How to Prepare for IBPS Bank PO Exam – Study Plan & Strategy

How to Prepare for IBPS Bank Probationary Officers PO Exam - Syllabus Pattern Study Material Preparation Tips Study Plan & Strategy

How to Prepare for IBPS Bank Probationary Officers (PO) Exam – Preliminary & Main Exam and Interview – Syllabus, Study Material, Topics, Study Plan, Preparation Strategy, Tips and Techniques

Institute for Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts a common written examination for Probationary Officers (Scale -1 PO) in 18 Participating Public Sector Banks (PSB) every year. Bank PO is a well-respected job in public sector banks with decent pay in India. Many young students aspire to become a Bank PO due to stability & security in career, decent salary and respect & recognition in Society.

In this post, we will see the preparation strategy, study plan, tips and techniques required to become a Bank Probationary Officer (PO).

IBPS Bank Probationary Officers (PO) Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Study Plan and Preparations Strategy:

There are three stages in the IBPS Bank PO Selection Process. They are:

  1. Preliminary Examination
  2. Main Examination
  3. Interview

First, we will see the study plan and strategy for IBPS PO Preliminary Exam.

IBPS Bank Probationary Officer (PO) Preliminary Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Study Plan and Preparation Strategy:

How to Prepare for IBPS Bank Probationary Officers PO Preliminary Exam - Syllabus Pattern Study Material Preparation Tips Study Plan & Strategy

In the IBPS Bank PO Preliminary Exam, there are three subjects. This exam is a qualifying exam only. It will be conducted online. Marks secured in this exam are not counted for the final selection to the IBPS PO. There are a total of 100 questions and 100 marks in this exam.

The Pattern of prelims examination is as follows:

SubjectQuestionsMarks
English Language3030
Quantitative Aptitude3535
Reasoning Ability3535

Of these three subjects, English Language and Reasoning Ability are most scoring subjects. Since the time available for prelims exam is only one hour i.e. 60 minutes, candidates have to focus more on these two subjects as they are easy and require less time to answer compared to Quantitative Aptitude.

However, candidates have to note that there is sectional cutoff in the exam. Therefore, candidates have to answer minimum 15 questions in Quantitative Aptitude Section with 90% accuracy. To qualify the IBPS PO Preliminary Exam, one has to answer at least 60-80 question in one hour with 80-90% accuracy. Section wise, candidates have to answer 20-25 question in English, 20-25 questions in reasoning and 15-20 question quantitative aptitude sections.

Moreover, there is negative marking in the exam. For each wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. Hence, candidates must be sure about answers and should not guess in the exam. Guessing in the exam will prove fatal for the candidates.

English Language syllabus for IBPS PO Preliminary exam includes Antonyms, Synonyms, Sentence correction, Fill in the blanks, Adjectives, Adverbs, Comprehension, Spelling Correction, Prepositions, etc.

Reasoning Ability Syllabus for IBPS PO Preliminary exam include verbal, non-verbal and analytical reasoning. This include number series, analogies, images, statements and conclusions, assumption etc.

Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus for IBPS PO Preliminary Exam includes Profit & Loss Problems, Time & Distance Problems, Pipes & Tanks, Work, Proportion, Area, Train & Distance, Average, Probability, Percentage, Banker’s Discount, Algebra, etc.

For IBPS PO Preliminary Exam English Language Complete Study Material, please click here: English Language Material


IBPS Bank Probationary Officer (PO) Main Examination Pattern, Syllabus, Study Plan and Preparation Strategy:

How to Prepare for IBPS Bank Probationary Officers PO Mains Exam - Syllabus Pattern Study Material Preparation Tips Study Plan & Strategy

In IBPS PO Main Examination, there are total  five subjects. There are total 200 questions and 200 marks in the mains exam. Time allotted for IBPS PO Main Exam in 140 Minutes. This will be an online exam. Marks secured in the IBPS PO Main Exam are counted in the final selection.

The Pattern of IBPS PO Main Examination is as follows:

SubjectQuestionsMarks
Reasoning5050
English Language4040
General Awareness4040
Quantitative Aptitude5050
Computer Knowledge2020

Of these five subjects, Reasoning, English and Computer Knowledge are very important. The Syllabus for these subjects in limited compared to other subjects like Quantitative Aptitude and General Awareness. The questions on these subjects also require less time to answer and are comparatively easy.

