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Banking Exams Guide

IBPS Clerk

Latest Updates

  • June 11: The reprint link for IBPS Clerk 2019-20 application form has been activated by IBPS and can be used by new joinees.
  • May 20: IBPS Clerk 2019-20 final result has been announced.
  • May 20: IBPS Clerk result-VIII provisional allotment under reserve list has been announced.
  • April 27: The declaration of IBPS Clerk 2018-19 final result has been postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and new dates will be announced soon on the official website.
  • March 23: The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has postponed the declaration of IBPS Clerk (VIII) 2018 result of provisional allotment under reserve list as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

About IBPS Clerk

Every year the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts a Common Recruitment Process (CRP) to select candidates for clerical positions in 17 public sector banks . Candidates wishing to join any of the participating banks as clerks register for the CRP.

IBPS Clerk notification was released on September 12, 2019 for a total of 12,075 vacancies that are to be filled this year.

IBPS Clerk Salary: The basic pay of clerks selected through IBPS Clerk exam is Rs 11,765. The pay scale is 11765-655/3-13730-815/3-16175-980/4-20095-1145/7-28110-2120/1-30230/1310-1-31540. The total salary ranges from Rs 19470 to 19588, after the addition of the below allowances to the salary:

  • Special Allowance – Initially, the special allowance is 7.5% of the basic pay. After one year, it is increased by Rs 400 to Rs 500.
  • Dearness Allowance (DA) – This constitutes 4% of the basic pay and is revised quarterly.
  • House Rent Allowance (HRA) – HRA depends on the place where the candidate is posted. It will be 8.5% of the basic pay for metro cities, 7.5% for cities having population of more than 5 lakhs and 6.5% for other cities.
  • Travel Allowance – This covers the expenses on official tours and travel.
  • Medical Allowance – The amount is fixed at Rs 2000.
Paper Type Prelims- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs); Mains- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Descriptive Questions
Exam Duration Prelims- 1 hour; Mains- 3 hour 30 minutes
Scoring Prelims- 1 marks for correct answer
1/4 of marks assigned to question deducted for incorrect answer in Prelims and Mains
0 marks for not attempted

Important Dates

Online Registration Sep-Oct 2020
Prelims Admit Card Nov 2020
Prelims Exam Date 12, 13 and 19 Dec 2020
Prelims Results Jan 2021
Mains Admit Card Jan 2021
Mains Exam Date 24 Jan 2021
Mains Results Apr/May 2021

Exam Pattern

IBPS Clerk recruitment is conducted by evaluating candidates in an online examination held in two phases - preliminary and mains. The exams can be taken in can be attempted in either English or Hindi languages. Candidates need to qualify the Prelims exam to be eligible for appearing in the Mains exam. The final selection of candidates is performed based on their performance in the mains exam only hence, the Prelims exam is a qualifying exam.

First Stage Prelims Exam

Section Name No. of Questions Max. Marks Duration (in mins)
English Language 30 30 20
Numerical Ability 35 35 20
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20
Total 100 100 60

Second Stage Mains Exam

Section Name No. of Questions Max. Marks Duration (in mins)
General/Financial Awareness 50 50 35
General English 40 40 35
Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude 50 60 45
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45
Total 190 200 160

Detailed Syllabus

Syllabus for IBPS Clerk- Prelims


  • a) Reading Comprehension
  • b) Cloze Test
  • c) Para Jumbles
  • d) Fill in the Blanks
  • e) Multiple Meaning/Error Spotting
  • f) Paragraph Completion
  • g) Miscellaneous


  • a) Simplification
  • b) Profit & Loss
  • c) Mixtures & Allegations
  • d) Simple Interest & Compound Interest
  • e) Surds & Indices
  • f) Work & Time
  • g) Time & Distance
  • h) Mensuration- Cylinder, Cone, Sphere
  • i) Ratio & Proportion
  • j) Percentage
  • j) Number Systems
  • k) Sequence & Series
  • l) Permutation & Combination
  • m) Probability
  • n) Data Interpretation


  • a) Logical Reasoning
  • b) Alphanumeric Series
  • c) Alphabet Test
  • d) Coded Inequalities
  • e) Data Sufficiency
  • f) Seating Arrangement
  • g) Puzzle
  • h) Tabulation
  • i) Syllogism
  • j) Blood Relations
  • j) Input-Output
  • k) Coding-Decoding
  • l) Direction-based questions
  • m) Ranking-based questions

