2023-24 IBPS SO Exam – Know everything

Everything About IBPS SO Exam from Basics – exam pattern, syllabus, job profile, career growth, number of vacancies out, starting salary, preparation strategy, best books, courses, and test series, admit card, result, previous year cut-off analysis, and duration of preparation.

IBPS SO Exam Overview

Name of ExaminationIBPS SO
Full-Form of IBPS SOInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection Specialist Officer
Exam Organised BodyIBPS
Salary₹23,700-₹39,000
Vacancy Notificationevery year
Notification release monthOctober-December
Application modeOnline
Qualification4-year degree (graduation) in Agriculture, Horticulture,
Food Technology, Agricultural Engineering, or any other
related field
Age Limit20 years-30 years
Application Fee₹850/for GEN/OBC/EWS
₹175/ for SC/ST/PH/Female
Selection ProcessPreliminary Exam, Main Exam, Interview
Official Websitewww.ibps.in

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About IBPS SO Exam

The IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) for the recruitment of specialist officers in public sector banks and other financial institutions. The exam aims to identify and select candidates with expertise in specific fields such as IT, HR, Marketing, Law, Agriculture, and more. The exam follows a common selection process, including online examinations (preliminary and main) and an interview. The IBPS SO exam assesses candidates’ knowledge, skills, and aptitude in their respective fields. Successful candidates are eligible for job opportunities in various participating banks and organizations across India.

Vacancy Notification

The average month, when IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) notifies their vacancies, is generally between October to December. However, it’s important to note that the specific month can vary from year to year. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) releases the official notification for the IBPS SO exam, which includes information about the vacancies, eligibility criteria, exam dates, and application process. Interested candidates in the IBPS SO exam should regularly check the official IBPS website and other reliable sources for the latest updates and notifications regarding the release of vacancies. It’s advisable to stay updated and be prepared to apply as soon as the vacancies are announced.

Number of Vacancies

The average number of vacancies for the IBPS SO exam is around 2,000. However, the number of vacancies can vary from year to year. For example, in 2022, there were 2,015 vacancies, while in 2021, there were 1,985 vacancies. The number of vacancies is usually determined by the number of vacancies that are available in the participating banks.

The average number of vacancies in the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam can vary from year to year and depends on the requirements of participating banks and organizations. The number of vacancies is influenced by factors such as the banking sector’s hiring needs, the specific profiles and positions available, and the number of participating institutions.

Job Profile after Selection in IBPS SO Exam

After selection in the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam, candidates are appointed to specialist officer positions in various public sector banks and financial institutions. The job profile and responsibilities of IBPS SOs vary based on the specific specialist officer position they are appointed to. Here are some common job profiles for IBPS SOs:

  1. IT Officer: They handle the bank’s IT infrastructure, software development, cybersecurity, network administration, and technology-related tasks.
  2. HR Officer: They are responsible for managing the human resources department, handling recruitment, employee relations, performance management, training and development, and other HR-related functions.
  3. Marketing Officer: They are involved in formulating and implementing marketing strategies, promoting bank products and services, market research, and customer relationship management.
  4. Law Officers: They deal with legal matters, drafting legal documents, handling litigation, compliance, and providing legal advice to the bank.
  5. Agriculture Officer: They focus on agricultural and rural banking, including providing loans for farming activities, assessing crop yields, promoting agricultural schemes, and assisting farmers.

The specific roles, responsibilities, and career progression for each specialist officer position can vary between different banks and institutions. Once appointed, IBPS SOs have the opportunity to grow in their respective fields and take up higher positions, such as Assistant Manager, Deputy Manager, or Manager, based on their performance and experience.

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Post after Selection

After selection in the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam, candidates are appointed to specialized positions in public sector banks. The post assigned to them depends on their specialization, such as IT Officer, HR Officer, Marketing Officer, Law Officer, Agriculture Officer, and more. The job involves carrying out specific responsibilities related to their field, such as managing IT infrastructure, HR functions, marketing strategies, legal matters, agricultural banking, and more. IBPS SOs have opportunities for career growth and can progress to higher positions based on their performance and experience. The exact roles and responsibilities may vary among different banks and institutions.

