How to Prepare for IBPS SO Exam?


Banking is a promising career for every Government job employee wishing to build their career in the banking sector. Many of you must only have heard about the IBPS and SBI PO and Clerks to get entry into the banking sector. But what if we tell you there are many more opportunities and fields through which you can get entry into the banking sector? Sounds interesting right? Yes, there are various profiles under IBPS SO (Specialist officer) like Marketing, Agriculture, HR, Law and IT from where you can begin your career in the banking sector. So if you are graduated from any of these fields, then you are eligible to apply for the post of IBPS SO. 

How to prepare for IBPS SO Exam

Every year IBPS releases its notification for the SO posts. This year the IBPS SO notification was released on 31st July 2023. The application process is live, and you can apply for the same till 21st August 2023. This year the IBPS has called up aspirants for 1402 vacancies. All of them are distributed among the following job roles: 

  1. I.T. Officer (Scale-I)
  2. Agricultural Field Officer (Scale I)
  3. Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale I)
  4. Law Officer (Scale I)
  5. HR/Personnel Officer (Scale I)
  6. Marketing Officer (Scale I)

You have to go through the whole recruitment process of the IBPS SO in order to become one. The process includes three stages Prelims, mains and Interviews. You are required to qualify for each stage. 

In this blog, we are going to talk about the tips and tricks to prepare for the IBPS SO Exam 2023. So aspirants, are you ready to unveil those tricks to make a winning study plan? Keep reading the blog till the end. 

Exam Pattern of the IBPS SO Prelims Exam 2023

There are 3 phases of the exam. Starting with the Prelims exam, let us know the Exam pattern of the IBPS SO Prelims Exam first. The Exam pattern of the IBPS SO prelims varies from post to post. Here is the exam pattern of IBPS SO for the post of Law officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari scale 1:

SectionMediumNo of QuestionsMax MarksDuration
English LanguageEnglish502540 Minutes
ReasoningEnglish & Hindi505040 Minutes
General Awareness with Special reference to Banking IndustryEnglish & Hindi505040 Minutes
Total1501252 Hours

Now let’s head to the Exam pattern of the IBPS SO IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer and Marketing Officer: 

SectionMediumNo of QuestionsMax MarksDuration
English LanguageEnglish502540 Minutes
ReasoningEnglish & Hindi505040 Minutes
Quantitative AptitudeEnglish & Hindi505040 Minutes
Total 1501252 Hours

Here as per the Exam pattern of the IBPS SO Prelims Exam, the following are the things you should remember: 

  • You can attempt this exam bilingually except for the language tests, i.e. English Language. 
  • Students who qualify for this can only make it for the IBPS SO Mains Examinations. 
  • There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer, and no marks will be deducted or gained for the unattempted one. 

We recommend you thoroughly study the IBPS SO Exam 2023 syllabus to start your preparation. Now you have got an overview of the IBPS SO prelims Exam. Let’s head to the subject-wise preparation strategy: 

Subject-wise Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Prelims Exam 

English Language

Improve Vocabulary: 

Enhance your vocabulary by reading newspapers, magazines, and books regularly. Note down new words and their meanings, and try using them in sentences.

Grammar Practice: 

Brush up on your grammar rules. Focus on topics like verb tenses, articles, prepositions, sentence structures, subject-verb agreement, and pronoun usage.

Reading Comprehension:

Develop your reading skills by practising reading comprehension passages regularly. Understand the main idea, supporting details, and the author’s tone. This will also improve your reading speed and comprehension.

Improve Reading Speed:

Work on increasing your reading speed while maintaining comprehension. This will help you finish reading comprehension passages within the allocated time.

Context Clues:

Use context clues to understand the meanings of unfamiliar words in reading passages. This can help you answer vocabulary-based questions.


Concept Clarity: 

Ensure a strong understanding of fundamental concepts and reasoning techniques. This includes topics like analogy, classification, blood relations, etc. Learn shortcut techniques for solving certain types of questions, especially those that are time-consuming. These techniques can help you save time on the exam.

Puzzle and Seating Arrangement: 

These types of questions can be time-consuming but are often high-scoring. Practice various types of puzzles and seating arrangements to improve your speed and accuracy.

