Crack IBPS PO Exam In First Attempt

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection conducts exams for recruitment Public Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks, on a yearly basis. Candidates who aspire for a job in the banking sector need to crack these examinations. Of all the exams conducted by the institute, the IBPS PO exams for public sector banks is considered the toughest to clear. This is due to the fact that the level of competition is higher than the other exams and the difficulty level is also higher than IBPS RRB and IBPS Clerk exams.

Here are some tips to help you to crack IBPS PO exam in the first attempt. These tips have been gathered from individuals who have effectively cracked the Common Written Examination conducted by the institute.

IBPS PO Preparation Plan

A good IBPS PO preparation plan consists of adequate focus on every subject, a well researched and diligent study schedule and adequate practice. Candidates should prepare for the following subjects in descending order of importance:

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning
  • English Language
  • General Awareness
  • Computer knowledge

The IBPS PO exam structure consists of two papers with objective type questions. The institute specifies sectional as well as overall cut-off marks for each stage of the exam. This means that neglecting any section will cost candidates dearly.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss effective preparation strategies for each section:

IBPS Preparation tips for Reasoning: This is the section of the examination that is totally based on logic and it doesn’t contain only mathematical skills. There are two types of questions in this section, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. This subject can be prepared using R.S Agarwal’s book on reasoning. The weightage for the questions from each topic are:

Reasoning Topics

Weightage of question

Seating Arrangement


Mathematical Inequalities


Blood Relations




Ordering and Ranking


Arrangement and Pattern








Direction and Distance




Candidates should focus on practising those questions which carry a greater weightage. They should also focus on improving their problem-solving skills in weak areas of the syllabus.

Preparation tips for Quantitative Aptitude: This section includes basic numerical questions to check the numerical ability of the candidate. The best way to prepare quantitative aptitude for IBPS PO is to first master those questions which are easy and do not need much calculation. Build your concepts and practice as much as you can. The topics with their weightage of questions are:

Aptitude Topics

Weightage of Questions





Profit and Loss


Time and Work




Ratio and Proportion


Data Sufficiency




Data Interpretation


Quadratic Equation


Mixture Problem


Using previous years’ question papers is a good idea for this section as many of the questions follow a similar pattern each year. In addition to this, aspirants should refer to Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Agarwal to learn every concept covered in the IBPS syllabus.

Preparation tips for the English Language: Candidates who have near-native proficiency in English may not have to prepare for this section. However, those who have learnt English as a second language have to pay attention to sentence construction and grammar. The following topics are important for the exam:

  • Error Spotting
  • Para Jumbles
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Cloze Test

The best book for preparation of English for IBPS PO is Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar and Composition. Candidates should also read some fiction and non-fiction books to improve reading comprehension. The previous years’ question papers can be used for practice.

Preparation tips on General Awareness: The General Awareness section includes questions related to Banking, Finance and Economy. The topics to cover for excelling in General awareness are:

  • Topics related to Finance and Economics.
  • History of Banking.
  • Current Affairs of last 6 months.
  • Fiscal & Monetary Policies.
  • Banking Terms

Candidates should prepare comprehensively as this section is the most unpredictable out of all sections in the exam. The pattern of questions differ significantly from year to year and even between prelims and mains in the same year. The Hindu and The New Indian Express newspapers are the best for preparing for this section.

Preparation tips for Computer Knowledge: Computer knowledge in IBPS PO is considered the easiest section of the paper. Candidates just need to know how to use major operating systems and Microsoft Office software. In addition, questions may be asked from networking basics and hardware. The main topics to prepare for are:

  • Computer Hardware, Software and popular Operating Systems( Windows, Mac and Ubuntu)
  • MS Office
  • Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows and Mac
  • Basic Networking Topologies and Internet

These topics can be learned from user manuals for software and from any book on basic computer literacy such as NCERT Information and Communication Technology for Class IX.

A good IBPS PO preparation plan also has some features apart from subject specific strategies. Some general tips which will help crack the IBPS PO exam in the first attempt are as follows:

  • Divide The Preparation Schedule Into Goals: This means that for one phase of preparation, you should set goals for yourself and try to achieve them consistently. For example, during the early phases of preparation, you might want to read the whole syllabus once. Set a timeline for the same and aim to complete the syllabus during that time frame.
  • Schedule Time for Mock Tests and Evaluation: Haphazardly attempting mock tests can be a drain on your time, especially if you are not mentally prepared for them. Maintain a predictable schedule of mock tests and set time apart for them. Contrary to popular belief, constant readiness is not required for cracking IBPS PO in the first attempt. Enough practice and mastery of the subject are the only prerequisites for it.

The bank PO exam rewards smart work and decision making skills, hence candidates should hone these to a high level. They should analyse the exam pattern, identify strong and weak areas and prepare accordingly.

Candidates appearing in the exam can benefit from utilizing online resources to prepare for IBPS PO. BYJU’S has the latest notifications, strategies and study material relevant for the exam.

To know more about bank exams, check out:

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