Starting Salary

The starting salary of an IBPS SO after the 7th pay commission is Rs. 23,700. This is the basic pay and there are other allowances and benefits that are also included in the total salary package. The gross salary of an IBPS SO is around Rs. 38,000 to Rs. 39,000. It’s important to note that the salary structure of IBPS SO includes basic pay along with various allowances such as Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Transport Allowance, and others.

These allowances can vary based on the location and other factors. It’s advisable for candidates to refer to the official notification or the respective bank’s website for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the salary, allowances, and benefits for IBPS SO positions in specific banks or financial institutions.

Career Growth

Career growth in IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) is based on performance, experience, and promotional opportunities available within participating banks or financial institutions. Here is an overview of the career growth prospects for IBPS SO:

  1. Assistant Manager/Deputy Manager: After joining as an IBPS SO, the initial position may be Assistant Manager or Deputy Manager, depending on the bank and the specific specialist officer role. In this role, professionals gain hands-on experience in their specialized field.
  2. Manager: With experience and a proven track record, IBPS SOs can progress to the managerial level. They may be promoted to the position of Manager, where they have increased responsibilities and authority in their respective domain.
  3. Senior Manager/Assistant General Manager: With further experience and expertise, IBPS SOs can climb the career ladder to become Senior Managers or Assistant General Managers. These positions involve higher-level decision-making, team management, and strategic responsibilities.
  4. Chief Manager/Deputy General Manager: The next level of career growth may lead to the positions of Chief Manager or Deputy General Manager. At this stage, IBPS SOs may be entrusted with broader responsibilities, such as overseeing multiple teams or departments.
  5. General Manager/Executive Director: The pinnacle of career growth in IBPS SO is reaching the position of General Manager or Executive Director. These positions entail top-level management roles, involvement in policy-making, and strategic planning for the bank or financial institution.

It’s important to note that career growth in IBPS SO is also influenced by factors such as performance evaluations, additional qualifications or certifications, and vacancies available at higher positions. Individuals who consistently demonstrate strong performance, leadership qualities, and continuous learning can progress faster in their careers within the banking sector.

Selection Procedure of IBPS SO Exam

Selection Process For IBPS SO Examination 2023

The selection procedure of the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam generally consists of three stages:

  1. Preliminary Exam: The first stage is a preliminary online examination that assesses candidates’ knowledge and aptitude in their respective specialist officer fields. It consists of multiple-choice questions and covers subjects specific to the chosen specialization.
  2. Main Exam: The main exam is also conducted online and is more comprehensive, covering both specialist officer subjects and general banking awareness. It assesses candidates’ knowledge, skills, and ability to perform in their specialized roles.
  3. Interview: Candidates who clear the main exam are shortlisted for the final stage, which is a personal interview. The interview evaluates candidates’ communication skills, personality traits, and suitability for the specialist officer position.

1. Preliminary Examination

The IBPS SO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Specialist Officer) prelims exam is conducted for the recruitment of specialist officers in various public sector banks in India. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is divided into three sections: Reasoning, English Language, and Quantitative Aptitude. The total number of questions is 150, and there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer. Candidates need to qualify in each section to be eligible for the main examination.

2. Mains Examination

The IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) mains exam is a competitive exam conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection in India. It consists of multiple choice questions covering various subjects such as Professional Knowledge, Reasoning, English Language, and Quantitative Aptitude. The total number of questions and subjects may vary each year, but typically, there are around 60 questions in total. Negative marking is applicable for wrong answers, with a deduction of 0.25 or 0.50 marks per incorrect response.

3. Interview

The IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) interview is the final stage of the selection process conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection in India. It is a personal interaction between the candidate and the interview panel to assess their knowledge, skills, and suitability for the specialist officer role. The interview evaluates various aspects such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities, domain knowledge, and overall personality. The interview plays a crucial role in determining the final selection of candidates for the specialist officer positions.

Exam pattern

Preliminary

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Reasoning505040 Minutes
English Language502540 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude505040 Minutes
Total1501252 Hours

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is divided into three sections, Reasoning, English Language, and Quantitative Aptitude. The total number of questions is 150, and there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer.

Mains Examination

For the Post of Law Officer

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Professional Knowledge
Related to Law
606045 Minutes

The language of the exam is Hindi or English. The total number of the exam is 60 and the maximum mark is 60.

