IBPS PO Exam Pattern describes the nature of questions, marking scheme, section-wise marks distribution, total number of questions, etc. It is defined by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) each year. The paper pattern has not seen any major changes over the years.
IBPS PO Exam Pattern is different for all the three stages viz. Prelims, Mains and Personal Interview. IBPS also conducts Pre-Examination Training before the conduction of entrance exam. The training is held especially for reserved category candidates to nurture their capabilities before appearing in the exam. Check IBPS PO Expected Cut off
Here are the key highlights of IBPS Exam Pattern:
- IBPS Prelims and Mains will be in online mode.
- The questions in both the papers will be objective in nature i.e. MCQs. Check IBPS PO Syllabus
- As for IBPS PO Marking Scheme, candidates will be awarded +1 mark for each correct answer and lose ¼ mark for each incorrect answer.
- In IBPS PO Prelims, a total of 100 questions will be asked. The questions are divided into 3 sections namely English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Logical Reasoning.Check IBPS PO Practice Papers
- In IBPS PO Mains, a total of 200 questions will be asked. Again, these questions are divided into 5 sections namely English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, General Awareness and Computer Knowledge.
- IBPS PO Interview will be conducted for 100 marks. The minimum qualifying marks in interview will not be less than 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates).
For this year, the official dates for IBPS PO have released online at ibps.in. IBPS PO Prelims 2017 is scheduled for October 07, 08, 14 and 15, 2017. Official dates for mains and interview round will be released shortly by IBPS. Around 20 lakh students are expected to appear for the IBPS PO this year.
IBPS PO Exam Pattern for Prelims
- Mode of Examination– IBPS PO Prelims will be conducted in online mode. Candidates appearing for IBPS will be allotted a desktop, here they will be first shown all the instructions and guidelines that need to be followed by them. Post that, questions will appear and needs to be answered one by one.
- Number of Sections- There are 3 sections in IBPS PO Prelims viz. English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Logical Reasoning.
- Duration of Exam- The bank exam will be of 1 hour (60 minutes).
- Nature of Questions- Questions that will be asked in the exam will be of objective type. Each question will have 4 options wherein only 1 option will be correct.
- Number of Questions– In IBPS Prelims, there will be a total of 100 questions. These questions are further divided into 3 sections i.e. English section will have 30 questions, Quantitative Aptitude section and Reasoning section will have 35 questions each.
- Marking Scheme– IBPS has defined a proper marking scheme for its bank exam. For this paper, each question will carry 1 mark. Also, there is a provision of negative marking as well i.e. for every wrong answer, ¼ mark would be deducted.
- Language of Exam- For English section, candidates have to answer in English Language only, whereas, for Quants and Reasoning Section, English and Hindi language can be used.
Key Points for IBPS PO Prelims
- It is considered as the qualifying examination.
- Candidates clearing this paper will then be eligible to appear for IBPS Mains.
- The marks secured in this phase will not be considered or counted for the purpose of final selection.
- There will also be sectional wise cutoff as well as the overall cutoff to appear for IBPS PO Mains exam.
IBPS PO Sectional Paper Pattern for Prelims
The following table represents the section pattern for IBPS PO Prelims:
|Section Name||Total Questions||Total Marks|
|English||30 ||30 |
|Quantitative Aptitude||35 ||35 |
|Reasoning||35 ||35 |
|Total||100 Questions||100 Marks|
Read How to prepare Quantitative Ability Section in IBPS PO?
IBPS PO Preparation Books
|Book Name||Author/ Publisher|
|Objective General English||S.P. Bakshi|
|Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination||R.S. Aggarwal|
|Analytical Reasoning||M.K. Pandey|
IBPS PO Exam Pattern for Mains
- Mode of Examination: – IBPS PO Mains will be conducted in online mode. Candidates appearing for IBPS will be allotted a desktop, here they will be first shown all the instructions and guidelines that need to be followed by them. Post that, questions will appear and needs to be answered one by one.
- Number of Sections: - There are 5 sections in IBPS PO Mains viz. English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, General Awareness and Computer Knowledge.
- Duration of Exam: - The bank exam will be of 2 hours 20 minutes (140 minutes)
- Nature of Questions: - Questions that will be asked in the exam will be of objective type. Each question will have 4 options wherein only 1 option will be correct.
- Number of Questions: – In IBPS Mains, there will be a total of 200 questions. These questions are further divided into 5 sections i.e. English and general Awareness section will have 40 questions each, Quantitative Aptitude section and Reasoning section will have 30 questions each. Also, there will be only 20 questions in Computer Knowledge section.
