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IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2018

Last Updated - June 01, 2017

IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern is defined by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). For this year, IBPS Clerk 2018 notification informing about the exam dates is released by the conducting body. The exam pattern for IBPS Clerk exam is expected to undergo no changes i.e. it will be similar to that of previous year. The following article will enlighten a candidate with the marking scheme, paper pattern, number of questions, total marks etc that will be followed in IBPS Clerk 2018.  

Listed below are some quick facts relating to IBPS RRB:

  • IBPS Clerk Exam is conducted to recruit personnel in Clerical Cadre Posts in various Participating Organisations across India.
  • The exam is conducted in online mode by means of CWE or Common Written Test.
  • IBPS Clerk is a 2 tier examination i.e. it is conducted in 2 phases namely Preliminary Exam and Mains Exam. Candidates qualifying Preliminary round are eligible for Mains round.
  • Both the exams will be of Objective type i.e. they will of MCQ in nature.
  • Candidates will have an option to answer the questions in Hindi or English as per their preference.
  • There is a provision of negative marking for any wrong marked answers.

IBPS Clerk Exam Date

IBPS, conducting body of IBPS Clerk 2018 (Clerk VII) has released official dates for the exam. Candidates can go through the following table to know about the same:

IBPS Clerk Pre (Preliminary Exam)December 02, 03, 09 and 10, 2017
IBPS Clerk Main (Main Examination)January 01, 2018

Highlights of IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern

IBPS Clerk is a Computer Based Test (CBT). Candidates will have an option to answer the questions in English or Hindi as per their preference. As IBPS Clerk exam is divided into two slots: Preliminary and Main. Thus, for each slot, both marks allotment and time allotment varies. The table below highlights all important information related to the IBPS Clerk 2018 exam outline:

Mode of ExamOnline
Stages in IBPS Clerk2 (Prelims and Mains)
Number of sectionsPreliminary –  3 (Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability, and English Language)
Main- 5 (Reasoning, G.K., Quantitative Aptitude, English Language, Computer)
Type of Question PaperObjective Type (Multiple Choice Questions)
Total MarksPrelims- 100 marks
Mains- 200 marks
Time Duration for each examPreliminary- 1 hour
Main- 2 Hours 15 minutes
Language of examEnglish or Hindi

IBPS Clerk Pre- Examination Training

Pre-Examination Training is arranged by the Nodal Banks/ Participating Organisations for the candidates belonging to the categories as mentioned below

  • Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes (SC/ ST)
  • Minority Communities 
  • Ex-Servicemen 
  • Persons With Disabilities

Few things to keep in mind pre and post pre-exam training session:

  • All eligible candidates who opt for and wish to avail of Pre-Examination Training should fill in the relevant column in IBPS Clerk Application.
  • The training will be imparted free of cost but all other expenses regarding travelling, boarding, lodging etc. will have to be borne by candidate
  • Depending on the response and administrative feasibility the right to cancel any of Pre- Examination Training Centres and/ or add some other Centres and/or make alternate arrangements is reserved. 
  • One must take note that by merely attending the training no candidate acquires any right to be selected in any of Participating Organisations mentioned.

The training will be provided at certain centres viz. Agartala, Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Balasore, Bareilly, Behrampur (Ganjam), Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Dhanbad, Gorakhpur, Gulbarga, Guwahati, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Karnal, Kavaratti, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Muzaffarpur, Mysore, Nagpur, New Delhi, Panaji (Goa), Patiala, Patna, Port Blair, Puducherry, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Rohtak, Sambalpur, Shimla, Shillong, Siliguri, Thiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam.  

IBPS Clerk Preliminary Exam Pattern

Candidates appearing for IBPS Clerk have to first go through this stage. This is a qualifying examination, candidates clearing IBPS Prelims are then eligible to appear for Mains. This exam is scheduled on December 02, December 03, December 09 and December 10, 2017. Listed below are points relating to IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern:

  • Clerk exam is conducted in online mode
  • The exam has 3 sections namely English Language, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness (with special reference to Banking), and Computer Knowledge.
  • There are a total of 100 questions
  • Questions are of objective type
  • The duration of the exam is 1 hour.
  • The weightage of the exam is 100 marks.
  • There is a provision of negative marking as well. For every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. For the questions which are left unanswered, no marks will be deducted.

Tabulated below are number of questions as per the section in IBPS Pre exam:

Name of the sectionTotal Number of QuestionsMaximum Marks
English Language3030
Numerical Ability3535
Reasoning Ability3535

Note:Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS.

IBPS Clerk Mains Exam Pattern

Candidates qualifying the preliminary examination will then have to appear for IBPS Clerk Mains. IBPS has scheduled this exam on January 01, 2017. Listed below are points relating to IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern for Mains:

  • Clerk exam is conducted in online mode
  • The exam has 5 sections namely English Language, Numerical Ability, and Reasoning Ability
  • There are a total of 200 questions
  • Questions are of objective type
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hours 15 minutes.
  • The weightage of the exam is 200 marks.
  • There is a provision of negative marking as well. For every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. For the questions which are left unanswered, no marks will be deducted.
  • IBPS has defined a specific time for each section in the exam.

