The IBPS SO exam is conducted to recruit specialist officers for public sector banks of India. These specialist officers handle operations which require a high level of proficiency in one specific field and have the qualifications and experience to back them up. The following are the posts that the exam recruits for:



Information Technology

Scale I Officer


Scale I Officer

Rajbhasha(National Language)

Scale I Officer


Scale I Officer

Human Resources/Personnel

Scale I Officer


Scale I Officer

The preparation for this examination consists of a few essential elements which are a robust preparation strategy, discipline and good books. This article aims to provide a list of IBPS SO books which candidates can use while preparing for the exam. The structure of the specialist officers exam consists of the following stages:

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination

The IBPS SO syllabus for the prelims is the same as the IBPS PO syllabus. Hence the books required for the prelims exam are the same as the IBPS PO books. The Mains examination has some common papers which can also be prepared using the same books. These subjects are:

  • Reasoning
  • General Awareness with special reference to the banking industry
  • English Language
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Computer Knowledge

Apart from these subjects, the specialised subject of Professional Knowledge is a part of the syllabus. Professional Knowledge books are specific to each area of specialisation as discussed below:

Information Technology: The IT field is constantly evolving and this is reflected in the exam. The IBPS SO books required to cover the complete syllabus of professional knowledge are as follows:

  • Objective Computer Knowledge by R Pillai
  • Data Communications and Networking by Behrouz. A Forouzan

It should be noted that the second book need not be covered completely. The chapters which deal with different network models and encoding systems are sufficient for the exam.

Agriculture: The agriculture syllabus is vast when it comes to the specialist officer exam. Hence, the following books are recommended for preparation:

  • NCERT Science Textbooks: Classes VI-IX
  • Agriculture Field Officer by R.Gupta

Rajbhasha Adhikari: The rajbhasha adhikari syllabus is designed to select those who have a very good grasp of the Hindi language and grammar. These officers sign off on most communication conducted in Hindi within the bank as well as all advertising material drafted in Hindi. To prepare for this paper, candidates should read the following books:

  • Upkar Prakashan’s Hindi Vyakaran Aur Rachna
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari Guide by R.Gupta

Law: The IBPS SO Law syllabus is heavily focussed on commercial and corporate law. Hence, candidates who appear for the exam should revise these areas of the subject. In addition to this, practice for the exam from the using the following book:

  • IBPS Specialist Officer CWE LAW Officer Online Exam Practice Work Book by Kiran Prakashan

Human Resources/Personnel: The HR syllabus for the IBPS SO exam focuses on case studies unique to the financial industry. The following books are useful for the exam:

  • Human Resource Management by K Aswathappa
  • Bank HR Specialist book by Kiran Prakashan

Marketing: The marketing syllabus is relatively easy, however, the paper reflects the fast pace that the marketing field evolves at. Keeping this in mind, candidates should refer to the following books:

  • Marketing Specialist Exam book by Upkar Prakashan
  • Principles of Marketing by Kavita Sharma

These books are enough to cover the IBPS SO syllabus and revise for the exam. Candidates should incorporate enough practice in their study plan and solve previous year’s question papers for comprehensive coverage.

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