IBPS SO Recruitment – Selection Process, Documents, Eligibility

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts the IBPS SO recruitment process annually. This selection procedure is held for multiple roles (for various private sector banks). To get recruited to renowned banks in India, candidates have to go through many recruitment or selection stages.  

The IBPS SO recruitment exams are conducted online. However, the last stage – interview is conducted face-to-face. Unlike other competitive exams, questions asked in the IBPS SO exam are not just MCQ based (Multiple Choice Question). Descriptive questions are also asked (for selected posts) in the IBPS SO Mains examination.

The Stage 1 positions for which IBPS SO recruitment is conducted are:

  1. Agriculture Field Officer
  2. Marketing Officer
  3. HR/Personnel Officer
  4. IT Officer
  5. Law Officer
  6. Rajbhasha Adhikari

In this article, candidates will find all the necessary information regarding the IBPS SO recruitment process including important dates and recruitment stages.

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IBPS SO Recruitment – Important Dates

A majority of important dates have been released, and IBPS will announce the rest in due time. Candidates will find the important events associated with the IBPS SO recruitment process and their respected dates in the table below:

IBPS SO Recruitment and Exam Schedule

IBPS SO 2020 Recruitment Events IBPS SO 2020 Recruitment Dates
IBPS SO Notification 2020 1st November 2020
IBPS SO Online Registration Starts From 2nd November 2020
Last Date of Registration 23rd November 2020
Downloading Call Letters for Preliminary Exam December 2020*
IBPS SO Preliminary Exam 26th and 27th December 2020
Result of IBPS SO Prelims January 2021*
Downloading Call Letters for Mains January 2021*
IBPS SO Mains 24th January 2021
IBPS SO Mains Result February 2021*
IBPS SO admit card for Interview  February 2021*
IBPS SO Mains Scorecard March 2021*
IBPS SO Interview February 2021*
IBPS SO Result Provisional Allotment May 2021*

*The exact dates are still to be announced

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IBPS SO Recruitment – Eligibility Criteria

To sit for the IBPS SO exams, candidates must fulfil all the eligibility criteria. Candidates can check their eligibility based on 3 major factors – Age, Qualification, and Nationality.  

1. Age Limit

  • The age of the candidate must be between 20 to 30 years as on November 26, 2020.
  • Age relaxation for candidates from different categories will be applicable. 

IBPS SO Age Relaxation

Category Upper Age Limit Relaxation
Persons with Disabilities (PwD):

  • Intellectual or Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Illness
  • Partial or Total Loss of Hearing
  • Partial or Full Blindness
  • Locomotor Disabilities
  • Multiple Concurrent Disabilities
10 years
Applicants affected by 1984’s riots 5 years
  • Ex-Servicemen
  • Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) who have rendered at least 5 years military service and have been released on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from the last date of receipt of application otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency or physical disability attributable to military service or invalided 
  • Commissioned Officers including Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs)
5 years
Other Backward Classes (Non- creamy layer) 5 years
Person Domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir Between 1980-1989 (January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1989) 5 years
  • Scheduled Caste
  • Scheduled Tribe
3 years

2. Nationality

As per IBPS SO eligibility criteria, a candidate should either be an Indian citizen or citizen of the countries highlighted below. 

The applying candidate must be either a:

1. Citizen of India 

2. OR Subject of Bhutan 

3. OR Tibetan Refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962 intending to settle in India permanently 

4. OR Subject of Nepal

5. OR Person of Indian origin who has migrated from:

  • Sri Lanka
  • East African Countries (Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania ((formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar), and Zaire (to settle permanently in India))
  • Burma
  • Pakistan
  • Vietnam 

Note: Non-Indian citizen candidates have to produce a certificate of eligibility duly approved and signed from the Government of India during the IBPS SO Interview.

3. Educational Qualification

Candidates applying for the IBPS SO exam 2020-21 must have the minimum educational qualifications from a recognized university board as indicated in the table below.

IBPS SO Educational Qualifications for Different Posts (As on 23.11.2020)

Post Code  Name of the Post Educational Qualifications* (from a University/ Institution/ Board recognised by Govt. Of India/ approved by Govt. Regulatory Bodies)
06 Marketing Officer Scale I Graduate and Full-Time MBA (Marketing) / Full time 2 years PGDBA/ PGDBM with specialization in Marketing.
05 HR/Personnel Officer  Scale I Graduate along with 2 years full-time Postgraduate degree/ Postgraduate diploma in Personnel Management/Industrial Relations/HR/HRD/Social Work/Labour Law.
04 Law Officer Scale I A Bachelor Degree in Law (LLB) and enrolled as an advocate with Bar Council.
03 Rajbhasha Adhikari Scale I Postgraduate degree in Sanskrit with English and Hindi as subjects at the degree (Graduation) level.


Post Graduate Degree in Hindi with English as a subject at Graduation level.

02 Agricultural Field Officer Scale I 4-year Degree (graduation) in Agriculture/ Horticulture/Animal Husbandry/ Veterinary Science/ Dairy Science/ Fishery Science/ Pisciculture/ Agri. Marketing & Cooperation/ Co-operation & Banking/ Agro-Forestry/Forestry/ Agricultural Biotechnology/ Food Science/ Agriculture Business Management/ Food Technology/ Dairy Technology/ Agricultural Engineering/ Sericulture
01 I.T. Officer Scale I Graduate having passed DOEACC ‘B’ level


Post Graduate Degree in Electronics/ Electronics & Telecommunication/  Electronics & Communication/ Electronics & Instrumentation/ Computer Science/ Information Technology/ Computer Applications. 


4-year Engineering Degree in Computer Science/ Computer Applications/ Information Technology/ Electronics/ Electronics & Telecommunications/ Electronics & Communication/ Electronics & Instrumentation.

