IBPS Clerk Preliminary Exam 2023 - Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The IBPS Clerk prelims exam is the first phase of the examination conducted to recruit candidates in clerical cadre for various participating IBPS Banks. 

The IBPS preliminary examination for appointing clerks is an online computer based exam which is a medium to shortlist candidates for the final phase of examination. 

It is the qualifying level of examination and the candidates who manage to score the minimum qualifying marks in the prelims exam are invited for the IBPS Clerk mains examination.

Prepping up for the IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam 2023??

Test your preparation with the Free Online IBPS Clerk Mock Test series based on the latest IBPS Clerk prelims syllabus and exam pattern.

Also, refer to the links given below and ace the upcoming clerical cadre exam:

There are close to twenty Public Sector Banks which participate in the IBPS Clerk recruitment every year. This is why lakhs of candidates appear for the clerical cadre exam and look forward to pursue a career in the banking sector.

In this article, we shall discuss in detail the IBPS Clerk prelims exam along with the preliminary exam syllabus and the other related information.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Syllabus PDF:-Download PDF Here

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Pattern

The IBPS Clerk prelims exam is not a very lengthy one. It is a 60 minute exam with 100 questions divided into three sections. The three sections being:

  1. Reasoning Ability
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. English Language

Given below is the IBPS Clerk prelims exam pattern in brief for the reference of candidates:

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Pattern
Subjects Number of Questions Maximum Marks Time Duration
English Language 30 30 20 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 20 minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 60 minutes

Aspirants can know more about the IBPS Clerk exam at the linked article.

Candidates can get the detailed section-wise syllabus for the three major subjects which are a part of the IBPS Clerk prelims exam in the links given below:

To understand the exam pattern for the IBPS Clerk prelims exam candidates can also refer to the exam analysis and scrutinize the level of exam and the type of questions asked in the exam. Given below are the links that may prove to be helpful:

IBPS Clerk Prelims Syllabus

The IBPS Clerk prelims syllabus is vast and candidates who are preparing for the upcoming IBPS Clerk exam start their preparation and make sure that they cover each topic under each section of the preliminary examination.

The table given below gives the detail IBPS Clerk Prelims syllabus for the reference of candidates:

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Syllabus
English Language Reasoning Ability Quantitative Aptitude
Reading Comprehension Puzzles Data Interpretation
Cloze Test Seating Arrangement Profit & Loss
Fill in the Blanks Logical Reasoning Percentage
Phase Replacement Blood Relations Simple and Compound Interest
Match the Columns Syllogism Number System
Sentence Rearrangement Direction Test Average
Jumbled Words Alphanumeric Series Mensuration
Error Spotting Statement & Conclusion Probability
Antonyms & Synonyms Statement & Assumption Permutation & Combination
Phrases & Idioms Coding & Decoding Pipes and Cisterns
Direct & Indirect Speech Number Ranking Speed, Distance & Time
Active & Passive Voice Work & Time
Cube Root & Square Root
Ratio & Proportion
Upstream & Downstream
Mixture & Allegations
Wrong Number Series
Missing Number Series
Age Based Word Problems
Train Based Word Problems

Aspirants who wish to know the syllabus for the mains level of the exam as well, can visit the IBPS Clerk syllabus for details.

For information regarding General English for Competitive Exams, candidates can visit the linked article.

It must also be noted that the syllabus for most bank exams is almost the same, so candidates who are preparing for any other exam in the banking sector can get the detailed bank exam syllabus in the linked article.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Syllabus PDF:-Download PDF Here

IBPS Clerk Prelims – Points To Remember

While candidates are preparing for the IBPS Clerk exam, there are certain points that need to be kept in mind while preparing for the prelims examination:

  • Negative Marking – There is a penalty of 0.25 marks for every wrongly answered question. So ensure that you only attempt questions which you are sure of and do not make guesses
  • Sectional Cut Off – There is sectional cut off in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam. Candidates need to secure the overall qualifying marks and also attain the minimum qualifying marks for each section separately to get shortlisted for mains. Candidates can check the previous year IBPS Clerk cut off for prelims at the linked article
  • Sectional Time – 20 minutes are allotted to solve each section in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam. Once the 20 minutes slot is over, candidates cannot revisit the questions from that section
  • Only Qualifying in Nature – One of the most important things that need to be kept in mind is that the IBPS Clerk prelims is only qualifying in nature and the marks scored in the prelims exam are not included in calculating the final merit of the candidates

Candidates who are willing to apply for the IBPS Clerk 2023, can check the IBPS Clerk exam dates at the linked article and prepare themselves accordingly.

The candidates who manage the qualify the IBPS Clerk prelims are shortlisted for the mains examination. Two extra subjects are included in the mains syllabus: Computer Awareness and General Knowledge.

To prepare for the General Knowledge section, candidates can refer to the banking awareness page for preparation.

Government Exam 2023

IBPS Clerk Prelims Preparation

The preparation for the IBPS Clerk prelims is comprehensive as the syllabus is vast. Candidates must keep a few points in consideration while preparing for the IBPS Clerk prelims exam 2023:

  • Strategize a study plan and follow it rigorously to prepare for the examination 
  • Ensure that you have sufficient study material and notes to prepare yourself for the exam. Check out the best IBPS Clerk Books to prepare for the prelims exam at the linked article
  • Solve mock tests, practise papers and previous year question papers to analyse and understand the prelims exam well
  • Carefully go through the syllabus and ensure that no topic is skipped from preparation

Candidates can check the tips to prepare for IBPS Clerk prelims at the linked article.

Related Links:

IBPS Clerk Eligibility IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern IBPS Clerk Notification
IBPS Clerk Result IBPS Clerk Admit Card SBI Clerk Syllabus
IBPS Clerk Apply Online English Language Syllabus for IBPS Clerk Prelims Bank Clerk

Frequently Asked Questions on IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam


Q 1. When is the IBPS Clerk prelims 2023-24?

Ans. According to the IBPS Calendar 2023, the IBPS Clerk Prelims will be held on August 26, September 2, and October 7 2023 and the IBPS Clerk Mains on October 8, 2023. These IBPS exam dates are based on the IBPS official notification 2021.

Q 2. Is the IBPS Clerk prelims exam bilingual?

Ans. Yes, the IBPS Clerk prelims exam is bilingual. Except for the English language section, the other two sections are available in both Hindi and English languages.

Q 3. If I have scored the overall cut off in IBPS Clerk prelims exam but not secured the English language cut off, do I qualify for IBPS Clerk mains?

Ans. No, it is mandatory to score the overall and the sectional cut off in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam to qualify for the mains level of examination.

Q 4. What is the negative marking scheme in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam?

Ans. 0.25 marks are deducted if a candidate has marked a question wrong in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam.

Q 5. Is the IBPS Clerk prelims exam tough?

Ans. The IBPS Clerk prelims exam is mostly moderate in level but due to the number of applicants and high competition, the conducting body is bound to increase the cut off every year.


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