Bank Exam Pattern and Syllabus | SBI, IBPS PO Clerk Syllabus

bank PO exam

About Bank PO

The full form of Bank PO is Bank Probationary Officer. Bank PO is a managerial level post offered in various Public Sector Banks in the country.  A Probationary officer is basically as Assistant Manager of Scale-1 or Junior Manager Scale-1 in any bank. The job of a bank probationary officer (PO) is considered as a lucrative career option and a white collar job. PO post is the entry level  position in officer rank in any bank. When a candidate is selected for the post of Probationary Officer (PO) in a bank, he/she is offered the post of Assistant Manager (AM) or Deputy Manager (DM) after the probation period of a PO is complete.

Role of PO

The freshly graduated candidates are selected for PO after a thorough selection process. Bank PO candidates are highly passionate, enthusiastic   and hard working. They have passion to learn and hence they are divulged with some really serious responsibility by the bank.

The Selected candidates for the Bank Probationary officer have to go through the training Program of two years. This period may differ from bank to bank. PO is trained on various domains like finance, accounting, billing, investment etc. This is basically done by trusting them with responsibilities and jobs in these categories in order to accustom them with various working events.  

The main objective of any bank is to provide the finest service to its customers. A  bank PO has to take care of business of the bank so that it keeps on growing by provides best services and addressing various issues of customers handling and solving customers complaints.  When they get adapted to the banks’ norms they are provided with more serious responsibilities such as planning, budgeting, loan processing, investment management etc.

The role of a bank PO also includes managerial tasks, such as supervision of clerical work, taking decisions for the benefit of the bank, managing cash balance etc. He/she takes care of the loan related documents and performs on site visit of the loan taking parties as and when required.

Bank PO Exam

IBPS and SBI are two major bodies that conduct PO exams every year. The recruitment process for both these exams is quite similar. The recruitment process happens in 3 phases:

  1. Preliminary Test
  2. Mains Exam
  3. Group Exercise and Interview Process.

The preliminary test is an online objective test and mains test has two parts- an online objective test and an online descriptive writing test. A basic cut-off is decided for each phase of the exam to screen out the candidates. A candidate is required to qualify all these stages. 

IBPS, an autonomous body, has received a mandate from the Participating organizations, to conduct the recruitment process, once a year. IBPS will make arrangements for conducting online Preliminary examination, declare result of online Preliminary examination, inform the shortlisted candidates about the online Main examination, declare the results of the Main examination and inform the shortlisted candidates about the interview. Interviews will be conducted by the participating organizations and coordinated by the Nodal Bank in each state/ UT. Prospective candidates will have to apply to IBPS after carefully reading the advertisement regarding the process of examinations, interview and provisional allotment, eligibility criteria, online registration processes, payment of prescribed application fee/ intimation charges, pattern of examination, issuance of call letters etc. and ensure that they fulfil the stipulated criteria and follow the prescribed processes.

The participating organization for IBPS

  1. Allahabad Bank
  2. Canara Bank
  3. Indian Bank
  4. Syndicate Bank
  5. Andhra Bank
  6. Central Bank of India
  7. Indian Overseas Bank
  8. UCO Bank
  9. Bank of Baroda
  10. Corporation Bank
  11. Oriental Bank of Commerce
  12. Union Bank of India
  13. Bank of India
  14. Dena Bank
  15. Punjab National Bank
  16. United Bank of India
  17. Bank of Maharashtra
  18. IDBI Bank
  19. Punjab & Sind Bank
  20. Vijaya Bank

***Candidates are advised to regularly keep in touch with the authorised IBPS website www.ibps.in for details and updates.

 Bank PO Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The syllabus of Bank PO exam is designed to measure the candidate’s aptitude as well as his general awareness. The pattern again differs from bank to bank.

Some of the topics you should focus on includes: 

  • English Language
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability
  • Computer Aptitude
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • General Awareness
  • General/Economy/Banking Awareness


Preliminary Examination

Sr. No. Name of Tests No. of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Duration
1 English Language 30 30 English Composite time of 1 hour
2 Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 English and Hindi
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35 English and Hindi
Total 100 100


Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing minimum cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by IBPS depending upon requirements will be shortlisted for Online Main Examination.