Syllabus for IBPS Clerk- Mains


  • a) Current Affairs
  • b) Monetary Plans
  • c) Indian Financial System
  • d) Introduction to National Institutions
  • e) Indian Banking System
  • f) Banking Terms


  • a) Reading Comprehension: 10 questions
  • b) Vocabulary (Cloze Test, Fill in the Blanks, Error Spotting, Phrase Replacement): 10 Questions
  • c) Grammar (Error Spotting, Phrase Replacement, Fill in the Blanks): 5 questions
  • d) Verbal Ability (Para jumbles): 5 questions


  • 1) Linear Seating Arrangement: 5 Questions
  • 2) Circular Seating Arrangement: 5 Questions
  • 3) Number series: 5 Questions
  • 4) Coding and Decoding: 5 Questions
  • 5) Data Sufficiency: 3 Questions
  • 6) Math Inequalities: 5 Questions
  • 7) Syllogism: 5 Questions
  • 8) Direction Sense: 2 Questions
  • 9) Arrangement & Pattern: 5 Questions
  • 10) MS Office: 6 Questions
  • 11) Computer Hardware: 6 Questions
  • 12) Computer Software: 5 Questions
  • 13) Computer Memory: 5 Questions
  • 14) Internet: 5 Questions
  • 15) Networking: 3 Questions


  • a) Simplifcation: 15 Questions
  • b) Arithmetic and Geometry: 15 Questions
  • c) Data Interpretation: 5 Questions
  • d) Series: 5 Questions

Exam Analysis

IBPS Clerk 2019 Mains Analysis

The IBPS Clerk 2019 Mains examination was held on 19th January 2020 and had a moderate difficult level. The section-wise analysis of the Mains exam is given below:

Section Name Number of Questions Time (in mins) Difficulty Level Good Attempt
English Language 40 35 Moderate to Difficult 24-26
Quantitative Aptitude 50 45 Moderate to Difficult 31-36
General/Economy/ Banking Awareness 50 35 Moderate 30-35
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 50 45 Moderate 25-28
Total 190 160 Moderate to Difficult 110-130

The detailed IBPS Clerk Mains exam analysis for each section is given below to help candidates understand the relative importance of topics for their preparation.

English Language: The English section was of moderate difficulty level and was dominated by questions based on Reading Comprehension. The distribution of questions belonging to various topics has been provided below:

Topic Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension 15
Error Spotting 5
Cloze Test 6
Fillers 5
Sentence Rearrangement 6
Miscellaneous 3

General/Economy/Banking Awareness: This year, only 5-6 questions were asked from Static GK and rest all were based on general and banking awareness. Topics from where questions were asked are:

  • The theme of National Book Fair
  • Joint Military Exercise Tiger Triumph between India and USA
  • Reserve Bank of India Related Questions
  • National Science Congress 2020
  • India’s UNESCO Heritage City
  • MUDRA scheme
  • Important Dates
  • International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Full-Form of MANI App launched by RBI

Quantitative Aptitude: This was the hardest section of the IBPS Clerk Mains 2019. The section was lengthy and exhaustive. This section included many questions that covered data interpretation and data sufficiency within the same question. Topics from where questions were asked are:

Topic Number of Questions
Data Interpretation 20
Data Sufficiency 4
Quantity 1 & 2 5
Approximation 6
Word Problems 15

Reasoning and Computer Aptitude: This section was moderate to difficult. The distribution of questions belonging to various topics has been provided below:

Topic Number of Questions
Puzzles 20
Direction Test 5
Syllogism 3
Logical Reasoning 2
Coded Inequality 5
Data Sufficiency 4
Order and Ranking 2
Alphanumeric Symbol Series 5
Miscellaneous 4

IBPS Clerk 2019 Prelims Analysis

The IBPS Clerk 2019 Prelims examination was held on 7th, 8th, 14th and 21st December 2019 in four shifts on each day- 9 AM to 10 AM, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 2 PM to 3 PM and 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. The overall analysis of the Prelims exam is given below:

The Prelims exam had an easy to moderate difficulty level. The difficulty level and good attempt for each shift has been tabulated below:

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis – December 7, 2019

Shift Difficulty Level Good Attempt
Shift 1 East to Moderate 74-76
Shift 2 East to Moderate 71-75
Shift 3 East to Moderate 73-77
Shift 4 East to Moderate 70-73

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis – December 8, 2019

Shift Difficulty Level Good Attempt
Shift 1 East to Moderate 69-72
Shift 2 East to Moderate 71-73
Shift 3 East to Moderate 70-75
Shift 4 East to Moderate 68-74

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis – December 14, 2019

Shift Difficulty Level Good Attempt
Shift 1 East to Moderate 71-74
Shift 2 East to Moderate 69-73
Shift 3 East to Moderate 72-75
Shift 4 East to Moderate 68-72

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis (Section Wise)

Candidates need to score the minimum qualifying marks in each section, in addition to qualifying the overall cut-off, to clear the IBPS PO exam. Given below is the section-wise number of attempts which can be counted as good attempts for each shift.

