IBPS PO Syllabus 2021 + Exam Pattern PDF Download – Prelims & Mains

The level of competition in the IBPS PO exam is quite tough, so candidates must know the IBPS PO Syllabus and Exam Pattern properly. There is a clear concept of the various topics covered in the exam so that you can do so well and crack the exam.

The syllabus of IBPS PO is determined by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

IBPS PO Syllabus 2021 – Overview

Organization NameInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection, IBPS
Name of ExamIBPS PO 2021
PostProbationary Officer (PO)
Selection Process
  1. Prelims
  2. Mains
  3. Interview
Marks Segregation IBPS PO Exam
  1. Prelims: 100 Marks
  2. Mains: 200 Marks
  3. Descriptive Test: 25 Marks
  4. Interview: 100 Marks
Duration of Exam
  1. IBPS PO Prelims: 1 Hour
  2. IBPS PO Mains: 3 Hours + 30 Min
Marking scheme1 mark each for every correct answer in Online Test
Negative marking1/4th of the marks assigned to the question in MCQ
Mode of ExaminationOnline For Prelims & Mains
Language of examinationEnglish OR  Hindi
English Language paper has to be attempted in English.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern (Selection Process)

Every year lakhs of candidates appear for IBPS PO Exam hoping to become a banker. Only the best candidates are able to get this respectable and premium post of Probationary Officer in Public Sector Banks.

IBPS PO exam is conducted in two parts to recruit candidates: IBPS Preliminary Exam (Tier 1) and IBPS Mains Exam (Tier 2)

The preliminary exam is the first stage of the recruitment process. Only candidates who clear Tier-1 can appear for Mains (Tier-2).

After passing both these exams, you will be called for an Interview.

To become a Probationary Officer in Public Sector Bank, you have to go through these three stages and pass all successfully.

  1. IBPS Preliminary Exam (Tier 1)
  2. IBPS Mains Exam (Tier 2)
  3. Personal Interview (PI)

IBPS PO Exam (Prelims & Mains) is an objective type (MCQ), a computer-based exam that is conducted online.

Candidates appearing for the IBPS PO exam are allotted a computer, where they will first be shown all the instructions and guidelines that they need to follow. After which questions will appear, for which you will have to answer one by one.

The exam pattern is different for the Prelims and Mains Exam.

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern (Tier-1)

SubjectsNo. Of QuestionsMax. MarksDuration
English Language303020 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude353520 minutes
Reasoning Ability353520 minutes
Total100 Questions100 Marks60 minutes
(1 Hour)
  • Subjects: There will be 3 parts in IBPS PO Prelims Exam in which questions will be asked from these 3 subjects (i) English Language (ii) Quantitative Aptitude (iii) Reasoning Ability
  • Number Of Questions: IBPS Prelims will total 100 questions. There will be 30 questions in the English section, 35 questions each in the Quantitative Ability and Reasoning section.
  • Nature of Questions: Multiple choice objective type questions (MCQs) are asked in the exam. Each question will have 4 options only 1 option will be correct.
  • Marking Scheme: Each question will be of 1 mark. You will be given 1 mark for each correct answer. Whereas, for every wrong answer given by you, your 0.25 marks will be deducted.
  • Duration Of The Examination: IBPS total duration of PO Prelims Exam will be 1 hour (60 minutes) | You will be given 20 minutes for each section.
  • Medium of Exam: For the English section, candidates have to answer in the English language only, whereas, for the Quantitative and Reasoning section, the paper will be set in either English or Hindi.

Candidates will have to qualify in each of the three subjects by securing minimum cut-off marks as decided by IBPS. An adequate number of candidates from each category, as decided by IBPS based on the requirements, will be shortlisted for the Online Mains Exam.

IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern (Tier-2)

SectionNo. Of QuestionsMaximum MarksMedium Of ExamDuration
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude4540English/Hindi60 minutes
General Awareness
(Economy & Banking)
4040 English/Hindi 35 minutes
English Language3540English40 minutes
Data Analysis & Interpretation3560 English/Hindi 45 minutes
Total155 Questions200 Marks3 Hours
Descriptive Test
(Letter Writing & Essay)
225English30 minutes

Mains Exam is divided into 2 phases. In the first phase, you will be asked Objective Multiple Type Questions as in the Prelims; only the subjects will be different. Immediately after that, in the second phase, Descriptive Test will be conducted.

