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IBPS SO 2021: What and How to Prepare?

Updated: Sep 25


The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection holds IBPS SO Examination and Recruitment yearly to recruit Specialist Officers in Public Sectors for the following ports:

1. Law Officer (Scale 1)

2. IT Officer (Scale 1)

3. Marketing Officer (Scale 1)

4. Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale 1)

5. HR/Personnel Officer (Scale 1)

6. Agriculture Field Officer.


IBPS SO Recruitment and Selection process will have three stages: Prelims, Mains, and the Interview. Candidates clearing the online exams will be qualified for the Interview process.

The national level examination will be held online, and candidates shortlisted will be placed in one of the 11 participating banks. Graduation or any relevant degree is required for the qualification for registration. Candidates must be between the ages of 20 to 28 years old.


Important Dates The notification for IBPS SO will be released on October 2021 on the official website of IBPS. The registration process will begin in October 2021.

  • Call letters for Preliminary will be released in December 2021. Candidates can download their admit cards from the official website in the first week of December 2021.

  • The Prelims Examination will be held on the 18th and 26th of December 2021. Results will be announced in January 2022, along with the call letters for the Main online examination.

  • The Mains Examination will be conducted on 30th January 2022. Admit cards will be available for download in the 2nd week of January 2022.

  • Candidates will receive their Mains exam results in February 2022.

  • The interview stage will be conducted in February and March 20211, while the final results will be released in April 2022.

Exam Syllabus The syllabus is different for Rajbhasha Adhikari and Specialist Officers. In addition, the syllabus varies for Preliminary and Main examinations. Therefore, candidates applying for IBPS SO test must go through the syllabus for better preparation.

  • Candidates must know the syllabus in their area of expertise/Specialisation Subjects for a particular post. In addition, they must prepare based on the three sections: English Language, Reasoning, and General Awareness/Quantitative Aptitude.

  • The paper will be available in both English and Hindi language except the English Language section.

Exam Pattern IBPS introduced a new change in IBPS SO 2020 where separate timings were given for each section in the Prelims examination.


There are two patterns for the Prelims for the different posts. To clear the Prelims, candidates have to clear all the sections. Candidates will be qualified based on the sectional cut-off:


The two patterns for Prelims are as below:

  • For IT Officer, Marketing Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, and HR/Personnel Officer posts:

There are three sections, including English Language, Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude. Each section has 50 questions which must be attempted in 40 minutes each. The maximum marks in the English language section are 25, while for the other two sections is 50.

  • For Rajbhasha Adhikari and Law Officer posts:

There are three sections, including English, Reasoning, and General Awareness, based on Banking Industry. Each section has 50 questions to be attempted within 40 minutes.

There is a negative marking for every wrong answer. A negative mark of 0.25 will be deducted from the total marks.


Selection Process Merit List will be prepared based on the Mains and Interview score. The selected candidates will be offered the appointment letter based on the merit list by the candidates' bank choice.


Participating Banks Shortlisted candidates can be placed in the 11 participating banks:


  1. Union Bank of India

  2. Indian Bank

  3. Bank of Maharashtra

  4. UCO Bank

  5. Bank of Baroda

  6. Indian Overseas Bank

  7. Canara Bank

  8. Bank of India

  9. Central Bank of India

  10. Punjab & Sind Bank

  11. Punjab National Bank

Preparation Tips

  • Plan a study timetable and categorize all topics based on the syllabus.

  • Be thorough and doubt-free on concepts and basics.

  • Practice previous year's question papers and attempt mock tests.

  • Practice example problems to improve problem-solving skills.

  • Read newspapers and catch up on the latest general knowledge.

  • Revise regularly.

  • Work on weak areas.

  • Maintain a balanced diet and a proper sleep schedule

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