IBPS PO Exam Pattern

The public sector and private sector banks in India conduct exams to recruit candidates for various posts, such as clerks, managers, etc. Generally, the bank exams are held in various phases, comprising online tests and interviews. The format of the bank exam may vary from bank to bank.

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is an important body that conducts all-India-level examinations on behalf of various participant banks to recruit probationary officers, specialist officers, etc. The notification for the IBPS PO or clerk exams is published on its official website. All the information related to the application process, important exam dates, exam pattern, IBPS PO salary, allowances for clerks, etc., are provided in the official notification and the website.

Candidates who are preparing for the upcoming IBPS PO examination should go through the notification given on the official website. They should understand the format of the examination and prepare as per the requirements of the exam. An overview of the format of the IBPS PO exam is given below.

Scheme of the IBPS PO Examination

The IBPS PO examination comprises the following stages:

  1. Preliminary examination
  2. Main examination
  3. Interview

Every stage of the IBPS PO examination is important. Even though the preliminary exam is only a screening test, it is difficult to pass, given the number of candidates who take the examination. More information about each stage of the IBPS PO exam is provided in the following section.

IBPS PO Preliminary Exam

The preliminary exam contains multiple-choice questions. The prelims exam is divided into different sections, such as English language, numerical ability, etc. Each section is separately timed, and candidates have to complete the test in the allotted time. The table given below contains information about the duration of the exam, marks allocated for each section, etc.

IBPS PO Preliminary Exam Pattern
Section Number of Questions Marks Allotted Medium of the Examination Time Allotted
English Language 30 30 English 20 min
Numerical Ability 35 35 English and Hindi 20 min
Reasoning Ability 35 35 English and Hindi 20 min
Total 100 100   1 hour

Points to Remember: IBPS PO Preliminary Examination

  • The total marks for this paper are 100.
  • There is a negative marking for each wrong answer. One-fourth of the marks allotted to the question are deducted for every incorrect answer.
  • Candidates have to clear the minimum cut-off marks for each section as well as the overall cut-off to pass the preliminary round.

IBPS PO Main Exam

The IBPS PO Main exam comprises both objective type and descriptive type tests. The descriptive type paper tests a candidate’s letter writing and essay skills. More details related to the objective type and descriptive tests, duration of the exam, etc., are given below.

IBPS PO Main Exam Pattern
Paper Section Number of Questions Marks Allotted Time Allotted
Objective Test Reasoning and Computer Aptitude 45 60 60 minutes
English Language 35 40 40 minutes
Data Analysis and Interpretation 35 60 45 minutes
General/ Economy/Banking Awareness 40 40 35 minutes
  Total 155 200 3 hours
Descriptive Test English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 2 25 30 minutes

Points to Remember: IBPS PO Main Examination

  • There is a negative marking for objective tests in the main examination. One-fourth of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted for every incorrect response.
  • Candidates have to obtain a minimum score in each test of the main examination and also a minimum total score in order to be shortlisted for the interview.
  • The medium of the examination will vary for each test, except for the descriptive test, which will be in English.
  • The marks scored in the main examination will be considered for the final merit listing.

IBPS PO Interview

The candidates who pass the main examination will be called for the interview. The interview will be conducted by the participating banks, which will be coordinated by the nodal bank in each state or UT with the support of the IBPS. The total marks allotted to the interview are 100. Generally, questions related to current affairs, banking, candidates’ profiles etc., are asked during the interview. The interview will be conducted by a panel comprising bank officials. Candidates have to carry the essential documents for verification during the interview. They have to download the call letter for the interview from the official website of the IBPS, which will contain the name of the venue, time of the interview, etc.

The minimum qualifying marks in the personality test will not be less than 40% (35% for OBC/SC/ST/PWBD candidates). The weightage (ratio) of the main exam and interview is  80:20, respectively. The final scores of candidates will be based on the marks obtained in the main examination and interview.

Candidates who want to take the upcoming IBPS PO exam should visit the official website of the IBPS and go through the notification, IBPS PO eligibility criteria 2022, the application process, etc., before applying for the examination.

Bank exams are highly competitive but can be easily cracked with hard work, perseverance, and the right study plan. Candidates should make an effort to go through the past papers, syllabus, and exam pattern and strategies as per the requirements of the examination.

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