Every year, the Probationary Officer (PO) exam is held by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). The exam is conducted in different phases in order to select the most suitable applicants for the nation’s public-sector banks.
The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) also conducts other exams such as the IBPS Clerk exam, IBPS RRB examination, IBPS Specialist Officer (SO) exam, etc. Candidates should go through the official notification of these examinations to understand the eligibility criteria, probation period, scheme of examination and syllabus.
An overview of the IBPS PO examination pattern is given below.
Scheme of the IBPS PO Examination
The IBPS PO exam is conducted in three stages, i.e.
- Preliminary examination
- Main examination
The candidates who pass the preliminary examination become eligible to take the main examination. Applicants who clear the main exam are shortlisted for the interview. The exam pattern of both the preliminary and main examinations, the time allotted for the test, the maximum score, etc., are given below.
IBPS PO Preliminary Examination
The IBPS PO exam is a screening test which is conducted online. It is an objective exam which contains multiple-choice questions. The prelims question paper is divided into three sections, namely:
- English Language
- Numerical Ability
- Reasoning Ability
The total marks for the IBPS PO preliminary examination are 100, and the total duration of the exam is 1 hour. There is a negative marking of 0.25 for every incorrect answer. There is a sectional and overall cut-off that candidates need to clear in order to crack this stage.
The IBPS PO exam pattern is given in the table below:
|IBPS PO Preliminary Exam|
|S.No.||Section||Number of Questions||Marks Allotted||Time Allotted|
|1||English Language||30||30||20 minutes|
|2||Numerical Ability||35||35||20 minutes|
|3||Reasoning Ability||35||35||20 minutes|
IBPS PO Main Exam
The IBPS PO main exam is conducted online and contains both objective and descriptive-type questions. The objective test consists of sections on reasoning and computer aptitude, English language, data analysis and interpretation, general awareness, economy and banking awareness. There is a negative marking for the objective test, where 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted for every wrong answer. The duration of the objective test is 3 hours.
The descriptive test consists of questions on English Language (Letter Writing and Essay). The test is for a duration of 30 minutes. Candidates have to obtain minimum marks in all the sections of the main examination, along with a minimum overall score.
The IBPS PO main test is a crucial stage because the results are used to determine the candidates’ rankings in the final merit list.
The IBPS PO Main exam pattern is given in the table below.
|IBPS PO Main Examination|
|S.No.||Paper||Section||Number of Questions||Marks Allotted||Time Allotted|
|1||Objective Test||Reasoning & Computer Aptitude||45||60||60 min|
|2||English Language||35||40||40 min|
|3||Data Analysis & Interpretation||35||60||45 min|
|4||General Awareness, Economy & Banking Awareness||40||40||35 min|
|5||Descriptive Test||English Language (Letter Writing and Essay)||2||25||30 min|
IBPS PO Interview
Candidates who pass the IBPS PO main exam are shortlisted for the interview. The banks conduct the interviews based on the main examination results. Applicants preparing for the interview should be aware of current events occurring in the country and the world, banking-related terms and concepts, etc. The interview carries 100 marks. Candidates should carry all the important documents for verification. The marks scored in the main exam, and the interview will be considered to calculate the final scores.
The exams conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection are highly competitive and lakhs of candidates appear for them every year. The procedure to apply for IBPS bank exams is simple. Any aspirant who wishes to apply for the IBPS bank exams can visit its official website. For instance, if candidates are preparing for the IBPS RRB exam, they can apply online using the link provided on the website. Following that, applicants can download the IBPS RRB admit card for each phase of the exam. After the online exams, interviews may be held for some posts.
In order to get the most recent information on the various IBPS exams, results, cut-off marks, and other topics, candidates should frequently visit the official website.