Visual Representation: 

Use diagrams, charts, and drawings to visually represent information, especially for puzzles and seating arrangement questions. This can help you better understand and solve complex scenarios.

Venn Diagrams: 

For topics like syllogism, learn to use Venn diagrams effectively to represent the relationships between different elements visually.


Understand different coding patterns and practice decoding messages. This includes letter shifting, number substitution, and symbol coding.

General Awareness

Current Affairs Notes: 

Maintain a notebook or digital document where you jot down important current affairs topics, dates, and details. This will help you revise and recall information easily. Refer to magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan, Manorama Yearbook, and others that provide comprehensive coverage of current affairs and static GK. 

Focus on Banking and Finance: 

Given the nature of the exam, pay special attention to banking and financial news, RBI updates, monetary policy, and major economic indicators.

Static GK:

Along with current affairs, you should also focus on static General Knowledge topics such as geography, history, the Indian constitution, sports, awards, and important institutions.

Make Use of Technology: 

Use social media platforms, podcasts, and YouTube channels that cover current affairs and provide analysis. This can make learning more engaging. Visit official government websites to gather authentic information on government schemes, initiatives, and policies.

Quantitative Aptitude 

Mathematical Fundamentals: 

Strengthen your understanding of basic mathematical concepts, formulas, and shortcuts. This will serve as the foundation for solving more complex problems.

Learn Time-Saving Techniques: 

For faster calculations, practice mental math, learn shortcuts, and use approximation methods for complex calculations.

Data Interpretation: 

Practice different types of data interpretation questions, such as bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, and tables. Work on understanding trends and extracting information efficiently.

Challenging Problems: 

Practice solving challenging problems to boost your problem-solving skills and confidence. Identify your weak areas and give them extra attention. Don’t ignore topics you find difficult. Break complex problems into smaller, manageable steps. This approach can make solving them less intimidating.

Now you must have become well aware of the tricks for cracking the IBPS SO Prelims Exam. To know and prepare more strategically in a better way, try attempting IBPS SO Prelims Mock Tests. Through attempting mock tests, you can know your preparation level and areas you need to improve. You can easily get online Free Mock tests for IBPS SO Pre Rajbhasha Adhikari and Law Officer and Free Mock tests for IBPS SO Pre IT/HR/Marketing/AFO separately. 

After the completion of the IBPS SO Prelims exam, you will barely have time of 1 month for the IBPS SO Mains Exam. So if you are thinking of starting your preparation for the IBPS SO Mains exam after that, then it will be too late to start. We at ixamBee, being a prominent platform to provide expert guidance to crack government competitive exams, recommend you get into an overall preparation of the IBPS SO Exam, which includes all three stages of it. 

It’s time to prepare for the time when you get selected for the next level, i.e. the IBPS SO Mains Exam. Before that, lets us get an overview of the exam pattern of the IBPS SO Mains exam. 

Exam pattern of IBPS SO Mains Exam 2023

Let us remind you that here the syllabus varies from post to post, and you have to prepare specifically as per your subject requirements.  

Please refer to the below table to know the Exam Pattern for the IBPS SO Rajbhasha Adhikari. 

exam pattern of 
IBPS SO Mains Rajbhasha Exam.

Please refer to the below table to know the Exam Pattern for the IBPS SO Law Officer, IT Officer, Agriculture Field Officer, HR/Personnel Officer, and Marketing Officer.

IBPS SO Mains Exam pattern (HR personnel/ Marketing officer/ Agriculture Officer / Law officer/ IT Officer

We know that the Posts under IBPS SO vary from each other, and we can’t use the same strategies for all of them for the IBPS SO Mains Exam. Here you should have a firm hold on the respective subject. Conceptual knowledge and clarification are must to ace the IBPS SO Mains exam of any profile. To know what exactly we are talking about, you can take help from the Previous Year question papers of the IBPS SO Exam. Through them, you can get an overview of how the exam is going to look like. 

We don’t want the fear of this exam to get on your nerves. Therefore we have come up with Post wise preparation tips only for you to crack the IBPS So mains Exam. 

