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IBPS SO 2021 Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme and Syllabus

Updated On -

Jan 12, 2021

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Anam Shams

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IBPS SO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Specialist Officer Exam) is conducted for selection to several scale I officer posts in public sector banks. The test will be conducted in online mode. IBPS SO Exam Pattern will vary for different posts. IBPS SO 2020 Prelims is scheduled on December 26 and December 27, 2020.

Get FREE IBPS SO 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

  • IBPS SO is conducted in 2 stages - Prelims and Mains followed by Interview round.
  • Both Prelims and Mains are a computer-based examination.
  • Prelims Exam is an objective (MCQs) type examination.

IBPS SO 2020 Exam Pattern is indicated below for different posts:

For the post of Rajsabha Adhikari and Law Officer (Prelims)

For the post of IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, and Marketing Officer (Prelims)

For the post of Rajsabha Adhikari (Mains)

For the post of Law Officer, Marketing Officer, Agriculture Field Officer HR/Personnel Officer, and IT Officer Scale 1 (Mains)


IBPS SO 2020 Exam Pattern Highlights

Exam Pattern Highlights
Exam Mode online
Number of Papers 2 (Prelims and Mains)
Number of Sections Prelims - 3 sections Mains - 2 sections
Question Paper Type Objective type MCQs
IBPO SO Total marks Prelims- 125 marks Mains- 60 Marks
Exam Duration 2 hours each
Exam language Hindi and English

IBPS SO 2020 Exam Pattern in Detail

IBPS SO will comprise 2 tiers for selection namely Prelims and the Mains. Both the tests are computer based objective type questions primarily. Here is the section-wise distribution of questions in IBPS SO Prelims and Mains.

Section wise distribution of questions in IBPS SO 2020 Prelims

Name of Tests No. of Questions Medium of Exam
English Language 50 English
Reasoning 50 English and Hindi
General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry/ Quantitative Aptitude 50 English and Hindi

Note: Candidates applying for Rajsabha Adhikari and Law Officers need to attempt General Awareness section.

Also Practice IBPS SO 2020 Prelims Sample Papers for free during your IBPS SO Preparation Time

Section wise distribution of questions in IBPS SO Mains

For Law Officer, Marketing Officer, Agriculture Field Officer HR/Personnel Officer, and IT Officer Scale 1 (Mains)

Name of the Test No. of Questions Medium of Exam
Professional Knowledge 60 English & Hindi

For Rajsabha Adhikari

Name of the Test No. of Questions Medium of Exam
Professional Knowledge (Objective) 45 English & Hindi
Professional Knowledge (Descriptive) 2 English & Hindi

IBPS SO 2020 Marking Scheme

As the exam for IBPS SO 2020 is conducted in 2 parts, the marking scheme for both of their papers is also different.

Marking Scheme for IBPS SO Prelims

Paper Number- Sections Number of Questions For Correct Response Negative Marking
Paper-1 (Post of Rajsabha Adhikari and Law Officer) Reasoning 50 Questions each 1 mark 0.25 marks
English Language 0.5 mark
General Awareness with special reference to Banking Industry 1 mark
Paper-2 (post of Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer HR/Personnel Officer, and IT Officer Scale 1) Reasoning 50 Questions each 1 mark
English Language 0.5 mark
Quantitative Aptitude 1 mark

Marking Scheme for IBPS SO Mains

The marking scheme for IBPS SO 2020 Mains is mentioned below.

Paper Number Number of Questions Marks Allotted Negative Marking
Paper-1 (post of Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer HR/Personnel Officer, and IT Officer Scale 1) 60 60 Marks 0.25 Marks
Paper -2 (post of Rajsabha Adhikari) 45

Check AFO Mains (Agriculture Field Officer) before you appear for IBPS SO 2020 Exam

IBPS SO 2020 Syllabus

IBPS SO Syllabus is based on the general graduation level curriculum. Listed below are some of the important topics to be studied for IBPS SO 2020 Exam under each section for both Prelims and Mains:

