IBPS SO 2018 Preparation Strategy | How to start your Preparation

Dear Students, the notification for IBPS Specialist Officer is out. IBPS has released various posts for different specialist officers required in the concerned departments. It is going to be a great opportunity for all those who wanted to be officers but couldn't give their best in the previous officer level examinations. So students, now that you have got one more chance to become an officer in a public sector organization by the end year, just do not let it go waste. Here are a few important tips and important topics for IBPS SO Examination that you all must know of to bring it off this very year.

Now, to begin with your preparations, the first and foremost thing is to know the exam pattern for the Examination. It is very important to know the Exam  Pattern and the weightage of various subjects in the exam as it helps to design a proper strategy for appearing in the exam and preparing well for the exam.

The structure of the Examinations which will be conducted online are as follows:

A. Preliminary Examination

> For the post of Law Officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari

Sr. No. Name of Tests No. of
Medium of ExamDuration
1.English Language 5025English40 minutes 
2.Reasoning5050English and Hindi40 minutes 
3.General Awareness with Special
Reference to Banking Industry
5050English and Hindi40 minutes 

> For the Post of IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer

Sr. No. Name of Tests No. of
Medium of ExamDuration
1.English Language 5025English40 minutes 
2.Reasoning5050English and Hindi40 minutes 
3.Quantitative Aptitude 5050English and Hindi40 minutes 

The subjects for the exam are same as any other Banking examination, but the weightage of questions and marks is different. Total number of Questions in the Prelims  Examination are 150 and Maximum marks are 125.

The number of questions in English are 50 but the total marks alloted for this section is 25, so you need to attempt 50 Questions to achieve 25 Marks in this section. This is a good opportunity for those who are weak in English as the section is of only 25 Marks and you can score well in other sections. Also, there is no Quantitative Aptitiude section in Prelims exam for the post of Law Officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari. This can be a good opportunity for those who are weak in Quantitative aptitude and find it difficult to score in this section. 

You have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing minimum cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. Also, IBPS has introduced sectional timing of 40 Minutes for each section, so you need to pay special attention on time while preparing for the exam. So you need to focus on your speed as well as accuracy for the Examination. 

B.  Main Examination

The Pattern for Mains Exam includes the Professional Knowledge for various Posts.

> For the Post of Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer

Name of the TestNo. of
Medium of
Professional Knowledge6060English & Hindi45 minutes

> For the Post of Rajbhasha Adhikari

Name of the Test No. of
Maximum Marks Medium of ExamDuration 
Professional Knowledge (Objective)4560 English & Hindi 30 minutes
Professional Knowledge (Descriptive)2 English & Hindi 30 minutes

The Mains Examination will consist of a test of the Professional Knowledge for the post you are applying for. You need to give an extra effort in your specific streams subjects to Qualify in the Mains Examination. We will provide you detailed syllabus for these subjects on Bankersadda.com. 

Following are the important topics that are expected to be asked in the three sections of the IBPS SO Preliminary Examination 2018:

  • Reading Comprehension: The topics of RC may be based on banking, finance, and economy. 
  • Spotting Errors/Sentence Errors/Improvements: You need to pay special attention while doing questions based on errors as the errors can be very minute that one may remain unnoticed and the candidate can mark the option 'No error' or 'No correction required.
  • Para Jumbles: The good thing about para jumbles is that you can manage to do it even if you are weak in English as it doesn't test your grammar or vocabulary, you just need to find the connection between two parts and you can score very well.
  • Fillers: The fillers can be word or phrases based. They don't consume much of your time. It is one of the topics that you should start doing English Section with.
  • Cloze test: This is also a very important topic for English Section. The new pattern fillers are also expected to be asked which may consist of three blanks. This is also a scoring topic if you prepare it well.
  • Miscellaneous: Connectors, Starters, phrase replacement, Paragraph related questions that include paragraph completion, paragraph improvement, restatement, etc.

  • Syllogism: The questions can be based on the usual old pattern as well as the new pattern of Reverse Syllogism in which the conclusion is given in the question and you have to choose the correct statements for that particular conclusion. It is one of the easiest and scoring topics so prepare it well.
  • Data Sufficiency: The questions based on data sufficiency can have 2 or 3 statements based on the difficulty level of the questions. If asked, there will be a total of 3-5 questions on this topic. 
  • Coding-decoding: This topic also comes under the category of easy level questions. The questions may be based on old as well as new pattern coding-decoding. You may check the new pattern coding-decoding in the quizzes provided by us on Adda247 app.
  • Blood Relation: The questions in this section test the candidate’s cognitive ability. The questions asked are very complex and convoluted. It can be asked in various forms, i.e. puzzles, mixed blood relation, coded blood relations, etc. 
  • Order and Ranking: The questions asked on this topic are comparatively easy and less complicated. Once you are used to solving questions on this topic, they would become easier and less time taking.
  • Alpha Numeric Symbol Series: You will be given a series of numbers, symbols with a mix of alphabets based on a pattern. The series may also be based only on numbers or only on alphabets. 
  • Logical Reasoning: The questions asked in this section are based on cause and effect, course of action, assumptions, and conclusions, strength of arguments, inference, etc. The level of questions has always been moderate so you can easily attempt the questions without wasting much of time on them.
  • Inequalities: The other most important topic is Inequality. It is one of the easiest topics in Reasoning. You will have the compare the quantities given to you and there will be statements followed by the given equation. You have to find out which of the statements is correct.

Quantitative Aptitude
  • Data Interpretation: Data and Interpretation is an essential part of any banking examination. More than one-fourth of the total questions are based on DI. You need to practice different types of questions to become familiar with this topic.
  • Number Series: Number Series is an equally important topic for this Exam. The number series are mostly based on two patterns, Uniform, and Non-Uniform Pattern: The uniform pattern may have series based on Addition, Subtraction, Prime Numbers, Squares, Cubes, Decimals, etc. The non-uniform pattern may include the series based mixed pattern of the topics mentioned for the uniform pattern. The more you practice, the easier it becomes for you to recognize the pattern of series.
  • Simplification and Approximation: This can be the simplest part to deal with if you are good at calculations. So be fast with calculations and keep practicing, it will always stand you in good stead. Remember the BODMAS Rule and have all the tables, cubes, squares entirely grasped.
  • Miscellaneous topics: The topics that come under this particular topic are CI & SI, Time and Work, Pipes and Cisterns, Partnership, Profit and Loss, Ratio and Proportion, Percentage, etc. The questions are generally framed in a twisted manner and may be time taking. This is the reason why one should always try to attempt the questions on miscellaneous topics in the end.

So with the release of the Notification its time to start with your preparations as the competition is not going to be easy. You really need to keep your nose to grindstone to stay ahead in the race. 

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