IBPS PO Exam Pattern: Everything You Need to Know!!

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IBPS PO exam pattern

Hello Candidates,

If you want to appear in IBPS PO Recruitment then you need to know about the Exam Pattern before starting the preparation. Here in this blog, I am sharing everything you should know about the 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 Syllabus to know about the detailed syllabus for better preparation of the exam. 

Why Should I Prepare for IBPS PO?

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

Career Growth

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 your career will be taking off towards the heights of the sky.

Decent Salary

It is important to mention that you get a decent package being a probationary officer as this is a very reputed post in the banking field. 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 at 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 the economic development of an area. 

Ability to Bring CHANGE

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 a loan to start something new or to expand the business. It will help in the economic development of the country. 

IBPS PO 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 for your reference:

IBPS PO 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 pattern of the Preliminary Examination will be as follows:

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Objective Tests

No. of Questions

Max. Marks 

Time Allotted

English Language



20 minutes 

Numerical Ability



20 minutes

Reasoning Ability 



20 minutes 


100 Qs.

100 Marks

60 Minutes 

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 2019 is based on the following pattern:

  • 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.

Name of the Objective Tests

Total Questions

Max. Marks 

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 


155 Qs.

200 Marks

3 hours

Essay writing and Précis Writing (Descriptive Paper)



30 minutes 


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 2020 and the duration of the interview is around 10-15 minutes on average. However, the duration varies from candidate to candidate and also according to the interview panel. 

How Will Your Final Marks Will 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. 

Important Dates


Important Dates

Notification Released Date

2nd August 2019

On-line registration & Online Payment Process Starts

7th August 2019

On-line registration & Online Payment Ends

28th August 2019

Download Admit Card for Pre- Exam Training

September 2019

Conduct of Pre-Exam Training

23rd to 28th September 2019

Preliminary Admit Card Release

1st Week of October 2019

Preliminary Exam Date

12th, 13th, 19th & 20th October 2019

Preliminary Result Date

October/ November 2019

Mains Exam Date

30th November 2019

Mains Result Date

December 2019

Conduct of interview

January/ February 2020

Provisional Allotment

April 2020

Bottom Line

IBPS PO Examination is one of the most popular examinations in India and with 4336 vacancies, 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 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 the IBPS PO exam pattern.

All the Best!!

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