IBPS PO Prelim Exam Pattern, Insights with Previous Year Papers

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts exam every year to recruit the Probationary Officers (PO) for Public sector banks, SBI, Associate banks of SBI, RBI, NABARD, SIDBI, Few co-operative banks. IBPS also conducts exams to recruite the right employees for LIC & Insurance companies, Regional rural banks, Government departments, State owned companies and corporation, Some public sector undertakings of non financial sector. In addition to that IBPS also conducts admission tests  for some reputed Management institutes and Universities.

The candidates are selected through the following recruitment process

1. IBPS PO Preliminary Exam

2. IBPS PO Mains Exam

3.  Interview

As per the eligibility criteria, the candidate must be a graduate and should be of minimum age- 20 years. The aspirants who cleared the Preliminary round are eligible for the Mains. The dates for the Preliminary round are 3th October, 4th October, 10th October, 2020. The date for main exam is 28th November, 2020. The centre of the Exam is in every state and city.

Eligibility   |  Exam Pattern  |  Syllabus |

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Key Highlight
of IBPS PO Prelim Exam
Rs. 100/- (for SC/ST/PWD candidates) Rs. 600 /- (for all others)
20-30 Year
Exam Duration:
1 Hour for prelims 3 Hours for mains
No. of Questions:
100 (PRELIMS) 155 (MAINS)
Interview Qualifying Marks:
40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD).
Registration Starts:
From August 2020
Exam Date:
3, 4, 10 Oct 2020

IBPS PO Exam Pattern

IBPS conducts the preliminary exam of only qualifying nature. The marks of the prelims exam will not be compiled in the final results. The candidates who will qualify the prelims exam will be eligible for mains. The candidates who only qualify the overall cutoff will not eligible for mains exam, they have to qualify the sectional (subject-wise) cutoff also.

IBPS  is responsible to set the exam pattern for the IBPS PO Prelims Exam and it has released the new exam pattern for the upcoming exam. There will be 3 Sections in the preliminary exam with the separated 20 Minutes timing for each section.

The prelims exam will be conducted in online mode. It is a computer-based objective type exam and each question contains 5 options where only 1 option will be correct. There will be total 100 MCQs of 100 Marks from all its 3 Sections to solve in 1 Hour.

The language of the examination will be in Hindi and English both except the English language Section. The aspirants preparing for IBPS PO should know the detailed exam pattern of the exam because a true understanding of exam pattern and syllabus helps to cover important concepts for better preparation. The better understanding of concepts make questions easy to solve while the candidates with no correct idea about concepts feel the questions tough in solving.

There is no extremely hard questions and syllabus for the exam but the limited time and huge no of candidates increase the level of difficulty of the exam because competition rises the cutoff marks.

The prelims exam will be completed in one sitting and the subjects will be the following

  • Quantitative Aptitude

  • Reasoning Ability

  • English Language 

Take a glance below to quickly understand the IBPS PO Exam Pattern


Sections (Subjects) Number of Questions Allotted Marks Allotted Time
English Language 30 Questions 30 Marks 20 Minutes
Numerical Ability 35 Questions 35 Marks 20 Minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions 35 Marks 20 Minutes
Total 100 Questions 100 Marks 60 Minutes


To check the IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern, Click Here

Watch the video for IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern

IBPS PO Prelims Marking Scheme

The marking scheme of IBPS PO Prelims exam is same as per previous year papers. Each question of any subject contains 1 Mark. The negative marking is an important factor because it not only prevents from gaining marks but also decreases score by penalty of negative marks. It is a computer-based test and marking two answers simultaneously of a question is not possible. On every four incorrect answers, the candidates lose 1 Mark or the marks of one right answered the question. The candidates should focus on the accuracy of answers to excel good marks in the exam.


Sections (Subjects) Number of Questions Allotted Marks Allotted Marks for Each Right Answer
English Language 30 Questions 30 Marks 1 Mark
Numerical Ability 35 Questions 35 Marks 1 Mark
Reasoning Ability 35 Questions 35 Marks 1 Mark


Take a glance on the followings to understand the accurate marking scheme

  • 1 Mark will be added for each right answer.

  • 1/4 (0.25) Marks will be deducted for incorrect answer.

  • No marks will be added or deducted for unanswered question.


To check the IBPS PO Mains Marking Scheme, Click Here

IBPS PO Prelims Syllabus

The accurate and detailed knowledge of syllabus helps to cover all concepts for exam because true understanding of the concepts not only helps to excel the exam but also helps in saving time to mark the correct answer. The practice of all types of questions according to the syllabus really play the important role in qualifying the exam on this tough time of the competition.

Quantitative Aptitude



  General Aptitude

  Advanced Mathematics

  Number Systems


  Series and Sequences

  Mathematical Inequalities

  Surds and Indices



  Permutation and Combination

  Data Interpretation (DI)





  Profit and Loss

  Ratio and Proportion


  Mixture and Alligations

  Simple and Compound Interest

  Work and Time

  Time and Distance




  Direction Sense

  Alphabet Combination

  Blood Relations

  Alphanumeric Series


  Seating Arrangements

  Coding and Decoding

  Coded Inequalities

  Statement and Assumptions


  Statement and Arguments

  Data Sufficiency

  Statement and Conclusion

  Assertion and Reason


  Word Formation


  Picture Series





English Language


  Jumbled Sentences

  Error Detection

  Fill in the Blanks (Cloze Test)

  Reading Comprehension

  Idioms and Phrases

  Paragraph and Passage Completion

  Synonyms and Antonyms

  Parts of Speech

  One Word Substitution

  Time and Tenses


To check the syllabus of IBPS PO Mains Exam, Click Here

Preparation Tips for IBPS PO Prelims

  • You need to finish three sections of IBPS PO Prelims within 60 minutes, which means you need speed with accuracy in order to attempt 100 questions in total. The more you practice, the better chances you have of acing this exam.
  • Make mathematics and reasoning your strong subjects, practice questions to solve them within time to increase efficiency. You should lay emphasis not on mugging up the formulas but instead try understanding the concepts, so, you can modify the formulas according to the question requirement.
  • Remember negative marking is a factor here. Therefore, try not to attempt questions that put you in doubt. Although, the prelim exam will be of just qualifying nature and won’t be considered for the final merit list as only Main exam marks will matter, but you still need to secure the minimum qualifying marks in the prelims as set by the Indian Bank.
  • Manage your time properly; give appropriate amount of time to each section. Try to improve your time by practicing as many online tests as possible. Youth4work provides online mock tests will time limit attached to each question; this way one can learn to finish the entire exam within the time limit.
  • Studying in a stretch for hours can be tedious and hard and also not so good. Therefore, try to study at several times in regular sessions during a day. This will make learning easy and fun, also you will have enough time to brush up the already studied topics in between intervals.
  • It is very important to maintain proper health, so you don’t fall sick on the big day. Give your brain appropriate time to refresh itself. Don’t rush too much information into your head than its limit allows. Take it slow and steady. And get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Watch the Video for IBPS PO Tips and Tricks

Youth4work Prep Tests

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