Bank PO and bank clerk exams are conducted by IBPS every year and thousands of aspirants go through the exam to get their dream job in banking institution. As an aspirant it becomes hard for one to get the proper guideline to crack the exam and get into the banking institution.

  • Bank PO

The designation of Probationary officer in any bank is as an Assistant Manager, the only difference is that they work on probationary period for 2-3 years and handles the work of managing cash, payments, reports etc. They start serving in bank as a trainee officer in the Junior Management Grade Service of bank.

  • Bank Clerk

The role of a bank clerk is to conduct general office tasks. The responsibilities of clerk includes maintaining the records filing, staffing service counters, screening specialists etc.


  • Bank PO and Bank Clerk
  • Exam pattern
  • Exam syllabus


Exam pattern

Bank PO and Bank clerk both the exams are conducted by IBPS. The designation of PO is higher than the clerk simply means the higher post so more responsibilities and exam will be of higher level than clerk grade.

  • Bank PO

Prelims exam           Mains exam +Descriptive exam                Interview

  • Bank Clerk

Prelims Exam            Mains Exam


Bank PO Bank Clerk
Prelims exam Prelims exam
Mains exam + Descriptive exam Mains exam
Interview No Interview
Provisional Allotment Provisional allotment



  • Prelims exam syllabus (Bank PO/ Bank Clerk)

Prelims exam syllabus for Bank PO and Bank clerk remains the same, in terms of difficulty level Bank PO prelims exam standard is a little bit higher than Bank clerk exam.


English language (30 marks) Quantitative aptitude (35 marks) Reasoning (35 marks)
Reading Comprehension Simplification Logical Reasoning
Cloze Test Approximation Alphanumeric Series
Para Jumbles Average Blood Relation
Miscellaneous Percentage Directions
Fill in the blanks Ration and Proportion Ranking
Multiple Meaning / Error Spotting Profit and Loss Alphabet Test
Paragraph Completion Mixtures and Allegation Coded Inequalities
  Simple and Compound Interest Data Sufficiency
  Work and Time Seating Arrangement
  Time and Distance Puzzles
  Number system Coding Decoding
  Sequence and Series Input output
  Mensuration (Cylinder, Cone, Sphere) Syllogism


  Data Interpretation Tabulation
  Permutation and Combination Statement and Argument
  Probability Analogy
  Quadratic Equation  

Key points for Prelims Exam

  • Preliminary exam is the first step to enter into the banking institution. It is the qualifying exam.
  • Only those who clear the prelims exam are eligible to appear in the mains exam.
  • Marks secured by a candidate are not considered in the final result.
  • Every section in the prelims exam (Quant+ Reasoning+ English) holds some sectional cutoff that one has to clear along with the overall cutoff to qualify for IBPS mains exam.


  • Prelims exam pattern


Sr. No Name of the section No of questions Max marks Time Duration
1 English Language 30 30 20 min
2 Numerical Ability 35 35 20 min
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 min
  Total 100 100 60 min (1 hour)



English language, Reasoning ability and Numerical ability all these sections have their 30, 35 and 35 questions and marks respectively.

For a candidate to clear the prelims exam he/she have to clear the overall cutoff (cutoff means marks and that marks vary according to the difficulty level and attempts of candidates appearing for the examination). Along with the overall cutoff candidate has to clear the sectional cutoff (sectional cutoff means every section will posses some marks according to the attempts of all the aspirants appearing for the exam).

Prelims exam

Sectional cutoff
Overall cutoff
Mains Exam




  • Mains Exam Syllabus
Data Interpretation & Analysis (60 marks) General Awareness (40 marks) Reasoning & Computer Aptitude (60 marks) English language (40 marks)
Simplification   Financial Awareness Verbal Reasoning Memory Vocabulary
Approximation Current Affairs Syllogism Internet Grammar
Average General Knowledge Seating Arrangement Keyboard Shortcuts Reading Comprehension
Percentage Government schemes on capital and money market Puzzles Microsoft Office Verbal Ability
Ratio & Proportion   Input output Computer Abbreviations  
Data Interpretation   Blood Relation Computer Hardware  
Quadratic Equation   Directions Networking  
Simple & Compound Interest   Order and Ranking Computer Software  
Ages   Data Sufficiency Computer Fundamentals/Technologies  
Mensuration and Geometry   Coding & Decoding    
Profit and Loss   Coding Inequalities    
Number Series        
Speed, Distance & Time        
Number System        
Data Sufficiency        
Linear Equation        
Permutation and Combination        
Mixtures & Allegations        



  • Mains exam Pattern

IBPS PO exam also have Descriptive exam where aspirants have to write a letter and an essay. The time allotted for this descriptive exam will be 30 minutes and of 25 marks.



Sr No. Test Name Questions Marks Time Duration
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 60 min
2 General/Economy/Banking Awareness 40 40 35 min
3 English Language 35 40 40 min
4 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45 min
  Total 155 200 3 hours
5 English Language(letter and essay writing) 2 25 30 min



IBPS clerk


Sr No. Test Name Questions Marks Time Duration
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 45 min
2 General/Financial Awareness 50 50 45 min
3 English Language 35 40 35 min
4 Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45 min
  Total 190 200 160 minutes


Key points

  • A candidate has to clear sectional cutoff and overall cutoff to get shortlisted in the interview round.
  • Marks obtained in the mains exam carry the maximum weightage in final selection for Bank PO.

NOTE :- There will be penalty for each wrong answer that a candidate marks in both prelims and mains exam. There will be deduction of 0.25 marks i.e., 1/4th of marks allotted for a question. If a question has no answer marked by a candidate means no answer for a question then no marks will be deducted for that question.

Prelims and mains exam both are conducted in online mode only.




  • Personal Interview

The provision of personal interview can only be seen in Bank PO exam. Candidates who got shortlisted in the mains exam will be called for the Personal Interview conducted by the participating institutions and organizations.

A total of 100 marks allotted for interview. Minimum marks required to qualify interview is

General category                                    – 40

SC/ST/PWD/OBC candidates               – 35


The weightage of online mains exam and interview will be 80:20 respectively.

The final cut off will be released on the basis of vacancies available as well as maximum marks obtained by a candidate.


  • Provisional Allotment

In the final result of the candidate name of the allotted bank will be mentioned, only if the candidate has secured more than or equal to the minimum final cutoff marks. At first candidates who have scored high cutoff marks than the other candidates. The participating banks are allotted to the candidate as per the availability of the seats in the bank and the preference marked by the candidate. Join Best Banking Coaching in Chandigarh at IBS Coaching Institute.