Post-wise Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains Exam 2023 

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains IT Officer Scale 1 Exam

First of all, before making a study plan for the IBPS SO Mains IT Officer Exam, we recommend you practice through the free mock tests of IBPS SO Mains IT Officer Exam and the previous year papers of IBPS SO mains (IT Officer). This will help you to identify your weak and strong points separately, according to which you can make an efficient preparation strategy. Once you are done with it, you are good to go to seek other preparation tips for the exam. Here are some significant tips to prepare for the IBPS SO Mains Exam 2023: 

  1. While the role is IT-focused, having a solid grasp of banking concepts, regulations, and financial terms is crucial. This will enable you to answer questions that might involve the integration of IT and banking knowledge.
  1. Brush up on programming languages like Java, Python, or C++, as these might be tested in your Mains exam. Focus on coding concepts, syntax, and problem-solving techniques.
  1. Learn about computer networks, including protocols, routing, switching, and security measures. Networking is a fundamental aspect of IT in banking operations.
  1. Familiarize yourself with cybersecurity concepts, including encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection, and risk assessment. Banks place high importance on maintaining secure IT systems.
  1. Understand the regulatory requirements and compliance standards that banks must adhere to in terms of IT systems and data security. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends in information technology, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. These topics might be relevant to the IT operations of the bank.

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains Agricultural Field Officer Scale 1 Exam

You will find numerous sources to study for the IBPS SO Mains AFO exam, but nothing can give you a precise evaluation of your preparation other than the Free mock tests of IBPS SO Mains AFO and previous year papers of the IBPS SO Mains AFO. You will never regret your decision to attend them as they are great sources which can take out your strengths and weakness altogether. Apart from the two major sources of preparation, you can consider the following preparation tips to qualify for the final stage of the IBPS SO recruitment i.e. the interview: 

  1. Gain a deep understanding of agricultural finance, credit schemes, and marketing strategies. Focus on loan procedures related to agriculture and various government schemes that support farmers.
  1. Study different crops, their cultivation practices, soil properties, types, fertility management and horticultural techniques. Understand the factors affecting crop yield and quality, soil testing and its relevance in agricultural practices.
  1. Familiarize yourself with various types of agricultural machinery, equipment, and their uses, rural development initiatives, agribusiness models, and value chain management in agriculture. This knowledge will help you understand the practical aspects of farming
  1. Study basic economics principles with a focus on agriculture. Understand concepts such as supply and demand, market equilibrium, and price determination in the context of agricultural products.
  1. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends in agriculture, government policies and schemes related to agriculture and farmer welfare. These topics might be relevant to the exam.

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains Rajbhasha Adhikari Scale 1 Exam

The IBPS SO mains Rajbhasha Officer possess objective and descriptive both kind of questions. Therefore, practice is compulsory to perform well in the exam. The IBPS SO Mains exam Rajbhasha Adhikari free mock tests and the IBPS SO mains Rajbhasha Adhikari previous year question papers are a great source to analyse your performance and the preparation level. Later on, you can go on with the study plan after a proper evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you follow the below tips while making the study plan:

  1. Since the role involves language and translation skills, focus on enhancing your proficiency in both English and Hindi languages. Work on your grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing skills in both languages.
  1. Study banking-related terminology and concepts in both English and Hindi. Understand the nuances of financial and banking terms in both languages to translate and communicate effectively.
  1. While language is a significant aspect of the role, having a strong grasp of banking and financial concepts is equally important. Understand banking operations, regulations, and financial products. Familiarize yourself with legal and regulatory terms used in banking. This knowledge is going to be a victory card for you to perform well in the exam. 
  1. Practice translation exercises from English to Hindi and vice versa. Pay attention to maintaining the meaning, context, and accuracy of the content. Practice writing letters, emails and reports in both English and Hindi language to hold a tight grip on clarity, coherence, and professionalism in both languages.  
  1. Study relevant banking acts, guidelines, and policies in both languages. This will help you accurately translate and interpret banking documents. Stay updated with the latest banking news, regulatory changes, and economic trends in both languages.

