IBPS PO Exam Pattern

Are you aspiring to become a Probationary Officer (PO) in the banking sector? If so, cracking the IBPS PO exam, which you can access through the IBPS PO syllabus PDF, is your first step towards achieving this goal. To excel in the exam, it is crucial to understand the IBPS PO exam pattern and adopt effective strategies. This post will guide you through the exam pattern and provide valuable insights to help you achieve a top score.

Understanding the IBPS PO Exam Pattern

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection conducts the PO exam in three phases: Preliminary, Main, and Interview. It is essential to understand each phase to plan your preparation effectively and clearly.

Preliminary Exam: A Strong Foundation

The preliminary exam is a qualifying round and consists of three sections: English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Reasoning Ability. The exam lasts one hour, and each section carries equal weight. To excel in this phase, focus on building a solid foundation in the core subjects.
  • English Language: Enhance your vocabulary and grammar skills. Regularly practice reading comprehension, para jumbles, and cloze tests. Strengthen your grasp of grammar rules and improve your writing skills.
  • Quantitative Aptitude: Develop a solid understanding of basic mathematical concepts and formulas. Practice solving problems on number systems, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. Time management is crucial in this section.
  • Reasoning Ability: Sharpen your logical and analytical thinking abilities. Practice solving puzzles, coding-decoding, blood relations, and seating arrangement problems. Enhance your speed and accuracy by solving mock tests regularly.

Main Exam: Deeper Knowledge and Time Management

The main exam is the most critical phase of the IBPS PO selection process. It consists of four sections: Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, General/Economy/Banking Awareness, English Language, and Data Analysis and Interpretation. Additionally, a Descriptive Writing Test evaluates your writing skills. Three hours and thirty minutes is the duration of the main exam.
  • Reasoning and Computer Aptitude: Strengthen your logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Familiarise yourself with computer concepts, terminologies, and basic applications. Regular practice is essential to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • General/Economy/Banking Awareness: Stay updated with current affairs, primarily related to the banking and finance sector. Read newspapers, magazines, and online resources to expand your knowledge. Focus on banking terminology, economic policies, and financial markets.
  • English Language: Further improve your reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary. Enhance your writing skills to perform well in the descriptive writing section. Practice writing essays, letters, and precis to express your thoughts effectively.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation: Strengthen your data interpretation skills and speed. Practice solving complex data interpretation sets, number series, and quantitative comparison questions. Enhance your calculation speed to save time during the exam.

Interview: Confidence and Communication

Once you clear the main exam, you will be called for a personal interview. This phase assesses your personality, communication skills, and overall suitability for the banking industry. To excel in the discussion, follow these tips:
  • Stay updated with current affairs and banking news.
  • Practice mock interviews to improve your communication and interview skills.
  • Display confidence, maintain good body language, and dress professionally.
  • Be prepared to answer banking and financial concepts questions, your career goals, and situational scenarios.

Utilizing Resources for Success

To enhance your preparation, utilizing various online resources is essential. You can access the IBPS PO syllabus PDF on reliable websites for a comprehensive overview of the topics and subtopics. Additionally, you can refer to online study materials, video tutorials, and mock tests to gain a competitive edge.


Mastering the IBPS PO exam pattern requires a well-rounded approach to your preparation. Understand the structure of each phase, focus on core subjects, and practice regularly. Develop strong problem-solving skills, enhance your knowledge of current affairs, and polish your communication abilities. Utilize the available resources and refer to the IBPS PO syllabus PDF for a clear roadmap. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve a top score in the IBPS PO exam and embark on a rewarding career in the banking sector. Best of luck!