Course Description


IBPS PO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Probationary Officer) is a national-level competitive exam conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) to recruit candidates for the post of Probationary Officer/ Management Trainee in various public sector banks in India.

The exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary exam, Main exam, and Interview. Candidates who qualify in all three stages and fulfill the eligibility criteria are selected for the post of Probationary Officer in the participating banks.

Eligibility Criteria for Bank PO exam

There are certain eligibility criteria which have to be met in order to appear for a Bank PO exam. Although the criteria may vary from bank to bank, listed below are some of the common criteria which have to be met, irrespective of the banks.

Age of the applicant20 years to 30 years*
Nationality of the applicantIndian**
Educational qualification of the applicantShould have a graduation degree from a recognized university

*The age bracket mentioned above is applicable to applicants belonging to the General category only. An age relaxation of 3 years is applicable for applicants belonging to OBC category. On the other hand, applicants belonging to SC or ST category will get an age relaxation of 5 years.

** The nationality or citizenship of the applicant who appears for the IBPS CWE or Bank PO examination can be one of the following:

  • Indian
  • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who entered India for permanent settlement before 1 January 1962
  • Person of Indian Origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, or one of the listed East African countries.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern

IBPS introduced separate sectional timing for each section in the preliminary exam. The IBPS PO exam (CRP XIII) for hiring candidates will be based on an online written exam in two parts: Tier 1 or IBPS Preliminary Exam and Tier 2 or IBPS Mains Exam. This examination is followed by a face-to-face interview process.

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern

The IBPS PO preliminary examination has a total duration of 1 hour and 20 minutes for each section, which will be conducted in online mode. It consists of 3 sections with a total of 100 questions and a maximum score of 100 marks. There is a negative marking in the IBPS PO pre-exam and 0.25 marks are deducted for each wrong answer. Candidates must clear the cut-off in all 3 sections to qualify for the IBPS PO Main exam. The section-wise details are given below:

IBPS PO Prelims Exam Pattern
S.No.Name of Tests(ObjectiveNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1English Language303020 minutes
2Numerical Ability353520 minutes
3Reasoning Ability353520 minutes
Total10010060 minutes

Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing minimum cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. The adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by IBPS depending upon requirements will be shortlisted for Online Main Examination.

IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern

The IBPO PO Main exam is also conducted online, it has 5(4+1) sections with a total score of 200+25 marks and total duration of 180+30 minutes. IBPS will be conducting a descriptive paper in its mains exam for selection of candidates to the post of Probationary Officer. The sections must be attempted in the same order and the allotted time as mandated at the time of the exam. A candidate has to clear both preliminary and mains examinations to be eligible for the interview process.

IBPS PO Mains Exam Pattern
S.No.Name of Tests(ObjectiveNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1Reasoning & Computer Aptitude456060 minutes
2English Language354040 minutes
3Data Analysis & Interpretation356045 minutes
4General Economy & Banking Awareness404035 minutes
Total1552003 Hours
5English Language (Letter Writing & Essay)22530 minutes

Penalty for Wrong Answers: There is a penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests of both Preliminary and Mains exams. A wrong answer to an objective question by the candidate will lead to a penalty of one-fourth of the marks assigned to that question. For example, 0.25 marks will be deducted as a penalty for a wrong answer to a question that carries 1 mark. There will be no penalty for leaving a question blank, i.e. if no answer is marked by the candidate.

IBPS PO Interview

The candidates who have qualified for the mains exam are called for a face to face interview which carries a maximum of 100 marks. The minimum qualifying mark in the interview is 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates).

The interview round is generally 15-20 minutes long, where a panel of bank officials ask questions to the candidates about themselves, banking sector, current affairs, general awareness, etc. The candidates must be well dressed, confident and carry all required documents to the interview.

The final merit list is prepared on the basis of marks obtained in the main examination and interview. The final score is calculated by IBPS with weightage of marks given to the main examination and interview in the ratio of 80:20 respectively.

