IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme, Question Distribution, Syllabus

IBPS RRB exam pattern comprises information on the mode of exam, medium of language, type of questions, marks allotted to each question or section, negative marking etc. This year, IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) is planning to conduct the IBPS RRB Prelims exam on 1st August, 7th August, 8th August, 14th August and 21st August 2021.

The Prelims exam will be held in the CBT or Computer Based Test mode in more than 150 cities in India. However, the Mains exam will be held across 70 citiesThe exam pattern for various exams has been revised this year. However, there is no change for IBPS RRB exam pattern. Besides, IBPS has added regional languages in addition to Hindi and English so that candidates can find it easy to understand the questions. 

As per the IBPS RRB exam pattern, the question paper in the Prelims exam contains 80 questions, which have to be attempted in 45 minutes. In case of IBPS RRB Mains exam, 120 minutes will be allotted to answer 200 questions for all grades. 

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IBPS RRB is a national level recruitment exam, which is held annually. This year, this exam will be conducted to fill more than 9000 Officers and Assistant Officers vacancies in the Indian Banking Sector (Government). In this article, Buddy4Study has compiled all the information related to IBPS RRB exam pattern that will benefit all the aspiring candidates.

IBPS RRB Exam – Key Highlights

Candidates who have registered and applied for the IBPS RRB exam should pay heed to a few basic points mentioned below:

IBPS RRB Key Highlights

Name of ExaminationInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) Officers (Scale-I, II & III) and Office Assistant (Multipurpose) in Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) – CRP RRBs X 2021-22)
Exam Conducting bodyInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)
IBPS RRB Recruitment Official Websitehttp://www.ibps.in/ 
IBPS RRB Total Vacancies9698 (tentative)
IBPS RRB Exam Date – Prelims1st August, 7th August, 8th August, 14th August and 21st August 2021
IBPS RRB Exam Date – MainsOfficer Scale I – 25th September 2021

Office Assistant – 3rd October 2021

Mode of ExamOnline (computer-based test)
Credentials required to download IBPS RRB Admit CardRegistration Number

Date of Birth or Password

Compulsory documents to carry on exam dayAdmit Card

Valid Photo ID Proof

Photocopy of Photo ID Proof

Duration of IBPS RRB Exam – Prelims45 minutes
Duration of IBPS RRB Exam – Mains 2 hours (120 minutes)

2.30 hours or 150 minutes for Generalist Cadre for Officer Scale-II (Specialist)

Duration of IBPS RRB Exam – Single level2 hours (120 minutes)

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IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Section-wise Distribution of Questions (Prelims)

As per the announcement by IBPS and the official IBPS RRB exam pattern, there will be 3 stages of the IBPS RRB exam – Prelims, Mains and Interview Round. 

All candidates will receive common questions in IBPS RRB Prelims exam. The questions asked in the IBPS RRB Mains exam will be of Graduation level. The Prelims paper will have 80 questions, while the Mains paper will have 200 questions. Candidates will have the freedom to attempt or move onto the next question anytime they want. 

The questions asked in the Prelims exam will be presented to candidates as objective-type questions (MCQ). Each question will have 4 options. Among the 4, candidates will have to select one option that they consider as the most appropriate answer.

Candidates can know more about the IBPS RRB exam pattern in the table below, and check the sectional distribution of questions and marks for both Prelims and Mains.

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern for Prelims Exam

Officer Scale-I (Prelims)

Serial NoSectionNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
1.Reasoning404045 minutes
2.Quantitative Aptitude4040

Note – Candidates applying for Officer Scale-II and III will have to appear for a single online examination. Successful candidates will be shortlisted to appear for Common Interview for final recruitment in various rural regional banks.