  • Paper 1- Objective Test
  • Paper 2- Descriptive Test

IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern – Objective Test

  • Subjects: Paper 1 of IBPS PO Mains Exam will have 4 parts in which questions will be asked from these topics (i) Reasoning and Computer Aptitude (ii) General Awareness (Economy & Banking) (iii) English Language (iv) Data Analysis and Interpretation / Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Number Of Questions: A total of 155 questions. 45 questions will be asked from Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, 40 questions from General Awareness, 35 questions from the English Language, 35 questions from Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Nature of Questions: There will be multiple choice objective type questions (MCQs) in the exam. Each question will have 4 options only 1 option will be correct.
  • Marking Scheme: One-fourth (1/4th) mark will be deducted for each wrong answer. No marks will be awarded for not answering the questions.
  • Duration Of The Examination: IBPS PO Mains total duration of Objective Exam will be 3 hours (180 minutes) | each specific time is allotted for each section in the exam. 60 minutes for Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, 35 minutes for General Awareness, 40 minutes for English Language and 45 minutes for Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Medium of Examination: The paper will be sent either in English or Hindi except for the English language part.

IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern – Descriptive Test

The Descriptive Test (Paper-2) of IBPS PO Mains will start immediately after the Objective Test.

  • Descriptive Test tests the English proficiency of the candidate.
  • The exam is conducted in online mode i.e. candidates are allotted a desktop in which they have to write their answers.
  • Candidates are given 30 minutes to complete Paper-2
  • There are only 2 questions in this paper, Letter writing and Essay writing. Which you have to write in English language. The Descriptive Test is of 25 marks.

Scrutiny of Descriptive Paper of the candidate will be done only if he/she is found to have passed the Objective Test as per the qualifying marks decided by IBPS.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern – Personal Interview (PI)

Shortlisted candidates in Online Main Examination will be called for an Interview.

Interviews will be conducted at the selected centers. The address of the center, venue, time, and date of interview will be communicated to the shortlisted candidates in the call letter.

The interview will be of 100 marks. You have to secure at least 40% marks to be successful in the interview. SC / ST / OBC / PWBD candidates have to score 35% marks.

The final merit list will be prepared on the basis of performance in the main examination and interview. The weightage (ratio) of Online Main Examination and Interview will be 80:20, respectively.

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Syllabus

English Language Quantitative Aptitude Reasoning Ability
Cloze TestNumber SeriesAnalogy
Reading ComprehensionData InterpretationStatement and Arguement
Spotting ErrorsSimplification/ ApproximationCoding-Decoding
Sentence ImprovementQuadratic EquationInput-Output
Sentence CorrectionData SufficiencyBlood Relations
Para JumblesMensurationSyllogism
Fill in the BlanksAverageTabulation
Para/Sentence CompletionProfit and LossPuzzle
Ratio and ProportionSeating Arrangement
Work, Time, and EnergyCoded Inequalities
Time and DistanceData Sufficiency
ProbabilityRanking/Direction/Alphabet Test
RelationsAlphanumeric Series
Simple and Compound InterestLogical Reasoning
Permutation and Combination

IBPS PO Syllabus – English Language

This part of the IBPS PO Exam tests the candidates’ correct grammar usage, vocabulary usage, basic comprehension and writing ability in the English language, etc.

This part of you asked to be question in the following topics to be :

Synonyms & Antonyms, Sentence improvement, Active/passive voice, Conversion into the direct/indirect narration, Cloze Passage, Comprehension Passage, Para Jumbles, Sentence/ Paragraph Completion, etc.

Spelling/detecting miss-spelled words, Idioms & phrases, Ordering of words/ sentences, One-word substitutes, Idioms and Phrases, Spotting of Error, Phrase Replacement, fill in the blanks (using verbs, preposition, articles, etc.)

