Bank Exams

Everything you need to know about IBPS SO Examination

By Feba Liya Hannan
Updated on: Jul 26, 2022 | icon

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection is a research-oriented institute, with a stint of improving the skills acquired by the aspirants through personnel assessment. IBPS conducts several exams for various clerical and officer posts and hence it is regarded as a premier organization particularly in the field of employment selection and assessment for various positions at Indian national banks.

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, also, offers human resource services to LIC, Insurance companies, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), public sector undertakings and government departments. The recruitment notification was released by the authorities for the year 2020-21. IBPS SO Examination is conducted every year by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) to recruit Specialist Officers for various positions in Public sector banks in India.

This article includes details of various aspects of IBPS SO Examination.

IBPS SO 2021: Exam Highlights

The IBPS SO Exam is conducted for recruiting candidates for the posts of Specialist Officers in below disciplines.

Candidates shortlisted will be provisionally allotted to one of the Participating Organisations.

Participating  Organisations

IBPS SO 2021: Tentative Exam Dates

IBPS SO 2021: Number of Vacancies

Through the official notification, IBPS has announced 647 vacancies. The IBPS SO 2020-21 vacancies released for different streams are tabled below.

IBPS SO 2021: Eligibility Criteria

Each candidate preparing for IBPS SO examination ought to guarantee that they satisfy the qualification recommended by the IBPS.

Age limit

The candidate’s minimum age under IBPS SO age limit criteria must be 20 years and a candidate’s maximum age should not surpass 30 years for all the above-mentioned post as on 01.11.2020.

Age relaxation will be applicable as per category and is given in the table below:


>> Aspirants who will apply for IBPS SO 2020-21 test ought to have citizenship of India.
>> The candidates should be subject to Bhutan or Nepal.
>> The Tibetan refugee, who has come to India before January 1, 1962, and have the intention of permanently settling to India.
>> The migratory person from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Zambia, Burma, Zaire, Malawi and have the intention to permanently settling to India. All candidates who are not Indian citizens have to produce a certificate of eligibility from the Government of India during the IBPS SO Interview.

Educational Qualification

The qualification measures are diverse for each post. Candidate must have attained a degree of graduation from a  University/ Institution/ Board recognised by Govt. of India/ approved by Govt. Regulatory Bodies.

For the detailed account on eligibility criteria, you can check the official IBPS Notification.

IBPS SO 2021: Application Fee

To pay the application expense, the applicants need to pay online mode through credit/charge cards, or by utilizing net banking.

IBPS SO 2021: Apply Online

1. Visit the official website of IBPS.
2. Select  “CRP Specialist Officers”
3. Select the link to apply for IBPS SO recruitment notification 2020-21.
4. For Registration, click on the link to fill up the application form.
(Enter the details as mentioned in your official documents and cross-check all the details)
5. Click on the submit button.
6. Upload the required documents marked by the authorities of IBPS.
7. Before submission of the online application form, candidates are advised to use the “SAVE AND NEXT” facility to verify the details in the online application form and modify the same if required. No change is permitted after clicking on FINAL SUBMIT Button.
8. After verification, pay the required application fee.
9. Your application form for IBPS SO will be accepted provisionally after you have paid the application fee.
(Candidates belonging to the reserved category will be given reservation according to the concerned norms published by the authorities.)

Documents required to Upload For IBPS SO 2020

Hand Written Declaration

The above mentioned handwritten declaration has to be in the candidate’s handwriting and in English language only and should not be in CAPITAL LETTERS and if it is written by anybody else or in any other language, the application will be considered as invalid.

IBPS SO 2021: Selection Process

IBPS SO selection procedure includes the following stages. The Preliminary exam will be conducted by IBPS, which will be followed by the Mains Exam.

* The first step includes a Preliminary Examination, which is conducted through online mode which is based on Objective Type questions. This examination will be through Online Mode.

* Candidates need to score minimum cutoff marks in each section, which would be decided by IBPS.

* The second step consisted of the Main Exam which includes Objective and Subjective Type questions.

* The last step is the Interview, which is of 100 marks.

* For the final selection, the marks of the mains exam and interview are added.

IBPS SO 2021: Exam pattern


For Rajbhasha Adhikari & Law Officer posts

Total number of questions: 150 questions
Duration of the examination: 2 hours/ 120 minutes

For IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer Posts

Total number of questions: 150 questions
Duration of examination: 2 hours/ 120 minutes


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

For the Post of Rajbhasha Adhikari

IBPS SO 2021: Exam Syllabus

IBPS SO Preliminary Examination syllabus is generally categorised into Reasoning Ability, English Language, Reasoning, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and for mains examination, the main categories include questions from Professional Knowledge with both objective and subjective questions.

Preliminary Examination Syllabus

Professional Knowledge - Syllabus

IBPS SO 2021: Examination Centres

The examination will be conducted online in venues across many centres in India. Once the application has been done, you cannot change or update the examination centre you prefer.

IBPS SO 2021: Exam Admit Card

All eligible candidates should download the admit card from the authorised IBPS’s website by entering the required details. For preliminary and mains examinations, separate admit cards are issued. Each candidate should download and take a print out of the admit from the official webpage of IBPS. The admit card will not be sent to the aspirants to their postal address.

To appear for the exam, the applicant should carry the admit card to the exam centre along with the other essential documents and precautionary measures against COVID-19 approved by the authorities of IBPS to the exam centre.

For Scribe, there will be an additional call letter will be given. IBPS SO call letter should be kept in safe till the end of the selection process. The admit card will be consisting of the following information:

IBPS SO 2021:  Negative marking and Cutoff Scores

For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one fourth or  0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted for online preliminary examination and online main examination.

To qualify the IBPS examinations the board releases category wise cut off for different posts under IBPS SO recruitment and the candidate should score minimum scores in the written test in each section and the overall procedure.

IBPS SO 2021: Result

The IBPS SO Prelims Result will be declared 20-25 days after the successful conduction of the exam on the official site of IBPS. Only the qualified candidates in the online exams will get the opening to appear for the interview round.

IBPS SO 2021: Interview

Candidates who successfully clear the IBPS SO prelims and mains examination will be called for the interview round.The Interview will be conducted at the selected centres by the participating organisations of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection.

Interview round consists of 100 marks in total. The minimum qualifying marks in the IBPS SO Interviews will not be less than 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates). While appearing for the Interview, the candidate should produce valid prescribed documents. To select or shortlist the candidates, they are required to secure marks in the ratio 80:20(Online main exam: Interview).

IBPS SO 2021: Provisional Allotment

Based on the vacancies to be filled, applicants who are filtered will be provisionally allotted to one of the Participating Organisations, based on merit-cum-preference basis. Candidates should not claim indicative vacancies as final for provisional allotment.
In the event of two or more candidates having obtained the same score, merit order is decided as per date of birth, and they are ranked a higher grade.

About the Author

Feba Liya Hannan Feba Liya Hannan is a Post Graduate (M.Sc), specialized in the field of Entomology. She had acquainted the 'Basic Skills in Counselling'. 

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