- Marking Scheme: – IBPS has defined a proper marking scheme for the PO/ MT exam. For this paper, each question will carry 1 mark.There is a provision of negative marking as well. For every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted.
IBPS PO Mains Key Points
- There will also be sectional cutoff and overall cutoff. For English- 13 marks; for Quants- 12 marks, Reasoning- 15 marks, General Awareness- 15 marks and Computer Knowledge is 14 marks.
- IBPS, the conducting body of the exam, has specified a time limit to attempt each section in Mains exam.
- A merit list will be prepared where candidates having a higher score/marks in IBPS will have their names on top of the list.
- It is obvious that candidates with a higher score will be given priority for Interview Round.
IBPS PO Sectional Paper Pattern for Mains
The following graph and table represent the section pattern for IBPS PO Mains:
|Section Name||Total Questions||Allotted Time||Total Marks|
|English||40 ||30 minutes||40 |
|Quantitative Aptitude||50 ||40 minutes||50 |
|Reasoning||50 ||40 minutes||50 |
|General Awareness||40||20 minutes||40|
|Computer Knowledge||20||10 minutes||20|
|Total||200 Questions||2 hours 20 minutes||200 Marks|
Read How to prepare Computer Knowledge Section in IBPS PO?
IBPS PO Preparation Books
|Book Name||Author/ Publisher|
|A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning ||R.S. Aggarwal|
|Bank PO Quantitative Aptitude||Arihant|
|General Studies 2018||B. Singh|
|Advanced Bank Management||IIBF|
IBPS PO Exam Pattern for Interview
- Candidates who have secured minimum qualifying marks in IBPS PO Mains will be eligible to take part in the interview round.
- The interview round will carry a weightage of 100 marks.
- This is the final stage in the selection process of IBPS PO exam.
- This round carries 20% weightage in the selection process.
- Through this round, a candidate's communication skills and personality is examined.
Highlights of IBPS PO Interview
- Minimum qualifying marks for General Category candidates is 40%. Whereas, for candidates belonging to reserved category, they should score a minimum of 35% marks.
- Final Merit List is prepared on the basis of IBPS Mains and Interview round.
- The weightage ratio for selection process would be considered as 80:20 (Mains Exam: Interview Round).
- IBPS PO Combined Score would be declared on the basis of scores obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination of CWE PO/MT-VI and Interview.
- A candidate should score the minimum qualifying marks in each section and score well in both IBPS PO Main and interview in order to get shortlisted for provisional allotment process.
- After the interview round concludes, allotment will be done as per the vacancies and availability of post.
IBPS PO 2017 Marking Scheme
IBPS PO Prelims
|Section||Total Marks||Marks Allotted To Each Question||Negative Marking|
|English Language||30 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|Quantitative Aptitude||35 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|Reasoning Ability||35 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
IBPS PO Mains
|Section||Total Marks||Marks Allotted To Each Question||Negative Marking|
|English Language||40 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|Quantitative Aptitude||50 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|Reasoning Ability||50 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|General Awareness||40 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark|
|Computer Knowledge||20 Marks||1 Mark||-¼ mark |
Note: No mark would be deducted for the un-attempted question.
Also Read About IBPS CutOff
IBPS PO Interview
- The minimum qualifying marks in interview will not be less than 40% (for general category candidates) and 35% (for reserved category candidates).
- The weightage ratio of marks for selection process would be considered as 80:20 (Main exam: Interview).
- The IBPS PO Combined Score would be declared on the basis of scores obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination of CWE PO/MT-VII and Interview.
- A candidate should score the minimum qualifying marks in each section and score well in both IBPS PO Main and interview in order to get shortlisted for the IBPS PO provisional allotment process.
IBPS PO Sample Papers
Every year, lacs of candidates appear for IBPS PO and thus, it makes very difficult to select candidates for the post of Probationary Officer. Candidates preparing for the tough competition should try smarter techniques to get qualified for the provisional allotment process. To be thorough with the preparation, candidates should seek for sample papers as it gives the real feel of the entrance examination.
Advantages of IBPS PO Sample Papers
- Solving mock papers boost up the confidence and increase the accuracy of solving a maximum number of questions.
- It helps in understanding the IBPS PO exam pattern and managing time during the exam. The IBPS PO mock tests and sample papers maintain the same level of difficulty as it comes in the actual exam.
