IBPS SO Syllabus 2020 - New Exam Pattern & Topic-Wise Syllabus

The IBPS Specialist Officers Exam is conducted to recruit officers for highly technical or specialized roles in public sector banks. This article will discuss the detailed IBPS SO Syllabus and the changes done in IBPS SO exam pattern by IBPS.

The IBPS SO Exam Pattern had been slightly changed in 2019 and the same pattern is expected to be followed for the 2020 recruitment as well. Candidates preparing for the IBPS SO exam can visit the linked article and know more about the upcoming examination.

Analyse the IBPS SO Syllabus & Exam Pattern and start your preparation for the upcoming Specialist Officer exam with the Free Online IBPS SO Mock Test Series.

Also, refer to the links below and excel in the examination:

The roles which successful candidates in this bank exam can get are:

  • Information Technology Officer
  • Agriculture Officer
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari
  • Law Officer
  • Human Resources/Personnel Officer
  • Marketing Officer

The IBPS SO Syllabus is almost similar to the bank probationary officer’s syllabus. The syllabus also consists of professional knowledge, specific to each post.

IBPS SO Syllabus 2020 – Download PDF Here

For more details on upcoming bank exams, refer to the linked article.

Government Exam 2020

IBPS SO Exam Pattern

The IBPS has introduced a new Exam Pattern for the SO exam.

The IBPS SO 2020 Exam will be conducted in the following three phases:

  1. Preliminary Exam
  2. Mains Exam
  3. Interview Process

The latest changes in the IBPS SO Exam Pattern is as follows:

  • The exam will be conducted in three phases: Preliminary, Mains and Interview Process.
  • IBPS has introduced separate sectional timing for each section in the Prelims Exam.
  • The IBPS SO preliminary examination has a total duration of 120 minutes and 40 minutes for each section.
  • Candidates have to appear for the Prelims first and the shortlisted students post the Prelims Exam will be eligible for the Mains Exam.
  • The score of Preliminary Exam will not be considered for the final allotment.
  • The final selection will be based on on the Mains Exam and Interview Process.
  • The Mains Examination will contain questions only from Professional Knowledge Subjects.

Aspirants who are looking to get a job in the banking sector can know more about the various bank exams conducted in the country at the linked article.

The IBPS SO Exam pattern is given below:

IBPS SO Exam Pattern for Prelims

IBPS SO Exam Pattern- Subject Maximum Marks Duration
English Language 25 40 minutes
Reasoning 50 40 minutes
General Awareness with Special Reference to the Banking Industry (For Law and Rajbhasha) 50 40 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude( For IBPS SO I.T officer, Agriculture, HR/Personnel and Marketing) 50 40 minutes

The IBPS SO Prelims Exam is tentatively scheduled for December 26th and 27th, 2020 and the Mains is scheduled for January 30, 2021. Therefore, it is time to boost your preparation for IBPS SO examination and to test your preparation level.

IBPS SO Exam Pattern for Mains

IBPS SO Exam Pattern- Subject Maximum Marks Duration
Professional Knowledge (Objective for Law, I.T, HR, Marketing, Agriculture) 60 45 minutes
Professional Knowledge (Objective for Rajbhasha) 60 30 minutes
Professional Knowledge (Descriptive for Rajbhasha) 30 minutes

IBPS SO Syllabus Prelims

The IBPS SO syllabus gives an insight into the relevant topics to be covered.

The IBPS SO Syllabus for Prelims is almost similar to the IBPS PO Syllabus.

The detailed IBPS SO Syllabus for Prelims is given below:

English Language: Reasoning Ability Quantitative Aptitude General Awareness, Economy and Banking Knowledge
Reading Comprehension

Tenses Rules

Cloze Test(Fill in the blanks)

Paragraph Jumbles

Idioms & Phrases

Error Detection

Multiple Meanings(Contextual Usage)

