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IBPS SO, also known as the Specialist Officer exam, is an online test administered annually by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). With over 1.5 Lakh applicants every year, it is considered one of the most competitive exams for the post of specialist officer in the country. The exam assesses the candidate's knowledge and skills in their respective fields such as IT, HR, Law, Marketing, and Agriculture.


The exam is conducted online and comprises multiple-choice questions. IBPS SO is divided into three stages - Preliminary, Main, and Interview. The preliminary exam is conducted for two hours and consists of questions from three sections, English language, Reasoning, and General Awareness. Those who clear the Preliminary exam are then eligible to appear for the Main exam, which includes questions from their respective fields of expertise. The final stage is the interview, where the candidate is evaluated based on their communication skills, knowledge, and suitability for the job.


Last year, IBPS SO saw a record number of candidates registering for the exam, with a total of 2.01 lakh applicants. Out of these, 1.57 lakh students appeared for the exam, indicating the high level of interest in the post of specialist officer. The competition for this exam is intense, and candidates need to be well-prepared and confident to secure a position in this prestigious position.


In conclusion, IBPS SO is a highly sought-after exam for individuals looking to secure a specialist officer position in the banking sector. With a massive number of applicants every year, the competition for this exam is fierce, making it crucial for candidates to prepare thoroughly and perform well in all stages of the selection process.

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Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for the IBPS SO exam, candidates must meet certain educational and other criteria. One of the most important factors is the candidate's field of specialization. If a candidate has dual specializations, one of the fields must be in the prescribed area, while for major/minor specializations, the major specialization should be in the stream prescribed. It is also worth noting that candidates with a PG degree or diploma with more than two specializations are not eligible to apply.

Candidates must ensure that their educational qualifications meet the requirements set out in the advertisement and that they meet the eligibility criteria. Equivalent qualifications will not be considered eligible by IBPS or the participating organizations. In addition, candidates for posts other than IT Officer Scale I must have a certificate/diploma/degree in computer operations/language or have studied computer/information ...

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  • English Language
  • Reasoning Ability
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Professional Knowledge
  • General Awareness

The syllabus for the IBPS SO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Specialist Officer) exam can be summarized as follows:

  1. English Language: Vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and verbal ability.

  2. Reasoning Ability: Logical reasoning, seating arrangement, puzzles, syllogism, coding-decoding, input-output, and data sufficiency.

  3. Quantitative Aptitude: Number series, simplification/approximation, data interpretation, quadratic equations, percentage, time and work, ratio and proportion, average, and time, speed, and distance.

  4. Professional Knowledge: This section focuses on domain-specific knowledge related to the chosen specialist officer position (IT Officer, HR Officer, Marketing Officer, etc.).

  5. General Awareness: Banking awareness, current affairs, financial awareness, economic news, and government schemes and policies.


Cut Off

The IBPS SO exam is highly competitive and to get recruited as an IBPS Specialist Officer, candidates need to secure the minimum marks known as the IBPS SO cut off.


The IBPS SO cut off is calculated based on various factors such as:

  • The number of vacancies
  • Applicants
  • Level of the exam
  • Changes introduced
  • Normalization.


Candidates are required to obtain both sectional and overall cut off marks to qualify for the next level.


After the preliminary exam, the IBPS releases the cut off marks for each subject and category along with the previous year cut off. Candidates can check their performance and analyze their score. It is important for candidates to know how the IBPS SO cut off marks are calculated and the process of provisional allotment. The cut off marks for the mains and final round are also released by the IBPS.


The preliminary exam is qualifying in nature, and candidates have to clear it to be eligible for the mains round. The cut-offs for prelims, mains, and interview rounds are different and are based on various factors mentioned above. 

To download the IBPS SO cut off, candidates can follow the steps provided by the IBPS.


Moreover, candidates belonging to the EWS category are entitled to a 10% reservation benefit, provided they submit the Income and Asset Certificate issued by a Competent Authority in the required format during the document verification and interview phase.