Main Examination

Sr. No. Name of Tests (NOT BY SEQUENCE) No. of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Time allotted for each test (Separately timed)
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 English & Hindi 60 minutes
2 General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness 40 40 English & Hindi 35 minutes
3 English Language 35 40 English 40 minutes
4 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 English & Hindi 45 minutes
TOTAL 155 200 3 hours
5 English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 2 25 English 30 minutes

IBPS reserves the right to modify the structure of the examination which will be intimated through its website.


Sr. .No. Subject Syllabus
1. Quantitative Aptitude Data Interpretation (Bar, Line Graph, Tabular, Pie Chart, Radar, Caselet), Inequalities(Quadratic Equations, Quantity-I & II), Approximation & Simplification, Data Sufficiency, Miscellaneous Arithmetic Portion (Percentage, Average, Ratio, Mixture and Allegation, Speed Distance and Time, Time and Work, Upstream and Downstream, Problem on ages, Problem on Trains, Mensuration, Permutation & Combination, Probability, etc)
2. Reasoning Ability Puzzles (Box, Months, Days, Colours, Shelf, Floors, Items etc.), Seating Arrangement (Circular, Linear, Square etc.), Data Sufficiency, Inequalities, Blood Relation, Coding Decoding, Machine Input-Output, Alpha-Number-Symbol Series, Alphabet, Order and Ranking.
3. English Language Reading Comprehension, Fillers, Sentence Rearrangement, Vocabulary based questions, Sentence/Phrase Improvement, Sentence/Phrase Replacement, Errors, Cloze Test, Paragraph Related Quetsions (Para filler, para improvement, para errors, para replacement etc.), Connectors.
4. Computer Knowledge History and Generations of computers; Basic knowledge of- Computer Network, I/O Devices and Hardware, Computer Software and Operating System, MS Office Suit, Computer and Network Security, Terminologies related to the Internet; Computer Aptitude – Number system and conversions, coded binary conversions, flow chart and DFD, logic gates
5. General Awareness Special Reference to banking terminologies and Financial Awareness, Current Affairs of 3-4 months, Static Awareness, Banking norms, ratios, rates and policies


Bank PO Salary

The banks pay their probationary officers quite handsomely. The basic pay of a SBI PO is Rs 23,700. In addition to this basic pay, the officers are also eligible for Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), CCA, special allowance etc. The total salary thus amounts to Rs 40,239 per month.

PO Eligibility

  • Nationality

A candidate must be either –

  1. a Citizen of India or
  2. a subject of Nepal or
  3. a subject of Bhutan or
  4. a Tibetan Refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India or
  5. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India, provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) & (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
  • Age

Minimum 20 Years Maximum 30 Years

  • Age Relaxation
  • Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe  (5 years)
  • Other Backward Classes (Non-Creamy Layer)   (3 Years)
  • Persons With Benchmark Disabilities as defined under “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016” (10 Years)
  • Ex-Servicemen, Commissioned Officers including Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs)/ Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) who have rendered at least 5 years military service and have been released on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from the last date of receipt of application) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency or physical disability attributable to military service or invalidment   (5 Years)
  • Persons ordinarily domiciled in the state of Jammu & Kashmir during the period 01.01.1980 to 31.12.1989    (5 Years)
  • Persons affected by 1984 riots (5 Years )
  • Educational Qualifications

A Degree (Graduation) in any discipline from a University recognized by the Govt. Of India or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government. The candidate must possess valid Mark-sheet / Degree Certificate that he/ she is a graduate on the day he / she registers and indicate the percentage of marks obtained in Graduation while registering online.

Bank PO Career Growth

PO  can jump to Grade II officer within 3-5 years of your service. One can easily switch to the position of Manager, Assistant General Manager, General Manager etc

Bank PO Interview Questions

The Interview Process is the final stage of the selection process for the post of Probationary Officer in a Public Sector Bank. The areas around which the questions revolve are General Banking Awareness, Terminologies Associated with Bank, Banking Ethics, Policies and Amendments issued by Bank, Schemes and Derivatives etc. Some General Questions asked in the Interview round of Bank PO Exam are:

  • What is FDI?
  • What is GDP?
  • What is Inflation?
  • What is Revenue Deficit? Etc.

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