IBPS SO Syllabus – Topics, Books, Sample Papers, Exam Pattern

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is in charge of releasing the IBPS SO syllabus along with the IBPS SO notification. The IBPS SO syllabus is vast. However, the pattern of the exam remains the same every year. 

A total of 150 questions are asked in the IBPS SO Prelims examination and candidates are required to answer all of them within 2 hours. For the Mains exam, 60 questions are asked from the candidates appearing for the exam for the post of IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Law Officer. However, for the candidates appearing for Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer exam, 45 objective questions are asked alongside 2 descriptive questions

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Candidates must note that the IBPS SO notification does not mention the IBPS SO syllabus. Hence, in this article, the Buddy4Study Team provides you with a list of topics as per the previous years’ question papers.  

IBPS SO Registration Dates: 2nd November 2020 – 23rd November 2020

IBPS SO Syllabus – Sections

IBPS has not set any specific syllabus for the IBPS SO entrance examination. So based on previous years’ question papers, it can be ascertained that the IBPS SO question paper consists of 4 major sections. 

There are 2 common sections in the examination papers set for candidates appearing for IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer. However, the third section varies as per the post and can be seen highlighted in the table below:

IBPS SO Prelims Syllabus – Sections

For the Post of IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel OfficerFor the Post of Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer
ReasoningReasoning
English LanguageEnglish Language
Quantitative AptitudeGeneral Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry

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IBPS SO Mains

The IBPS SO syllabus for Mains exam varies as per the post. The sections mainly comprise professional banking related topics. Read the section below for complete details. 

IBPS SO Syllabus – Section-wise Topics (Preliminary)

IBPS SO syllabus is divided into 3 segments or subjects. It comprises 150 questions on General Awareness/ Quantitative Aptitude (50 marks), Reasoning (50 marks) and English language (50 marks) for Prelims exam. 

Find below all the important topics related to each subject covered in the prescribed syllabus of IBPS SO (Prelims).

Reasoning Ability

Analytical Decision MakingBlood RelationsScheduling
Coding & DecodingInput OutputSyllogisms
Directions & DistancesSeating ArrangementsCoded Inequalities
Data SufficiencyVerbal ReasoningOrdering & Ranking

General Awareness

General Knowledge (updates of  last 3-4 months)Current AffairsFinancial Awareness
CurrenciesImportant daysStatic General Knowledge ( Countries, capitals, Countries visited by Prime minister, Countries involved in new treaties )
HeadquartersBooks & AuthorsPrime Minister Schemes

Quantitative Aptitude

Percentage & Ratio ProportionTime & WorkData InterpretationMensuration & Geometry
SimplificationData SufficiencyInterestNumber Series
Linear EquationsProbabilityProfit & LossPermutation & Combination
AverageQuadratic EquationsSpeed, Time & DistanceNumber Systems

English Language

Closed TestPhrase ReplacementError SpottingPara Jumbles
Fill in the BlanksSentence completion/ Para completionReading ComprehensionSentence correction/ improvement

IBPS SO Syllabus – Section-wise Topics (Mains)

IBPS SO Mains exam checks the technical knowledge of the candidates. The candidates are required to go through a subject knowledge test in IBPS SO Mains. The syllabus is completely subject centric.

The standard of IBPS SO syllabus will be of graduation level. Candidates, who will be appearing for the exam set for the post of Rajbhasha Adhikari will have to give both objective and descriptive tests. Others will only sit for the objective test (MCQ). They will be judged based on the professional knowledge in their respective fields. 

