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Important Topics for IBPS PO Prelims and Mains

Last Updated - February 19, 2018

Candidates appearing for IBPS PO 2018 must be aware of the exam pattern and syllabus. To score well, it is essential to plan your study schedule and prioritize the important topics for IBPS PO as per their weightage in the exam.

IBPS has released the exam dates for IBPS PO 2018 on its official website. The Prelims are scheduled for October 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2018 while the Main Examination will be conducted on November 18, 2018.

Here are a few important topics from the IBPS PO Syllabus that candidates must focus on for effective preparation.

Important topics for IBPS PO Prelims

As per IBPS PO Exam Pattern, the Prelims consist of 100 objective type questions carrying 1 mark each from the following sections:

  1. English Language-30 marks
  2. Quantitative Aptitude-35 marks
  3. Reasoning Ability-35 marks

Here are some topics which you can concentrate on specifically:

English Language

This section of the paper contains 30 questions and each question carries 1 mark. As per previous year’s pattern, the following topics are important for this section.

  • Reading Comprehension -
    You can expect 10 questions in the IBPS PO prelims. The passage might be based.
  • Cloze Test -
    5 Questions are expected from this part. You must practice well for this section by trying out as many IBPS PO Sample papers as you can.
  • Spotting Errors -
    You may come across 5-10 questions from this topic. Questions may also be asked from Sentence Improvement. Be thorough with your grammar basics to score well in this section.
  • Para Jumbles -
    There may be 5 questions from here. Again, try to practice questions based on the new pattern to be familiar with the type of questions asked in the exam.

Quantitative Aptitude

This section carries 35 marks in IBPS PO prelims and it is not very difficult to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude. Candidates must not mark their answers based on guesswork since the exam employs negative marking where 0.25 marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer.

The following topics are important for IBPS PO Prelims:

  • Number Series -
    Questions based on arithmetic, squares/cubes based series, combination of arithmetic operations, and double level operations based number series may be asked.
  • Data Interpretation -
    You can expect at least 2 sets, i.e. 10 questions from this part of the prelims syllabus. Practice tabular DI regularly since it has a high probability of being asked in the exam.
  • Simplification/ Approximation -
    Approximately 5 questions are expected from this section. Such questions must be approached with the BODMAS rule for accurate calculations.
  • Quadratic Equations -
    About 5 questions may be asked from this area. Remembering all the formulas is the key to solving such questions.
  • Miscellaneous -
    This would involve Age-based problems, Mixture and allegation, etc.

Reasoning Ability

This section has several important topics for IBPS PO Prelims. It will comprise of 35 questions carrying 1 mark each.

  • Puzzles and Seating Arrangement

You can expect 2-3 sets of puzzles and seating arrangement (i.e. 10-15 questions). Previous years’ questions in the prelims included -
(a) Linear arrangement
(b) Moderate circular arrangement
(c) Floor-based puzzle

  • Inequality  

There can be 5 questions from ‘Inequality’ in the IBPS PO prelims.

  • Syllogism

A total of 5 questions may be asked. Questions based on the new pattern of Syllogism must be practiced.

  • Blood Relations, Direction, and Ranking based questions

Around 5-10 questions can be asked from this section. These questions are not very difficult and can help you score 5-10 marks within two or three minutes.

Important topics for IBPS PO Mains

IBPS PO Mains examination is an online exam comprising of 155 questions carrying 200 marks. New changes have been introduced to the Main exam which is now modelled on the SBI PO exam pattern.

IBPS PO Mains will now also include a descriptive paper carrying 25 marks. The exam duration has been increased to 3 hours and the number of questions have been decreased which means that the difficulty level of the exam is expected to go up this year.

Here are a few important topics for IBPS PO Mains that the candidates must focus on:

Data Analysis & Interpretation

Data Interpretation

  • Boat & Streams
  • Work
  • Profit & Loss
  • Pie charts

Data Sufficiency

  • Comparing Quantities
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Mensuration
  • Age Problems
  • Simple & Compound Interest

Reasoning & Computer Aptitude

This is the easiest section of the question paper. The important topics expected in this section are given below:

  • Syllogisms
  • Coding & Decoding
  • Directions & Distances
  • Verbal & Critical Reasoning
  • Computer Aptitude
  • Scheduling
  • Linear Seating Arrangement
  • Puzzle

English Language

This section has 35 Questions which must be done in 40 minutes. Questions are found to be very easy and the difficulty level is almost equal to the IBPS PO Prelims.

Reading Comprehension

Question Types: Banking & Economy, Business, and Social Issues etc. are some of the topics which are focused on in the passages. You can also expect Vocab, Fact and Inference based questions.

Error Spotting & Phrase Replacement

5 sentences will be given & you have to find out the grammatically incorrect/correct sentence among them. There may also be questions related to error spotting with one or more than one part of the sentence containing the error, Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction with more than one correct answer.

Para Jumbles/Sentence Jumble/Odd Sentence Out

This is an important topic in IBPS PO Mains where candidates are given a Jumbled paragraph or an odd sentence to be found out.

Sentence Completion/ Fill in the Blanks/Para Completion

Question pattern would include paragraphs or long sentences where the candidates would have to fill in the blanks in between.

Word Association Pair

This section tests your vocabulary as the questions probe your knowledge of synonyms, antonyms and relation between words.

General Awareness

This section consists of 40 Questions and the time duration is 35 minutes. It is easy to prepare for General Awareness and its quite scoring & less time-consuming if you are updated with the current affairs of last 6 months. Here are a few important topics to help you prepare well:

(1) Financial/Banking Awareness

Candidates can expect factual questions based on:

  • Union budget, railway budget, economic survey.
  • Function of institutions & its roles
  • Currencies of various countries
  • International Trade
  • Acquisitions and Deals
  • New Policies and Pacts
  • Trade Deficits, Exchange Rate, and GDP growth.

(2) Current Affairs

This section is expected to contain questions from the following topics:

  • International events and everyday events.
  • banking and economy-related news
  • National and International news
  • Books by famous personalities
  • New appointments
  • Government Schemes & Policies



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