IBPS PO Syllabus – Quantitative Aptitude

  • Number System: The questions asked in this will be based on problems related to division and remainder, multiples and factors, integers, LCM, and HCF.
  • Average: Questions will be asked from this topic on Average Weight, Average Height, Average Age, Average Marks, Average Temperature, etc.
  • Simplification: This includes problems based on the BODMAS rule, fractions, approximation, decimals, and indices.
  • Percentage: Problems based on the percentage will be asked.
  • Ratio and Proportion: simple ratio, compound ratio, problems based on componendo and dividendo, etc.
  • Interest: Problems based on the combination of both Simple Interest, Compound Interest as well as Compound Interest and Simple Interest.
  • Number Series: Problems based on completing the series, finding the missing word, finding the wrong word. AP, GP, AGP, etc.
  • Algebra: Problems Based on Quadratic Equations In which two quadratic equations are given and we have to state the relation between x and y. Linear equation questions can be asked on the basis of age, sometimes inequalities are also asked.
  • Profit and Loss: Questions like sequential sales, participation, discount, and market value are usually asked from the topic of profit and loss.
  • Data Interpretation: To explain this category Issues line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, tables, tri-graphs, and radar charts, and so on.
  • Time and Work: Problems can be asked on the basis of work efficiency, pipes, and cisterns, work, and wages.
  • Mixture Problems: Problems based on the mixing of two or more entities/mixtures.
  • Speed, Time and Distance: Problems Based on Relative Speed, Average Speed, Trains, Boats and Streams
  • Mensuration: Problems based on areas of the square, rectangle, circle, semicircle, and parallelogram. Questions related to Cone and Cylinder are also asked.

Permutation and Combination, Probability, etc.

IBPS PO Syllabus – Reasoning Ability

  • Arrangement & Pattern: Questions on a random sequence of alphabets, number arrangement and dictionary, and alphabet-based arrangement, etc.
  • Analogy: It consists of meaning-based, word-based, and number-based questions.
  • Inequalities: Problems of direct mathematical inequalities are mostly asked in the concept of inequalities.
  • Classification: Figural, Semantic, Symbolic, Number, etc.
  • Series: Arithmetic Number, Semantic, Number, Non-Verbal, etc.

Distance and Direction, Ordering and Ranking, Coding & Decoding, Syllogisms, Input-Output, Visual memory, problem-solving, Puzzle, Word Formation, numerical operations, symbolic operations, discrimination, Observation, Blood Relation, arithmetical reasoning, and figural classification.

Embedded figures, matrix, statement conclusion, Venn diagrams, drawing inferences, critical thinking, syllogistic reasoning, address matching, date & city matching, Judgment, decision making, pattern-folding, space visualization, spatial orientation, etc.

IBPS PO Mains Exam Syllabus

The syllabus of the English Language and Reasoning Ability section is the same for both Prelims and Mains.

If you have prepared well for both these subjects in Prelims (Tier-1), then you will not need to work hard for Mains. However, the syllabus and difficulty level of prelims and mains exam is different.

IBPS PO Syllabus – Reasoning and Computer Aptitude

Verbal ReasoningInternet
Circular Seating ArrangementKeyboard Shortcuts
Linear Seating ArrangementComputer Abbreviation
Double LineupMicrosoft Office
SchedulingComputer Hardware
Input-OutputComputer Software
Blood RelationsOperating System
Directions and DistancesNetworking
Ordering and RankingComputer Fundamentals /Terminologies
Data Sufficiency
Coding and Decoding
Code Inequalities

Computer Aptitude Syllabus

  • Fundamentals of Computer & History of Computer
  • Computer Hardware and software
  • Operating system
  • MS Word, MS Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Basic Computer Networking
  • Computer Abbreviation / Short forms (Jpeg, mp3, pdf, etc.)
  • Internet, Memory, Keyboard Shortcuts etc.

IBPS PO Syllabus – General Awareness (Economy & Banking)

  • Banking and Financial Awareness
  • News related to RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and other Banks
  • Awareness regarding Union, State and Railway Budget
  • General Knowledge, Current Affairs- National and International Awards, Sports, Authors and Books, Summits etc.
  • Economics and Marketing

IBPS PO Syllabus – Data Analysis and Interpretation

PercentageRatio and Percentage
Data InterpretationMensuration and Geometry
Quadratic EquationInterest
Problems of AgesProfit and Loss
Number SeriesSpeed, Distance and Time
Speed, Distance and TimeTime and Work
Number SystemData Sufficiency
Linear EquationPermutation and Combination
ProbabilityMixture and Allegations

Percentage, Ratio & Proportion, Relationship between Numbers, Square Root, Average, Interest, Profit and Loss, Discount, Partnership Business, Mixture & Alligation, Time and Distance, Fractions and Decimals, Time and Work, Heights and Distances, Basic Algebraic Identities, Linear Graphic Equations,

Permutation and Combination, Probability, Data Sufficiency, Data Interpretation, Geometry and Mensuration, Trigonometry, Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Bar Diagram & Pie Chart, etc.

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