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IBPS - Institute of Banking Personnel Selection

•This is the exam held for recruitment to nationalized banks in India for jobs of Probationary Officer(PO). Find information regarding paper pattern, eligibility, etc. and crack it with the right coaching from TESTfunda.  The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts a Common Written Examination (CWE) on behalf of 21 nationalized banks (see list below) as a pre-requisite for selection of Probationary Officers. 

•IBPS is only the body conducting the written test. The vacancies in individual banks as well as the group discussion and personal interview process are managed by each participating bank separately.

To read About IBPS Recruitment 2016 of Specialist Officers Common Written Examination 5 Across India :  CLICK  HERE

Eligibility :

 A candidate must be one of the following:
A citizen of India
A subject of Nepal or Bhutan
A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 01/01/1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India
A person of Indian origin who has migrated from other countries (detailed list of countries available on official website) with the intention of permanently settling in India
 provided that a candidate belonging to categories above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the the Indian government.
2.Age Limit
 Minimum: 20 years Maximum: 30 yearsi.e. A candidate must have been born not earlier than 02.07.1985 and not later than 01.07.1995 (both datesinclusive) 

Relaxation of upper age limit 

CategoryAge Relaxation (years)
Domiciled in J&K during the period 
01/01/1980 - 31/12/1989

For more categories, visit the official website.
3.Educational Qualification (As on 01.08.2015):
 A Degree (Graduation) in any discipline from a University recognised by the Govt. Of India or any equivalentqualification recognized as such by the Central Government.The candidate must possess valid Mark-sheet / Degree Certificate that he/ she is a graduate on the day he / sheregisters and indicate the percentage of marks obtained in Graduation while registering online. 


Preliminary Examination:

Sr. No.Name of SectionNo. of Qs.Maximum MarksDuration
1.English Language3030Composite Time
of 1 hour
2.Quantitative Aptitude3535
3.Reasoning Ability3535

Main Examination :
Sr. No.Name of SectionNo. of Qs.Max. MarksDuration
Time of
 2 hours
2.English Language4040
3.Quantitative Aptitude5050
4.General Awareness (with special reference to Banking Industry)4040
5.Computer Knowledge2020



BILINGUAL TEST : Every section (except English Language) in the examination will be available in Hindi as well. So if you are very comfortable with Hindi, several types of questions might even be easier to attempt in Hindi, than in English.

NEGATIVE MARKING : Each wrong answer deducts 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question from your total. In this case, since each question is worth 1 mark, you lose ¼ marks per wrong answer. The negative marking is small enough that if you are reasonably sure of an answer, you can take a chance and mark it. But be careful not to overdo it with guesses. Your accuracy could be the difference between selection and disqualification.

CUT-OFFS:Each section has an individual cut-off. Besides this, there is a minimum overall score decided by the IBPS after the results are tallied, that you need to cross to move to the next round. It is important to clear each of these cut-offs. Performing exceptionally well in one section doesn’t matter quite as much as getting through each of the sections. Qualifying the IBPS Mains Exam cut-off qualifies you for the Interview round.



The IBPS has not officially thrown any light on the syllabus. From the patterns seen in previous years, and recent trends of the exam conducted by IBPS, we know the likely chapters and topics that will make appearances in the Main papers, as well as their probable weightages. In the IBPS PO Prelims exam, we saw the surprise appearance of some unexpected chapters. On the other hand, some chapters that were asked frequently were omitted. Considering all of this, we have created a detailed syllabus with mark distribution for the IBPS PO Mains Exam.



Here is the subject-wise syllabus with the mark distribution. The list is classified in order of priority – important chapters first. The Nature of Questions tells you whether it is a scoring chapter or a tricky topic or a time consuming one.