For the Post of Rajbhasha Adhikari

 Paper No of Questions Total MarksDuration 
Professional Knowledge
(Objective) 
45  60 Marks30 Minutes
Professional Knowledge
(Descriptive) 
230 Minutes 

The language of the exam is Hindi or English. The total number of the exam is 60 and the maximum mark is 60.

For the Post of IT Officer

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Professional Knowledge
Related to IT
606045 Minutes

The language of the exam is Hindi or English and the duration of the exam is 45 Minutes.

For the Post of Agriculture Field Officer

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Professional Knowledge
Related to Agriculture
606045 Minutes

The language of the exam is Hindi or English and the duration of the exam is 45 Minutes.

For the Post of Marketing Officer

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Professional Knowledge related
to Marketing Officer
606045 Minutes

The language of the exam is Hindi or English. The total number of the exam is 60 and the maximum mark is 60.

For the Post of HR/Personnel Officer

PaperNo of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
Professional Knowledge
Related to HR
606045 Minutes

The language of the exam is Hindi or English and the duration of the exam is 45 Minutes.

Interview

IBPS SO interview is the final stage of selection for Specialist Officer positions. It evaluates candidates’ communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and domain knowledge. The interview is a personal interaction with an interview panel. It plays a vital role in determining the final selection.

Detailed Syllabus of IBPS SO Exam

Preparation Strategy

Preparing for the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam requires a structured strategy. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the exam syllabus and exam pattern to know what topics to focus on.
  2. Create a Study Plan: Develop a study plan that allocates time for each subject and topic. Set realistic goals and adhere to a consistent study schedule.
  3. Gather Study Material: Collect relevant study materials such as textbooks, previous year question papers, and online resources to aid your preparation.
  4. Subject-wise Preparation: Focus on each subject individually. Understand concepts, practice problems, and revise regularly. Give more time to areas where you need improvement.
  5. Mock Tests and Practice Papers: Take regular mock tests and solve practice papers to gauge your progress, improve time management, and get familiar with the exam format.
  6. Time Management: Practice time management during your preparation as well as in mock tests. Allocate appropriate time to each section and learn to prioritize questions.
  7. Enhance Problem-solving Skills: Develop your problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. Practice solving questions within a limited time frame.
  8. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated with current affairs, banking news, and developments in your specialized field.
  9. Revision: Regularly revise all the topics to reinforce your knowledge and ensure retention.
  10. Stay Calm and Confident: Maintain a positive mindset, stay focused, and manage stress effectively. Build confidence through consistent preparation and self-belief.

Remember, each candidate’s preparation strategy may vary, so tailor your approach based on your strengths, weaknesses, and personal preferences.

Best Books

There are several books available in the market that can aid in the preparation of the IBPS SO exam. Here are some popular ones:

  1. “IBPS Specialist Officer CWE SPL-IX” by Arihant Experts
  2. “IBPS SO Specialist Officer Scale I Preliminary & Main Exam Guide” by Disha Experts
  3. “IBPS SO Specialist Officer I.T. Officer Scale I Study Guide” by Disha Experts
  4. “IBPS SO (IT/Agriculture/HR/Marketing/Finance) Scale I” by G.K. Publications
  5. “IBPS Specialist Officer Success Master” by Arihant Experts
  6. “IBPS CWE (SPL-IV) Specialist Officers” by Chandresh Agrawal
  7. “IBPS SO (IT/HR/Marketing/Agriculture) Specialist Officer Practice Work Book” by Kiran Prakashan

These books cover various subjects such as Reasoning, English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, Professional Knowledge, and General Awareness, depending on the specialization. However, it is recommended to check the latest edition and reviews before purchasing any book and supplement your preparation with online resources, previous year question papers, and mock tests.

Test Series

Nishant eAcademy offers a comprehensive test series for the IBPS SO Examination that can help you evaluate your preparation and identify your strengths and weaknesses. The test series is designed by experts and covers all the important topics and subjects of the IBPS SO syllabus. The tests are structured to mimic the actual exam pattern, and taking them can help you build exam temperament and manage time effectively. The test series is available online, and you can take the tests from the comfort of your home. The detailed performance analysis and feedback provided after each test can help you improve your performance and increase your chances of success in the IBPS SO exam. I highly recommend Nishant eAcademy Test Series for the IBPS SO exam to all aspirants who are serious about cracking the exam.

