IBPS Clerk – Syllabus

IBPS Institute of Banking Personnel Selection is an agency authorized to conduct the common written exam (CWE) every year for recruiting aspiring candidates to various vacancies in banks. One such position is the clerk s post. IBPS offers recruitment to the following posts in the banking sector:

a. Clerk/ bank assistant b. Probationary Officer c. Specialist Officer d. Manager / Other senior posts.

The clerical job is suitable for those candidates who have a degree or equivalent as their educational qualification.

A. Exam Pattern

IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern for Prelims
Sr. No. Subject No. of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
1 English Language 30 301 hr
2 Numerical Ability 35 35
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35
IBPS Clerk Exam Pattern for Mains

Candidates should note the total duration and the number of questions asked in Mains Examination have been revised as per the latest exam pattern of the Mains Exam. Earlier the exam duration was 135 minutes, but now the time duration has been extended to 160 minutes. There are only 4 sections in IBPS Clerk Mains Exam. Earlier, Computer Aptitude and Reasoning Ability Section were two separate sections, but now both these sections are combined as one single section. IBPS Clerk Mains Exam will constitute of 190 questions, out of which 40 questions will be from English Language, Reasoning & Computer Aptitude - 50 questions, General/Finance Awareness - 50 questions, Quantitative Aptitude - 50 questions and then 40 questions from Computer Knowledge.

Sr. No Subject No. of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
1 General/ Financial Awareness 50 50 35 Minutes
2 General English 40 40 35 Minutes
3 Reasoning Ability & ComputerAptitude 50 60 45 Minutes
4 Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45 Minutes
Total190200160 Minutes

Candidates should note there is a negative mark for every wrong answer in both Prelim and Main exams. For every wrong answer one fourth / 0.25 marks will be deducted however they will be no penalty for any unanswered question. Candidates while preparing for the exam should practice and solve questions by allotting time to each section based on the exam pattern.


1. Exam Syllabus

IBPS Clerk Preliminary Exam Syllabus includes:
  1. Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. English Language
IBPS Clerk Mains Exam includes:
  1. Reasoning Ability
  2. Computer Aptitude
  3. Quantitative Aptitude
  4. English Language
  5. General Awareness
IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Reasoning
  • Symbols and their relationships.
  • Arithmetical computation.
  • Decision making.
  • Verbal and figure classification.
  • Verbal and non-verbal.
  • Analytical functions.
  • Space Visualization.
  • Judgment.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Discrimination.
  • Arithmetical number series.
  • Visual memory.
  • Observation.
  • Arithmetical reasoning.
  • Relationship concepts.
  • Differences.
  • Analysis.
  • Similarities.
  • Analogies.
IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude/ Numerical Ability
  • The relationship between Numbers.
  • Whole Numbers
  • Ratio & Proportion.
  • HCF & LCM.
  • Simplification.
  • Profit & Loss.
  • Time and Work.
  • Percentage.
  • Partnership.
  • Simple Interest.
  • Time and Distance.
  • Compound Interest.
  • Permutations & Combinations.
  • Number Series.
  • Probability.
  • Approximate Values.
  • Data Interpretation.
  • Data Sufficiency.
  • Decimals and Fractions.
IBPS Clerk Syllabus for the English Language
  • Spotting errors.
  • Fill in the blank Cloze Test.
  • Idioms & Phrases.
  • Synonyms and antonyms.
  • Reconstruction of sentence & passage.
  • One word substitution.
  • Phrase Substitution.
  • Jumbled up sentences.
  • Double blanks in a sentence.
  • Commonly misspelt words.
  • Comprehensions.
IBPS Clerk Syllabus for General Awareness
  • Indian Financial System.
  • History of Indian Banking Industry.
  • Budget Basics and Current Union Budget.
  • International Organizations/ Financial Institutions.
  • Capital Market & Money Market.
  • Government Schemes.
  • Abbreviations and Economic terminologies
IBPS Clerk Syllabus for Computer Knowledge
  • Operating and DOS.
  • Introduction to Computer and History.
  • Computer Device.
  • Security Aspects for PC.
  • PC and System Software.
  • Advanced Technology Regarding Computer.
  • MS Excel, MS Word.
  • Various Uses of Computer.
  • The Internet Programming Language.
  • Computer Network.
  • Computer Future.
  • E-world.
  • Window.

