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IBPS PO 2020 Exam Pattern for Prelims and Mains 2020

Updated On -

Aug 6, 2020

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Anil Tigga

University Data Specialist

IBPS PO 2020 Exam Pattern describes the nature of questions, marking scheme, section-wise marks distribution, total number of questions, etc. It is decided by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) each year. The exam will be scheduled for October 3, 10 and 11, 2020, and 28 November 2020 for the Prelims and Mains exam respectively. The IBPS PO 2020 will be conducted in online mode only and has to be completed in 2 hours duration.

  • The Exam Pattern and syllabus is different for all the three stages viz. Prelims, Mains, and Personal Interview. 
  • IBPS also conducts Pre-Examination Training before the exam for reserved category candidates to nurture their capabilities. The final selection is done on the basis of IBPS PO cutoff.
  • Candidates are advised to solve as many previous year question papers as they can, for a better idea of the exam pattern and syllabus.
  • In Prelims exam, questions will be asked from three subjects namely Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, and English. The total time allotted to the complete the exam is 1 hour.
  • The Mains exam will include questions from Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, English, Computers, and General Awareness.
  • Students should attempt the questions very carefully because, for every wrong answer, marks will be deducted.
  • Student’s final selection will be done on the basis of an interview which will be scheduled in the month of January 2020.

IBPS PO 2020 Exam Pattern Highlights

Stages of exam

Three (Prelims, Mains and Common Interview)

Mode of exam


Duration of prelims exam

1 hour (60 minutes)

Duration for Mains exam

3 hours 30 minutes (210 minutes)

Question type

Prelims: Objective Type

Mains: Objective & Descriptive Type 

Number of questions 

Prelims: 100

Mains: 157 (155 objective types and 2 descriptive types)

Maximum Marks

Prelims: 100

Mains: 225

Interview: 100

Language of question paper 

English and Hindi

Negative marks 


IBPS PO 2020 Exam Pattern in Detail

IBPS PO Exam Pattern helps students to estimate the type of questions more frequently asked in the paper, marking scheme, examination difficulty level and many more. Both the papers i.e. Prelims and Mains have different examination pattern which is explained below:

Prelims Exam Pattern

  • The paper comprises 100 multiple choice questions.
  • The exam will be held through online mode only.
  • Time duration to complete the exam will be 1 hour.
  • Paper will be divided into three sections i.e. Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability and English Language.
  • Paper will be bilingual i.e. English and Hindi.

The following table shows the Prelims Exam Pattern:

Section Number of Questions Maximum Marks Time Duration
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 1 Hour
Reasoning Ability 35 35
English Language 30 30
Total 100 100

Mains Exam Pattern

  • IBPS PO Mains 2020 exam will be consisting of two tests and these are descriptive type and objective type tests.
  • In the objective paper, the aspirants will have to answer 11 questions from Computer Aptitude and Logical Reasoning section, Banking Awareness/Economy/General, English Language, and Data Analysis and Interpretation. 
  • Total allotted marks in the objective section will be 200 and the candidates will get 3 hours to solve the questions.
  • On the other hand, the descriptive section consists of 2 questions, which will be from English Language (Essay and Letter Writing).
  • The time duration of the descriptive paper is 30 minutes.
  • Marks allotted to descriptive type paper is 25. 
  • Based on the marks obtained from both the descriptive and objective tests, the merit list will be published. Then the qualified aspirants will get a chance to participate in the interview method. 

