Complete information about the IBPS PO Preliminary and Main Exams, Syllabus, Eligibilty and the Official Website of IBPS

Here is everything about the IBPS, its official website, and the various exams conducted by it. I have also given complete information about the eligibility criteria, examination schedules, online registration, pre-examination training for exams for Specialist Officers, PO/Management Trainees, RRBs and Clerical Posts.

Last Reviewed and Updated on September 18, 2018
Posted by Parveen(Hoven),
Aptitude Trainer and Software Developer


What is IBPS?

Full form of IBPS is Institute of Banking Personnel Selection. It is a government body that conducts exams for -

  1. Public sector banks like SBI, RBI, NABARD, and various cooperative banks.
  2. LIC and other Insurance companies.
  3. Regional rural banks(RRBs).
  4. Many public sector undertakings(PSU)
  5. Various government departments in India.

It conducts exams for only those banks and government departments which are regular members of IBPS.

In nutshell, it is an agency that conducts exams for recruitment to various government posts and jobs. As per the statistics released by IBPS it conducted tests for more than 1.5 crore applicants in the year 2014-15. So we can conclude that more and more Indians are showing interest in the jobs for banking, insurance and financial sectors, and the competition is growing.

Official Website of IBPS

The official website of IBPS is: Please beware that many fake websites have kept their domain names confusing so as to look like the official website of IBPS. Such websites appear at the top of the search results, but they are not the official website.

Official Link for Online Registration for IBPS Exams

All candidates are required to register themselves online on the website of IBPS. This link appears only when the registrations are open. It is not an "always available" link. The link is available only during the schedule as described in the respective notification and advertisement of the examination. So, you should regularly visit their website to know about the notifications they issue. They post their notifications in PDF form which you have to download. From there you will come to know about the dates on which you can register on their website.

Please note that as soon as you register on their website, an automatic confirmatory email is sent to your registered email address. They also send a confirmatory SMS to your registered mobile number. It is very important that you enter your email and mobile number with utmost care, otherwise you would not be able to know the status of your application. You will also not be able to get important messages.

You should also take a printout of your online application form. You should also take a printout of the online payment you make towards the registration fees. Keep these for your records. If no receipt of online payment is generated, then it is possible that the transaction you made did not succeed. Sometimes it might happen that payment is deducted but online receipt is not issued. In that case your deducted amount will be credited back to your account in due course of time.

Rectification of Errors: Sometimes it is possible that you have entered your name wrongly, or your phone number wrongly. As per the current rules, the change is not allowed under any circumstances. Here is an extract taken from their website:

No change in the data already registered by the candidate in the online application form ispossible as per the terms and conditions of the advertisement /notification. There is saveand edit option available through which changes can be made in the online application priorto submission before the last date for registration. The candidates should check all theentries made by them and only then submit the application.


Common Abbreviations

The common abbreviations with regard to the IBPS Exam are -

Common Recruitment Process
Common Written Exam

Exams Conducted by IBPS

At present they are conducting four types of exams for recruitment to different posts and positions.

  1. CWE for Specialist Officers.
  2. CWE for Probationary Officers, Management Trainees.
  3. CWE for Regional Rural Banks.
  4. CWE for Clerical Posts.

The details are given in the next sections one by one.

About CWE for Specialist Officers

This exam is for recruitment to posts like -

  1. IT Officer (Scale - I).
  2. Agricultural Field Officers.
  3. Rajbhasha Adhikari.
  4. Law Officer(Scale - I)
  5. HR/Personnel Officer(Scale - I)
  6. Marketing Officer(Scale - I)
  7. ... more, please refer the advertisement on the official website of IBPS.

These recruitments are meant for various banks like - Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India,Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank,Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank,Bank of India, ECGC,Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Bank,Canara Bank,Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Vijaya BankDena Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank,UCO BankIndian Overseas Bank, Union Bank of India, etc.,

15 Minutes Video (Complete Information)

A candidate has to register online at the website of ITBP. The dates for which can be seen from the advertisement and notification on the official website of IBPS.

The recruitment process is completed within five months, counting from the date of start of registration to the final provisional allotment. But as we always say, the preparation for these exams has to start much earlier, at least six months in advance. You can make use of our free online study material, and videos to kick start your preparation.

The age of a candidate must be between 20-30 years. Various reserved categories are given age relaxations, for which you should refer to the advertisement for details.

The scheme of the exam: Broadly speaking, there is a Reasoning paper of 50 marks, English is for 25 marks, one paper out of Quantitative aptitude or General awareness is for 50 marks, professional knowledge specific to the domain carries a weight-age of 75 marks. This is an online test with a duration of 120 minutes or two hours.

Cutoff Score: A candidate has to pass with a minimum score which is calculated as a standard deviation and mean of the score of all the candidates. This score is not determined as an absolute percentage like we have in our universities. It is calculated statistically based on the performance of all the appearing candidates.

Interview: Interviews of shortlisted candidates are conducted by the respective banks in association with IBPS. Interview carries 100 marks. A candidate has to score a minimum of 40 marks(about 30 for reserved categories). The weight-age (ratio) of Online CWE (exam) and interview is 80:20. The combined final scores of candidates shall be arrived at on the basis of total scores obtained by thecandidates in CWE and Interview.