The very first step in preparations for the IBPS Clerk exam is to gather complete knowledge of the syllabus. Candidates should be thorough with the exam pattern and the syllabus and clear the basic concepts in each section to perform well in the exam. The best way to crack the IBPS Clerk Prelims and Mains Exam with a good score are by attempting Mock Tests regularly. Mock Test helps in evaluating one s preparations and helps in analyzing strengths and weakness. You may attempt Mock Tests which are conducted by various coaching institutes for competitive exams or you may take up Mock test by yourself. The idea should be to attempt minimum two to three tests on a daily basis before the real exam. Regular practice will sharpen your problem-solving skills and also increase your speed and accuracy which will be helpful solving various sections especially the Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning section in the exam. Candidate appearing for the IBPS Clerk exam can also download the complete syllabus along with the exam pattern in PDF format from official website or from the link given here(link to be provided)

Reasoning Section:This section is tricky and time-consuming, so the only way to score well in this section is by practice and clearing all the basic concepts. The candidate is tested on problem-solving, decision-making skills and logical abilities in this section and candidates should practice consistently and spend time-solving puzzles online like Sudoku, Crossword puzzles, Mind bender puzzles, etc. to sharpen skills. Puzzle and seating arrangements were some of the most difficult questions in the IBPS exam last year, so candidates should prepare well and focus more on these topics this year. Once you are clear with the above topics, you may proceed to other topics like Analogy, Series, Direction & Distances, Ordering & Ranking, Blood Relations, Syllogisms, Analytical Decision Making, Coded Inequalities, Input-Output, etc. To crack this section, keep practising and aim to complete a minimum of 20 to 30 questions in 20 minutes or less with reasonable accuracy.

Quantitative Aptitude/ Numerical Ability:The best way to solve this section is by learning different formulas, shortcuts and quick mental calculations. Candidates are recommended to refer to NCERT books of Class IX and X. Solve Data Interpretation questions regularly and practice questions on Quadratic Equations, Averages, Percentages and Ratio & Proportion, Menstruation, Profit & Loss, Speed, Time and Distance, Practice problems on Ages, focus on problems based on Pipes & Cisterns, Work & Efficiency. Clear your concepts and practice questions based on problems such as Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Permutations & Combinations and Probability. Practicing is the key to success as it will help you speed up your calculation and save your time. Also, keep revising the important formulas regularly. Candidates are advised to attempt easy questions first in the section during the exam and focus on accuracy. It is considered to be a make or break section for most of the candidates appearing in the exam.If this section is not your strength area, then it is advisable to attempt it after the Reasoning section or keep it for the end.

English:This section is the highest scoring section of IBPS Clerk Exam and it will test the candidate s Englishlanguage skills and proficiency. The English Section of IBPS Clerk exam will focus onReading Comprehension, Cloze Test and Grammar. Reading comprehension is lengthy and time-consuming, so candidates should first read the passage thoroughly before answering the questions. To answer cloze test, a candidate should have a strong command over English Vocabulary and Grammar. Candidates should solve previous year s papers to understand their current level of preparation. Spotting the Error and Fill in the Blanks are other essential topics in IBPS Clerk English Language section. Candidates are recommended to read editorial section of English newspapers, magazines, watch English news on a daily basis and pen down new phrases, synonyms etc. to improve your vocabulary. To score well in this section, a candidate should focus on important topics in grammar like Nouns, Pronouns and Tenses etc. To improve your grammar, read articles on Active Passive Voice, Error Spotting, Expert Tips to solve Para Jumbles, Commonly confused terms, etc.

