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IBPS SO 2021 Prelims: Section-wise Preparation Strategies

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Preparation Strategies: The IBPS SO 2021 Prelims will be held on 26th December 2021. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) will be conducting the IBPS SO 2021 in two phases – Online Preliminary and Online Main exams. The IBPS SO 2021 Mains will be on 30th January 2022 to fill up 1,828 Specialist Officers (SO) – Scale I across 11 participating Public Sector Banks during the CRP SPL-XI Recruitment Drive. The 1,828 Specialist Officers (SO) – Scale I posts include IT Officer, Rajbhasha Adhikari, Agricultural Field Officer, Law Officer, Marketing Officer, and HR/Personnel Officer. Only shortlisted candidates in the IBPS SO 2021 Mains exam will be called for the Interview phase. The IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Admit Card is available to download till 26th December 2021. In this article, we share the IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Section-wise Preparation Strategies for English, Reasoning, Quantitative, and General Awareness (with special reference to Banking Industry).

IBPS SO 2021: Important Dates

IBPS SO 2021 Recruitment Process

Important Dates

Online Application Registration Date

3rd November 2021 to 23rd November 2021

Last Date for Online application

23rd November 2021

IBPS SO Prelims Admit Card Download

10th December 2021 to 26th December 2021

IBPS SO Prelims Exam Date

26th December 2021

IBPS SO Mains Exam Date

30th January 2022

IBPS SO Interview Date

February 2022/ March 2022 (Tentative)

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims on 26th Dec: Check Last-Minute Tips, Exam Day Instructions & COVID Guidelines

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Exam Pattern

The IBPS SO 2021 Prelims exam will be conducted in online mode (post-wise). The IBPS SO 2021 Prelims includes English Language, Reasoning Ability, General Awareness (special reference to Banking Industry), and Quantitative Aptitude. Each section will be allotted 40 minutes. There will be a total of 150 Objective Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The medium of exam for Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and General Awareness (with Special Reference to Banking Industry) will be English & Hindi. The paper for the English Language will be conducted in English only. 

NOTE: For the post of Law Officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari, the sections in the IBPS SO 2021 Prelims will be English Language, Reasoning Ability, and General Awareness (special reference to banking industry).

For the post of IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, Marketing Officer, and HR/Personnel Officer, the sections in the IBPS SO 2021 Prelims will be English Language, Reasoning Ability, and Quantitative Aptitude.

IBPS SO 2021 Admit Card – Download Link 

For the post of Law Officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari

Section  No. of
Medium of Exam Duration 
English Language 50 25 English 40 Minutes
Reasoning 50 50 English & Hindi 40 Minutes
General Awareness (with special
reference to Banking Industry)
50 50 English & Hindi 40 Minutes
Total 150 125    

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

Section  No. of
Medium of Exam Duration 
English Language 50 25 English 40 Minutes
Reasoning 50 50 English & Hindi 40 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 English & Hindi 40 Minutes
Total 150 125    


IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Topic-wise Tips: How to prepare English Language?

English Language Syllabus: Reading Comprehension, Tenses Rules, Cloze Test (Fill in the Blanks), Para Jumbles, Idioms & Phrases, Error Detection, Multiple Meanings, Paragraph/Sentence Completion, Sentence Correction/Improvement,

Reading Comprehension: There is no one size fits all strategy for attempting RC questions. Regular practice is crucial to developing your speed, understanding tones of RCs. A strong understanding of grammar and vocabulary is required. The RCs are usually based on economy, banking, financial current affairs, vocabulary & grammar, and theme-based questions. Regularly read newspapers articles to develop reading skills.

Cloze Test: This is also one of the key topics that require careful reading of the passage to fill in the words that have been omitted or deleted from the passage. Establishing connections between the previous and next sentences is crucial. Using the elimination method, candidates should solve the questions that include nouns, pronouns, prepositions, conjugation, articles, and tenses.

Error Detection: It is one of the least time-consuming and easier topics in the English Language, candidates should attempt these in the beginning. Developing a good understanding of grammar, tenses, and vocabulary is key to sentence formation. Build up a strong vocabulary by spotting at least 10- 15 new words every day and understanding their meaning.

Sentence Correction: This topic assesses the fundamentals of English in candidates. Regular reading habits are beneficial to good sentence formation and sentence correction. Brush up basic grammar, tenses, vocabulary to apply correct usage of words in the sentence.

Para Jumbles: Candidates should first read the sections of the sentences carefully to understand the main theme of the paragraph. Look at the articles, adverbs, definers, connectors, pronouns, etc to take cues while arranging the phrases. Good practice of error detection and sentence correction comes in handy while solving para jumbles.

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Topic-wise Tips: How to prepare Reasoning Ability?