Paragraph Completion

Logical Reasoning

Alphanumeric Series


Ranking and Order

Alphabet Combination

Data Sufficiency

Reasoning Inequalities

Seating Arrangements

Picture Series Puzzles





Coding and Decoding

Assertion and Reason

Statement, Argument and Assumption

Word Formation

Simplification and Approximation

Profit and Loss

Mixtures and Alligations

Simple and Compound Interest

Surds and Indices

Work and Time

Time and Distance Equations

Mensuration: Cylinder, Cone, Sphere and Cuboid

Data Interpretation

Ratio And Proportion


Number Systems

Series and Sequences

Permutation and Combination

Measures of Central Tendency and Variation


Financial Knowledge

Banking Awareness

Basic Economics

Current Events of National and International Importance with focus on financial news

General Knowledge on various topics of importance to financial institutions

As we can see from the above lists, the syllabus is the same as the IBPS PO Prelims syllabus. The major difference between the two syllabi is at the Main examination stage. We will discuss it in the next section of this article.

IBPS SO Mains Syllabus

The IBPS SO Mains syllabus consists of subjects related to the specialization which the candidate has applied for. The IBPS SO Syllabus for Mains is not specified in particular by the Institute/conducting body.

These topics are listed after extensive analysis of past years’ IBPS SO Exam Papers. The detailed IBPS SO Syllabus for each specialisation is summarised in the following paragraphs.

IBPS SO Syllabus for IT Officer Scale I

The IBPS SO IT Officer syllabus for Scale I consists of the following topics:

  • Database Management Systems
  • Data Communication and Networking
  • Operating Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Data Structures
  • Embedded Systems and Microprocessors
  • Computer Organization
  • Object-Oriented Programming

IBPS SO Syllabus for Agriculture Officer

The IBSP SO Agriculture Officer syllabus for Scale I consists of the following topics:

  • Basics of Crop Production and Horticulture
  • Agronomy, Irrigation and Seed Science
  • Agricultural Economics and Practices
  • Soil resources
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Agroforestry
  • Ecology
  • Government Schemes related to Agriculture

IBPS SO Syllabus for Marketing Officer

The IBPS SO Marketing Officer Syllabus covers a large number of topics.

These are as follows:

  • Basics of Marketing Management
  • Brand Management
  • Advertising, Public Relations and Sales
  • Retail Business
  • Business Ethics
  • Market Segmentation
  • Market Research and Forecasting
  • Product Life Cycle Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Marketing Strategies in Services Marketing

IBPS SO Syllabus for Law Officer

The IBPS Law Officer syllabus is as follows:

  • Banking Regulations
  • Compliance and Legal Aspects
  • Relevant Law and Orders related to negotiable instruments, securities, foreign exchange
  • Prevention of Money-laundering, Limitation Act
  • Consumer Protection Act
  • Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act
  • Banking Ombudsman
  • Laws and Actions with a direct link to Banking Sector
  • Bankers Book Evidence Act
  • Debt Recovery Tribunals Act

IBPS SO Syllabus for HR/Personnel Officer

The following topics form the syllabus for HR/Personnel officers for IBPS SO exam:

  • Human Resource Development
  • Business policy and strategic analysis
  • Transnational Analysis
  • Training and Development
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Business Policy and Strategic Analysis
  • Grievance and Conflict Management
  • Performance Management and Appraisals

IBPS SO Syllabus for Rajbhasha Adhikari

The Rajbhasha Adhikari primarily deals with Hindi communications, advertising material and associated documents handled by the bank.

The topics covered in the Rajbhasha Adhikari syllabus are as follows:

  • Grammar
  • Error Correction
  • Fill in The Banks
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Letter Writing
  • Essay Writing

The IBPS SO syllabus is generally at the standard of an average graduation degree.

Aspirants can check the Letter Writing Format for the IBPS SO exam at the linked article.

Candidates can use relevant textbooks to prepare for this exam. They can also take regular IBPS SO Mock Tests for comprehensive preparation.

IBPS SO Syllabus 2020 – Download PDF Here

Specialised IBPS SO books should also be studied to maximise the chances of success in the exam.



  1. My age 25/7/2000 can I write ibps so exam . wich book is best to refer.

    1. Hi Divya,
      Yes you are eligible to apply for the Exam, Check detailed IBPS SO eligibility and important IBPS SO Books for preparation.

  2. Hi
    From where I can get the complete notes including both pre and mains for SO- HR

  3. Ibps so ki best book name please????

    1. Hi,
      Please check relevant IBPS SO Books on the linked page.

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