Final Score Calculation for IBPS PO Exam

The final score for the IBPS PO exam is calculated keeping the following points in mind:

• Marks obtained in the Preliminary Exam (Tier-1) will not be considered in the final score and are only for qualifying to Mains Exam (Tier-2).

• Candidates must qualify for Phase-2 and Interview separately to be eligible for final merit.

• The weightage (ratio) of IBPS PO Main exam and interview for the final merit list will be 80:20 respectively.

• The aggregate score out of 100 is used for the final merit list for each category. Candidates with top merit rank in each category are finally selected.

IBPS PO Syllabus

IBPS PO syllabus is divided into two parts-prelims and mains. IBPS only notifies the subjects/sections for the prelims and mains exam, the topics or sub-topics in the syllabus are formulated based on the questions that have appeared in the exam over the past few years. Candidates can check below the IBPS PO syllabus for the prelims exam:

Reasoning: Logical Reasoning, Alphanumeric Series, Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test, Data Sufficiency, Coded Inequalities, Seating Arrangement, Puzzle, Syllogism, Input-Output, Coding-Decoding, Blood Relation.

Quantitative Aptitude: Simplification, Profit & Loss, Mixtures & Alligations, Simple Interest & Compound Interest & Surds & Indices, Work & Time, Time & Distance, Mensuration-Cylinder, Cone, Sphere, Data Interpretation, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Number Systems, Sequence & Series and Permutation, Combination & Probability. 

English Language: Reading Comprehension, Cloze Test, Para jumbles, Spotting Error, Fill in the blanks, etc.

IBPS PO Application Fee

CategoryApplication Fee (In INR)
SC/ST/PWD175 (Intimation Charges only)
General and Others850 (Application fee including intimation charges)

IBPS PO Application Form

How to fill IBPS PO Online Form?

The steps to fill IBPS PO online form are given below:

  1. Visit the official website of IBPS
  2. Go to the ‘IBPS PO  Advertisement’ 
  3. Register for the exam first by clicking ‘New Registration’ tab
  4. Fill in the required details to register
  5. Registration ID and password are generated
  6. Upload scanned photograph and signature
  7. Fill the basic details, personal details, and educational qualifications, enter details of computer certification courses, select the languages known, enter preferences of banks, etc
  8. Preview the application form
  9. Upload left thumb impression and handwritten declaration
  10. Pay the application fees 
  11. Submit IBPS PO application form


  • What is the eligibility criteria for IBPS PO?
    The candidate must have a graduation degree in any discipline from a recognized university and must be between 20 to 30 years of age.
  • What is the application fee for IBPS PO?
    The application fee for IBPS PO is Rs. 850 for General/OBC category candidates and Rs. 175 for SC/ST/PWD category candidates.
  • Is there any negative marking in IBPS PO exam?
    Yes, there is a penalty of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in both Preliminary and Main exams.
  • Is there any sectional cut-off in IBPS PO exam?
    Yes, there is a sectional cut-off in both Preliminary and Main exams. Candidates must clear the cut-off in each section to qualify for the next stage.
  • What is the selection process for IBPS PO?
    The selection process for IBPS PO comprises three stages: Preliminary exam, Main exam, and Interview. Candidates who qualify in all three stages and fulfill the eligibility criteria are selected for the post of Probationary Officer in the participating banks.
  • How many attempts are allowed for IBPS PO exam?
    There is a limit on the number of attempts for IBPS PO. General category candidates can attempt the exam up to 4 times, OBC candidates can attempt the exam up to 7 times, while there is no limit for SC/ST/PWD category candidates.
  • What is the exam pattern for IBPS PO?
    The exam pattern for IBPS PO consists of three stages: Preliminary exam, Main exam, and Interview. The Preliminary exam comprises three sections – English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Reasoning Ability. The Main exam comprises four sections – Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, General/Economy/Banking Awareness, English Language, and Data Analysis & Interpretation. The Interview carries a weightage of 100 marks.