IBPS Clerk Section-wise Exam Analysis – December 7, 2019

Shift English Language Reasoning Ability Quantitative Aptitude
Shift 1 23-25 29-31 27-32
Shift 2 20-22 28-30 28-30
Shift 3 21-24 27-31 27-31
Shift 4 22-24 30-32 29-32

IBPS Clerk Section-wise Exam Analysis – December 8, 2019

Shift English Language Reasoning Ability Quantitative Aptitude
Shift 1 24-28 25-28 25-28
Shift 2 22-26 24-28 24-27
Shift 3 24-28 29-32 23-26
Shift 4 25-28 27-30 26-29

IBPS Clerk Section-wise Exam Analysis – December 14, 2019

Shift English Language Reasoning Ability Quantitative Aptitude
Shift 1 23-25 28-32 27-30
Shift 2 21-24 27-29 26-31
Shift 3 20-25 29-31 29-31
Shift 4 22-24 27-30 26-29

Section-Wise Important Topics- The three sections had varied levels of difficulty and the important topics in each section are provided below.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis for the English Language-Candidates tend to lose maximum marks in this section because the options are almost the same which confuses the candidates and they end up picking wrong answers. Overall, the English language section in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam was easy. The common topics from which questions were included in the IBPS Clerk prelims exam across all shifts are given below:

  • Reading Comprehensions: 8-10 questions
  • Single Fillers: 3-5 questions
  • Cloze Test: 3-4 questions
  • Error Detection: 5-6 questions
  • Rearrangement: 4-5 questions
  • Phrase Replacement: 4-5 questions
  • Sentence Correction: 3-4 questions

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis for Reasoning Ability- The section was easy. The common topics on which the questions were asked in the IBPS Clerk Prelims exam 2019 are mentioned below:

  • Puzzles: 12-15 questions
  • Direction Test: 4-5 questions
  • Syllogism: 3-5 questions
  • Coding-Decoding: 5-6 questions
  • Blood Relations: 3-4 questions
  • Order and ranking: 3-5 questions

The puzzles and seating arrangement type questions were easy while the rest were of moderate difficulty.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam Analysis for Quantitative Aptitude- This section had a moderate difficulty level and the majority of questions were based on arithmetic word problems such as profit and loss, problems on ages, simple and compound interest. The common topics for this section in the IBPS Clerk Prelims 2019 includes:

  • Data Interpretation: 5-10 questions
  • Quadratic Equations: 5 questions
  • Simplification: 5 questions
  • Approximation: 5 questions
  • Number series: 5 questions
  • Miscellaneous: 10-12 questions

Exam Tips

  • Know the exam pattern and syllabus: Candidates must know the exam pattern and detailed syllabus for IBPS Clerk Prelims and Mains before starting their preparation. By going through the IBPS Clerk syllabus, candidates will understand which topics are used in questions.
  • Effective time management: Creating a realistic time table which you can stick to helps manage time effectively. Candidates should allocate time to different topics based on their strengths and weaknesses. Going through the analysis of previous years' IBPS Clerk exams will help candidates idenitfy important topics that carry most weightage in the Prelims and Mains exam and should be covered first.
  • Practice a lot: Regular practice is a must to build speed and accuracy. Candidates should aim to practice each topic once they finish preparing it. Starting with easier questions and then progressing to difficult ones will improve speed and accuracy and also build confidence.
  • Read regularly: Candidates should dedicate time for reading newspapers and magazines. Spending two hours a day on reading will help candidates prepare well for the English Language, General Awareness section and Computer Aptitude sections. It is a good practice to note down important points and new words while reading, since this will come handy during revision.
  • Understand the basics: Rather than learning shortcuts, candidates should focus on understanding the concepts well in each topic. Candidates should strengthen the basics first before moving on to learning formulas and shortcuts.
  • Practice IBPS Clerk sample papers and previous year question papers: Sample papers and previous year papers are a very important resource to help candidates practice. Solve practice questions once you finish preparing a chapter, and then move on to solving sample papers. While you practice questions, mark the questions you find difficult and revise them later. Solve previous year question papers, in a time bound format, to understand the balance between accuracy and speed.
  • Revise regularly: Candidates should allocate some time every day for revision so that they do not forget the concepts as they move on to new topics.
  • Take IBPS Clerk mock tests: Once candidates have prepared the entire syllabus, they should attempt as many mock tests as they can. Appearing for full length mock tests will help you get used to the actual experience and can be used to assess your performance across the different topics. Mock tests are an effective way for revision and build confidence so that there is no anxiety on D-day.
  • Choose the right books: Candidates should choose the right selection of books to ensure that they cover all the topics well. The following section provides a list books recomended for preparation for IBPS Clerk examination.

