IBPS PO Exam Pattern

The IBPS PO exam pattern is set by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) which is the conducting body for all IBPS exams. For any candidate willing to apply for the upcoming IBPS PO 2023 exam, it is important that they are completely familiar with the IBPS PO exam pattern.

The IBPS PO exam is one of the most competitive examinations in India. Over the past few years, the number of applicants for the Probationary Officers exam have massively increased and it is important that the candidates have a clear idea of the latest IBPS PO exam pattern and syllabus to continue with their preparation.

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Though the syllabus is not as hard as some other examinations, the number of applicants and the extremely limited time allowed for the IBPS exam play a major role in raising the overall difficulty level.

In view of the above, it is imperative that aspirants familiarise themselves with the IBPS Exam Pattern.

This would enable them to develop an effective preparation strategy for the upcoming bank exams.

Preparing for the IBPS PO 2023 exam??

Test your preparation now with the free IBPS PO Mock Test Series based on the latest IBPS PO exam pattern!

Also, refer to the links given below and enhance your preparation:

In this article, we will discuss the IBPS PO Exam pattern for the prelims and mains phase of the examination in detail. Also, throw some light on the selection process for the IBPS PO 2023 exam.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern – Prelims

The IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern has remained constant since the inception of the exam.

The IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern consists of one paper with objective type questions comprising 100 questions divided into three sections. The sections being:

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability
  • English Language

The total time allotted to the candidates to solve these 100 questions is 60 minutes with 20 minutes time duration allotted for each section.

The IBPS PO Exam Pattern for the Prelims exam is given below:

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern – Section Number of Questions Marks Allotted Time Allotted
English Language 30 30 20 min
Numerical Ability 35 35 20 min
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 min
Total 100 100 60 minutes

Candidates are asked to report at the exam centre at least an hour before the examination time. This time is spent on checking the attendance, the Invigilator’s signing of the admit card, and taking the candidate’s thumb impression on the admit card.

The IBPS PO syllabus is almost similar to the syllabus for other bank exams. Candidates preparing or willing to prepare for any of the upcoming bank exams, can check the detailed sections-wise bank exam syllabus at the linked article.

The paper is conducted online at designated IBPS PO centres across the country.

Candidates can refer to the IBPS PO Prelims exam analysis, and understand the standard of examination and also analyse the exact IBPS PO exam pattern.

Aspirants who are preparing for the IBPS PO prelims examination can refer to the links mentioned below for preparation:

Reading Comprehension Quantitative Aptitude – Syllabus & Sample Questions Logical Reasoning
Verbal Ability Syllabus Reasoning Puzzles Number Series for Bank Exams

IBPS PO Exam Pattern – Mains

The IBPS PO Mains exam consists of two papers, both of which are conducted online by the Institute.

As per the IBPS PO Mains Pattern, the papers are an Objective Test and a Descriptive test.

In the IBPS PO Mains Pattern, the objective test is divided into four sections.

Only those who clear the cut off marks in prelims are invited for the mains exam.

The IBPS PO Mains exam Pattern is as follows:

IBPS PO Exam Pattern – Mains
IBPS PO Mains Pattern- Paper Section Number of Questions Marks Allotted Time Allotted
Objective Test Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 60 min
English Language 35 40 40 min
Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45 min
General Awareness, Economy & Banking Awareness 40 40 35 min
Descriptive Test English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 2 25 30 min

The IBPS PO result for the mains exam is released within a month from when the examination is conducted. Candidates can check the result at the linked article.

IBPS PO Mains Pattern- Salient Points

  • As per the IBPS PO Mains Pattern, the total time allotted for the objective paper is 3 hours and the Descriptive test is for 30 minutes.
  • Though the descriptive paper is a test of the English language, the questions are asked based on current affairs.
  • Marks are awarded based on the correct usage of grammar as well as the relevance of the content.
  • As per the latest IBPS PO Mains Pattern, the duration of the paper has increased from 2 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The earlier duration was solely for the Objective Test and the Descriptive Test was introduced recently.
  • With this, the time available for the Objective Test has gone up by 40 minutes.
  • According to the IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern, the number of questions in the Objective Test has gone up by 60 questions.
  • There is no longer a separate section for Computer Knowledge as it has been combined with the Reasoning Section.