The subject-wise breakup of a number of questions with maximum marks is shown below:

Section name Total questions Allotted Time Total marks

English Language




Data Interpretation and Analysis




Reasoning and Computer Aptitude




General Awareness








English (Essay and Letter Writing)


30 minutes


Grand Total


3 hours 30 minutes


IBPS PO 2020 Personal Interview Round

  • Personal Interview is the final stage of IBPS PO Recruitment process.
  • Those who have scored minimum qualifying marks in IBPS PO Mains exam will only be eligible to take part in the interview round.
  • In this round, students will be evaluated on the basis of their general information, skills, abilities and communication skills.
  • This round carries a weightage of 100 marks
  • In the selection process, 20% weightage is given to this round.
  • The minimum qualifying marks to qualify the interview section for the general candidates is 40% and for SC/ST/OBC.PWBD candidates is 35%

IBPS PO 2020 Marking scheme

Candidates must check below IBPS PO Marking Scheme. They must take note that marking scheme for Prelims and Mains exam is the same.

  • For every correct answer, 1 mark will be awarded
  • For every wrongly attempt questions, 0.25 marks will be deducted
  • For un-attempted questions, no marks will be given or deducted
  • For clearing an interview minimum qualifying marks required by general category candidates will not be less than 40% and 35% marks must be obtained by reserved category candidates

IBPS PO 2020 Syllabus

IBPS PO Syllabus covers all the important topics from which the questions will be asked in the paper. The following table shows the section-wise important topics asked in the paper:

IBPS PO 2020 Prelims Exam Syllabus

Section Topics
Quantitative Aptitude Simplification
Profit & Loss
Mixtures & Allegations
Simple Interest & Compound Interest & Surds & Indices
Work & Time
Time & Distance
Mensuration – Cylinder, Cone, Sphere
Data Interpretation
Ratio & Proportion, Percentage
Number Systems
Sequence & Series
Permutation, Combination &Probability
Reasoning Logical Reasoning
Alphanumeric Series
Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test
Data Sufficiency
Coded Inequalities
Seating Arrangement
Blood Relations
English Language Reading Comprehension
Cloze Test 
Para jumbles
Fill in the blanks
Multiple Meaning/Error
Paragraph Completion

IBPS PO 2020 Mains Exam Syllabus

Section Topics
Quantitative Aptitude Ratio and proportion
Permutation and combinations
Simple and compound interest
Time and work
Quadratic Equations
Speed, Distance and time
Mixture and allegation
Profit, Loss and Discount
Volume and Surface Area
Elements of Algebra
Height and Distances
Data Interpretation- Pie charts, Tables, Bar & Graphs and Line charts
General Awareness Financial Awareness
Current Affairs
General Knowledge
English Language Homonyms
Word Formation
Spotting Errors
Direct and Indirect Speech
Phrases and Idioms
Active/ Passive voice
Theme Detection
Passage Completion
Topic Rearrangement of Passage
Deriving Conclusion
Reasoning Verbal Reasoning
Circular Seating Arrangement
Linear Seating Arrangement
Double Line-up
Input Output
Blood Relations
Directions and Distances
Ordering and Ranking
Data Sufficiency
Coding and Decoding
Code Inequalities
Computer Knowledge Internet
Keyboard Shortcuts
Computer Abbreviations
Microsoft Office
Computer Hardware
Computer Software
Operating System
Computer Fundamentals and Terminologies

IBPS PO 2020 Recommended Books

For successfully clearing any exam, books play a very important role. The following table shows the recommended books for every subject along with the author’s name for the reference of the canddiates.

Subject Book Name Author Name
Quantitative Aptitude Fast Track Objective Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R.S. Aggarwal
Advance Maths for General Competitions Rakesh Yadav
Reasoning A modern approach to verbal & non-verbal reasoning R.S. Aggarwal
A new approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non-Verbal B.S. Sijwali
Analytical Reasoning M.K. Pandey
English Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
English (From Plinth to Paramount) Neetu Singh
Objective General English SP Bakshi
High School English Grammar Wren and Martin
General Awareness Banking Awareness Arihant
Banking Awareness Disha Publications
Banking Awareness (Objective with Subjective) Sangram Keshari Rout
Computer Knowledge Objective Computer Awareness R Pillai
Computer Rani Ahilya
Objective Computer Awareness Somya Ranjan Behera
Objective Computer Knowledge & Literacy Kiran Publications

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