Note: *Candidates must ensure that their educational qualifications should be as per the prescribed educational qualifications mentioned in the notification/advertisement. They must fulfil the above eligibility criteria. No equivalent educational qualification shall be considered as eligible by IBPS or participating organisations.

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IBPS SO Recruitment Stages 2020

IBPS conducts the Specialist Officer recruitment process via 4 important stages:

  1. Online Examination (Prelims and Mains)
  2. Personal Interview
  3. Provisional Allotment
  4. Final Allotment

Online Examination

The IBPS SO recruitment is based on both the merit and qualification of the candidates. This is the first step of IBPS SO exam selection procedure. 

  1. There are two phases under this online IBPS SO recruitment stage – Prelims and Mains. 
  2. Prelims examination consists of Objective Type Questions (MCQ)
  3. In IBPS SO Mains examination, the questions asked are also in MCQ format. However, in the case of Rajsabha Adhikari (Stage 1) exam, 2 descriptive questions are asked along with objective questions. 
  4. 150 questions are asked in the Prelims exam. The total time assigned to complete the Prelims Exam is 120 minutes. Candidates qualifying this exam will be shortlisted to sit for the Mains exam. 
  5. Every correct answer will be awarded +1 mark whereas 1/4th mark will be deducted for negative marking.
  6. Cut off marks for all the categories of candidates will be different.

IBPS SO Prelims Exam Pattern

Sections Total Marks Total Number of Questions
Post: Law officer & Rajsabha Adhikari
Reasoning 50 50
English Language 50 25
General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry 50 50
Post: Agriculture Field Officer, Marketing Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, IT Officer
Reasoning 50 50
English Language 50 25
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50

IBPS SO Mains Exam

Sections Total Marks Total Number of Questions
Post: Rajsabha Adhikari
Professional Knowledge (Objective) 60 45
Professional Knowledge(Descriptive) 2
Post: Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer
Professional Knowledge 60 60

Personal Interview

After the online examination round is completed and candidates are shortlisted from both the written tests (Prelims and Mains), they would be invited for this second phase of IBPS SO recruitment process – Interview round. 

  1. IBPS and the 11 participating banks will have the responsibility of conducting the interview round.
  2. The candidate will only receive the call letter for the Interview round if he/she gets shortlisted from the Mains exam.
  3. The total marks allotted for the Interview round will be 100.
  4. Only those candidates qualifying the interview round will be selected for the Provisional Allotment.
  5. To get shortlisted in the Interview round and move ahead to provisional allotment, General category candidates need to secure a minimum of 40% marks and SC/ST/OBC and PWD candidates, 35% marks.

Provisional Allotment

  1. The allotment will be done based on the preference order of the candidates and more importantly, the merit list.
  2. Candidates scoring similar marks will be listed in the merit list as per their Date of Birth. Simply put, as per the prevailing practice, older candidates will be considered first.
  3. Depending on exigencies, the recruiting agency has the right to cancel and reallot organisation.
  4. Provisional allotments will be performed based on the available vacancies and as per the Government guidelines on reservation policy.
  5. As per the direction of IBPS Participating Organizations, candidates who are provisionally allotted can be posted anywhere in India. 
  6. After making a provisional allotment request to the participating organization, no request for change shall be accepted.
  7. A reserve list will be carried out for the candidates in case of an extension in the number of vacancies.

Final Allotment

A Joining or Appointment letter will be sent to the candidates from the banks where they have been selected. The Appointment letter will be sent to the selected candidate/s address or via e-mail. The letter will contain the below information:

  1. Date of Reporting
  2. Date of Training
  3. Document Verification
  4. Medical Test Details

During the time of Interview and at the final allotment, identities of candidates are verified. This is done with the help of a biometric verification process. When all the above processes are complete, the candidates can join in their allotted banks.

Documents Required for IBPS SO Recruitment (Interview Selection) Process

Candidates who would be shortlisted for the interview process would have to positively carry the following documents at the day of their interview. They should remember that without the original documents, they would not be allowed to enter the venue. 

Candidates will find below the list of appropriate documents:

  1. Print out of valid IBPS SO Application Form
  2. Identity Proof
  3. Caste Certificate issued by a competent authority (in case of SC/ST/OBC categories)
  4. Candidates currently serving in Government Departments are required to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC)’ from their employer at the time of interview.
  5. Print out of valid Interview Call Letter.
  6. Date of Birth Proof (Birth Certificate or SSLC/ Class 10 Certificate with Date of Birth).
  7. All important certificates related to educational qualification.
  8. Computer Literacy Certificate
  9. Candidates eligible for age relaxation must bring a certificate regarding the same in the interview.
  10. Disability Certificate issued by District Medical Board.
  11. An Ex-serviceman candidate must submit a relieved certificate.
  12. PAN Card 
  13. Two Passport-Size Photos

IBPS SO Recruitment – FAQs

How many phases are there in IBPS SO recruitment 2020?

There are 4 phases/stages in IBPS SO recruitment process -

  • Online Examination
  • Personal Interview
  • Provisional Allotment
  • Final Allotment

What are the educational eligibility criteria for various posts under IBPS SO recruitment 2020?

The basic education criteria to register for the IBPS SO recruitment exam is a graduate degree. Candidates will find the eligibility criteria provided briefly in the article above.

Can final year students apply for IBPS SO recruitment exam 2020?

Yes. Final year students whose results have been declared by 26th August 2020 can apply for IBPS SO recruitment exam 2020.

Are the candidates with Electrical and Electronics Engineering degrees eligible for IT Officer scale 1?

Yes. Candidates with an Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics can apply for IT Officer through IBPS SO.

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