IBPS Clerk 2020 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Updated On -

Oct 1, 2020

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Swati Mishra

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IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern is defined by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). For this year, IBPS Clerk 2020 Exam will be conducted on December 12, 13 and 19, 2020. Check  IBPS Clerck Pre (New Mock Test)

 IBPS Clerk 2020 recruitment will be conducted through two stages – Preliminary exam and Main exam. IBPS Clerk 2020 Main exam is scheduled for January 24, 2021. Click here for the latest news on IBPS Clerk

The exam pattern for IBPS Clerk exam is expected to undergo no changes i.e. it will be similar to that of previous year. The following article will enlighten a candidate with the marking scheme, paper pattern, number of questions, total marks etc that will be followed in IBPS Clerk 2020.  

Listed below are some quick facts relating to IBPS RRB:

  • IBPS Clerk Exam is conducted to recruit personnel in Clerical Cadre Posts in various Participating Organisations across India.  IBPS Clerk Eligibility criteria
  • The exam is conducted in online mode by means of CWE or Common Written Test. Download IBPS Clerk Sample Papers
  • IBPS Clerk is a 2 tier examination i.e. it is conducted in 2 phases namely Preliminary Exam and Mains Exam. Candidates qualifying Preliminary round are eligible for Mains round. Check  IBPS Clerk 2020 Exam Pattern,
  • Both the exams will be of Objective type i.e. they will of MCQ in nature.
  • Candidates will have an option to answer the questions in Hindi or English as per their preference. 
  • There is a provision of negative marking for any wrong marked answers.

Check IBPS Clerk 2020 Application Form 


IBPS Clerk Exam Date

IBPS, conducting body of IBPS Clerk 2018 (Clerk VII) has released official dates for the exam. Candidates can go through the following table to know about the same:

Event Dates
IBPS Clerk Pre (Preliminary Exam) December 12, 13 and 19, 2020 
IBPS Clerk Main (Main Examination) January 24, 2021

Highlights of IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern

IBPS Clerk is a Computer Based Test (CBT). Candidates will have an option to answer the questions in English or Hindi as per their preference. IBPS Clerk exam is divided into two slots: Preliminary and Main. Thus, for each slot, both marks allotment and time allotment varies. The table below highlights all the important information related to the IBPS Clerk 2020 exam outline:

Mode of Exam Online
Stages in IBPS Clerk 2 (Prelims and Mains)
Number of sections Preliminary –  3 (Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability, and English Language)
Main- 5 (Reasoning, G.K., Quantitative Aptitude, English Language, Computer)
Type of Question Paper Objective Type (Multiple Choice Questions)
Total Marks Prelims- 100 marks
Mains- 200 marks
Time Duration for each exam Preliminary- 1 hour
Main- 2 Hours 15 minutes
Language of exam English or Hindi

IBPS Clerk Pre- Examination Training

Pre-Examination Training is arranged by the Nodal Banks/ Participating Organisations for the candidates belonging to the categories as mentioned below

  • Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes (SC/ ST)
  • Minority Communities 
  • Ex-Servicemen 
  • Persons With Disabilities

Few things to keep in mind pre and post pre-exam training session:

  • All eligible candidates who opt for and wish to avail of Pre-Examination Training should fill in the relevant column in IBPS Clerk Application.
  • The training will be imparted free of cost but all other expenses regarding travelling, boarding, lodging etc. will have to be borne by the candidate
  • Depending on the response and administrative feasibility the right to cancel any of Pre- Examination Training Centres and/ or add some other Centres and/or make alternate arrangements is reserved. 
  • One must take note that by merely attending the training no candidate acquires any right to be selected in any of the Participating Organisations mentioned.

The training will be provided at certain centres viz. Agartala, Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Balasore, Bareilly, Behrampur (Ganjam), Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Dhanbad, Gorakhpur, Gulbarga, Guwahati, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Karnal, Kavaratti, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Muzaffarpur, Mysore, Nagpur, New Delhi, Panaji (Goa), Patiala, Patna, Port Blair, Puducherry, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Rohtak, Sambalpur, Shimla, Shillong, Siliguri, Thiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam.  


IBPS Clerk Preliminary Exam Pattern

Candidates appearing for IBPS Clerk have to first go through this stage. This is a qualifying examination, candidates clearing IBPS Prelims are then eligible to appear for Mains. This exam is scheduled for December 12, 13, and 19, 2020. Listed below are points relating to the IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern:

  • Clerk exam is conducted in online mode
  • The exam has 3 sections namely English Language, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness (with special reference to Banking), and Computer Knowledge.
  • There are a total of 100 questions
  • Questions are of objective type
  • The duration of the exam is 1 hour.
  • The weightage of the exam is 100 marks.
  • There is a provision of negative marking as well. For every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. For the questions which are left unanswered, no marks will be deducted.

Tabulated below are a number of questions as per the section in IBPS Pre exam:

Name of the section Total Number of Questions Maximum Marks
English Language 30 30
Numerical Ability 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total 100 100

Note: Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS.


