Guide to IBPS PO Exam Preparation

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) Probationary Officer (PO) exam is one of the most sought-after banking exams in India. It opens the door to a rewarding career in various public sector banks. Preparing for the IBPS PO exam requires a well-structured plan, dedication, and effective study strategies. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you prepare efficiently for the IBPS PO exam.

Understanding the Exam Structure

The IBPS PO exam consists of three stages:

  1. Preliminary Examination (Prelims)
  2. Main Examination (Mains)
  3. Interview

Preliminary Examination

The Prelims exam is the first stage and consists of three sections:

  • English Language: 30 questions, 30 marks, 20 minutes
  • Quantitative Aptitude: 35 questions, 35 marks, 20 minutes
  • Reasoning Ability: 35 questions, 35 marks, 20 minutes

Total: 100 questions, 100 marks, 60 minutes

Main Examination

The Mains exam is the second stage and includes both objective and descriptive sections:

  • Reasoning and Computer Aptitude: 45 questions, 60 marks, 60 minutes
  • General/Economy/Banking Awareness: 40 questions, 40 marks, 35 minutes
  • English Language: 35 questions, 40 marks, 40 minutes
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation: 35 questions, 60 marks, 45 minutes

Descriptive Test: 2 questions (Letter Writing & Essay), 25 marks, 30 minutes

Total: 155 questions, 200 marks (Objective); 2 questions, 25 marks (Descriptive)


Candidates who qualify in the Mains exam are called for the Interview, which carries 100 marks. The final merit list is prepared based on the candidate’s performance in the Mains and Interview.

Creating a Study Plan

1. Know the Syllabus

Understanding the syllabus is crucial for effective preparation. Download the detailed syllabus from the official IBPS website and keep it handy. This helps in knowing what to study and what to avoid.

2. Set Clear Goals

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your preparation. Break down the syllabus into smaller sections and assign deadlines for each.

3. Daily Schedule

Create a daily schedule that includes dedicated time for reading, revising, and practicing questions. Ensure you allocate time for breaks and relaxation to avoid burnout.

Study Material and Resources

1. Standard Books

Invest in standard books for each subject. Here are some recommended books:

  • English Language: "Objective General English" by S.P. Bakshi
  • Quantitative Aptitude: "Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations" by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Reasoning Ability: "A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning" by R.S. Aggarwal
  • General/Economy/Banking Awareness: "Banking Awareness" by Arihant Experts

2. Online Resources

Leverage online platforms for additional study materials, video lectures, and practice questions. Websites like BYJU’s, Unacademy, and Oliveboard offer comprehensive IBPS PO preparation resources.

Practice and Revision

1. Mock Tests

Regularly take mock tests to assess your preparation and improve your time management skills. Analyze your performance in these tests to identify and work on your weak areas.

2. Previous Year Papers

Practicing previous years’ question papers gives you an idea of the exam pattern and the types of questions asked. It also helps you manage your time effectively during the actual exam.

3. Revision

Regular revision is essential to retain information. Make concise notes for each subject to facilitate quick revisions before the exam.

Develop Test-Taking Strategies

1. Read Questions Carefully

Carefully read each question to understand what is being asked before looking at the answer choices. This helps avoid mistakes due to misinterpretation.

2. Eliminate Wrong Answers

If you’re unsure of the correct answer, try to eliminate the obviously incorrect options first. This increases your chances of selecting the right answer from the remaining choices.

3. Manage Your Time

Time management is crucial in the IBPS PO exam. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you’re stuck, move on and come back to it later if time permits.

Stay Healthy and Motivated

1. Physical Health

Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. Physical well-being is crucial for maintaining concentration and stamina during preparation.

2. Mental Health

Stay positive and motivated. Surround yourself with supportive people and take breaks when needed. Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve focus.

3. Consistent Effort

Consistency is key in IBPS PO exam preparation. Even if progress seems slow, keep pushing forward with regular study and practice.


Preparing for the IBPS PO exam requires a strategic approach, dedication, and consistent effort. By understanding the exam structure, creating a robust study plan, utilizing quality resources, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can enhance your chances of success. Remember, persistence and perseverance are your best allies in this journey.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top