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

Get latest exam updates

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 Officer For the Post of Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer
Reasoning Reasoning
English Language English Language
Quantitative Aptitude General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry

Scholarship Registration, Get Scholarship Update

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 Making Blood Relations Scheduling
Coding & Decoding Input Output Syllogisms
Directions & Distances Seating Arrangements Coded Inequalities
Data Sufficiency Verbal Reasoning Ordering & Ranking

General Awareness

General Knowledge (updates of  last 3-4 months) Current Affairs Financial Awareness
Currencies Important days Static General Knowledge ( Countries, capitals, Countries visited by Prime minister, Countries involved in new treaties )
Headquarters Books & Authors Prime Minister Schemes

Quantitative Aptitude

Percentage & Ratio Proportion Time & Work Data Interpretation Mensuration & Geometry
Simplification Data Sufficiency Interest Number Series
Linear Equations Probability Profit & Loss Permutation & Combination
Average Quadratic Equations Speed, Time & Distance Number Systems

English Language

Closed Test Phrase Replacement Error Spotting Para Jumbles
Fill in the Blanks Sentence completion/ Para completion Reading Comprehension Sentence 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 System Object-Oriented Programming Data Structure Data Communication and Networking
Database Management System Software Engineering Computer Organization and Microprocessor

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

Basics of Crop production Agricultural Practices Horticulture Animal Husbandry
Seed Science Agroforestry Agricultural Economics Soil resources
Agronomy and Irrigation Government Schemes Ecology

IBPS SO Syllabus for Marketing Officer (Scale-I)

Basics of Marketing Management Retail Advertising Product Life Cycle
Sales Market Segmentation Corporate Social Responsibility Brand Management
Business Ethics Service Marketing Marketing Strategies PR
Market research and forecasting demand

IBPS SO Syllabus for Law Officer (Scale-I)

Compliance and Legal Aspects Laws and Actions with a direct link to Banking Sector Prevention of Money laundering, Limitation Act Relevant Law and Orders related to negotiable instruments, securities, foreign exchange
SARFAES DRT Act Bankers Book Evidence Act Banking Ombudsman Scheme
Consumer Protection Act Banking Regulations

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

Business policy and strategic analysis Business Policy and Strategic Analysis Training and Development Rewards and Recognition
Transnational Analysis Performance Management and Appraisal Grievance and Conflict Management Industrial Relations
Recruitment and Selection Human 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

Section No. of Questions Total Marks Duration
Reasoning 50 50 40 min
English Language 50 25 40 min
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 40 min
Total 150 125 120 min

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

Section No. of Questions Total Marks Duration
Reasoning 50 50 40 min
English Language 50 25 40 min
General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry 50 50 40 min
Total 150 125 120 min

IBPS SO Mains 

Marks allotment for the Post of Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer

Test Name Number of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Duration
Professional Knowledge(Objective) 45 60 English & Hindi 30 min
Professional Knowledge(Descriptive) 2 English & Hindi 30 min

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

Test Name Number of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Duration
Professional Knowledge 60 60 English & Hindi 45 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 Name Publication/Author
Verbal Reasoning MK Pandey
Analytical Reasoning RS Agarwal
A Modern approach Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning BS Sijwali

IBPS SO Books on Quantitative Aptitude

Book Name Publication/Author
Rapid Quantitative Aptitude with Shortcuts & Tricks Disha Publication
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination The Pearson Guide
Quantitative Aptitude Book Wiley’s Publication

IBPS SO Books on English

Book Name Publication/Author
Objective English for Competitive Examinations Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha, McGraw Hill Education Publication
English Grammar & Composition Wren and Martin
Descriptive General English S P Bakshi and Richa Sharma
Word Power Made Easy Normal Lewis

IBPS SO Books on General Awareness

Book Name Publication/ Author
Manorama Yearbook The Malayala Manorama (Mammen Mathew)
Guide to Banking General Awareness R Gupta

Important Books for IBPS SO Mains

IT Officer (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
Data Communications and Networking Behrouz. A Forouzan
Objective Computer Knowledge R Pillai
A computer for Competitive Exams: Fundamental of Computer with MCQ’s RPH Editorial Board

Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
IBPS – SO Agricultural Field Officer (Main) Exam Dr. Lalita Gaur
Agriculture Field Officer R.Gupta
Science Textbooks: Classes VI-IX NCERT
Agriculture Field Officer IBPS New Vishal’s Editorial Board

Marketing Officer (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
CWE-IBPS Bank-Marketing Specialist Officer Exam: Complete Book Priyanka Prakashan
Principles of Marketing Kavita Sharma
Marketing Specialist Exam book Upkar Prakashan

Law Officer (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
IBPS Specialist Officer CWE LAW Officer Online Exam Practice Work Book Kiran Prakashan

HR/Personnel Officer (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
CWE-IBPS Bank-HR Specialist/Personal Officer Complete Book Priyanka Prakashan
Human Resource Management K Aswathappa
Bank HR Specialist book Kiran Prakashan

Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale-I)

Book Name Publication/ Author
Rajbhasha Adhikari Guide R.Gupta
Hindi Vyakaran Prakashan 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

Particulars Details
Exam name Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) Specialist Officer (SO) (CRP SPL-X 2021-22)
Exam Conducting Body Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)
Official Website http://www.ibps.in/ 
Duration of Exam Prelims – 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 Mode CBT/ Computer Based Test (Online)
Medium of Exam English or Hindi
Type of Questions Objective/Multiple-Choice (MCQ)
Number of Questions 150 questions (Prelims)

47 questions (Mains – Rajbhasha Adhikari)

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

Total Marks Prelims – 125 marks

Mains – 60 marks

Marking Scheme +1 for every correct answer (objective)

– 0.25 for every incorrect answer

Posts IT Officer Scale 1, Marketing Officer (Scale 1), Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, Rajsabha Adhikari Scale 1 Officer and Law Officer
Age Limit for Candidates Between 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.

follow us for social updates