IBPS Clerk Mains Exam Pattern

Candidates qualifying the preliminary examination will then have to appear for IBPS Clerk Mains. The IBPS has scheduled this exam on January 24, 2021. Listed below are points relating to IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern for Mains:

  • Clerk exam is conducted in online mode
  • The exam has 5 sections namely English Language, Numerical Ability, and Reasoning Ability
  • There are a total of 200 questions
  • Questions are of objective type
  • The duration of the exam is 2 hours 15 minutes.
  • The weightage of the exam is 200 marks.
  • There is a provision of negative marking as well. For every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. For the questions which are left unanswered, no marks will be deducted.
  • IBPS has defined a specific time for each section in the exam.

Given below is the weightage of each section in IBPS Clerk Mains with the time allotted to each section:

Name of the section Total Number of Questions Maximum Marks Duration of time
Reasoning 40 50 30 minutes
English Language 40 40 30 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 40 50 30 minutes
General Awareness 40 40 25 minutes
Computer Knowledge 40 20 20 minutes
Total 200 200 135 minutes

Note: In the exam, the scores will be normalized using equipped centile method.


IBPS Clerk Cut Off Score (Main Examination)

Each candidate will be required to obtain a minimum score in each test of Online Main Examination and also a minimum total score to be considered for further process.  Depending on the number of the State/ UT wise vacancies available, cut-offs will be decided and candidates will be considered for provisional allotment. Prior to the completion of provisional allotment process scores obtained in the Online Main Examination will not be shared with candidates.

Provisional Allotment

Candidates are informed that the total marks allotted for Main Examination are 200. These marks will be converted out of 100 for Provisional allotment. A candidate should qualify in CWE online main examination and be sufficiently high in the merit to be considered for subsequent provisional allotment process, details of which will be made available subsequently on IBPS website i.e. ibps.in.


Marking Scheme for IBPS Clerk

The marking scheme of IBPS Clerk is also done on the basis of bi-level pattern- Negative Marking and Cutoff Marks. The negative marking is applicable for each wrong answer only. Un-attempted answers do not fall under the negative marking category.

Negative Marking

The concept of negative marketing is very straight-forward. Against every answer, the negative marking is 0.25. All the candidates should satisfy the criteria of the qualifying marks of each section for getting selected in both the level of examination.

Cut Off Marking

Every section of the question paper has its own cut-off marking. The cut-off marking is applicable for both preliminary and Main round of IBPS Clerk exam 2020. Candidates must be aware of the fact that they will be qualified for the mains once they meet the required cut-off of the preliminary round. Henceforth, they will only be qualified for the interview round if they meet the mentioned cut-off criteria of the Main round.


IBPS Clerk Syllabus

The syllabus for IBPS Clerk comprises of chapters from the basic class X level. The chapters are segregated subject wise below:

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for English

This section is designed to check a candidate's knowledge in basic English language. Given below are the topics included in the English section of IBPS Clerk:

Reading Comprehension Error Detection
Close Analysis Organizing the jumbled paragraph
Blank Filling Homonyms, Antonyms, Synonyms
Sentence Completion Word Formation

Preparation Books for IBPS RRB

The English portion basically contains fundamental concepts of grammar and comprehension. The books suggested for learning IBPS Clerk English are:

IBPS English Books

Book Name Author/ Publisher
Objective General English R.S. Aggarwal
Objective English for Competitive Examinations Hari Prasad & Uma Sinha

Topic-wise Solved Papers for IBPS/ SBI Bank PO/ Clerk Prelim & Mains 

Disha Expert

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Numerical Ability

The table below gives the detailed syllabus of this section:

Number Series Distance & Time
Simplification Profit & Loss
Data Interpretation Simple Interest

Preparation Books

This is the trickiest part of all the section. This section needs more practice as it comprises of short-cut tricks and formulas. The best-selling books are:

IBPS Numeric Ability Books

Name of the book Name of the publisher
Magical Book on Quicker Maths M.Tyra
Reasoning & Quantitative Aptitude R.S. Aggarwal

Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning

R.V. Praveen

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Reasoning

This section tests a candidate’s approach to solving a problem in a logical way. The topics included in this section are tabulated below:

Coding-Decoding Blood Relations
Inequality Economy
Linear seating arrangement Analogy

Preparation Books

The logical section of the examination is segregated into two sections i.e, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reason. The best books recommended for practising reasoning are as follows:

IBPS Clerk Reasoning Books

Book Name Author/ Publisher
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning R.S. Aggarwal
General Intelligence and Test of Reasoning S. Chand Experts

Topic-wise Solved Papers for IBPS/SBI Bank PO/Clerk Prelim & Mains Reasoning

Disha Experts

IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Computer Awareness

The following sections test candidates knowledge in software and hardware. It is important to have a basic knowledge of computer. 

Microsoft Office Internet and online surfing
Computer and its history Hardware and Software

Preparation Books

It is all about the fundamental concepts of computer. The suggested books are the following:

IBPS Clerk Computer Books

Name of the book Name of the publisher
Computer Literacy & Knowledge Kiran Prakashan
Computer Awareness Arihant

Computer Knowledge for SBI/IBPS Clerk/PO/RRB/RBI/SSC/Railways/Insurance Exams

Shiksha Agarwal

IBPS Clerk Syllabus and Preparation Books: General Awareness

It is generally suggested to the candidates to learn about the current affairs of the past six months. Accumulating all the news is time-consuming. Thus, there are books available which are one-stop information for current affairs on all topics. Check out the name of the book mentioned below:

Name of the book Name of the publisher
General Knowledge Encyclopedia Publisher Prabhat Prakashan

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

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