Best Books for Quantitative Aptitude

Book Author
Objective Mathematics for Competitive Exams Tarun Goyal
Quantitative Aptitude RS Agarwal
Data Interpretation Arun Sharma

Best Books for English Language

Book Author
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
High School English Grammar and Composition Wren & Martin
Objective General English Arihant Publications

Best Books for Reasoning and Computer Aptitude

Book Author
Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning RS Agarwal
Analytical Reasoning MK Pandey
A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal and Non-Verbal BS Sijwali, Indu Sijwali
Objective Computer Knowledge Kiran Prakashan

Best Books for General & Financial Awareness

Book Author
Manorama Year Book Malayala Manorama group
India Year Book Publications Division
Banking Awareness Arihant Publications

Eligibility Criteria


A candidate must be either a Citizen of India or any of these: a subject of Nepal or Bhutan; a Tibetan Refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India; a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania), Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India


The Candidates between 20-28 years can apply for IBPS Clerk. Relaxation in the upper age limit provided to candidates belonging to reserved categories as detailed is as follows: SC/ST- 5 years, Backward Classes (Non-Creamy Layer)- 3 years, PwD- 10 years, Ex-Servicemen- Actual period of service rendered in the defence forces + 3 years (8 years for Disabled Ex-Servicemen belonging to SC/ST) subject to a maximum age limit of 50 years, Widows, divorced women and women legally separated from their husbands- 9 years, Persons ordinarily domiciled in Jammu & Kashmir during the period 01.01.1980 to 31.12.1989- 5 years, Persons affected by 1984 riots- 5 years, Regular employees of the Union Carbide Factory, Bhopal retrenched from service (Applicable to MP only)- 5 years


Candidates must have a degree or equivalent qualification in any discipline on the day that they register for the exam. Candidates must have proficiency in the official language of the state/UT for which they are applying and knowledge of computers


The IBPS Clerk result is announced online on the official website. Candidates need to enter the registration number or roll number and date of birth or password to check the result on the website. The scorecard is released a few days after the declaration of result.

The scores of candidates are calculated based on the normalisation process since question papers are different across different sessions of the exam. Normalisation using the equi-percentile method is followed to equate the difficulty level of question sets. After normalization, the final scores are rounded off up to two decimal digits and can be viewed in the scorecard.

Stages of IBPS Clerk Result

The result of IBPS Clerk is declared in two stages:

  • IBPS Clerk prelims result: Candidates are required to qualify in each of the three sections by securing the cut off marks. On the basis of IBPS Clerk prelims result, the required number of candidates in each category are called for the mains exam. The preliminary exam is qualifying in nature and the marks obtained in this exam are not counted for the final merit list.
  • IBPS Clerk mains result: The marks of the mains exam are considered for the final merit list. The marks are converted out of 100 for provisional allotment. This means that candidates should not just qualify, but also be sufficiently high in the merit list to be considered for the provisional allotment process. The allotment is done depending on the state-wise vacancies and merit-cum-preference of candidates. A reserve list of approximately 10% of the vacancies under each category is maintained subjected to the availability of candidates.

Tie-Breaking Policy

If two or more candidates obtain the same score in the IBPS Clerk Main exam, the merit order is decided based on the date of birth. This means that candidates senior in age will be given preference against the candidate junior in age.

Cut Off

The cut off is the minimum marks that candidates need to secure to qualify the exam and become eligible for the next round of selection process. The cut off is decided according to multiple factors like the difficulty level of the exam, number of vacancies and number of applicants. There are two cut offs for IBPS Clerk exam:

  • Overall or state-wise cutoff: IBPS decides this cutoff based on the total score of the exam. Candidates need to qualify the exam at an overall level by scoring a total higher than this cut-off.
  • Sectional cut off: Candidates are required to secure a minimum score in the individual test sections to qualify the exam. This is fixed according to the total marks allotted to each section of the exam.