- The exam pattern of IBPS PO doesn’t change much and thus solving IBPS PO Sample Papers will give the advantage to the candidates in knowing the format of the exam.
- Sample papers or mock tests are made by experts and it gives the clear level of difficulty of questions. So that the candidates can prepare accordingly and work hard on the topics that are difficult to them.
- Questions in the exam may be asked from the previous years’ too. Sample papers are designed in a manner that they also include some previous years’ questions.
- Candidates can track their performance level while solving sample papers online.
IBPS PO Preparation Tips
IBPS PO is a highly competitive entrance exam. Both the exams- preliminary and mains, have the same syllabus but the difference lies in the level of difficulty of the questions. Candidates who clear the IBPS PO Prelims would be eligible for IBPS PO Mains exam and successful candidates in the main exam will be called for PI. Here below are the preparation tips for the candidates appearing in IBPS PO.
It is the section that doesn't need much attention once the practice is done perfectly and it is a very scoring section. Candidates should focus more on the analytical part. Given below are the topics which can fetch you more marks.
- Making series/ analogy
- Number Series
- Coding and Decoding
- Problem Solving
- Passage and conclusions type questions
- Comprehension Reasoning etc.
Read More: IBPS PO Preparation Tips
General Ability Section
- GA is the easiest section among all the sections.
- Candidates should be updated with the current affairs in order to score high marks.
- Most of the questions in this section are asked on current affairs. Having a habit of reading the newspaper daily, adds the value of fetching more marks.
- Along with the general awareness, candidates should be aware of the banking terms and its updates.
- GA is a very scoring section and it is less time-consuming. Following are the topics which are to be focused to fetch good marks-
- Current Affairs of last 6 months, Indian Economy Questions, Marketing, Awards & Honors Sports, Books & Authors, Finance, Agriculture, Banking History, Banking Terms, RBI Functions and Fiscal-Monetary Policies.
English Language Section
- The questions in this section are based on grade 10.
- To score well in this section, candidates should practice hard from reference books.
- This section tests the grammatical skills in the candidates appearing for IBPS PO exam.
- This section is less time consuming and it is a scoring section too.
- Candidates should be thorough with the rules of grammar in order to score well in the exam.
- Some of the most important topics include- Fill in the Blanks, Comprehension Passage, phrases, and idioms, Spotting Error Questions, Preposition, and Sentence Improvement etc.
Read More IBPS PO English Language Syllabus
- This section is considered as the toughest of all the sections though a good practice makes it easy.
- Quants section tests the candidate's ability in aptitude.
- Most of the questions in this section can be solved by using short-tricks.
- This section needs lots of focused mind and hard practice to be thorough with it.
- The topics on which most of the questions are asked include Data Interpretation (DI), Sequence & Series, Number System, Quadratic Equations, Sequence & Series, Ratio, Proportion Percentage & Averages, Simplification etc.
- Computer Knowledge section tests the ability of candidates’ knowledge and it is very important in today’s life.
- It is a very easy section and candidates can even score full marks in this section.
- The topics that can be prepared well to score high marks include Basics of Computers, Basic internet knowledge and protocols, Network basics (LAN & WAN), Generations of computer, Input & Output Device, Shortcuts & Basic knowledge MS Word, MS Excel, MS power point, and Computer Shortcuts etc.
Read About IBPS PO Selection Process
IBPS PO Preparation Tips for Interview
The very last hurdle to get selected for the post of PO/MT is clearing the Interview. Candidates who clear all the written exam would be called for the personal interview. We have brought absolutely amazing Preparation Tips for IBPS PO Interview.
- Greet your interviewers. After all, they are going to set your job.
- If you are not offered your seat, ask them for it. And sit comfortably.
- Forward your CV to the interviewer and wait till they ask you questions.
- Candidates should bear a smile and a proper eye contact during interview.
- If you don’t know the answer, simply say NO and there is no need be panic. It’s alright, no one knows all the answers. Be smart while answering the questions as the next question can be from your last answer.
- They can even check your patience level so be cool.
- When you are done with the interview, stand up politely and shake your hands with the interview panel and leave the room quietly.
Ques. How many stages are there in IBPS PO exam?
Ans. IBPS PO examination will be completed in three stages i.e. Prelims, Mains and Personal Interview.
Ques. When will the exam be conducted?
Ans. The Preliminary examination will be conducted in the month of October 2018 whereas, the Main examination will be held in the month of November 2018.
Ques. How will be the exam conducted?
Ans. The examination will be conducted in online mode only.
Ques. What is the Syllabus for IBPS PO Prelims and Mains?