Office Assistant (Multipurpose) Prelims

Serial NoSectionNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
1.Reasoning404045 minutes
2.Quantitative Aptitude4040

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern for Mains Exam

Officer Scale-I (Mains)

Serial NoNameNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1.Reasoning40502 hours or 120 minutes
2.Quantitative Aptitude4050
3.General Awareness4040
4.English/ Hindi Language4040
5.Computer Knowledge4020

Generalist Cadre for Officer Scale-II and III (Mains)

Serial NoNameNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1.Reasoning40502 hours or 120 minutes
2.Quantitative Aptitude4050
3.Financial Awareness4040
4.English Language4040
5.Computer Knowledge4020

Generalist Cadre for Officer Scale-II (Specialist) Mains

Serial NoNameNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1.Reasoning40402.30 hours or 150 minutes
2.Quantitative Aptitude4040
3.Financial Awareness4040
4.English Language4020
5.Professional Knowledge4040
6.Computer Knowledge4020

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Interview Round

Under the recent IBPS RRB exam pattern, shortlisted candidates in the IBPS RRB Mains exam will be called for the Interview round. However, the interview round is not applicable for candidates who have applied for the post of Office Assistant. This round is applicable only for the posts of Officers Scale – I, II and III. 

The interview will be coordinated by the Nodal Regional Rural Bank in association with NABARD. Candidates must know that the interview round will be conducted in selected centres only. The total marks allotted for the Interview round is 100 marks.

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Syllabus in Brief

IBPS has yet to released the IBPS RRB syllabus 2021 along with the IBPS RRB notification. However, it is expected that no changes will be observed in the syllabus. Nevertheless, candidates can find the up-to-date syllabus in due time by visiting the official website. 

As per the IBPS RRB notification, IBPS RRB syllabus (Prelims) is divided into 2 sections:

  1. Reasoning Ability
  2. Quantitative Aptitude (Officer Scale – I)
  3. Numerical Ability (Office Assistant (Multipurpose))

The IBPS RRB Mains syllabus is divided into 6 sections:

  1. Reasoning 
  2. Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation 
  3. Financial Awareness
  4. English/ Hindi Language
  5. Computer Knowledge
  6. Professional Knowledge (Specialist Cadre)

Candidates can find below all the topics related to each subject covered in the prescribed syllabus of IBPS RRB Prelims exam.

IBPS RRB 2021 Syllabus (Prelims and Mains)

ReasoningEnglishQuantitative Aptitude
Odd man out



Alphabet Test

Blood Relation

Ranking and Time

Causes and Effects

Sitting Arrangements

Decision Making

Figure Series

Assertion and Reason

Word Formation

Statements and Action Courses



Blood Relation

Series Test

Direction Test

Statement and Assumption

Statement and Conclusion


Cloze Test

Fill in the Blanks

Error Spotting

Reading Comprehension

Phrase Replacement

Sentence completion

Para Jumbles

Rearrangement of Sentences



Number System

Decimal Fractions

Time and Work

Age Problems


Permutation and Combination

Profit and Loss

Compound Interest



Data Interpretation

Quadratic Equations


Simple Interest

Time and Distance


Ratio and Proportion


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Computer KnowledgeGeneral AwarenessFinancial Awareness
Computer Fundamentals

History of Computer

Software and Hardware Fundamentals


MS Office

Number System and Conversions


Computer Abbreviations

Shortcut Keys

Basic Knowledge of Internet


Security Tools

Computer Languages

Input and Output Devices

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

Finance Sports

Books and Authors


Fiscal Policies

India and International Current Affairs

Banking Awareness

Countries and Currencies


Government schemes

Government policies

Banking Terms and Abbreviations

Banking History



Latest Topics in News in Financial World Monetary Policy

Overview of Banking and Banking Reforms in India

Advanced Non-Performing Assets


Bad Loans

Organizations Deposits Credit




Budget and Economic Survey

Bank Accounts and Special Individuals


Asset Reconstruction Companies

Restructuring of Loans

Risk Management


IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme

As per the IBPS RRB exam pattern, candidates will get 4 options for every question. For every correct answer, they will be awarded 1 mark. However, ¼ (0.25) mark will be deducted for every wrong answer. 

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – IBPS RRB Marking Scheme

Type of AnswersMarks Allotted
Correct Answer+1
Wrong Answer1/4 mark deducted for every wrong answer  (-0.25)

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Previous Years’ Question Papers

Buddy4Study has compiled previous years’ question papers in the below table. Candidates can download these to understand the IBPS RRB exam pattern thoroughly and prepare for the examination accordingly.

