What is IBPS PO exam?
Bank Probationary office (Bank PO) is a lucrative career.Earlier you need to fill up form for each bank separately.This was problematic for Candidates.They had to fill up form for each bank.This is why IBPS PO exams was created.Most of the public sector Banks are recruiting based on IBPS PO exams.By public sector banks I mean Government banks.Only SBI is conducting separate exams.
Every year IBPS comes with notification for PO recruitment.It is generally published in months of July or August.After notification you can fill up the application form.Candidates make common mistakes while filling online form.Due to this their candidature is cancelled. Some of the common mistakes are listed in my article on IBPS form filling
IBPS PO exams are divided into two parts.The first is written test.After clearing written test candidates appear for Interview.In this post I will cover every detail about IBPS PO written exams.I have covered IBPS PO interview in separate post.You can read the post and download interview questions answers and tips from that article.
You should keep the mobile number and email id which you mention in application form active till exam process is over.Also make sure to take print out of Application form as well as Payment receipt.Also make sure all the details are verified and corrected before submitting the application form.
IBPS PO Exams Eligibility
Recently many candidates have asked questions about eligibility criteria.Many candidates after clearing written test come to know that they are not eligible.So I have covered eligibility criteria in this post.Candidate should have completed Graduation on or before they apply for IBPS PO exams.So your mark sheet and provisional certificate should have date before this.If not then you are not eligible for this year IBPS CWE PO examination.
Your age should be between 20 years and 30 years.This age limit is for General candidates.In case of OBC non creamy the upper age limit is 33 years.For SC and ST candidates the upper age limit is 35 year.
These are most generic eligibility criteria where candidates make mistake.In case you have confusion about eligibility criteria then do let me know.You can write your query using the comment section at bottom of this article.
IBPS PO dates
Below is important dates for this year IBPS exams
- On-line registration including Edit/Modification of Application by candidates –
16th August to 5th September
- Payment of Application Fees/Intimation Charges (Online) – 16th August to 5th September
- Download of call letters for preliminary examination – September 2017
- Preliminary exams – 7th , 8th , 15th and 16th October
- Result of Preliminary exam – October 2017
- Download of Call letter for Main exam – November 2017
- Main Examination – 26th November
- Declaration of Main exam Result – December 2017
- Download of call letters for interview – January 2018
- Conduct of interview – January / February 2018
- Provisional Allotment – April 2018
So there is two months time to prepare for preliminary exams. I have provided details of Preliminary exams and materials to prepare for the exams in such short time span below in this article.
IBPS PO exam format
The first step in preparation for any examination is to know about format of exam.You can plan your preparation if you know format of exam.IBPS PO format have changed over the years.So you should always look at current year format.IBPS PO written exam have been divided into two parts Preliminary Examination and Main Examination.
IBPS PO Preliminary Examination
This year IBPS has started Preliminary Examination.Preliminary exams consist of
- English Language – 30 questions.Each question of 1 marks
- Quantitative Aptitude – 35 questions.Each question of 1 marks
- Reasoning Ability – 35 questions.Each question of 1 marks
- Total number of questions is 100 and Total Marks is 100.Total time is 1 hour
Since the number of candidates appearing for IBPS PO exams is huge.IBPS is conducting this exam to filter the number of candidates appearing in Main exams.The Preliminary exams marks will not be considered for Merit list preparation.Only Main exams marks will be considered for Merit list preparation.But you will have to clear Preliminary exams to appear for Main exams.
IBPS PO Main Examination
IBPS PO Main exams consists of below sections
- English Language – 35 questions and total marks is 40
- Data Analysis and Interpretation – 35 questions and total marks is 60.
- Reasoning and Computer Aptitude – 45 questions and total marks is 60
- Banking Awareness – 40 questions.Each question of 1 marks
- Total number of questions is 155 and Total Marks is 200.
Previous IBPS PO exams do not have sectional time limit. But this year there is sectional time limit. For each section you will be given fixed amount of time.
- English Language – 40 minutes of time
- Data Analysis and Interpretation – 45 minutes of time
- Reasoning and Computer Aptitude – 60 minutes of time
- Banking Awareness – 35 minutes of time
- Total time of the exams is 3 hours
In last year IBPS PO exam there were 250 questions.The total time limit was 150 min.Each section contained 50 questions.But for IBPS PO 2015 they have changed the format.Less stress is given to English,General Awareness and Computer Knowledge.The time is also reduced to 120 mins from 150 mins.So you have 2 hours to answer 200 marks.
