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Target IBPS PO 2021 – Tips to Crack the Probationary Officer Exam

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One of the most competitive examinations conducted in the country is the Bank PO exam. Major Public Sector Banks (PSBs) conduct common recruitment through the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Under this, the exam is conducted for multiple posts, like:

  1. Probationary Officers
  2. Specialist Officers
  3. Clerks
  4. Regional Rural Bank Officers/Clerks

Out of these four, the IBPS PO exam is one of the most sought-after banking sector examinations. With the 2021 notification out on October 19, 2021, all the applicants must pull up their socks and focus on the revision part to pass the exam with flying colours.

What makes this exam so tough is the competition, due to the large number of aspirants. Lakhs of candidates apply for the posts, where only a few thousand vacancies have been released. Thus, focussing on your target and hard work to achieve your goal are the key aspects that can inspire an aspirant to qualify in the examination.

Discussed below are the important pointers with regard to the Bank PO exam along with the last-minute tips to excel in the online papers.

IBPS Probationary Officer Notification 2021

The Institute has released 4000+ vacancies to appoint officers across the participating 11 PSBs in India. For the reference of candidates, given below are the important dates related to the recruitment:

Event Important Date
Official Notification October 19, 2021
Online Application & Registration October 20 and November 10, 2021
Prelims (Tentative) December 4, 2021

December 11, 2021

Mains (Tentative) January 2022
Interview (Tentative) February/March 2022


A few things to be understood, about the exam pattern and selection procedure, are as follows:

  • Prelims is only qualifying in nature. Marks scored in this stage will only be used to shortlist candidates for the Mains exam.
  • A cumulative total of Mains and Interview will be estimated to calculate the final merit list for the provisional allotment of candidates.
  • A negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrongly answered question will be implemented in both Prelims and Mains.
  • Sectional cut-offs shall also be applicable.
  • Related documents of the information and academic qualifications entered along with the application form shall be rechecked at the time of provisional admission. In case of any discrepancy, the candidate’s candidature can be cancelled.

Syllabus & Exam Pattern

Before discussing the last-minute preparation tips, do review the syllabus and exam pattern once more, to ensure that all the important topics under each subject have been covered.

Phase of Exam Subjects Maximum Marks Total Time
Prelims English Language

Reasoning Ability

Quantitative Aptitude

100 marks 60 minutes (20 minutes for each section)
Mains Reasoning & Computer Aptitude

General Awareness

English Language

Data Analysis & Interpretation

200 marks 3 hours
Mains (Descriptive) English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 25 marks 30 minutes

Tips to Excel in the IBPS PO Exam

The last one month before the date of the examination must be entirely dedicated for revision. Picking up new topics must be strictly avoided as it can create confusion and stress. Given below are the tips that can be followed by the candidates during the last few days before the exam:

  • Solve Mock Tests –This is the best way to revise the entire syllabus in a single go, and simultaneously get familiar with the exam pattern for the prelims and mains exam. These practice mock tests are easily available on multiple online portals and are based on the latest question paper pattern.
  • Review Previous Years’ Question Papers – By doing this, candidates can estimate the type of questions that can be asked and also the important topics that have been common in past years. This also helps in comprehending the standard and difficulty levels of the examination.
  • Do Not Overexert –Anxiety and stress are normal as the exam date approaches. Thus, candidates must not over pressurise themselves or think too much about the result even before appearing for the paper.
  • Take Breaks to Stay Calm –Avoid spending too much time on just learning and revising things. Keeping the mind calm is also of utmost importance. Thus, candidates must take small breaks and do things they enjoy.
  • Go through the Important Formulas –There are shortcut formulas that can save a lot of time in solving questions, especially in the quantitative aptitude section. Candidates must learn them by heart and keep revising them on a daily basis.
  • Keep Revising Static GK/ Current Affairs –This section is only included in the mains exam. Thus, candidates must be familiar with at least 6 months of current affairs before the date of examination. Static GK topics must also be learnt by heart, as questions can be asked indirectly
  • Keep all the Documents Ready – Admit card, ID proof, and any other document that has to be carried along to the exam venue, must always be kept ready to avoid any last-minute confusion.
  • Check the Location of Exam Centre –If the exam centre allotted to you is not familiar, do visit it a day before the exam to confirm the location. Make sure that you reach the venue on time. Any delay can cause stress, and ultimately, affect your performance.
  • Download the Call Letter on Time –There have been cases when some errors were found on the admit card. Thus, candidates must make sure that they download the call letter on time and check the details mentioned on it carefully

All these tips are not just beneficial for the PO exam, but also for the other papers conducted by IBPS. Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details of these papers.

Those candidates, who were either not eligible or missed their opportunity to apply for this year’s recruitment, must continue with their preparations. As the exam is annually conducted, they shall get an opportunity again, next year.

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