Duration of Preparation

The duration of preparation for the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam can vary depending on several factors, including your existing knowledge, study routine, and the level of dedication you put into your preparation. Generally, candidates spend around 3 to 6 months preparing for the exam. However, some candidates may require less time if they have a strong foundation in the subjects covered in the exam, while others may need more time for thorough preparation.

It’s important to create a study plan and allocate sufficient time each day for studying and revision. Consistency and regular practice are key to success in the IBPS SO exam. Additionally, taking mock tests and solving previous year’s question papers can help you gauge your progress and identify areas where you need improvement.

IBPS SO Result

The average month that IBPS SO notifies of their result is August. The results are usually released in the second or third week of August. However, the exact date of the result notification can vary from year to year. For example, the IBPS SO 2021 exam result was released on August 16, 2021. The IBPS SO 2022 exam result is expected to be released in August 2022.

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) generally declares the results of the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam within a few months after the completion of the examination process. The exact timing can vary from year to year, and it’s best to refer to the official website of IBPS for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding result notifications for the IBPS SO exam. The official website provides detailed information about the exam schedule, including the release of results.

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FAQs – IBPS SO Exam

How to prepare for the IBPS SO exam without coaching?

Preparing for the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam without coaching is definitely possible with the right approach and self-discipline. Here are some tips to help you in your self-preparation:
1. Create a Study Plan: Develop a study plan that suits your schedule and allows you to cover all the subjects effectively. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals to keep yourself on track.
2. Subject-wise Preparation: Focus on each subject individually. Understand the concepts, study from the provided material, and practice questions related to each topic. Make notes for quick revision.
3. Practice Mock Tests and Previous Year Papers: Solve mock tests and previous year question papers regularly to get accustomed to the exam pattern, manage time effectively, and identify areas of improvement.
4. Online Resources and E-Learning Platforms: Utilize online resources such as video tutorials, online courses, and e-learning platforms that offer IBPS SO exam preparation materials and practice tests.
5. Join Online Study Groups: Engage in online study groups or forums where you can discuss and clarify doubts with fellow aspirants. It helps in sharing knowledge, and strategies, and staying motivated.
6. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Regularly read newspapers, magazines, and online portals to stay updated with current affairs, banking news, and developments in your specialized field.
7. Time Management: Develop effective time management skills during your preparation. Allocate specific time slots for each subject and topic, and practice solving questions within the allotted time frame.
8. Self-Evaluation and Revision: Continuously evaluate your progress by analyzing your performance in mock tests and identifying areas where you need improvement. Regularly revise the topics to reinforce your learning.
Remember, self-preparation requires self-discipline, dedication, and consistency. Stay motivated, maintain a positive mindset, and believe in your abilities.

How to start IBPS SO preparation?

To start your preparation for the IBPS SO (Specialist Officer) exam, here are some steps you can follow:
1. Understand the Exam: Familiarize yourself with the exam pattern, syllabus, and eligibility criteria. Understand the different sections, marking schemes, and duration of the exam.
2. Understand the Syllabus: Go through the detailed syllabus provided by IBPS for the Specialist Officer exam. Make a list of all the subjects and topics that need to be covered.
3. Start with the Basics: Begin your preparation by understanding the basic concepts of each subject. Clear your fundamentals before moving on to more advanced topics.
4. Subject-wise Preparation: Focus on each subject individually. Study from your chosen study material, take notes, and practice questions related to each topic. Solve exercises to strengthen your understanding.
5. Practice Mock Tests and Previous Year Papers: Take regular mock tests and solve previous year question papers. This will help you understand the exam pattern, manage time effectively, and identify improvement areas.
6. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Keep yourself updated with current affairs, banking news, and developments in your specialized field. Read newspapers, magazines, and online portals regularly to stay informed.
7. Develop Time Management Skills: Practice solving questions within a specified time frame to improve your speed and accuracy. Manage your time effectively during your study sessions as well.
8. Regular Revision: Regularly revise the topics you have covered to reinforce your learning. Create summary notes or flashcards to aid in quick revision.
9. Stay Motivated and Consistent: Maintain a positive mindset, stay motivated, and remain consistent in your preparation. Set realistic goals and track your progress to stay focused on your target.
Remember, everyone’s study approach may differ, so adapt these steps according to your own preferences and strengths. Stay dedicated, practice regularly, and believe in your abilities.

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