General Awareness: General Awareness is a crucial section of the IBPS Clerk Exam. Most of the questions in this section will be related to Banking, Finance and Economy. Candidates should be aware of banking terminologies, banking history and other banking information. To increase general awareness, candidates should focus on reading Daily, Weekly and Monthly Edition of Current Affairs. Candidates are also required to take mock tests online, read blogs and forums related to General awareness. General Awareness section is divided into three parts namely Banking Awareness, Current Affairs and Static GK. Important Banking Awareness Topics are History of Banking, The Reserve Bank of India, Functions of RBI, Monetary Policy (Quantitative and Qualitative Tools ), Nationalization of Banks, Important Banking Institutions (NABARD, SIDBI, ECGC, etc), Credit Rating Agencies in India, Types of Accounts, Deposits, Types of banking and money instruments, Types of Inflation, FDI, Banking Abbreviations, Appointments in various Financial Institutions (Both National and International), New schemes related to Banking, Monetary Policy, Current affairs related to Banking, Indian and World Economy, Financial terms and concepts. The following topics are most important for current affairs like Agreements and MoU s, Government Schemes, Important Dates especially themes related to these dates, Persons in News, Awards, Sports, National and International news, Books and Author, Defense news. For static GK, candidate should prepare on topics like Foreign Banks and its Headquarters, Famous Stadiums in World and then the other remaining traditional Static GK parts like Country, Currency and Capital, Wild Life Sanctuary, Airports, Temples etc., Rivers and City, Dam, Waterfalls, Temple, Palace, Stadiums, Airports, Ports, Country, Currency and Capital, Important Days & Themes, Power Plants, Committees, National Parks, Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Sports Person, Winners, Cups, Term, State C.M, Governor, Capital, Head Quarters Banks/ World Organization, Taglines, Appointment (National/International), State Capital, Central Ministers, Constituency, Full Forms (Bank , Government Scheme), State and Central Schemes, Satellites, MoU and Name of Exercise, Recent Obituaries, Awards, Books and Authors, Venues of Recent Summits and Conferences, Rankings, Dances, Revolutions.

Computer Knowledge:Computer section is one of the scoring sections in the IBPS Clerk Exam. Best way to score good marks in this section is with good practice and by having a basic knowledge of computer hardware & software. To prepare for this section, candidates can either refer to the books or attempt previous years question papers and mock tests paper which are available online.

  1. Hardware: Around 2-3 questions will be asked in this section which will basically test your knowledge of basic computer equipment and various terminologies related to computer hardware like bus, ports, I/O devices, RAM, ROM, memory, hard disk etc.
  2. Internet/Network: You can expect questions related to Internet protocols, cloud technologies, Internet hardware (modems, cables, optical fibres, speed), mobile networks and advent of the Internet, email and web page related questions.
  3. MS Office: In this section, focus on PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook.
  4. Operating system/software basics: You can expect questions on various applications/software like OS, video makers, utility programs, backup software s, multimedia and general working /hierarchy of OS.
  5. Programming: In this section, focus on syntax, history and evolution of computer language, compilers, interpreters, binary, hexadecimal conversions.

1. IBPS Clerk Exam Study Material

Candidates preparing for the IBPS Clerk Exam should understand the exam pattern and refer to right study materials. Some of the best books for IBPS Clerk Exam are as follows. These books are according to syllabus and exam pattern of IBPS Clerk exam.

Books for the English Language
  • Objective General English by R.S. Agarwal
  • Objective English for Competitive Exams by Hari Prasad & Uma Sinha
  • Comprehensive English Grammar, Composition-Arihant Publication
  • Objective English by Thorpe
  • Bank PO English Language Chapterwise Solved Papers Paperback 2017 by Arihant Experts
  • Objective General English book Paperback Dec 2014 by SP Bakshi
  • Essential English grammar by Murphy
  • Comprehensive Guide to IBPS CWE Bank PO (English) 3rd Edition Disha Publications
Books for Quantitative Aptitude
  • Quantitative Aptitude by Abhijit Gupta
  • Reasoning & Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Agarwal/ P.K Mittal
  • Magical Book on Quicker Maths by M Tyra
  • Sankhyatmak Abhiyogyata (Quantitative Aptitude) (Hindi) book by R S Aggarwal
Books for Reasoning
  • General Intelligence/ Test of Reasoning by G.K. Puri.
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S Agarwal
  • A new approach to reasoning verbal and nonverbal by BS Sijwali, Indu Sijwali
  • The hand on guide to analytic reasoning and logical reasoning by Piyush Bhardwaj
  • Bank PO Reasoning Chapterwise Solved Papers book 2017 Paperback 2017 By Arihant Experts
Books on General Awareness
  • Objective General Knowledge by Lucent.
  • Banking Awareness by Arihant Publications
Books on Computer Knowledge
  • Objective computer knowledge & Literacy by Kiran Publication
  • Computer Awareness (English) 7th edition- Arihant Publication
  • Computer Awareness by Alok Kumar

The IBPS Clerk exam 2017 will be conducted in two phases- Preliminary and Mains. Online Registration for preliminary exam started on September 12, 2017, and the last date for online application is October 03, 2017. The preliminary exam will be conducted on 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th December 2017 and the Mains Exam will take place on January 21, 2018. Only those candidates who qualify in the Preliminary examination will be eligible for the Main examination. The final allotment will be done in April 2018. For more information, candidates should visit IBPS official website (www.ibps.in).

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