Reasoning Ability Syllabus: Seating Arrangement, Puzzles, Inequalities, Syllogism, Input-Output, Data Sufficiency, Blood Relation, Order & Ranking, Alphanumeric Series, Coding-Decoding, Distance & Direction, Verbal Reasoning

Seating Arrangement/Puzzles: Practice all types of Seating Arrangement/Puzzles questions to score high. One should solve and understand the pattern of puzzles, seating arrangements questions such as linear arrangement and circular arrangement. Questions can also include diagram-based questions. One can expect 5 to 10 seating arrangement/puzzles questions.

Syllogism: Candidates can expect 4 to 5 syllogism questions with a slightly difficult level. Study the basics of Syllogism. Ace how to draw the Venn Diagram to avoid overlapping of categories mentioned in different statements. Practice as many mock tests as possible to develop accuracy.

Blood Relation: Candidates are advised to break the statements in the Blood Relation questions into subparts using a family tree diagram. Start with the last person mentioned in the question. This will reduce the confusion. Never assume the gender if it is not mentioned in the question. One can expect 3 to 5 blood relation questions.

Distance & Direction: Candidates should consider all eight directions and assume they are facing North to reduce limitations when solving. For rotation-based questions, one should assume the subject is rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise relative to the direction in which they are facing. One can expect 3 to 5 distance & direction questions.

Data Sufficiency: One of the time-consuming topics that require mental reasoning. One is advised to analyze and write down the gist of the question to avoid complications. Practice will help in increasing accuracy and speed in understanding the data provided. One can expect 4 to 5 data sufficiency questions.

Coding-Decoding: One should analyze the alphabets & numbers carefully to recognize if there is any pattern or rule for the elements mentioned in the questions. Always assess if the coding is in ascending or descending order. One can expect 3 to 5 coding-decoding questions.

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims: How to prepare Quantitative Aptitude?

Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus: Number Series, Data Interpretation, Simplification/Approximation, Quadratic Equation, Data Sufficiency, Mensuration, Average, Profit & Loss, Ratio & Proportion, Work, Time & Energy, Time & Distance, Probability, Relations, Simple and Compound Interest, Permutation & Combination

Always begin with easy topics & questions. It is a MUST to learn basic concepts & formulas, squares upto 40, cubes upto 20, tables upto 20, percentage fractions upto 20, etc. Candidates should regularly practice at least 20 questions of Quadratic Equations and Simplification as well as 4 to 5 sets of Data Interpretation.

Data Interpretation: Questions would mostly be based on a pie chart, bar diagram, tabular chart, line graphs, missing data caselets. Multiplication tables and speedy calculations will be key to solving DI questions. One can expect 10 to 15 DI questions.

Arithmetic: Prepare all chapters in the Arithmetic such as Percentage, Profit & Loss, Alligation, Time and Work, Time and Distance, Partnership. Ages, Ration & Proportion, Average, Number System, HCF-LCM, Permutation & Combination, Mensuration, and Probability. One can expect 10 to 15 Arithmetic questions.

Simplification & Approximation: Questions would be based on the BODMAS rule, decimals, percentages, approximation, etc. These require quick calculations, hence candidates should practice the basic rules of simplification, BODMAS rule, converting decimal numbers to the nearest number. One can expect 5 to 7 Simplification & Approximation questions.

Quadratic Equations: Questions are usually based on comparing values of x and y when two equations are given. Practicing linear equations, squares equations, cases such as squares & square root case, cubes case, square & cube case, and table method to solve quadratic equations is crucial. One can expect 4 to 5 quadratic equation questions.

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims Topic-wise Tips: How to prepare General Awareness?

General Awareness (with special reference to Banking Industry) Syllabus: Current Affairs, Banking Awareness, General Knowledge (GK), Currencies, Important Places, Books & Authors, Awards, Headquarters, Prime Minister Schemes, Important Days

In General Awareness, candidates should focus on monthly current affairs, GK updates, Important days, government schemes, Awards & Honours, International reports, Important appointments, India’s rank in surveys, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India, Countries & Currencies, Summits & Conferences, States & capitals, Cabinet Ministers, Joint Military Exercises, Obituaries, Sports events, Brand Ambassadors, International organizations, etc.

In Banking Industry, candidates should focus on Union Budget 2021, Economic Survey, Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of Banks, Governmental schemes related to the Banking sector, Monthly banking awareness and current affairs, RBI circulars (past 6 months), Economic reforms in India, Banking Regulations Act, RBI Act 1934, Sarfaesi Act 2002, Banking terms, Banking concepts, Heads and headquarters of Banks, Mergers, and acquisitions of banks, Negotiable instruments act, Static banking concepts, Financial market instruments (derivatives, insurance, mutual funds). Banks-related products,

Read newspapers and magazines related to Economy, Banking and Finance-related content. Keep yourself updated with the past 4-6 months of current affairs in the Banking Sector. Daily revision and memorizing important dates, events, authors, books, places, political/ banking/economic events, currencies, and everything of significance is the key to scoring high General Awareness questions.

IBPS SO 2021 Prelims on 26th December: Practice 20 Important Banking Awareness Questions with Answers

Wish you the best!

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