Also previous year apart from this objective test there was 25 marks descriptive test.In that you have to write an Essay or Letter in English language.The duration was one hour.But descriptive paper is not included in current year exams.So you can leave the descriptive paper preparation and concentrate on objectives only.
This year total number of questions is 155 and total time is 180 minutes. So you are getting more marks for each question. Also there is sectional time limit so you need not do any planning for time management.You will have to allocate fixed time for every paper.
This year they have descriptive paper as well. The descriptive paper will have 2 questions.It will be Letter writing and Essay.The total marks in descriptive paper will be 25. The duration of descriptive paper will be 30 minutes.
IBPS PO exam syllabus
From above table you can see that Data Interpretation,Reasoning,English,Banking Awareness and Computer Knowledge are main topics or subjects you need to prepare.But nowhere the syllabus is mentioned.Actually there is no syllabus as such for IBPS PO exam.We can define a syllabus only based on previous year question paper pattern.
I am outlining paper pattern and syllabus you need to cover.I have also prepared question papers along with answers with these points in mind.So you can download model papers using download link and get an idea of IBPS PO exam question paper pattern.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
This section will have multiple questions clubbed together. For example a graph will be given and based on that graph you will have 5 questions. The questions can be of 1 marks or two marks depending on complexity.
So you will have to select question which is easy and less time consuming. The questions will be calculation intensive. So there is more chances of errors sue to calculation. You should practice data interpretation for this section.
This is a high scoring section. If you are able to decode one graph questions then you can easily answer questions related to that graph. Assuming you do not make any calculation mistakes you can easily score 5 or 10 marks.
Since all questions will be of similar type. That is you have one data either table or graph and there will be questions based on that. You should practice similar types of questions for better preparation of this section.This is easy and highly scoring section but prone to silly mistakes in calculation.
Reasoning ability is common section in both Preliminary exams and Mains exams. In mains it is combined with Computer Ability. So you can see 30 questions from Reasoning and 30 questions from Computer in Mains exams.
- Questions on Diagrams and pictures
- Questions on puzzle type problems download above documents from details
- Questions on Arguments
- Questions on arguments and conclusions
- Questions on Alphabets,patterns,arrangement
English language is by far most important topic for this year IBPS PO exams. It is part of preliminary exams as well as Mains exams. There are two papers in Mains exams. The first one is objective type and second one is descriptive type.
You should really concentrate on this section as it is key to crack IBPS PO exams.Without this section scoring good marks is very difficult. Below are important topics for this section
- Questions from Comprehension.It includes Antonym and Synonym
- Spot error in sentence problems
- Sentence rearrangement
- Preposition and fill in the blanks
In descriptive part you will have Letter and Essay. You should try informal and formal letter both as any one of them may feature in the exams.
Computer knowledge covers basic questions about computers.The topics like Internet,Microsoft Office packages and other day to day computer knowledge (bit of hardware knowledge). The questions are basic ones only.
General Awareness focuses on Banking industry and also covers key news as well.You should read current affairs (more focus on banking).If IBPS PO exam is in May then read important news of before April.The paper is set approx two months before the exam.Questions focus mainly on Banking reforms and recent Banking related announcements.Government Yojanas impacting Banks are also hot topic.
IBPS PO exam materials
Above we discussed about exam format and syllabus. Now it is time to share preparation materials which will help you score good marks in IBPS PO. I have prepared all types of materials which will help you crack this exam easily. All the materials provided on this site is free.
IBPS PO Online Tests
Online tests are best way to prepare for the exams. As IBPS PO is online exams you should practice online tests. I have prepared series of test. You can practice with these tests.These tests have previous year IBPS PO questions along with important questions for current year exams.
The online tests are topic wise that is for each section. You can also see your score. You can compare your score with that of other candidates. Also you can try the exams unlimited number of times. The questions are also with answers.
Below are the links to online tests. You can click on the links and attempt them for free.
IBPS PO papers download
Along with free online tests we have previous year IBPS questions with solution for download.You can download it for free from below given link. I have separate questions of each section. So you can download them separately.
I have created model IBPS question papers for Reasoning and Quantitative section,English Section and Computer Knowledge section.The questions are taken from previous year IBPS PO exams and sample questions similar in format to last year IBPS PO exams.The questions are along with answers.You can download the documents for free using the download links given below.
After reading different sections you can try these questions before real IBPS PO written test.This will give you an idea about your preparation level.In case you get a questions wrong then you can revisit the concept and try the question again.This is best way to use these download documents.
