How to Prepare for IBPS Clerk Exam


Name of the exam: IBPS Clerk

Held in the month of: Usually in November-December

Registration: Usually begins in August and ends in September

Age limit: 20 - 28 years (for general category) as on 1 August of the year the candidate is taking the exam

Mode of examination: Common Written Test, followed by an interview if the candidate clears the written test

Preparation time: Minimum of two months

Time duration of the exam: 2 hours

Number of questions: 200 questions (objective)

Negative marking: Yes - .25 for every wrong answer

Recommended marks for qualifying the interview: 160

IBPS Clerk exam

IBPS Clerk exam is conducted by Institute for Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). This exam selects eligible candidates for the post of clerks in various public sector banks. Once a candidate clears the IBPS Clerk exam, he can get allocated to any of the 19-20 public sector banks for which IBPS conducts this exam.

A little bit about IBPS

IBPS was set up by the banking industry and it began its operation in 1975. In 1984, IBPS became an independent entity and went on to become a prestigious institute that conducts exams for the recruitment, placement and promotion of candidates at public sector banks. If a person is aiming for a career in a public sector bank, he has to take the exams conducted by IBPS.

Role of an IBPS Clerk

The role of a clerk in a bank is very important. He ensures that all the records are maintained in a systematic manner. The clerks may handle different areas depending on their interest and specialization. The different types of clerks are - Statement clerks, Loan clerks, Exchange clerks, Security clerks, Interest clerks, etc. Their roles are as mentioned:
  • Statement clerk's role revolves around preparing balance sheets
  • Loan clerks keep a tab of all the loans dealings of the bank
  • Exchange clerk's role is to convert currencies and handle international accounts
  • Security clerk deals with stocks and investment details of the bank
  • Interest clerk records the interest that the bank owes to customers, the interest on loans that the customer owes the bank, and the interest on investment that the banks have earned
To be a good clerk, you have to have a strong grip over mathematical calculations, good computer skills, a keen eye for details, and of course what goes without saying - honesty and trustworthiness.

Career as a clerk

With time and experience, clerks can get promoted to high positions. The banks usually prefer promoting people from within to handle roles of greater responsibility, rather than employing people from outside. So, the clerks stand a good chance to get promoted and assume bigger roles. List of banks where the clerks may get a job

Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank , Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, IDBI Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Vijaya Bank and Canara Bank.

IBPS Clerk Exam Syllabus and Tips for Preaparation

The IBPS clerk exam consists of a Common Written Test that the candidates have to clear. The exam comprises 200 marks and consists of five sections: General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, English Language, and Computer Knowledge. Each section is for 40 marks. All the questions will be objective in nature and will have five choices.

General Awareness


This section will be for 40 marks. Roughly about 40 percent of the questions will revolve around banking and financial industry, and 60 percent will be on Current Affairs, covering topics like politics, economy, sports, art, awards, etc.

How to score well

Regularly read newspapers and magazines. Also keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings at a national and international level. Concentrate on the updated banking policies and regulations and also on the policy changes that may have happened in the past.

Quantitative Aptitude


Quantitative Aptitude will have 40 questions and cover topics like profit and loss, time and distance, number system, data interpretation, number series, etc

How to score well

Practice as many problems as possible. As time is limited, focus on spending only specific amount of time on each problem and trying to answer all of them correctly. As you practice, you should try to discover tricks and short-cuts that will allow you to solve problems quickly and easily in the exam.



Reasoning will also be for 40 marks and will cover number series, blood relation, mirror images, time series, etc.

How to score well

Practice different types of question on the topics mentioned above. There are tests available online that you can refer to. The questions usually are not very difficult, so with a little practice you can score good marks.



English is for 40 marks and includes comprehension, grammar, spotting errors in sentences, fill in the blanks, improving sentences, etc. How to score well

Read English newspaper regularly. Go through a grammar book to brush up your grammar skills. Learn some news words every day, also note down the antonym and synonym of the words. If you can take some online English tests, that will also be beneficial.

Computer Awareness

For this section, you need basic knowledge about computers. Usually people score good marks in this section. To prepare for this section, refer to basic computer books, keep yourself abreast with MS Office.

General tips
  • Try to at least spend two months on the preparation
  • Try to refer to as many books as possible
  • If required, you can opt for short coaching sessions
  • Try to take as many mock tests as possible
Best of luck!

Useful links

Official IBPS website:

Books for IBPS Clerk Exam Preparation

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal

Quicker Maths by M. Tyra

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal

Last Updated on : March 20, 2016

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