How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021

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Prepare / Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021

Here I have few Tips for those who want to Clear  IBPS  Bank PO Exam 2021. I have done in depth analysis for few government exams on how to clear exam with good marks, how to prepare and so on. I am gonna tell what I have learnt about IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021 and I am sure If you follow these Instructions and work hard, you will be able to clear the IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021 .

IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021
How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021

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IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) is a recruitment company which started conducting Bank PO exam back in 2011. And the marks you score through IBPS PO exam is valid for 20 Public sector banks ( Except SBI).

People say IBPS PO Exam is one of the most difficult exam but I say it is not difficult at all if you prepare well for the exam. There is also a misconception, many candidates think that they will take coaching or do preparation for SSC CGL and with SSC exam syllabus they will get the knowledge of Bank PO exam too. Which is totally wrong, type of question and level of question examiner ask in IBPS is totally different from what they ask in SSC CGL. But it is not bad at all that you are preparing for both exam, you must do prepare for both exams but you have to prepare for them separately. IBPS is a little tougher than SSC CGL

The IBPS PO Prelims Exam 2021 is going to take place on 9th,10th,16th,17th October 2021 as per the official exam calendar released by the IBPS. Around 20 lakh students are expected to appear for the IBPS Bank PO Exam this year. You can understand the level of competition. Do not take exam depending on luck, your luck can’t beat the examiner’s ability (personal experience).


Couple of years back there were two phases of exam. Now looking at the competition & number of candidates, complete selection procedure has been divided into 3 phases

Phase Maximum Marks
Prelims(Phase I) 100 marks (Qualifying)
Mains (Phase II) 200 marks
Interview (Phase III) 100 marks

Prelims (Phase I) is just a qualifying phase. Marks scored in prelims will not be counted for the final Result. However, marks scored in mains and interview will be considered for final result.

Now the prelims exam is further divided in 3 parts

Section Number of Question Maximum Marks Duration
English Language 30 30 60 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total  100 100
  • There is a Negative marking of .25 marks on each wrong answer.
  • You must score Sectional cut-off as well as Overall cutoff marks to clear the phase – I exam.

IBPS Bank PO Mains Exam Pattern This year difficulty level of Mains Exam has increased. So knowing the pattern and strategy to prepare for the IBPS PO exam is very important. Mains exam is divided into 2 Parts (i) IBPS PO Mains Objective type (200 Marks) (ii) IBPS PO Descriptive paper (50 Marks). Both of them will be an online test.

Section Question Marks Duration
Reasoning & Computer 45 60 60 Minutes
English 35 40 40 Minutes
Data Analysis & interpretation 35 60 45 Minutes
General Awareness with special reference to Banking Sector 40 40 35 Minutes
Total 155 200 3 Hours
Descriptive (English Language) ( Letter & Essay Writing) 2 50 30 Minutes

Phase III  (Interview) :- Candidates who clear the IBPS Bank PO Mains exam will be called for Interview. It will be of 100 Marks. General candidates need to score 40 Marks while SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates need to score 35 marks out of 100. Combined Marks of Mains exam & Interview will arrive at final result.

Now you know what subjects you need to cover to crack this exam. Now let’s look at the syllabus.

IBPS Bank PO Exam Syllabus – Here’s the in depth IBPS PO Syllabus for each section


For Quant Section (Prelims & Mains): Simplification, Percentage, Ration & Proportion, Mixtures & Allegation, Profit & loss, Average, Number Series, Speed-Time & Distance, Time & Work, Number System, Data Sufficiency, Mensuration, Data Interpretation, Simple Interest & Compound Interest, Problems on Ages, Quadratic Equation, Linear Equation, Permutation & Combination, Probability

For Reasoning Ability Section (Prelims & Mains) : Syllogism, Coded Inequality, Mathematical Inequality, Order & Ranking, Seating Arrangement (Circular, Rectangular, North South facing etc), Coding & Decoding, Direction & Distance, Blood Relation, Arrangement & Pattern, Double line up, Scheduling, Analogy, Data sufficiency, Classification, Series, Computer aptitude


For English Section (Prelims & Mains) : Reading Comprehension, Cloze test, Grammer (Fill in the blanks, Finding Error, Phrase Replacement), Para jumbles, Vocabulary ( Fill in the blanks, Error Spotting)

For General Awareness (Mains) : Banking & Financial Awareness, Current Affairs, Static General Knowledge

For Descriptive paper (Mains) : It will contains 2 Questions (1 Essay, 1 Letter). They may tell you write an essay on any topic. There is a probability of a topic related to bank. So read newspaper editorial section to prepare descriptive paper.

There is a change in pattern in Cloze test, Error spotting, Fill in the blanks. You have to learn both the patterns.

So these were the topics you need to cover in IBPS PO Syllabus.

Let’s have a look at some facts and figures from previous year’s IBPS Bank PO Exam

Number of Candidates is just a number that people have discussed over the Internet. IBPS doesn’t reveal  information about number of candidates applied for post.

