IBPS PO Exam Pattern 2018: Everything you need to know!

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If you are preparing for IBPS PO this year then you need to know IBPS PO Exam Pattern 2018 before start preparation. Here in this blog I am sharing everything you should know about IBPS PO exam pattern.

The IBPS Probationary Officers Examination is going to be conducted very soon and all of you must be preparing hard in order to get success in this popular examination so that you may land up a job with one of the public sector banks in the country.

Click on IBPS PO 2018 syllabus to know about IBPS PO syllabus in detail for your better preparation of exams. 

The Preliminary Examination is scheduled in the Month of October 2018 whereas the Mains Examination for IBPS PO is scheduled in November 2018. After that, there will be common interviews in the Month of January / February 2019. The final results along with the allotments will be out on April 01, 2019.

By one click you can discuss on IBPS PO pre-exam training 2018 for actions required.

With the examination coming near, in this blog, I will explain in detail the exam pattern of IBPS PO 2018 so that you can have a proper idea regarding what you are going to face in the examination.

Why should I prepare/write IBPS PO 2018?

Before going into detail regarding the exam pattern of IBPS PO 2018, it is important to understand the benefits of fighting/writing IBPS PO Examination so that you take more interest in writing the examination.  

A Career with a bank: 

The most primary incentive is that you get to join a bank if you succeed in the examination. You get the post of an officer in a public sector bank and you will be off to a flying start to your career. 

Decent Salary:

It is important to mention that you get a decent package being in a bank. Apart from that, there are awesome perks that will keep you motivated to carry on the good work that you are doing in the bank. 

Fast promotion: 

Bank jobs are mainly famous for the reason that you get exponential growth in your career as a banker. The only criterion is that you should be mobile and should be ready to accept any challenge any time. The bank management will gladly promote you. 

Social Status: 

A job in India is not about salary only but also about the social status associated with it. If you become the officer of a bank, you get social respect from all the corners of the society since you can help in economic development of an area. 

Ability to make impact: 

Being an officer with a public sector bank, you can bring prosperity to the lives of many people by giving them the opportunity to grow. As an officer, you can grant them loan to start something new or to expand the business. It will help in the economic development of the country. 

IBPS PO 2018 Exam Pattern: Let’s understand it!

Now that we are aware of the benefits of writing the IBPS PO Examination, it is important to understand what you should study and what you are going to face in the actual examination. It is important because the competition is very high in this examination and you have to be at your best to crack this examination with good enough marks to get a job at a bank. Here’s the exam pattern for IBPS PO 2018 for your reference:

IBPS PO 2018 Examination will be conducted in three phases:

# Preliminary Examination

# Mains Examination

# Personal Interview

Preliminary Examination:

The Preliminary Examination is the first step of the IBPS PO Examination. The marks you get in this examination will not be added in the final merit list but you have to clear the cut-off in this examination in order to be eligible for the next round of selection i.e. the Mains Examination. The Preliminary Examination is conducted as follows:

Objective Tests

No. of Questions

Max. Marks Allotted

Time Allotted

English Language



20 minutes 

Numerical Ability



20 minutes

Reasoning Ability 



20 minutes 




60 minutes 

The introduction of sectional timing in this examination is a new phenomenon and has been followed in the past in SBI PO Examination also. There is the provision of negative marking in this examination as 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer in the preliminary examination of IBPS PO. There will be sectional cut-off as well for all the three sections that the candidates will have to score in order to qualify for the mains examination. The total duration of the test will be an hour. 

Mains Examination:

Once you are able to clear the hurdle of the Prelims Examination, you will be selected for the Mains Examination. The marks you receive in this round of selection will be added to the final merit list. Hence, it is very important that you score as much as possible in this examination so that you don’t have to depend on the marks awarded in the interview round. The Mains Examination of IBPS PO 2018 is based on the following pattern:

Name of the Objective Tests

No. of Questions

Max. Marks Allotted

Time Allotted

Reasoning and Computer Aptitude 



60 minutes 

English Language 



40 minutes 

Data Analysis and Interpretation



45 minutes 

General Awareness with special reference to Banking and Economy 



35 minutes 




3 hours 

English Language Descriptive Test (Essay writing and Précis Writing)



30 minutes 

This Examination will be a combination of the objective test and the descriptive test. The total duration of time will be divided according to the particular sections. You have to score the minimum cut-off marks to qualify in the mains examination along with the overall cut-off as decided by the IBPS. There will be negative marking in the PO Mains Examination as well since 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer in the examination. 


Once you are through in the PO Mains Examination, the next stage is the interview round. It is basically a test of your personality rather than the test of your knowledge of banking and current affairs. The marks allotted to the interview round are 100. It will be conducted in January / February 2019 and the duration of the interview is around 10-15 minutes on an average. However, the duration varies from candidate to candidate and also according to the interview panel. 

How will your final marks be calculated?

So, you are done with the Prelims, Mains and Interview rounds. Now how will you be marked in this examination? You need to understand it so that you can devise your strategy accordingly. The final marks will be calculated in the ratio of 80:20 for your marks in the mains examination and the interview respectively. 

For example, you have scored 100 out of 225 marks in the Mains Examination and your marks in the interview are 70 out of 100. Now, according to the marking scheme of IBPS PO: Your mains marks will be converted into out of 80 i.e. 35.55 whereas the interview marks will be converted into out of 20 i.e. 14. This will take your total final score to = (35.55+14) = 49.55 out of 100. Your provisional allotment according to the final list will depend on this score only. 

If the final cut-off is less than 49.55, you will make it in the final list and if not, you still have a chance to land a job, albeit a bit late. There is one reserve list that is published by IBPS up to a certain cut-off and if you can make it to that list also, you will land up a job when the reserve list is published by IBPS on March 31, 2020. 

The important dates for this examination are:



Download of Call Letters for Prelims

October 2018

Dates of Preliminary Examination

13th, 14th, 20th and 21st October 2018

Results of Preliminary Examination

October / November 2018

Online Examination - Mains


Results of Mains Examination 

December 2018

Download of Call Letters for Interview

January 2019

Conducting of Interview 

January / February 2018

Provisional Allotment 

April 2019

The Bottom Line: 

IBPS PO Examination is one of the most popular examinations in India and with around 4252 vacancies on offer it is also one of the biggest recruitment drives in the country along with SSC CGL and Indian Railways. It is your chance to make it big in your career and success in IBPS PO 2018 will give you exactly that. So, buckle up and give your best. Success will definitely be yours. 

In case of any query, you can ask me in the comments section below about IBPS PO exam pattern.

All the Best!!

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