Professional Knowledge Syllabus for IBPS SO IT Officer (Scale-I)

Operating SystemObject-Oriented ProgrammingData StructureData Communication and Networking
Database Management SystemSoftware EngineeringComputer Organization and Microprocessor

IBPS SO Syllabus for Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I)

Basics of Crop productionAgricultural PracticesHorticultureAnimal Husbandry
Seed ScienceAgroforestryAgricultural EconomicsSoil resources
Agronomy and IrrigationGovernment SchemesEcology

IBPS SO Syllabus for Marketing Officer (Scale-I)

Basics of Marketing ManagementRetailAdvertisingProduct Life Cycle
SalesMarket SegmentationCorporate Social ResponsibilityBrand Management
Business EthicsService MarketingMarketing StrategiesPR
Market research and forecasting demand

IBPS SO Syllabus for Law Officer (Scale-I)

Compliance and Legal AspectsLaws and Actions with a direct link to Banking SectorPrevention of Money laundering, Limitation ActRelevant Law and Orders related to negotiable instruments, securities, foreign exchange
SARFAESDRT ActBankers Book Evidence ActBanking Ombudsman Scheme
Consumer Protection ActBanking Regulations

IBPS SO Syllabus for HR/Personnel Officer (Scale-I)

Business policy and strategic analysisBusiness Policy and Strategic AnalysisTraining and DevelopmentRewards and Recognition
Transnational AnalysisPerformance Management and AppraisalGrievance and Conflict ManagementIndustrial Relations
Recruitment and SelectionHuman Resource Development

IBPS SO Syllabus – Sectional Weightage

IBPS SO Prelims

The sections in the IBPS SO syllabus remain the same for the exam for IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer. 

Marks allotment for the Post of IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer

SectionNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Reasoning505040 min
English Language502540 min
Quantitative Aptitude505040 min
Total150125120 min

Marks allotment for the Post of Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer 

SectionNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Reasoning505040 min
English Language502540 min
General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry505040 min
Total150125120 min

IBPS SO Mains 

Marks allotment for the Post of Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer

Test NameNumber of QuestionsMaximum MarksMedium of ExamDuration
Professional Knowledge(Objective)4560English & Hindi30 min
Professional Knowledge(Descriptive)2English & Hindi30 min

Marks allotment for the Post of IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Law Officer

Test NameNumber of QuestionsMaximum MarksMedium of ExamDuration
Professional Knowledge6060English & Hindi45 min

IBPS SO Syllabus –Recommended Books

IBPS SO exam syllabus is vast since the questions asked in this examination are not limited to a fixed course or curriculum, especially in the case of Current Affairs. Candidates need to prepare well from the topics highlighted above to score well in the upcoming IBPS SO exam.

To get a better grip on various IBPS SO subjects, candidates can find several expert-recommended books and online study resources in the tables below.

Important Books for IBPS SO Prelims

IBPS SO Books on Reasoning Ability

Book NamePublication/Author
Verbal ReasoningMK Pandey
Analytical ReasoningRS Agarwal
A Modern approach Verbal and Non-Verbal ReasoningBS Sijwali

IBPS SO Books on Quantitative Aptitude

Book NamePublication/Author
Rapid Quantitative Aptitude with Shortcuts & TricksDisha Publication
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationThe Pearson Guide
Quantitative Aptitude BookWiley’s Publication

IBPS SO Books on English

Book NamePublication/Author
Objective English for Competitive ExaminationsHari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha, McGraw Hill Education Publication
English Grammar & CompositionWren and Martin
Descriptive General EnglishS P Bakshi and Richa Sharma
Word Power Made EasyNormal Lewis

IBPS SO Books on General Awareness

Book NamePublication/ Author
Manorama YearbookThe Malayala Manorama (Mammen Mathew)
Guide to Banking General AwarenessR Gupta

Important Books for IBPS SO Mains

IT Officer (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
Data Communications and NetworkingBehrouz. A Forouzan
Objective Computer KnowledgeR Pillai
A computer for Competitive Exams: Fundamental of Computer with MCQ’sRPH Editorial Board

Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
IBPS – SO Agricultural Field Officer (Main) ExamDr. Lalita Gaur
Agriculture Field OfficerR.Gupta
Science Textbooks: Classes VI-IXNCERT
Agriculture Field Officer IBPSNew Vishal’s Editorial Board