About CRP for Probationary Officers and Management Trainees

This exam is for recruitment to the posts of Probationary Officers or Management Trainees or for any equivalent post in the following banks - Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India,Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank,Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank,Bank of India, ECGC,Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Bank,Canara Bank,Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Vijaya BankDena Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank,UCO BankIndian Overseas Bank, Union Bank of India, etc.,

Registration: A candidate has to register online on the website of IBSP. The registration is open only on the dates which they specify in their advertisement. So if you are trying to find a link for registration, you might not find it at all if the date on that day is outside the scheduled range. A candidate has to specify the order of his preference for the bank to which he would like to be allocated. This is very important because the final allocation is made to just one of the banks depending on the candidate's preference and merit. Please do refer to the current year's notification and advertisement to be on the safer side. But as far as I think this pattern isn't going to change any time soon because it is same as the time tested pattern of the Civil Services IAS Exam.

Two Tier Process:

The CRP is a two stage process. In the first stage is the Preliminary Exam. This exam is only a qualifying exam. Those candidates who clear the Preliminary exam can move to the second stage called the Main Exam. So the Preliminary Exam is used by the IBPS to shortlist the candidates. Both the Preliminary and the Main Exam are online.

Interview and Allocation: The candidates who clear the Main Exam are called for an Interview, and then an allocation is done to a particular bank. The interview has qualifying marks, so a candidate can be rejected during the interview stage. Otherwise, the weight-age to interview is 20%, and for the written part, the weight-age is 80%.

Time Frame: The whole process takes about 9-10 months counting from the date of opening of the online registration on the IBPS website till the provisional allotment. The Preliminary exam is completed within one month, and the Main is conducted within the next week. The results of the main come within one month, then another month is for interviews.

The age limit for this exam is 20-30 years, with suitable relaxations for the reserved categories. A candidate must be graduate degree holder.

Pre-Examination Training: The various participating banks arrange a week long pre-examination training for reserved categories and minorities. These training are conducted at various centers across India, the details of which are easily available from the advertisement.

Structure of Preliminary Exam: There are 30 questions on English Language, 35 on Quantitative Aptitude, 35 on Reasoning Ability. The time allotted for these 100 questions is 60 minutes.

Structure of Main Exam: The main exam consists of 50 questions on reasoning, 50 on Quantitative Aptitude, 40 on General Awareness, 20 on Computer Knowledge and 50 on English. Time for these 200 questions is 2 hours.

Penalty for Wrong Answer: There is a negative marking for both the Preliminary and the Main exams. 0.25 marks are deducted for a wrong answer.

About CWE for Clerical Posts

This is the Common Written Exam for Clerical or equivalent posts. The scheme, and other details are exactly same as for the CRP for Probationary Officers and Management Trainees. This exam also has two tiers - the Preliminary and the Mains. The questions, syllabus and time are all exactly same.

About CRP for Regional Rural Banks

This exam is for recruitment of Group A Officers(Scale I, II and III) and Group B Office Assistants(Multipurpose) for various banks some of which are listed below-

  1. Allahabad UP Gramin Bank
  2. Bihar Gramin Bank
  3. Chhattisgarh Rajya Gramin Bank
  4. Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank
  5. Himachal Pradesh Gramin Bank
  6. Punjab Gramin Bank
  7. Utkal Grameen Bank
  8. ... many more refer the advertisement

The various banks have their head office within a state or UT. The location of the head office is clearly given in the advertisement. There is also a requirement of local language proficiency, and that too is also clearly given in the advertisement on the IBPS website.

A candidate is allowed to apply for both Group A and Group B posts, but he can apply only for one post in officer's cadre, i.e, either one of Scale I, Scale II or Scale III in the officer cadre.

Age Criteria: The minimum and maximum age varies from 18 to 40 years depending on what you are applying for. The relaxations for reserved categories are over and above these limits.

Experience: The requirements of experience range from zero years to five years depending on the post you are applying for.

Scheme of Examination: The exam consists of 40 questions each on Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability, General Awareness/Financial Awareness, Computer Knowledge, English/Hindi. Time allocated is 2 hours. There is a negative marking, with a deduction of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer. There is a minimum qualifying score determined by the average and standard deviation calculations of the scores of all the candidates. This score is not determined as an absolute percentage like we have in our universities. It is calculated statistically based on the performance of all the appearing candidates.

Interview: The candidates who qualify in the written exam are called for the interview. Local language proficiency is also tested at the time of interview. The total score for the interview is 100 marks out of which a candidate has to score minimum of 40(35 for reserved category candidates)

Final Allocation: On completion of the interview process, depending on the vacancies to be filled in as per the needs of the RRBs, the candidates shortlisted are provisionallyallotted to one of the RRBs, based on merit-cum-preference and their proficiency in local language. Please note that a candidate has to give his preference for the RRB at the time of online registration.

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This Blog Post/Article "Complete information about the IBPS PO Preliminary and Main Exams, Syllabus, Eligibilty and the Official Website of IBPS" by Parveen (Hoven) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Updated on 2018-09-18.