IBPS RRB Clerk Prelims 2019 Memory Based PaperIBPS RRB Clerk Prelims 2018 Memory Based PaperIBPS RRB Clerk Prelims 2017 Memory Based Paper
IBPS RRB Officer Scale I Prelims Question Paper 2019 PDF (Hindi)IBPS RRB Officer Scale I Prelims Question Paper 2019 PDF (English)

IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2018

IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2018 Papers (English)IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2018 Papers (Hindi)IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2018 Answer Key

IBPS RRB Officer Scale I Mains 2017

IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2017 Papers (English)IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2017 Papers (Hindi)IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains 2017 Answer Key

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – General Instructions for Online Test

Candidates must follow the online test instructions and guidelines set by the IBPS RRB authority. The test instructions will help the candidates to attempt the computer-based exam without any hassles. Given below is a list of online test instructions set by the IBPS panel:

  1. The candidate/s must report at the examination centre at least an hour and a half (1.5 hours) before the allotted exam time
  2. Candidates reporting after the exam commencement will not be allowed to enter the examination hall
  3. The candidate/s must compulsorily bring the admit card (hard copy). The test centre officials will verify it and then allow the candidate to sit for the examination
  4. The candidate must show, on-demand, the Admit Card downloaded/printed from the IBPS’s website
  5. Admit cards must be in good condition. Dismantled, disfigured or mutilated admit cards compromising the details of the candidate will not be accepted
  6. A seat with Roll Number will be allotted to each candidate. They should find and sit on their allocated seats only
  7. No baggage is allowed inside the examination hall
  8. Candidates will be allowed to carry only a photo ID proof and hard copy of admit card inside the examination hall
  9. Candidates will not be allowed to carry mathematical/log tables, electronic watches, calculator, slide rules, pager, pen, bits of papers and cell phone inside the examination hall

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – COVID-19 Guidelines (2021)

Candidates must check out these general COVID-19 related guidelines (new normal) and follow them at all the IBPS RRB exam centres:

  1. Social distancing would be maintained strictly at the exam centres. Candidates have to maintain at least 6 feet or 2-metre distance from other candidates.
  2. All candidates will be checked for temperature with Thermo guns at the entry point.
  3. The Arogya Setu App must be installed on the candidate’s mobile phone.
  4. After the Aarogya Setu status display at the entry gate, candidates need to switch off their mobile phones and deposit them at the designated location. The same has to be collected while exiting.
  5. Exam authority will ensure that monitor, keyboard, mouse, webcam, desk, chair, etc. are thoroughly sanitised.
  6. A significant gap has to be present between two seats inside the exam hall.
  7. Besides the admit card and photo ID card, gloves, a personal transparent water bottle, personal hand sanitizer (50 ml), and a pen will also be allowed in the exam hall.
  8. Invigilators will distribute rough sheets to candidates wearing gloves.
  9. To avoid crowding, exam room numbers would not be displayed outside the centre.
  10. Candidates violating COVID-19 directives/advisories would not be allowed to sit for the exam
  11. Candidates would be allowed to leave the test centre one at a time to avoid the rush and maintain social distancing.

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Recommended Books

Candidates need to prepare well from the topics highlighted as per the IBPS RRB exam pattern and syllabus to score well in the upcoming entrance test. Buddy4Study advises candidates to prepare well for their upcoming exam with the help of the below-mentioned books that are recommended by candidates who cracked the exam successfully in the previous years.