To qualify in the IBPS PO Main Examination, one has to answer at least 140 -160 questions in the exam. Section-wise, candidates have to answer at least 30-35 question in reasoning, 30-35 questions in English, 35-30 questions in General Awareness, 30-25 questions in Quantitative Aptitude and 15-20 questions in Computer Knowledge subjects.

Moreover, there is negative marking in the exam. For each wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. Hence, candidates must be sure about answers and should not guess in the exam. Guessing in the exam will prove fatal for the candidates and can change their fate.

Reasoning Ability Syllabus for IBPS PO Mains exam include verbal, non-verbal and analytical reasoning. This include number series, analogies, images, statements and conclusions, assumptions and assertions, blood relations, coding and decoding,  directions, data sufficiency, ranking and numbers, seating arrangement, symbols, etc.

English Language syllabus for IBPS PO Mains exam includes Antonyms, Synonyms, Sentence correction, Fill in the blanks, Adjectives, Adverbs, Comprehension, Spelling Correction, Prepositions, Pick the word, one word substitutions, active and passive voice, grammar mistakes, parts of speech etc.

For IBPS PO Mains Exam English Language Complete Study Material, please click here: English Language Material

Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus for IBPS PO Mains Exam includes Profit & Loss Problems, Time & Distance Problems, Pipes & Tanks, Work, Proportion, Area, Train & Distance, Average, Probability, Percentage, Banker’s Discount, Algebra, Ratio, Number System, Proportion, etc.

General Awareness Syllabus for IBPS PO Mains Exam include important national and international current affairs and event, basics of Indian Polity, History, Economy, Environment, General Science, Government Schemes and Policies, surveys, indexes and reports, general knowledge etc. In general awareness subjects, emphasis will be given to the Banking system in India. This include types of Banks, Reserve Bank India functions and role in Indian economy, Banking reforms and committees, important banking terms and concepts etc.

To download 5000 practice questions with answers on General Awareness PDF for IBPS PO Main Exam preparation, please click here: 5000 General Awareness and Knowledge Practice Questions & Answers

Computer Knowledge Syllabus for IBPS PO Mains Exam include basics of computers and information technology, computer applications, operating systems, Microsoft Office and its applications, important terms and concepts related computers and IT, components of computes, types of computers, etc.


IBPS Bank Probationary Officer (PO) Exam Interview Preparation, Strategy, Tips, Probable Questions and Techniques:

How to Prepare for IBPS Bank Probationary Officers PO Exam Interview - Questions Preparation Tips Study Plan & Strategy

Interview is the final stage in the IBPS Bank PO Selection Process. Candidates qualified in the Main exam will be called for interview by the IBPS. Total marks allotted for IBPS PO Interview are 100 Marks. This makes the interview crucial for candidates to succeed in IBPS Bank PO Selection Process. Moreover, there are minimum qualifying marks  that candidates have to secure in the interview. Therefore, candidates must not neglect this stage and must be prepared well for the interview.

In IBPS Bank PO Interview, questions on bio-data like place of birth, place of living, school, college, educational qualifications can be asked for sure. Candidates other than from arts & humanities background like engineering students, must be prepared to answer the question why you want to join Bank as PO and why not to look after technical career? 

Questions related to work experience, if any, hobbies and interests will also be asked in the interview.

Candidates must be well versed with the latest happenings in the world and important current affairs of national and international significance. Direct questions can be asked on current events.

Moreover, questions related to banking sector, important banking terms and concepts will be asked in the interview. Therefore, one must be well prepared with the banking concepts.

Most importantly, personal traits of the candidates like self confidence, honesty, discipline, hard-working nature, simplicity, emotional intelligence and attitude are more important than intellectual knowledge in the Interview. Interviewers will definitely look for positive traits in candidates. Candidates must not fear about the interview and should be confident.


If you follow this preparation strategy in IBPS Bank Probationary Officer (PO) Exam, success cannot be taken away from your. Only one thing is needed from you to succeed that is hard work with dedication.

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