The corrected scores obtained by each candidate in different sessions are normalized using the equi-percentile method and scores up to two decimal points are then used for calculations. The cutoff can be checked on the IBPS official website when the user enters the login credentials to view their scorecard. The cut off for IBPS Clerk prelims 2019 was released on January 8 by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Candidates who had qualified both the state-wise cutoff and section-wise cutoff were eligible to appear for the Main exam. The cut off for IBPS Clerk mains 2019 was released on May 20 based on which, candidates will be provisionally allotted to one of the participating banks.

IBPS Clerk Mains Cutoff Trends

The cutoff trends of the last 3 years for IBPS Clerk Mains (General Category) are provided below

IBPS Clerk Mains: Overall Cutoff (2017,2018,2019) for General Category

State 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18
Uttar Pradesh 45.13 51.45 51.13
Delhi 49.63 55.83 53.82
Madhya Pradesh 44 51.18 48.89
Gujarat 42.25 48.85 47.53
Goa 35 48.93 44.70
Bihar 45.38 51.78 53.43
Chattisgarh 43.63 49.88 50.43
Tamil Nadu 47 52.43 48.49
Odisha 46.13 51.28 51.22
Rajasthan 47.38 53.18 52.93
Haryana 48.63 56.43 52.72
Andhra Pradesh 45.13 50.98 50.78
Telangana 43.88 51.75 49.97
Tripura 40.13 50.33 48.86
Karnataka 40.38 51.95 44.56
Kerala 49.63 53.58 52.32
Himachal Pradesh 47.13 53.05 52.88
Jammu & Kashmir 49.25 54.93 52.31
Maharashtra 42.88 50.08 45.95
Jharkhand 43.38 50.63 47.29
Assam 41.88 49.83 47.17
West Bengal 47.38 53.28 54.47
Punjab 48.88 56.58 53.16
Chandigarh 47.25 55.18 54.07
Daman & Diu 38.13 37.93 45.92
Arunachal Pradesh 41.50 40.03 46.43
Sikkim 42.13 45.78 49.67
Uttarakhand 49.88 52.50 53.16

IBPS Clerk Mains 2018-19: Sectional Cutoff

Section General SC/ST/OBC
General English 12.50 9.25
Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude 17.75 14.50
Quantitative Aptitude 15.50 12.75
General/Financial Awareness 10.25 6.50

IBPS Clerk Prelims Cutoff Trends

The cutoff trends of the last 3 years for IBPS Clerk Prelims (General Category) are provided below

IBPS Clerk Prelims: Overall Cutoff (2017,2018,2019) for General Category

State 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18
Andhra Pradesh 66.25 75.75 73.50
Assam 63.00 67.25 70.75
Bihar 65.00 73.50 74.75
Chandigarh 71.50 66.75
Delhi 71.75 71.75 76.75
Goa 67.00 67.75
Gujarat 27.00 67.75 67.00
Haryana 68.50 73.00 76.00
Himachal Pradesh 62.25 73.00 75.00
Jammu & Kashmir 76.00
Jharkhand 73.00 74.00 74.25
Karnataka 53.25 66.25 61.25
Kerala 73.50
Madhya Pradesh 70.00 71.25 74.25
Maharashtra 61.50 63.25 64.50
Odisha 71.50 72.75 76.50
Punjab 66.25 73.25 74.00
Rajasthan 71.25 73.00 73.25
Tamil Nadu 57.75 57.75 53.00
Telangana 61.00 58.25 70.00
Uttar Pradesh 68.25 74.00 76.25
Uttarakhand 76.00 78.75
West Bengal 70.75 73.50 77.25

IBPS Clerk Prelims 2018-19: Sectional Cutoff

Section General SC/ST/OBC
English Language 9.75 6.75
Reasoning Ability 10.75 6.25
Quantitative Aptitude 11.75 8.00

List of Banks

The 17 participating banks to which shortlisted candidates will be allotted through the IBPS PO exam are:

  • Allahabad Bank
  • Canara Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Central Bank of India
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • UCO Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • Bank of India
  • Indian Bank
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • United Bank of India
  • Punjab & Sind Bank


Ques: How many times can I can give IBPS Clerk exam?
Ans: There is no limit to the number of attempts for the IBPS Clerk exam.

Ques: I know how to use a computer. Do I need addition qualification to demonstrate computer knowledge?
Ans: Candidates must have Certificate/Diploma/Degree in computer operations/language or should have studied Computer /Information Technology as one of the subjects in the High School/College/Institute.