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on Quantitative Ability (Prelims and Mains)

Name of the BookAuthor/Publication
Quantitative Aptitude of Competitive ExaminationR.S Aggarwal – S.Chand Publication
Data InterpretationArun Sharma – TMH Publication
Magic Book on Quicker MathematicsM Tyra – BSC Publication
Quantitative Aptitude for all Competitive ExaminationAbhijit Guha – McGraw Hill education
Objective Mathematics for Competitive ExaminationTarun Goyal – Arihant Publication
Arithmetic for General CompetitionNeetu Singh
Rapid Quantitative Aptitude with Shortcuts and TricksDisha Publications
Quantitative Aptitude Test for Bank PON K Singh – Upkar Publication
Quantum CatSarvesh Kumar Verma
Fast Track Objective ArithmeticRajesh Verma
Objective MathematicsDhrmpat – Rai Publication

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on Reasoning Ability (Prelims and Mains)

Name of BooksAuthor/Publication
A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoningR.S Aggarwal
Analytical ReasoningM.K Pandey
Lucent’s ReasoningLucent
Logical ReasoningK Kundan
How to Crack Test of ReasoningArihant Publication
A New Approach to ReasoningB.S Sijwali – Arihant Publication
Reasoning Books for Competitive ExaminationsPearson
Multi-Dimensional ReasoningMishra and Kumar Dr. Lal
SSC Reasoning ChapterwiseS.N. Prasad – Kiran Publication

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on General Awareness (Mains)

Name of BooksAuthor/Publication
Banking AwarenessArihant publication
Dhankar Current AffairsDhankar Publication
Manohar Pandey Books for General StudiesArihant Publication
Lucent General KnowledgeLucent Publication
Basic Banking & Financial IssueGautam Majumdar – Upkaar’s Publication
Banking Awareness Handbook of Banking InformationN.S.Toor
Competition InfocusArihant Publication
Year Book 2015 – Manorama Year BookCurrent Affairs Handout of Vanik
Lucent General Knowledge (for static GK)Lucent Publication
The Pearson GK ManualEdgar Thorpe & Showick Thorpe – Pearson Publication
General StudiesManohar Pandey – Arihant Publication

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on General Awareness (Mains)

Name of the BookAuthor/Publisher
English Grammar and CompositionWren and Martin
Objective EnglishR.S Aggarwal – S. Chand Publication
New Pattern English Language for SBI/IBPS Bank PODisha Experts
Word Power Made EasyNorman Lewis
Descriptive General EnglishS P Bakshi and Richa Sharma – Arihant Publication
DGP EnglishR.S. Dhillon & S. Zareen – Dhillon Group of Publication
Objective EnglishHari Mohan Prasad & U.R. Sinha – Tata McGraw Hill
General EnglishS. Gupta – Arihant Publication
High School English Grammar and CompositionWren & Martin

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on Hindi Language (Mains)

Name of the BookAuthor/Publisher
IBPS RRBs Objective General HindiKiran Editorial

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – Books on Computer Awareness (Mains)

Name of the BookAuthor/Publication
Computer AwarenessDhankar Publications for PO
Computer AwarenessLucent Publications for Clerk
Objective Computer KnowledgeS.N. Prasad  – Kiran Publication
Objective Computer AwarenessR. Pillai – Arihant Publication
Computer Knowledge for SBI/ IBPS Clerk/ PO/ RRB/ RBI/ SSC/ Insurance ExamsSikha Aggarwal

IBPS RRB Exam Pattern – FAQs

How many times is IBPS RRB conducted in a year?

IBPS RRB recruitment test is conducted once every year.

In which format are the questions asked in the IBPS RRB 2021 exam?

As per the IBPS RRB exam pattern, candidates will have to attempt the paper as per the Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ) format.

What if I forget to bring my photo ID at IBPS RRB 2021 examination venue?

Photo ID is a mandatory document. If a candidate forgets to bring his/her photo ID card, they will not be allowed to enter the examination hall.

What is the duration of the IBPS RRB exam?

According to the IBPS RRB exam pattern, the duration of the Prelims exam is 45 minutes. For the Mains exam, candidates will have to answer all the questions within 120 minutes. However, candidates appearing for Office 2 (Stage II – Specialist Cadre) will be given 150 minutes or 2.30 hours to complete their examination.

Is there any negative marking in the IBPS RRB exam?

Yes. As per the IBPS RRB exam pattern, for every incorrect answer in both Preliminary and Mains exam of IBPS RRB 2021, 1/4th mark will be deducted.

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