Quantitative Aptitude
Nature of QuestionsChaptersWeightage (# of Questions)Comments
  1. Scoring
  2. Easy to Solve
  3. Less time consuming
  4. More accuracy possible
Simplification2-4Questions on BODMAS Rule, Fractions, Approximate Value, Surds and Indices etc.
Interest1-2Problems on Simple & Compound Interests as well as Installments
Percentage0-1Calculation oriented basic Percentage Problems
Average1-2Problems on Average Weight/Height/Marks etc.
Problems on Ages0-1Basic Problems on Ages
  1. Scoring
  2. Easy if proper steps are followed carefully
  3. More time consuming
Time, Speed & Distance2-4Problems on Average or Relative speeds, Boats, Trains etc.
Algebra0-2Basic Linear Equations in one or two
variables as well as Quadratic Equations
Ratio & Proportion1-2Problems on Simple, Compound Ratios and Direct & Indirect Proportions
Profit & Loss2-3Problems on Basic Profit & Loss,
 Dishonest Dealings, Successive Dealings, Partnerships etc.
Number Series2-5Moderate to difficult problems on
Completing the series, Finding Missing or Wrong Term
Mensuration1-2Problems on Plane Figures such as
Squares, Rectangles, Circles etc. as well as 3D figures such as Cylinders, Cones, Spheres
Data Interpretation20-30Problems on Bar/Line Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables and Caselets etc.
  1. Tricky
  2. Might take more time than usual
  3. Lesser chances of solving correctly
Numbers0-1Questions on Divisibility, Remainder, LCM,
 HCF, Factors etc.
Fractions0-1Slightly tough problems on Mixed
Time & Work1-2Problems on Work efficiency, Wages and
Pipes etc.
Mixtures & Alligations1-2To Make A Mixture From Two Or More
Entities or Mixtures
Permutation and Combination1-2Basic Selection and Arrangement problems
Probability0-1Basic problems on Probability
Data Sufficiency0-2Data sufficiency problems on almost all
the topics mentioned above


Reasoning Ability
Nature of QuestionsChaptersWeightage (# of  Questions)Comments
  1. Scoring
  2. Easy to Solve
  3. Less time consuming
  4. More accuracy
Arrangement & Pattern1-3Questions on Dictionary based and Number/Letters/Symbols Arrangement
Classification & Analogy1-2Letter-based, Meaningful Words-based,
GK-based and Number based
Directions & Distances1-2Simple problems that can be solved by just correctly drawing all information on paper
Syllogisms2-4Just quickly draw Venn Diagrams as per statements and get answer
  1. Scoring
  2. Easy if proper steps are followed carefully
  3. More time consuming
Inequalities3-5Coded Inequalities questions considered
 that are easy to solve but take time
Blood Relations3-5Problems that are Family Tree based and
Coded Blood Relations problems
Series0-3Questions on Letter/Number/Mixed series
Ordering & Ranking2-3Ordering and Ranking problems can be tricky
Coding-Decoding3-7Questions on Letter Shifting, Fictitious
Language, Analogy and Coding Letters of
  1. Tricky
  2. Might take more time than usual
  3. Lesser chances of solving correctly
Seating Arrangement6-10Problems on Linear/Circular Arrangements
with mostly one more layer of Information
to make questions tough
Groupings & Selections0-5It may be there in 1 or 2 slots to increase the difficulty level of the paper (Problems such as making groups of people based on given conditions) (counted under Puzzles)
Double Line-Up0-5It may be there in 1 or 2 slots to increase
the difficulty level of the paper (Counted
 under Puzzles)
Scheduling0-5Scheduling of some events on different Time or Dates. Can be very time consuming.
( Counted under Puzzles)
Data sufficiency2-5Data sufficiency questions on various topics mentioned above
Verbal Reasoning0-10 (Either individual questions or comprehension type)Statements & Arguments, Statements & Assumptions, Statements & Inferences, Statements & Conclusions, Critical Reasoning, Course of Action, Cause & Effect, Assertions
 & Reasons


Nature of QuestionsChaptersWeightage (# of QuestionsComments
  1. Scoring
  2. Easy to Solve
  3. More Accuracy
Cloze Test5-15 (likely 1 passage with 10 blanks)
  • Passage could be on any topic but
    special emphasis is given on the
    following topics: Banking & Finance, Economics & Business, Social Issues,
    Indian Stories.
  • Contextual understanding required.
  • Words usually are easy to moderate,
    with the occasional tough word.
Fill in the Blanks0-5Types include:

