IBPS PO Prelims 2015 Paper Analysis

Updated On -

May 17, 2018

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Anam Shams

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The IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) conducts a national-level entrance exam for the recruitment of Probationary Officers and Management Trainees in public sector banks in India. IBPS PO 2018 exam is conducted in 3 stages: Prelims, Mains and Interview. Candidates qualifying in the Preliminary exam would be shortlisted to appear in the next stages i.e., IBPS PO Mains. Final selection is done on the basis of overall performance of candfidate. 

There will be 100 questions in the paper and total marks allocated for the exam is 100. Exam would be conducted in online mode and the duration of the exam would be 1 hour. In total there will be three sections – English language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Reasoning Ability. Each question will have 5 options with one correct option.

The pattern for preliminary exam of IBPS PO is indicated in the table below.

Section Number of Questions Marks
English Language 30 30
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total 100 100

Also Read About IBPS PO Selection Process

IBPS PO Preliminary examination 2015 Paper Analysis

IBPS PO started the two tier written examination for IBPS PO in 2015. Thus, Preliminary exam was introduced as the first stage of IBPS Recruitment and candidates were shortlisted for IBPS PO Mains on the basis of their performance in Prelims exam.

The pattern of questions in the prelims of IBPS Exam 2015 was more or less of the moderate level of difficulty. Questions were though slightly lengthy, tricky and time-consuming. As per some of the candidates who appeared for the exam, there were no surprises in terms of topics of question and everything was according to the pre-defined syllabus. The detailed section wise analysis of IBPS PO Prelims 2015 is discussed below:

I. English Language

The overall difficulty level of English language section was moderate. There was one reading comprehension passage with 10 questions. Rest of the section comprised rearrangement of sentences, error spotting and cloze test, phrases, para-jumbled sentences and fillers. Among 30 questions, 25 questions were of moderate level of difficulty while the remaining 5 questions on spotting errors had a combination of the medium and difficult level of questions. The topic wise question distribution and level of difficulty is indicated below.



Topic Number of Questions Level
Reading comprehension 10 Moderate
Cloze test 5 Moderate
Fillers 5 Moderate
Para-jumbled 5 Moderate
Spotting errors 5 Moderate to difficult

Read About IBPS Syllabus

II. Quantitative Aptitude

The overall difficulty level of Quantitative aptitude section in 2015 was moderate but calculative. The questions were based on work & time, averages, speed & time, profit & loss, ages, ratios, percentage, simplification, quadratic equation and simple interest. This section had a mixture of easy, medium and difficult level of questions. Out of total 35 questions, 15 questions were fairly easy while remaining 20 questions were of the moderate level of difficulty.

Topic wise distribution of questions and level of difficulty is mentioned below.


Topic Number of Questions Level
Data interpretation 10 Moderate
Miscellaneous 10 Moderate
Quadratic equation 5 Easy
Series 5 Moderate
Simplification 5 Easy

 Read About IBPS Preparation

III. Reasoning Ability

Reasoning ability was rather easy to attempt on the whole even though some of the questions were time-consuming and some were tricky. Questions were asked based on input-output, inequality, and puzzle, syllogism, sitting arrangement and complex arrangement and miscellaneous topics which include ranking, blood relations, direction, etc. with the easy level of questions. From the total of 35 questions, 15 questions were easy while the remaining 20 questions were of the moderate level of difficulty.

The topic wise distribution of questions and level of difficulty is indicated below.


Topic Number of Questions Level
Puzzles 10 Moderate to difficult
Inequalities 5 Easy
Coding & decoding 5 Easy
Syllogism 5 Moderate
Sitting arrangement 5 Moderate
Miscellaneous 5 Easy

IBPS PO Paper Analysis – Important Topics

Based on the analysis and pattern of previous year papers, candidates are advised to focus on the following topics to score well in the upcoming preliminary examination.

  1. English Language: This section is comprised of questions from the following topics:

Reading comprehension, completion of sentence, synonyms & Antonyms and tenses, cloze test, spotting error, and para-jumbles, etc.

  1. Quantitative Aptitude: This section is comprised of questions from the following topics:

Bar graphs, average, number series, mensuration, simplification, fractions, time & work, profit & loss, problems on ages, and percentage, etc.

  1. Reasoning Ability: This section is comprised of questions from the following topics:

Analogy, odd-man-out, coding-decoding, statement & arguments, syllogism, figure series, blood relations, sitting arrangement, and input-output, etc.

Note: Mentioned topics are approximate, actual questions may vary, be thorough with each topic and chapters to excel in IBPS PO 2016 Prelims examination.

Read IBPS PO Pre Exam Training

IBPS PO Expected cut off

The minimum qualifying marks in each section of IBPS PO preliminary exam is considered as the IBPS PO Cut off. Candidates have to qualify in each of the three sections by securing cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. The mentioned below table gives the IBPS cut off category wise for IBPS PO Prelims for each section:

Category English language Quantitative aptitude Reasoning ability Overall cut off marks
General 11-15 7-10 7-10 37-40
OBC 7-10 4-6 5 37-40
SC 7-10 4-6 5 30-33
ST 7-10 4-6 5 17-20
PWD 4-7 2-4 2 20

Note: Mentioned data is approximate, actual sectional expected cut off may vary, but overall remains same.

Overall Analysis

It is apparent that IBPS has started focusing more on time management skills of the candidates. Based on last year’s analysis of IBPS PO prelims examination, it can be said that the paper was of moderate difficulty level which involved time management skills, calculative questions, and concept based questions. This inevitably affected the scores of aspirants which meant low cut off.

Overall, IBPS PO prelims is expected to be of moderate difficulty level this year. In 2015, the English section was moderate and easy to attempt, reasoning ability section was also easy and could be solved quickly while the section of quantitative aptitude was moderate, but calculative and is the most time-consuming section among all.

Hope this overall analysis helped you. And, if you are yet to appear for the IBPS PO Prelims, make use of this paper analysis in order to get a better understanding and devise your preparation strategy accordingly.

Study hard, as the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.

Good Luck!!!

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