Ans. Prelims exam comprises questions from the English Language, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. On the other hand, in the Mains exam, questions are asked from English Language, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude, Computer Knowledge and General Awareness.
Ques. Is there any marks deduction for wrong answers?
Ans. Yes, for every wrong answer 0.25 marks will be deducted.
Ques. Is the exam Bilingual?
Ans. All the tests except that of English language are bilingual. Question paper for the same is available both in English and Hindi language.
Ques. What are the age criteria to apply in the common written exam?
Ans. Minimum age criteria for appearing in the exam is 20 years and maximum age is 30 years.
Ques. When will IBPS PO Registration start?
Ans. IBPS PO Registration will start from August 2018 and will end in the month of September 2018.
Ques. Will I get provisional allotment if I clear the main exam?
Ans. No, for getting provisional allotment students need to clear personal interview as well as score top rank in the merit list.
Ques. Can I appear for personal interview without appearing in the Main exam?
Ans. No, for appearing in the personal interview, it is mandatory for students to clear the Mains exam.
Ques. Is it enough to score the cut off marks?
Ans. For Prelims, it is enough to score the cut off marks as Prelims is conducted just to shortlist candidates for the Mains exam.
Ques. What is the minimum educational qualification for IBPS PO exam?
Ans. Students must have completed graduation from a recognized institution.
Ques. What are the total number of questions asked in Prelims and Mains examination?
Ans. In the Prelims exam, a total number of questions asked is 100. On the other hand, questions asked in the Main exam are 200.
Ques. What is the total time duration given to complete the Prelims exam?
Ans. One hour duration will be given to the candidates to complete the prelim exam.
Ques. What is the time duration allotted to students to complete the Mains exam?
Ans. 140 minutes will be given to the students to complete the IBPS PO Main exam.
Ques. For how long the score provided by the IBPS remain valid?
Ans. Scores provided by IBPS will remain valid only for 1 year.
Ques. When will the result be declared?
Ans. Prelims examination result will be announced in the month of November 2017. While result for Mains exam is expected to be announced in December 2017.
Ques. What is the structure of Preliminary Exam?
Ans. The structure of Preliminary exam is as follows:
|Section||No. Of Questions||Maximum Marks||Duration|
|English Language||30||30||1 Hour|
Ques. What is the structure of Main Exam?
Ans. The structure of Main exam is as follows:
|Section||No. Of Questions||Maximum Marks||Duration|
|Reasoning & Computer Aptitude||45||60||60 minutes|
|English Language||35||40||40 minutes|
|Data Analysis & Interpretation||35||60||45 minutes|
|General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness||40||40||35 minutes|
Ques. Is there any change in the IBPS PO Exam Pattern?
Ans. There are four major changes made in IBPS PO Exam Pattern for Mains:
- Total number of questions asked in the paper has been decreased
- Time duration for the exam has been increased
- Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude section have been merged into one section
- Descriptive section (English Language – Letter Writing Essay) has been added
Ques. What is the application fee for IBPS PO Exam?
Ans. Application fees for SC/ ST/ PWD category candidates is INR 100 whereas, all other categories have application fee of amount INR 600.
Ques. Is there any sectional cut off in the exam?
Ans. Yes, there is a sectional cut off in the exam. Students have to clear all the sections in order to obtain a seat in the interview.
Ques. What are the maximum marks allotted for each correct answer?
Ans. 1 mark will be allotted for every correct answer.
Ques. What are the minimum marks required for appearing in an interview?
Ans. For appearing in an interview, marks required by general category candidates will not be less than 40% and 35% marks must be required for reserved category candidates.
Ques. How will be the final merit list prepared?
Ans. Final merit list will be prepared on the basis of IBPS Mains and Personal Interview round.
Ques. What are type of questions asked in the paper?
Ans. In the paper, the questions will be asked of objective type and each question will have to correct only 1 option among the 4 options
Ques. What is examined through the interview round?
Ans. Through the interview round, candidates’ communication skills and personality are examined.
Ques. How many vacancies will be announced?
Ans. It depends upon the number of banks participate in the recruitment drive. Last year, total numbers of vacancies announced were 8820.
Ques. What is the cut off for being recruited?
Ans. There is no fixed cut-off. It depends on the performance of candidates each year.
Ques. I have scored 55% in graduation. Am I eligible to sit for the exam?
Ans. Yes, there is no specific percentage criterion to decide if a candidate is eligible to appear in the exam or not. But anyone sitting in the exam must be a graduate.