  • Two blanks in one sentence (Double
  • Two sentences with one blank each
    requiring the same word (Double Fit
    Single Blanks)
  • One blank per sentence (Single Blank)
  • Can be both Vocabulary Based and/or Grammar Based
  1. Scoring
  2. High Accuracy possible
  3. Moderately Time Consuming
Para Jumbles5
  • Five or Six Sentences to be rearranged. Questions based on this single set.
  • Usually easy to moderate.
Para Completion0-5
  • Missing Sentence can be anywhere in passage, not necessarily concluding line.
  • Contextual understanding of passage required.
  1. Scoring
  2. Requires sustained focus
  3. Time Consuming
  4. Moderate Accuracy possible
Reading Comprehension10-20 (likely 2 passages, including 5-8 questions on vocabulary)
  • Either 2 passages of 10 questions each
    OR 1 passage of 12-15 questions and
    one more smaller passage possible.
  • Topics to focus on:
    Banking & Finance, Economics &
    Business, Social Issues. Other topics
    include Indian Stories, Biographies and Science & Technology.
  • Vocabulary based questions include Synonyms, Antonyms and meanings of phrases.
  1. Moderately Scoring
  2. Moderate Accuracy possible
  3. Moderately Time Consuming
Error Spotting5-10
  • Grammar OR Vocabulary Based
  • Important Topics:
    Tenses, Subject-Verb Agreement,
    Article-Noun Agreement, Correct Part
    of Speech, Correct use of Prepositions, Parallelism, Phrasal Verbs, Easily
    Confusable Words, Contextual



Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction0-6
  • Grammar OR Vocabulary Based
  1. Quick Solve
  2. Low Accuracy possible
  3. Moderately Scoring
  4. Less likely to appear in exam
Synonyms or Antonyms0-5
  • One word given with more than one synonyms from among the choices
  • Go through a list of important words to prepare for this.
  • Find correctly or incorrectly spelled


General Awareness
Nature of questionsChaptersWeightage (# of Question)Topics and expected no. of Questions
  1. Scoring
  2. Static in nature
  3. Can be remembered by heart.
  4. Very Objective. Either you know the answer or you don’t
  5. Less Time Consuming
  6. High Accuracy possible
Banking Awareness12-15Banking Abbreviation (1-2)

Terminology (1-2)

Commercial Banks (0-1)

Functionality (2-4)

History (0-1)
Organization (0-1)

Acts and Policies (0-1)

Reserve Bank (4-6)

  1. Tricky
  2. Vast area
  3. More Time Consuming as you have read about it somewhere but can’t remember the exact answer.
  4. Accuracy is lower as options are confusing.
Current Affairs/General Awareness25-30Business and Economy (2-4)

Film & Entertainments (0-1)

Governance, Schemes and Policies (4-6)

Organizations/Committees (2-4)

Science & Technology (2-3)

Books & Authors (1-2)

Important people (4-6)

International Affairs (0-2)

Sports (0-2)

Geography (0-2)

Important Days/Dates (2-4)

Capitals and Currency (0-1)


Computer Knowledge
Nature of QuestionsChaptersWeightage
  1. Easy and Practical.
  2. Regular Computer Users should already know a lot of these things through use and application
Keyboard shortcuts1-2
Computer Abbreviations1-2
Microsoft Office2-3
  1. Tough
  2. Based on the concepts that need memorization
  3. Terminologies hard to remember and hence, lower accuracy possible
Computer Hardware2-4
Computer Software1-2
Operating Systems1-2
Computer Fundamentals/Terminologies6-8



S. No.Order of SolvingType of questionTime Elapsed (in (minutes)
1General AwarenessAll that you can solve10
2Computer KnowledgeAll that you can solve5
3English LanguageEasy & Moderate25
4Quantitative AptitudeEasy & Moderate35
5ReasoningEasy & Moderate30
6English LanguageTough5
7Quantitative AptitudeTough5
8Logical ReasoningTough Questions5



  • Do not make too many guesses as there is negative marking.
  • Remember, each section has individual cutoff so do not waste too much time on any one section, as this might leave you with lesser time for other sections, jeopardizing your chance of qualifying. Do not let your ego get in the way; just because you are strong in one section doesn’t mean you have to attempt all questions in that section.
  • Sometime it may happen that you are not able to solve a very easy question. This is okay; it happens to everyone. Remember, no one is going to judge you for not being able to solve an easy question.
  • It’s always best to correctly solve a few questions in starting, to set your temperament for the exam. This will give you a good head start for rest of the paper.
  • Do not get stuck on any question, move to the next question if you are not able to solve it.
  • Try to complete the paper so that you do not miss out on the easy questions towards the end.
  • There is also an overall cutoff, which will be higher than the sum of the individual cutoffs of the sections.
  • If you must guess an answer, make sure you guess it only for those questions for which you can eliminate one or two options increasing the chances of guessing it right.
  • Also, marks of the IBPS PO Mains exam are going to be added for the final selection so you must be well prepared for it to score as high as possible.

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