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IBPS PO Syllabus – Latest Updates for Prelims and Mains, Books, Preparation

To perform well in any particular exam, one has to be well aware of the syllabus. In the IBPS PO examination, the syllabus differs for prelims and mains exams. Since the preliminary exam of IBPS PO is scheduled on 3rd, 4th and 10th October 2020 and the IBPS PO Mains exam is scheduled on 28th November 2020, the candidates are advised to already keep in mind certain parameters while preparing for the exam.

IBPS PO or IBPS CWE is conducted yearly by Institute of Banking Professional Selection to recruit probation officers in the banking institutions across India. The candidates will sit for the 10th edition of the exam this year.

In this article, you will become familiar with the syllabus for each IBPS PO exam section , get the latest updates on IBPS PO in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and learn about the best preparation books. 

IBPS PO Syllabus – Latest Updates

Lately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the banking jobs recruitment agency, Institute of Banking Professional Selection or IBPS, postponed various recruitment activities in regard to hiring of Probationary Officers (PO), Clerks and Specialist Officers (SO). IBPS PO (VIII) 2018 result of provisional allotment under reserve list has also been delayed because of the same reasons. 

On March 18, IBPS PO Main score card was released.

Schedule for IBPS PO 2020 Prelim and Main exam is shown in the table:

Application form August 2020 Application form can be downloaded online
Application deadline August 2020 Submit the application form and pay the fees.
Last minute editing deadline August 2020 The facility to edit the application form will be available.
Prelims admit card September 2020 IBPS PO admit card for prelims will be released.
Preliminary exam dates 03-Oct-2020



The preliminary exam of IBPS PO will be conducted online across various cities of the country in multiple sessions.
Result of preliminary exams November 2020 Results for the preliminary exam will be announced online.
Prelims scorecard November 2020 IBPS PO prelims exam score can be accessed
Mains admit card November 2020 Shortlisted candidates of prelims exam will be issued admit cards for appearing in mains
Mains exam 28-Nov-2020 Mains exam will be conducted on this day.
Mains result January 2021 The result of the mains exam will be announced for all candidates.
Mains scorecard January 2021 Scorecard is released a few days later to the release of the main result.
Interview call letter January 2021 Interview call letter is issued to the qualified candidates only.
Provisional allotment April 2021 The provisional allotment is done based on candidates performance in both mains and interview.

IBPS PO Syllabus – Exam Pattern

Aspirants must also know the exam pattern along with the syllabus to prepare for the exam in a more conducive manner.

To know about each detail on IBPS probationary exam, read IBPS PO blog here.

Exam Stages Three stages – Prelims, Mains and Common Interview
Mode of exam Online
Duration of prelims exam 1 hour
Duration for Mains exam 3 hours 30 minutes
Question type Prelims is an Objective Type exam

Mains consists of both Objective & Descriptive Type of questions.

Total questions Prelims has 100 questions

Mains has 157 questions (which includes 155 objective types and 2 descriptive types)

Maximum Marks Prelims – 100

Mains –  225

Interview – 100

Language instructions English and Hindi
Negative marks for each question 0.25 marks

To know how to register or fill an IBPS PO exam form, read IBPS PO Registration here.

IBPS PO Syllabus – Preliminary exam

This is a primary selection round and once you qualify this, you can move to the main exam. The exam consists of Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning and English. The marks allotted to this exam is 100. The full detailed syllabus is given in the table below:

Syllabus of IBPS PO Prelims

English Quantitative Ability Reasoning
Reading Comprehension Simplification Logical Reasoning
Cloze Test Profit & Loss Alphanumeric Series
Paragraph jumbles Mixtures


Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test
Miscellaneous Simple Interest Compound Interest

Surds Indices

Data Sufficiency
Fill in the blanks Work & Time Coded Inequalities
Multiple Meaning or Error Spotting Time & Distance Seating Arrangement
Paragraph Completion Mensuration





Other topics covered in the Quantitative Ability are:

  1. Data Interpretation
  2. Ration, Proportion, Percentage
  3. Number Systems
  4. Sequence and Series
  5. Permutation, Combination and Probability

Some other topics in the Logical Reasoning section of IBPS PO prelim exam are:

  1. Puzzle
  2. Tabulation
  3. Syllogism
  4. Blood Relations
  5. Input-Output
  6. Coding and Decoding

IBPS PO Syllabus – Mains Exam

In the mains exam, the candidates are assessed on the following topics:

  1. Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude
  2. Computer Aptitude
  3. English Language
  4. General Awareness.

Also, apart from the objective part, there is a subjective section in the exam. Letter writing and essay along with the objective questions carries 225 marks in the main exam.

You are expected to get the questions from the following topics in Data Interpretation & Analysis (Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude):

  1. Simplification
  2. Percentage
  3. Data Interpretation
  4. Quadratic Equation
  5. Problems of Ages
  6. Number of Series
  7. Speed, distance and time
  8. Number system
  9. Linear equations
  10. Probability
  11. Average, ratio and percentage
  12. Profit and loss
  13. Mensuration and Geometry
  14. Time and work
  15. Data sufficiency
  16. Permutation and combination
  17. Mixture and allegations
  18. Interest

In the General Awareness type of questions, you must practice general knowledge, financial awareness and current affairs. 

In the Computer aptitude sections, the following is expected:

  1. Verbal
  2. Syllogism
  3. Circular seating arrangements
  4. Double lineup
  5. Scheduling
  6. Input-output
  7. Blood donations
  8. Directions and distances
  9. Ordering and ranking
  10. Data sufficiency
  11. Code inequalities
  12. Computer hardware
  13. Operating system
  14. Networking
  15. Computer fundamentals
  16. Internet and keyboard
  17. Microsoft office

In English language, you have to be familiar with the Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Grammar, Verbal Ability and Fill in the blanks.

IBPS PO Syllabus – Books

Candidates/aspirants who wish to crack the IBPS PO exam with ease can get guidance from the following books:

English Language Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin

Quantitative Aptitude Quantitative Aptitude by RS Agarwal
Reasoning Ability Modern Approach to Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal

A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non-Verbal (Arihant) by BS Sijwali

Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey

General Awareness Banking and Economic Awareness by Rakesh Kumar

Banking, Financial & General Awareness by I K Pavel

IBPS PO Syllabus – FAQs

Q. What are the total number of questions in prelims and mains exam?

Prelims has 100 marks and mains exam has 157 marks.

Q. What are the scoring areas in the English section?

We recommend you to prepare the following topics in the best possible way to get good scores. Topics are fill in the blanks, rearrangement, spotting errors, reading comprehension and vocabulary (synonyms, antonyms).

Q. What are the topics generally asked in the data interpretation part?

Graphs and pie charts are the common topics asked in data interpretation.

Q. How to better prepare the GK section in the exam?

Reading newspapers and online portals helps you to get a better understanding of general knowledge areas.

Q. Are mock up tests best for preparing for IBPS PO syllabus?

Yes, they do help you to understand the problems areas and so that you can concentrate on them to perfect them.

Anup Chowdhury

Published by
Anup Chowdhury

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