Express are good sources of information on the latest developments. 
  • Pratiyogita Darpan (Monthly Edition)


IBPS PO Preparation Tips

  • To understand subtopics and the grading method, familiarise yourself with the syllabus and exam format.
  • Select and solve past year’s question papers.
  • The importance of planning is significant. As a result, set aside time to go over the entire curriculum and concentrate on the most crucial sections.
  • Mock Tests are the best way to check your preparation growth. It helps to comprehend the solid and weak points.
  • Prepare the strategy that works for you. Critical evaluation of your performance can help you identify the best approach.
  • To prepare for the IBPS PO exam 2021, candidates should have complete knowledge of the syllabus.
  • Work on your weak point
  • Learn time management
  • Start with the basic concept.

Note: Only those candidates will be called for the interview round who will successfully clear both prelims and mains exam. The preliminary exam will be qualifying in nature. Marks of mains exam (objective+ descriptive) will be taken into the account for the selection of the candidates for the interview.

Know More – IBPS PO Admit Card and Interview call letter

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