Given below is the weightage of each section in IBPS Clerk Mains with the time allotted to each section:

Name of the sectionTotal Number of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration of time
Reasoning405030 minutes
English Language404030 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude405030 minutes
General Awareness404025 minutes
Computer Knowledge402020 minutes
Total200200135 minutes

Note:In the exam, the scores will be normalized using equipped centile method.

IBPS Clerk Cut Off Score (Main Examination)

Each candidate will be required to obtain a minimum score in each test of Online Main Examination and also a minimum total score to be considered for further process.  Depending on the number of the State/ UT wise vacancies available, cut offs will be decided and candidates will be considered for provisional allotment. Prior to the completion of provisional allotment process scores obtained in the Online Main Examination will not be shared with candidates.

Provisional Allotment

Candidates are informed that the total marks allotted for Main Examination are 200. These marks will be converted out of 100 for Provisional allotment. A candidate should qualify in CWE online main examination and be sufficiently high in the merit to be considered for subsequent provisional allotment process, details of which will be made available subsequently on IBPS website i.e.

Marking Scheme for IBPS Clerk

The marking scheme of IBPS Clerk is also done on the basis of bi-level pattern- Negative Marking and Cutoff Marks. The negative marking is applicable for each wrong answer only. Un-attempted answers do not fall under the negative marking category.

Negative Marking

The concept of negative marketing is very straight-forward. Against every answer the negative marking is 0.25. All the candidates should satisfy the criteria of the qualifying marks of each section for getting selected in both the level of examination.

Cut Off Marking

Every section of the question paper has its own cut-off marking. The cut-off marking is applicable for both preliminary and Main round of IBPS Clerk exam 2018. Candidates must be aware of the fact that they will be qualified for the mains once they meet the required cut-off of the preliminary round. Henceforth, they will only be qualified for the interview round if they meet the mentioned cut-off criteria of the Main round.

IBPS Clerk Syllabus

The syllabus for IBPS Clerk comprises of chapters from the basic class X level. The chapters are segregated subject wise below:

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for English

This section is designed to check a candidate's knowledge in basic English language. Given below are the topics included in English section of IBPS Clerk:

Reading ComprehensionError Detection
Close AnalysisOrganizing the jumbled paragraph
Blank FillingHomonyms, Antonyms, Synonyms
Sentence CompletionWord Formation

Preparation Books for IBPS RRB

The English portion basically contains fundamental concepts of grammar and the comprehension. The books suggested for learning IBPS Clerk English are:

IBPS English Books

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
Objective General EnglishR.S. Aggarwal
Objective English for Competitive ExaminationsHari Prasad & Uma Sinha

Topic-wise Solved Papers for IBPS/ SBI Bank PO/ Clerk Prelim & Mains (2010-16)

Disha Expert

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Numerical Ability

The table below gives the detailed syllabus of this section:

Number SeriesDistance & Time
SimplificationProfit & Loss
Data InterpretationSimple Interest

Preparation Books

This is the trickiest part of all the section. This section needs more practice as it comprises of short-cut tricks and formulas. The best-selling books are:

IBPS Numeric Ability Books

Name of the bookName of the publisher
Magical Book on Quicker MathsM.Tyra
Reasoning & Quantitative AptitudeR.S. Aggarwal

Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning

R.V. Praveen

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Reasoning

This section tests a candidate’s approach to solving a problem in a logical way. The topics included in this section are tabulated below:

Coding-DecodingBlood Relations
Linear seating arrangementAnalogy

Preparation Books

The logical section of the examination in segregated into two sections i.e, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reason. The best books recommended for practicing reasoning are as follows:

IBPS Clerk Reasoning Books

Book NameAuthor/ Publisher
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal ReasoningR.S. Aggarwal
General Intelligence and Test of ReasoningS. Chand Experts

Topic-wise Solved Papers for IBPS/SBI Bank PO/Clerk Prelim & Mains (2010-16) Reasoning

Disha Experts

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Computer Awareness

The following sections test candidates knowledge in software and hardware. It is important to have a basic knowledge about computer. 

Microsoft OfficeInternet and online surfing
Computer and its historyHardware and Software

Preparation Books

It is all about the fundamental concepts of computer. The suggested books are the following:

IBPS Clerk Computer Books

Name of the bookName of the publisher
Computer Literacy & KnowledgeKiran Prakashan
Computer AwarenessArihant

Computer Knowledge for SBI/IBPS Clerk/PO/RRB/RBI/SSC/Railways/Insurance Exams

Shiksha Agarwal

IBPS Clerk Syllabus and Preparation Books: General Awareness

It is generally suggested to the candidates to learn about the current affairs of the past six months. Accumulating all the news is time-consuming.  Thus, there are books available which are one-stop information for current affairs on all topics. Check out the name of the book mentioned below:

Name of the bookName of the publisher
General Knowledge Encyclopedia PublisherPrabhat Prakashan



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