Along with these materials you will also get free interview questions with answers. That is also for free download.
Feel free to let me know if you face any problem in downloading these files.You can make the most out of this article by downloading these files.So download the files and then come back and read the article.
I have attached document listing revenue,headquarters and branch coverage of all major banks.These documents will help you decide Bank preference.It will also give you deep insight about top banks.You can get answers to common interview questions like Where is headquarters of this bank or that bank? So consult the information provided in the document to come up with your preference list and also answer to question Why this bank is your first preference?
IBPS PO Recommended Book
The documents (which you can download for free),Online tests (which are also free) and Free mobile Apps offered by this site are excellent preparation resources.You can easily crack IBPS PO exams following these materials.But if you want hard copy that is book for offline preparation then you can buy below book.
I have reviewed the books available in market. There are too many books in market.This creates confusion in mind of students. They do not have idea which one to buy. That is why I am reviewing these books. You can select any one of them as per your study style.
Nowadays many publications are coming up with Preliminary book or Main exams book.So you have to buy both books.Actually there is no need to two books as most of the topics are same. You can use one good written books covering entire syllabus. I will be providing such books.
This book covers both Preliminary exams as well as Mains exams. The best part is it is self study book.It covers all the topics. the solutions of problems are detailed. Enough problems as per current pattern of IBPS PO exams are given in the book.I would recommend this book for preparation.
You can buy the book with discount using below link.
Book 2 is recommended only if for some reason you do not want to buy first book. This books also covers both preliminary exams as well as Mains exams. It is more popular than first book. But first one is highly rated than second one.
This one also has problems with detailed solution. But some candidates have reported minor typos and errors.Due to this very reason I have recommended first one.
IBPS PO exam tips
Time management is very important in any exams. In IBPS PO Preliminary as well as Mains exams you get approx 1 minute to solve a problem. So you have to be on your toes while solving the problems.
Due to less time per question it is advised not to try all the questions. You should first solve questions which you can solve easily. After solving easy problems you should focus on time consuming questions which you can correctly solve.
So it is better to scan the paper first and keep solving the easy problems. You can then revisit the paper again to solve next set of problems. You should divide times for each visit. For example you can give 10 minutes to first round through the paper solving easy problems. Then you can give next ten minutes for the second round.
This way you can answer maximum questions without leaving any one. You will have all the paper covered.
Sectional Cut Off
Second important point is sectional cut off.For example if I get 45 in one section and 10 in other I am not qualified.I may have more marks than other qualified candidates.Often candidates do forget this during IBPS PO written exam.I have seen few candidates who scored nearly 80% in one section but failed in other section.So clearing sectional cut off in all sections should be first and foremost thing you should do in IBPS PO written exam.
Normally 48% is considered as sectional cut off marks in any section.So your first aim should be to clear the sectional cut off.IBPS has also introduced concept of TWSS (Total Weight age standard score).They create a minimal TWSS score based on performance of candidates that year.You should score above TWSS to get an interview call.So your first aim is to clear sectional cut off and second is to score as much marks as possible.
Third important point is each question has same marks.It is not important to give preference to one question than other one.You should avoid time consuming questions in first attempt.If you have solved similar questions before than attempt them.Easy questions should be attempted first and then complex ones.Sometimes one question eats too much time and you have to leave few easy ones.So question selection is very important.
Every one can not solve all the questions. The trick may not be known to you. The problem may be more time consuming as you are not familiar with the process. So it is better not to make a prestige issue and focus on other problems.
Due to negative marking there is no need to guess answer of questions. You should only answer questions you have solved and are confident of the answer.
Answer marking was more important in physical exam where you have to mark answer sheet. But in online exams also it is relevant. You should review the answers after marking and before submitting the answers.
While answering make sure you are selecting the correct options. It is very easy to click incorrect answer though you have solved the problem correctly.Marking correct answers is more important than solving answers correctly. So always ensure you have marked the correct option before moving to next question.
Negative marking mistakes
IBPS PO written exam has negative marking.Negative marking means one fourth of marks in deducted for every wrong answer.For example out of 10 questions if you have 5 correct answers but two wrong answers then your total marks is (5 – 2* .25) = 4.5.This is really important.In above example if you have left two wrong questions then you would have crossed cut off marks (48%).
So it is very important not to guess answers.Sometimes candidates mark answers of 10 to 20 questions as A or B or C or D.This does backfire.If you have answered decent number of questions to clear sectional cut off then there is no need of all these.Instead of guessing and marking answers try one or two questions which you can solve and are in section you answered less.