Topics Sub Topics
English Language Homonyms
sentence completion
word formation
topic comprehension
theme detection
passage completion and the topic Rearrangement of passage
spelling, sentence
Logical Reasoning Data Sufficiency
Syllogism, Input Output
Coding Decoding
Blood Relation
Puzzle Test
Direction Sense
Logical Venn Diagrams
Alphabet & Alpha Numeric Sequence
Arrangements-Linear & Circular
Odd figures
Series test
Quantitative Aptitude Number Series
Data Interpretation
Simplification/ Approximation
Quadratic Equation
Data Sufficiency
Average Profit and Loss
Ratio and Proportion
Work, Time and Energy
Time and Distance
Probability Relations
Simple and Compound Interest
Permutation and Combination
Current Affairs/General Awareness Current Affairs
Banking Awareness
GK Updates
Important Places Important Places
Books and Authors Awards
Prime Minister
Important Days
IT Officer Database Management System
Data Communication and Networking
Operating System
Software Engineering
Data Structure
Computer Organization and Microprocessor
Object-Oriented Programming
Agricultural Field Officer Basics of Crop production
Seed Science
Agronomy and Irrigation
Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Practices
Soil resources
Animal Husbandry
Government Schemes
Marketing Officer Basics of Marketing Management
Brand Management
Business Ethics
Market Segmentation
Market research and forecasting demand
Product Life Cycle
Corporate Social Responsibility
Service Marketing
Marketing Strategies
Law Officer Banking Regulations
Compliance and Legal Aspects
Relevant Law and Orders related to negotiable instruments, securities, foreign exchange
Prevention of Money laundering, Limitation Act
Consumer Protection Act
Banking Ombudsman Scheme
Laws and Actions with a direct link to Banking Sector
Bankers Book Evidence Act
HR/Personnel Officer Human Resource Development
Business policy and strategic analysis
Transnational Analysis
Training and Development
 Recruitment and Selection
Rewards and Recognition
Industrial Relations
Business Policy and Strategic Analysis
Grievance and Conflict Management
Performance Management and Appraisal

Practice IBPS SO Prelims (Advanced) during your preparation time for IBPS SO 2020 Exam

IBPS SO 2020 Important Books

Here is a list of popular reference books for IBPS SO 2020. Candidates can refer to these books for the understanding of fundamental concepts as well as practice frequently asked questions.

Subject Name of Book Author/Publisher
Logical Reasoning Modern Approach to Verbal and Non – Verbal Reasoning RS Aggarwal
Analytical Reasoning (BSC Publication) M K Pandey
Quantitative Aptitude Fast track Rajesh Verma
Quantitative Aptitude RS Aggarwal
Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
English Language Objective General English SP Bakshi
Mirror of Common Error Ashok Kumar Singh
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewi
Professional Knowledge Objective Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams 1st Edition R Pillai
IBPS Specialist Officers I.T. Officers CWE SPL for IT Officer (Scale-1) & IT Officer (Scale-2) Professional Knowledge Practice Work Book Pratiyogita Kiran
CWE IBPS Bank IT Specialist Officer Exam Chandresh Aggarawal
CWE-IBPS Bank IT Specialist Officer Exam RPH Editorial Board

  • 3 sections in the question paper- English Language, General Awareness, and Logical Reasoning.
  • Exam duration is 120 minutes.
  • Maximum marks allotted for the exam is 125 marks.
  • Logical reasoning section comprises of 50 marks, General Awareness for 25 marks and Logical reasoning for 50 marks.
  • This paper is also divided into 3 sections - Logical Reasoning, English Language, and Quantitative Aptitude.
  • Part A and Part C contain 50 marks respectively and Part B comprises 25 marks.
  • Candidates get 2 hours to complete the exam with the maximum score being 125 marks.
  • Mains exam follows the under given exam pattern-
  • Question paper is to be answered in Objective as well as Descriptive type questions for Part A and Part B respectively.
  • Part A which is Professional Knowledge (Objective Type Question) contains 45 questions.
  • Part B which is Professional Knowledge (Descriptive type Questions) Contains 2 questions.
  • Maximum marks allotted for the paper are 60.
  • Both sections are allotted time duration of 30 minutes each.
  • Question paper contains a single part i.e. Professional Knowledge with 60 Objective type questions
  • Candidates can score up to 60 marks and are provided with 45 minutes duration to complete.
  • Negative Marking is also applicable to questions attempted wrong. 0.25 marks will be deducted.
  • No marks will be deducted for questions left un-attempted.
  • Both the papers for Prelims in IBPS SO contains 150 questions.
  • For every correct response, 1 mark will be awarded except English Language section.
  • Negative marking of 0.25 marks is done in the case of the wrong answer. No marks will be deducted for questions left un-attempted.
  • For Rajsabha Adhikari, 1 mark each for MCQs and 15 marks for 2 descriptive questions.
  • For other posts, 1 mark each for all the MCQs.
  • 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer. No deduction of marks in case of a question left un-attempted