To understand the IBPS PO exam pattern for the mains examination, candidates can refer to the IBPS PO Mains exam analysis and prepare themselves accordingly.

Ace the IBPS PO Mains exam with the help of links mentioned below:

Banking Awareness Static GK Letter Writing Format
Data Interpretation for Quantitative Aptitude Data Sufficiency Fundamentals of Computer

Government Exam 2023

IBPS PO Interview

The IBPS interview is conducted for those who clear the bank PO mains exam.

As per the IBPS PO Exam pattern, the interview carries 100 marks.

The candidates have to secure at least 40 marks in the interview to be considered for the merit list, irrespective of their score in other stages of the exam.

Interested candidates can check the tips to ace the IBPS PO Interview at the linked article and prepare themselves for the interaction with the member of the Interview panel.

According to the IBPS PO Exam pattern, candidates belonging to the weaker sections of society, are awarded a concession of 5 marks in the IBPS PO Interview.

The IBPS PO interview usually lasts 15-20 minutes, though associated procedures such as document verification and background checks take up to 8 hours on the day of the interview.

Candidates successfully clearing these stages are selected as bankers and are invited to join one of the Public Sector Banks based on their preference and position in the merit list.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern-Negative Marking

Penalty for wrong answers has been a constant feature of the IBPS PO exam pattern since its inception in 2011.

The level of negative marking in IBPS PO exam has remained constant and no new changes are expected in 2023.

According to the IBPS PO Exam Pattern,the scheme of the penalty for incorrect answers is as follows:

  • Every incorrect answer attracts a penalty of one fourth(25%) of the marks allotted to that question.
  • Marking two answers simultaneously is not possible in the online format of the exam since 2013.
  • If an answer is left blank, it attracts no negative marking.

Candidates can check the tips to minimize negative marking in bank exams at the linked article.

Banking aspirants should study previous years bank papers as well as the IBPS PO Syllabus to be successful in the IBPS PO exam. One of the common factors in the strategy of the toppers has been their familiarity with the latest IBPS PO exam pattern, exhaustive preparation and coverage of the syllabus.

Certain other banks conduct recruitment for the post of Probationary Officers. To know the job profile, salary structure and exam details for the other Bank PO exams, candidates can visit the linked article.

We at BYJU’S have well-researched study material and mock tests for candidates which they can access anytime. Aspirants would find this material useful in their quest to land prestigious bank officer jobs.

Related Links:
IBPS PO Admit Card IBPS PO Cut Off
IBPS PO Eligibility IBPS Selection Process
IBPS PO Application Form IBPS PO Salary

Frequently Asked Questions for IBPS PO Exam Pattern


Q 1. What minimum marks must a candidate attain to qualify the IBPS PO prelims exam?

Ans. Every year, IBPS releases the IBPS prelims cut off based on the performance of candidates across the country and the number of vacancies released. This cut off varies from year to year. Thus, a candidate needs to attain the minimum cut off marks as announced by IBPS to qualify the prelims examination..

Q 2. What is the educational qualification required to apply for the IBPS PO prelims exam?

Ans. Candidate must possess a graduation degree in any discipline to apply for the IBPS PO exam.

Q 3. Based on the latest IBPS PO exam pattern, which are the best books to prepare for the IBPS PO 2023 exam?

Ans. The best preparation books based on the latest IBPS PO exam pattern are as follows:

  • Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning by R.S.Agarwal
  • Pratiyogita Darpan (Monthly Edition)
  • Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by R.S.Agarwal
  • Wren & Martin for English Grammar
  • Objective General English by R.S.Agarwal
  • General Banking Awareness by Arihant Publications

Q 4. Is the IBPS PO exam pattern different from the IBPS Clerk exam pattern?

Ans. Yes, there is a slight difference between the IBPS clerk and PO exam pattern. There is no descriptive paper in the IBPS clerk mains exam and also there is no Interview phase in the selection process.

Q 5. What is the IBPS PO exam?

Ans. The IBPS PO exam is conducted to recruit Probationary Officers in the various participating Public Sector Banks under IBPS. It is one of the most respectable job profiles in the banking sector.


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