IBPS PO exam planning
Above we saw points to consider in IBPS PO written exam.Proper planning and practice is important to incorporate these tips during exam.You should divide time between the sections and stick to those timings.
For example you can decide that you will practice Data Interpretation for 1 hour every day.Then you should follow this timing. You can then take free online tests on this site. That will help you know your weak section and strong section.
In weak section you have to clear sectional cutoff. In strong section you will have to score high marks. With this aim in mind you should divide your time. You should dedicate more time to weak sections and less time to strong section.
You can modify the timings based on tests as well. You can practice sample papers (downloadable from download links) and find out time taken in each section.Based on your experience after solving few question paper you can add or subtract time dedicated to individual sections.
After fixing time it is very important to test it out.You should solve few test series or papers.You can easily see whether time dedicated to each section is fine or needs some modification.You should practice 1 week with new timing. Then after a week take the test and see your progress. Based on test results you should again create a time table.
This way you can prepare for the exams. It will help you be all rounder in all sections. You can clear sectional cutoff in all sections and score good marks.
Speed is king in IBPS PO written test.It is important to practice as many questions as possible.This increases chances of getting similar questions in real exam.So you can solve them in less time.This will improve your speed and chances to answer more questions.
IBPS PO exam preparation
Computer Knowledge section
IBPS PO written exams are becoming tough with time.Introduction of Computer Knowledge section makes it difficult for non computer background candidates.So candidates from non computer background need to study this section.
This section is pretty scoring as well as less time consuming.So one should really focus hard on this section.The good part is questions are not very technical in nature nor is difficult.The best way to prepare for this section is attempting my online tests and the Android App.
The Android App has unlimited online test with answers. It covers pretty much everything asked in these exams.
General Awareness section
Also General Awareness section focuses on Banking industry knowledge.This indeed is important as you are going to be part of Banking industry.But it also demands dedication of your time to read Business section of a newspaper instead of Sports or Movie section.There are magazines dedicated to Banking industry.
You can pick any one of them and start reading the headlines.This is also one very scoring section and less time consuming.If you are well prepared for above two sections then you can save lot of time for other sections.Getting good scores this sections will help you score good results overall.So you should focus more on these two sections.
I have written detailed article on preparation of IBPS banking Awareness section preparation. You should really read that article for more details.
English is tough section for candidates not from that background.With introduction of descriptive section as well things are getting more complicated for candidates.In English section good amount of questions are grammar based.You should prepare grammar thoroughly.
The basics like Noun,Pronoun,Preposition,Conjunction and tense should be primary focus.Some questions like spot the error can be very scoring and less time consuming.The comprehension section is also easy compared to other part of English.It also carries good weight-age as well.
You can pick any good English grammar book for preparation.Even class ten or twelve English grammar books will do the trick.Every candidate should stress or dedicate more time to these three sections.Normally candidates give more time to reasoning and quantitative often overlooking these sections.But scoring good marks in these sections and saving time is key to success.
You should read my article on IBPS English section preparation as well for details.
Quantitative and Reasoning section
You should target clearing the cut off marks first in reasoning and quantitative section.Anything above that is always a bonus.Having said that Candidates should always focus on their strength.Someone outstanding in Quantitative should try to score more on this section.You should practice Quantitative and Reasoning on regular basis.
It is good to solve different types of problems.Solving same type of problems does not serve the purpose.You will not find same type of questions in IBPS exam.Also practicing different types of problems give you an idea about their solution procedure.This helps in IBPS exam.Looking at the question you can identify type of it.The data may be different but solution approach will be same.This will help you solve the problems faster and correctly.
I have included different types of questions in above documents.You can download the same and start practicing.It will give you an idea of type of problems asked and their complexity.Also it is important to note the time taken to solve the problems individually.
You can use below free course for preparing Quantitative Aptitude section. It has all tips and tricks in one place.
Feel free to post your queries.In case you have any issues downloading the files let me know.Consider sharing the post if you found this useful.Also for better preparation you should download and install IBPS mobile applications.All the questions are with detailed solution.The questions are from previous year,model questions and sample questions.Also different kinds of questions are covered.
Solving different types of questions are better than solving same type of questions.As each question is with solution.So you will be able to learn the concept.By applying the same concept you can solve similar pattern question in exam.Exam question may differ a bit in data.But if you are aware of the concept you can solve it easily.