Year Posts Overall Cut off Reasoning Cut Off Aptitude Cut Off English Cut Off Computer Cut Off Gen. Awareness Cut Off
2013 21680 Final Marks 10 /50 6 /50 6 / 40 7 /20 8 /40
2014 16721 Final Marks 10/50 7/50 8/40 9/20 10/40
2015 12615 37.25 /100
(Only pre)
11.25 / 35  7.75 / 35 7.5 / 30  Left for    Mains  Left for  Mains
2016 8822 47.5 /100
(Only pre)
8.5 / 35 8.25 / 35  7 / 30 Left for  Mains Left for  Mains
2017 3562 42.75 8.5 8.25 7 10.25 11.25
2018 4102 56.75  10.25 10.25 11.25 10.25 8/40
2019 4336  71.50  7.75  7.75   15.25 7.75 
2020  3517  58.75  8.00 9.25  11.00     

So, from the above table you can clearly notice what has changed over the time. Number of applicants have Increased from 14 lakh in 2011 to approxx 60 lakh in 2021 . Moreover number of post has drastically decreased form 19000 in 2011 to just 3517 in 2021. Competition has increased manifold.

2011 to 2014 – There used to be only one exam followed by interview. Marks doesn’t matter now as the pattern has changed completely. What is important now is information about 2015 & 2016 exam.

2015-2020 – Look at the difference – final cutoff increased from 37.25 to 58.75 and this year, there is a high probability that cut off will move up to approx. 75 (that’s what I think) as number of applicants has increased and number of posts are less.

So you have to prepare very well for the IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021 . You have to work hard, have to act smart. As it is not easy to secure a position in Government of India as it used to be in the past. And again don’t forget that you can crack the exam easily if you prepare well, prepare strategically.

How to Prepare for the IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021 ?

There are three golden rules to clear the exam:-

Learn shortcuts to solve the problems
If you don’t know the shortcuts to solve a problem, you will never be able to finish IBPS PO Prelims Exam on time. For Quant Aptitude –  To be very honest you won’t find shortcut tricks in any book, however you can find basic methods to solve the problems (but basic is not enough for exam), if you are good at cramming and have a sharp memory you can read M.Tyra. This book is full of math shortcuts & tricks. But no clear explanation of tricks. This book simply explain if situation is “this” apply “this” trick. Resultant you need to remember all the cases and all the related tricks. Anyway I won’t advice you to buy this book, atleast not for IBPS PO prelims exam, may be good for other govt exams as many people buy this book. If you really want to learn short cut tricks to solve quant questions.

 Section – This section is less time consuming than the other two sections. You must prepare this section well as you can score good marks. Get a good command over Grammer and vocabulary. You will see many questions in comprehension directly related to Vocabulary. So if your vocab is not good you may loose the game. And same goes with grammer part. Here’s few sources to prepare English part.

Book Author
Word Power Made Easy Noram Lewis
General English S.P Bakshi 
For Revision Paramount Notes 


Word Power is just Incredible. Best book to improve your vocabulary. This book is just like reading a story. Read this book atleast two – three times (don’t say “why”. Just read it). And you will see the difference. For comprehension read newspaper. read Variety of topics, it all depends on practice.

For General Awareness Section – This section make a big difference. You must prepare this section very well because candidates are prone to make more mistakes in this section. Check below all the sources to prepare for IBPS bank PO Exam 2021.

All Sources to prepare and don’t forget to read 2 points below (very important points to remember)

Subject Books with Authors
Quant Aptitude Magical Maths – M. Tyra
English  * Word Power made Easy – Norman Lewis- 

 * General English for Grammer – SP Bakshi 

 * Revision – Paramount Coaching notes

Reasoning Join Test Series by ( Testbook, Gradeup, Oliveboard etc)
General Awareness  * Current Affairs

 * NCERT (6-10) for Static GK

 * Join test Series and Practice questions

Descriptive Paper  * Read Editorial Section or Economic Outlook Magazine 

Practice & more Practice (People generally ignore this, most important factor)

How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021
How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021

This is the most important factor that directly affect your result. I have seen people ignoring this step and they end up joining some other coaching center. It doesn’t matter what book you read, what coaching center you go, they will clear the basics and tell you tricks which you can learn for free on Youtube. Merely knowing the tricks will not take you to the other side of the river. You need to learn how to apply those tricks, where to apply those tricks. You need to master the tricks and that you can achieve only be practice. Instead of buying a book filled with rules, explanations, methods buy a book that has variety of questions to solve. Take online Quiz. Solve many questions to develop a habit of solving questions on tips. The more you practice, the less time it will take in the examination. Take Mock test or sample test regularly to find where you are lacking. You can buy Arihant’s Practice Sets. That’s It.

How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021
How to Crack IBPS Bank PO Exam 2021

Mastering the time management is as important as practicing. As I said “more you practice, less time it will take” . So if you practice, that will definitely give you time bonus. Second factor for mastering the time management is to choose the questions carefully while taking the exam. I’ll explain, you will get 100 questions to solve in 60 minutes. It means you have 36 Seconds to solve a question. Practically it is impossible to solve 100 questions in 60 minutes. Remember you don’t have to create a world record. Prelims is just qualifying, you just need to reach cut off marks. In the worst case cut off will touch 60. So you need to select easiest 60 questions out of 100.
For example, A set of DI will ask you 5 questions. It is possible that you will find all 5 question be easy. Or 3 easy & 2 difficult or 1 easy 4 difficult. You need to attempt all 5. Just glance through, in couple of second decide which one is easy, attempt it and skip the others. That is call time management.


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Best of Luck All Candidates