How Do I Start Preparing for IBPS PO

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts recruitment examinations for selecting eligible candidates as Probationary Officers (PO) in various public sector banks in India. These public sector banks, except SBI, select candidates for the post of assistant manager based on IBPS PO results.

The IBPS PO examination is conducted once a year and is one of the most competitive and difficult examinations in the banking industry. Thus, candidates preparing for this exam must have a proper IBPS PO preparation strategy to ace it. The aspirants must know that the examination is highly competitive, so to qualify for this, they need to give their hundred percent during the preparation phase.

How do I start preparing for IBPS PO

The IBPS PO examination comprises three phases: Preliminary exam, Mains exam, and Personal Interview. After the IBPS PO prelims result, the selected candidates are allowed to sit for the mains examination. After qualifying for the mains exam, the selected candidates are called for a personal interview. Following the interview, the candidates are provided with a scorecard according to which they are selected.

To ace this examination, the candidates must first undertake a detailed IBPS PO mains exam analysis. For this, the candidates must be familiar with the examination pattern and topics asked in the examination. Hence, they are advised to go through the IBPS PO exam details and then strategize the preparations accordingly.

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IBPS PO Examination Pattern

The candidates willing to appear for the IBPS PO exam must be fully aware of the exam pattern. The candidates can go through the official notification or the previous year’s IBPS PO mains exam analysis. It is advised that the candidates must not practice from the previous year's papers of more than three years as the exam pattern keeps changing.

The exam pattern for the IBPS PO exam is given below:

  1. Preliminary exam
Sections Total Questions Total marks Duration (In minutes)
English Language. 30 30 20
Quantitative Aptitude. 35 35 20
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20
Total 100 100 60
  1. Mains Examination
Section name Total Questions Allotted Time Total marks
English Language. 35 40 40
Data Interpretation and Analysis. 35 45 60
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude. 45 60 60
General Awareness. 40 35 40
Total 155 180 200
English (Essay and Letter Writing). 2 30 minutes 25
Grand Total. 157 3 hours 30 minutes 225
  1. Personal Interview

The personal interview for the IBPS PO exam is 100 marks in total. The candidates qualifying for the minimum cut-off of the mains exam are called for an interview. They must take the documents required for IBPS PO interview along with them. The candidates are graded on 80:20 for mains, and interview marks weightage. The candidates who make it to the final merit list are considered recruited and are later called for formal training.

IBPS PO Examination Preparation

The candidates need to have a well-formulated preparation strategy to ace the examination and qualify for all the stages and have to prepare for all three stages simultaneously by devoting time to every subject by getting hold of the best book for IBPS PO preparation.

A few of the most important examination tips are provided below for the candidates appearing for the IBPS PO examination:

  1. For Preliminary Examination
  • The candidates taking this exam for the first time must not stress and panic about it. This is the foremost thing to do before starting the preparation. A focused and dedicated mind towards each subject will easily help the candidates qualify for all the stages of the IBPS PO exam.
  • To prepare for the preliminary examination, the candidates must know that this exam tests the candidate's speed along with accuracy. Since only 20 minutes are given for each section, the candidates must know all the tricks which can be used to solve the questions fast.
  • Candidates must get a hold of the IBPS PO syllabus in Hindi or English before starting the preparations.
  • For the English Language, the aspirants can practice comprehension by reading articles and editorials online. It must be noted that speed plays a vital role in every section of this exam. So, the candidates must learn to read as fast as possible and understand the topic.
  • For Quantitative Analysis, the candidates should know various tricks for solving questions faster. Accuracy, along with speed, plays a vital role in scoring in this section. Candidates must analyse their strengths and weaknesses in these sections and work accordingly.
  • For IBPS PO Reasoning Ability, the candidates must know the basics of the topics asked and practice as much as possible from the mock tests. They also need to analyse their approach toward a particular question and work on them accordingly.
  1. For Mains Examination
  • As a part of the IBPS PO preparation strategy for the mains examination, the candidates must focus on getting detailed knowledge of all relevant topics. Clarity of basics in every subject is of the utmost importance to ace this exam.
  • For the English Language(Objective and Descriptive), the candidates must follow the above-given instructions carefully. Moreover, they must prepare a letter and essay format for the descriptive section. Reading editorials and articles in newspapers and online would help the candidates understand this section.
  • For Data Interpretation and Analysis, the candidates must know that clarity of basics is extremely vital for performing well. Hence, all aspirants must prepare well for this section through mocks and previous years' papers.
  • The most important thing for Reasoning and Computer Aptitude is to take sectional mocks, which are critical for perfecting this section of the mains exam.
  • For IBPS PO General Awareness, the candidates are advised to focus on daily news and current events worldwide, particularly those related to the finance and banking industry. The candidates must also have knowledge of the basics of the banking industry for this section.


Having the best IBPS PO preparation books is crucial for candidates to improve their chances of qualifying for the exam. They must also get the best learning resources to improve their score.

This is where the amazing learning resources made available by Physics wallah come to the fore. Revision notes, live classes, and other learning materials offered certainly helps improve the scores in the entrance exam significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the IBPS PO exam?

Ans. The IBPS conducts recruitment exams for selecting eligible candidates for the post of assistant manager in different public sector banks of India except for SBI.

Q2. What is the foremost step towards IBPS PO preparation?

Ans. The first step towards IBPS PO preparations is to comprehensively understand the exam pattern and syllabus included in the exam.

Q3. How many stages are there in the IBPS PO exam?

Ans. The IBPS PO exam has three stages: preliminary exam, mains exam, and personal interview.

Q4. What are the most useful for preparing for the IBPS PO exam?

Ans. The previous year's memory-based papers and mock tests are extremely useful to ace the preparation for the IBPS PO exam.

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