Marketing Officer (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
CWE-IBPS Bank-Marketing Specialist Officer Exam: Complete BookPriyanka Prakashan
Principles of MarketingKavita Sharma
Marketing Specialist Exam bookUpkar Prakashan

Law Officer (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
IBPS Specialist Officer CWE LAW Officer Online Exam Practice Work BookKiran Prakashan

HR/Personnel Officer (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
CWE-IBPS Bank-HR Specialist/Personal Officer Complete BookPriyanka Prakashan
Human Resource ManagementK Aswathappa
Bank HR Specialist bookKiran Prakashan

Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale-I)

Book NamePublication/ Author
Rajbhasha Adhikari GuideR.Gupta
Hindi VyakaranPrakashan Upkar
Rajbhasha/Hindi (Officers, Assistant, Managers) Recruitment Exam Guide (Popular Master Guide)RPH Editorial Board

IBPS SO Exam Pattern

Candidates who have registered and applied for the IBPS SO exam 2020 should go through the exam pattern thoroughly and practice well with the help of online mock tests before attempting the exam. Here are a few key points that they should definitely keep in mind:

IBPS SO Exam Pattern

ParticularsDetails
Exam nameInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) Specialist Officer (SO) (CRP SPL-X 2021-22)
Exam Conducting BodyInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)
Official Websitehttp://www.ibps.in/ 
Duration of ExamPrelims – 2 hours (120 minutes)

Mains – 

IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer – 45 minutes

Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer – 60 minutes

Examination ModeCBT/ Computer Based Test (Online)
Medium of ExamEnglish or Hindi
Type of QuestionsObjective/Multiple-Choice (MCQ)
Number of Questions150 questions (Prelims)

47 questions (Mains – Rajbhasha Adhikari)

60 questions (Mains – Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer)

Total MarksPrelims – 125 marks

Mains – 60 marks

Marking Scheme+1 for every correct answer (objective)

– 0.25 for every incorrect answer

PostsIT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer
Age Limit for CandidatesBetween 20 to 30 years

IBPS SO Syllabus – Previous Year’s Question Papers

Buddy4Study has compiled previous years’ question papers (2019) in the below table. Candidates can download these to understand the IBPS SO exam pattern thoroughly and prepare for the upcoming examination accordingly.

IBPS SO Prelims Question Paper 1 (2019)IBPS SO Prelims Paper 2 (2015)
IBPS SO Prelims Question Paper 3 (2013)IBPS SO Prelims Question Paper 4

IBPS SO Syllabus – FAQs

How many questions will be asked in the IBPS SO exam 2020?

A total of 150 questions will be asked in the IBPS SO Prelims exam, while 60 questions will be asked in the Mains exam for the Post of Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, and Marketing Officer, and 45 questions will be asked for the post of Rajbhasha Adhikari in the IBPS SO Mains exam. These questions will be asked in MCQ format.

Candidates appearing for the exam (Rajbhasha Adhikari) will also be asked 2 descriptive questions of a total 15 marks.

What are the different sections of IBPS SO syllabus?

IBPS SO exam consists of subjects such as Reasoning, English Language, General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry/ Quantitative Aptitude in the Prelims exam. For the Mains exam, the topics are subject-specific. Candidates will find those topics in the article above.

What is the standard of questions asked in the IBPS SO Exam?

The basic standard of questions asked in the IBPS SO exam is up to the level of graduation.

What is the negative marking scheme in the IBPS SO exam?

1/4th mark is deducted for every incorrect answer in the IBPS SO exam, which means -1 mark for every 4 wrong answers. It is applicable for both IBPS SO Prelims and Mains examinations.

Is it useful to solve sample papers or previous years' question papers?

IBPS SO previous years' question papers and sample papers help candidates to get a better idea about the types of questions asked in the exam and prepare well for it.

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