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


abhijit ghosh
Hi.. i have done my bb.llb can i apply for hr so ppst or only law officer post
abdul nazir

Hi Abhijit, With LLB qualification, you are definitely eligible to apply for Law Officer post. As far as HR post is considered, the required qualification is either a PG degree or diploma in Labor Law/Social Work/HR/HRD/Industrial Relations/Personnel Management. Apart from academics, there are other criterias as well that needs to be followed. Find details at IBPS SO 2021.

puja sao
how to prepare for ibps so marketing officer interview?
kavita rani

Hi Puja. Preparing well for the interview is very importance as your selection is dependent on your performance in the interview round. Candidates must prepare well for the interview questions, frame your answers and do more Mock Interviews by answering the various banking questions by looking in the mirror. All these exercises improve your confidence level.

puja sao
how to crack ibps so prelims?
kavita rani

Hi Puja. Do more IBPS SO Free Mock Tests as it helps a lot in judging your performance. Also make an effective study plan and focus on all the important areas or topics to get a higher score. You can get free mock tests for IBPS SO prelims by referring to the link here.

how to prepare for ibps so interview?
kavita rani

Hi Vipasha. First of all, stay updated with latest Current Affairs & General Knowledge. Candidates must understand the Roles of a Specialist Officer & Job profile as questions related to the same can be asked in the interview. Also stay confident. Check out further details here.

kashish tomar
how to prepare for ibps so law officer?
kavita rani

Hi Kashish. Candidates must make notes of important formulas, shortcuts, tricks, etc. while doing preparation for IBPS SO exam. Practice with IBPS SO Law officer mock test mentioned here to understand the exam pattern and also to check your level of preparation.

how to prepare for ibps so IT officer exam?
kavita rani

Hi Vipasha. In addition to referring to the best books, candidates are advised to Practice IBPS SO Prelims Sample Papers for free by referring to the link here to ace your IBPS SO Preparation.

What is the cut off for ibps so prelims exam?

Hello Shambhavi,

The Cut-off of IBPS SO prelims varies from posts to post. There are two kinds of cut-off, a sectional cut-off and an overall cut-off. The section cut-off remains the same for all the posts and the overall cut off is different for different posts and different category. To check the post-wise cut-off, visit- IBPS SO Cut-Off.

arvind kumar

Hi Sambhavi, Greetings from Collegedunia. IBPS SO exam will be conducted on 26 and 27 december 2020. The cut off for different sections are:

English- 5-6

general awareness- 13-14

quantitative aptitude- 8.5-9.5

logical reasoning-11-12

For more details visit: IBPS SO 2020

vanam sowjanya
I am a Bsc(hons) homescience graduate , can i apply for IBPS SO ?

Hi Vanam

You can visit on our official website of IBPS SO to check out all the details and eligibility criteria of the exam and whether you are eligible for the exam or not.

divakar sharma
What is the total number of questions that are given in the IBPS Specialist Officers Exam?
kavita rani

Hi Divakar. There are 3 sections in this exam having a total of 150 questions in total with a maximum score of 125 marks. Detailed exam pattern is mentioned here.

What will be the approax cut off


The cut-off depends on which post you’ve applied for. For expected cut-off based on last year trends, kindly visit – IBPS SO Expected Cut-off

ravina kalra
I want to know LAW OFFICER(SCALE-1) exam would be having General Awarness section and quants section or any one of them.
abdul nazir

Hi Ravina, There is a section for General Awareness of 50 marks in Law Officer Scale, however there is no section for Quantitative Aptitude. For detailed IBPS Syllabus click here.

rishabh singh
i want to know if BCA graduate is eligible for ibps-so IT officer exam ?
shobhna chaturvedi
Hi Rishabh, no, BCA graduates cannot apply for this exam. Only those candidates who have done B.Tech (any stream) from a recognized university are eligible to appear in IBPS SO exam.