Exam Pattern

  • The IBPS SO Exam Pattern is an essential aspect that candidates should be familiar with before appearing for the exam. It provides crucial details such as the number of questions, marking scheme, exam duration, and more. Candidates should study the latest IBPS SO paper pattern in-depth to outperform their competitors.
  • The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection has established guidelines for preparing the IBPS SO exam pattern. This pattern is formulated by IBPS officials to conduct the exam in online mode. The preliminary exam of the IBPS SO will have three sections, and candidates must qualify for each section by obtaining the minimum required marks to be eligible for the main exam.
  • Once candidates qualify for the mains exam, they will be shortlisted for the interview round. For all posts, the IBPS SO exam pattern is divided into two parts - Prelims Exam Pattern and Mains Exam Pattern.
  • The IBPS SO Prelims Exam Pattern consists of 150 objective-type questions, and the questions will be bilingual (in Hindi and English) for the Reasoning and General Awareness section. Candidates will get 40 minutes each for the three sections to solve the given questions.

It is essential to note that a thorough understanding of the IBPS SO exam pattern can help candidates prepare better and perform well in the exam. Candidates should also keep in mind that the IBPS SO exam pattern may vary from year to year, so they should stay updated with the latest pattern.


How to Prepare


For General Awareness, one can refer to the following books:

  • Manohar Pandey Book by Arihant Publications
  • Guide to Banking General Awarenes by R Gupta
  • Manorama Yearbook 2023 ( English) Paperback by Philip Mathew


For Reasoning Ability, one can refer to the following books for preparation:

  • Logical Reasoning by K Kundun
  • A modern approach Non-verbal and Verbal by BS Sivaji
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K Pandey
  • A New Approach to Reasoning Non-verbal and Verbal by Sivaji
  • Verbal reasoning by RS Agrawal

Admit Card

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) released the IBPS SO admit card for prelims on 19 December 2022, exclusively for eligible candidates who have successfully applied for the exam.


Candidates who have submitted their application form online can download the IBPS SO admit card 2022 for the forthcoming exam.


It is mandatory to have the IBPS SO admit card to appear in the exam, and candidates need to show it to the invigilator upon request at the examination center. Candidates must use their login credentials to obtain the IBPS SO hall ticket.


The admit card serves as a crucial document for the exam, and candidates must verify all the information on it, including their name, photograph, roll number, exam center address, and exam date and time. In case of any discrepancies, candidates should contact the IBPS authorities immediately and get them resolved.


Moreover, candidates are advised to carry a government-issued identity proof along with the admit card to the exam center. The identity proof should bear the same name as mentioned on the admit card.

Seat Allotment

The IBPS SO selection process is composed of three crucial stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Candidates must perform exceptionally well in all the stages of the IBPS SO selection process to succeed. Therefore, candidates should devise an optimal preparation strategy for each stage of the selection process to advance further.


The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) formulates and plans a comprehensive IBPS SO selection process to screen and evaluate the candidates' intellect and logical persona to recruit eligible and competent candidates for the post.  Therefore, candidates must have accurate knowledge of the IBPS SO selection process to prepare well for the exam and devise an apt plan of action for the upcoming exam.


The IBPS SO selection process is divided into three stages: Preliminary, Mains, and Interview round. The main examination is different in terms of the subjects asked for different posts. Therefore, candidates must understand the IBPS SO selection process 2022 to prepare well for the exam, strategize their preparations, and devise an apt plan of action for the upcoming exam.


The IBPS SO selection process is an effective screening tool used by IBPS officials to assess the candidates' intellect and logical persona. Thus, it is essential for candidates to perform exceptionally well in all stages of the selection process to succeed in the IBPS SO exam.



What is IBPS SO?

IBPS SO stands for Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Specialist Officer. It is a recruitment examination conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) to select candidates for specialist officer positions in various banks.

What are the different Specialist Officer posts available through IBPS SO?

The different Specialist Officer posts include IT Officer, Agricultural Field Officer, Rajbhasha Adhikari, Law Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, and Marketing Officer.

Is there negative marking in the IBPS SO exam?

Yes, there is negative marking in both the Preliminary and Main exams. For each incorrect answer, 0.25 marks are deducted.