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains Law Officer Scale 1 Exam

To build a winning strategy, before delving into the preparation tips, you should be accessing yourself with the two major resources from where you can gain the stricture of your study plan. Yes, you can take help from the IBPS SO Mains Law officer mock tests and IBPS SO Mains Law officer previous year paper. Efficiency is the only key to any process that leads you to success. The above two resources are the catalysts to that efficiency. Once you are done with an efficient study plan structure, then you can consider the following tips, to begin with that plan: 

  1. Study banking laws, financial regulations, and acts that are relevant to the banking sector. Focus on laws related to loans, mortgages, negotiable instruments, and banking operations. Stay updated with recent legal developments, amendments to laws, and regulatory changes that impact the banking sector.
  1. Develop a strong understanding of contract law principles, company law concepts, and consumer protection laws. Learn about the elements of a contract, offer and acceptance, breach of contract, and remedies available. Also, company law concepts like incorporation, corporate governance and responsibilities, shareholder rights etc., are some of the major pillars to enhance your preparation for IBPS SO mains Exam. 
  1. Familiarize yourself with important provisions of the Indian Constitution that impact the banking sector. Understand fundamental rights, directive principles, banking Ombudsman scheme, its mechanism and provision and relevant amendments.
  1. Study landmark judgments and case studies related to banking and financial laws. Understand the legal precedents set by these cases.
  1. Practice drafting legal documents commonly used in the banking sector, such as loan agreements, contracts, and legal notices.

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains HR/Personnel Officer Scale 1 Exam

In order to prepare at your best ability, you would be knowing your strengths and weaknesses. You should know which topic you have a strong hold on and which topic needs extra attention. The best way to recognize the same is through attempting IBPS SO Mains HR/Personnel exam mock tests and IBPS SO mains Hr/Personnel exam previous year paper. Through both of them, you will get a double benefit. Along with knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you will also know the real exam pattern. After analysing the strong and weak points and the exam pattern, you will automatically be able to make a smart and efficient study plan. Also, don’t forget to consider the following tips while preparing the study plan for the IBPS SO mains exam. 

  1. Study the basic human resource management principles, including recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, training and development, compensation, and employee relations. Understand the specific regulations and guidelines that apply to the banking sector, especially those related to HR practices, employee benefits, and compliance.
  1. Understand the importance of HR metrics and analytics in measuring the effectiveness of HR initiatives and making data-driven decisions. Be prepared to analyze case studies or practical scenarios related to HR situations in the banking industry. Develop your ability to apply HR concepts to real-world scenarios.
  1. Study methods of training and development in the banking sector, including orientation programs, skill development, and compliance training. Learn about strategies to engage employees, improve morale, and foster a positive work environment in the banking industry.
  1. Understand the legal and ethical aspects of HR management in the banking sector. This includes privacy regulations, anti-discrimination laws, and handling sensitive employee information. Gain a solid understanding of important labour laws in India to enhance your hold on the subject. 
  1. Stay updated with the latest trends in human resource management, such as remote work policies, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and talent acquisition strategies.

Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Mains Marketing Officer Scale 1 Exam

Many students consider preparing for the IBPS SO Mains exam an easy task, as it includes familiar topics. But the truth is, you need to be extra cautious and ready for the IBPS SO mains exam, as there are higher chances of the level of the exam being difficult. To cope with such challenges, you can take help with the IBPS SO Mains Marketing Officer mock tests and IBPS SO Mains Marketing Officer previous year papers. This will not help you cope with the exam challenges but also help you in making an efficient study plan. You can also take help from the following preparation tips to build a study plan that can guarantee you success: 

  1. Study the various banking products and services offered by the bank. Understand the features, benefits, and target customer segments for each product.
  1. Learn about digital marketing strategies, including social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and online advertising. Understand how these strategies can be applied in the banking context.
  1. Learn about CRM strategies, brand positioning and their significance in the banking industry. Understand how banks manage and maintain customer relationships and present their brand identity in the Market. 
  1. Familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and guidelines that apply to marketing activities in the banking sector. Understand the importance of compliance in marketing efforts.
  1. Learn effective ways to promote banking products through market research, data analysis, and customer segmentation. Understand the role of marketing in attracting and retaining customers.
  1. Stay updated with the latest marketing trends in the banking industry, such as personalized marketing, omnichannel strategies, and customer experience enhancement.


Congratulations on beginning your journey of becoming an IBPS SO with these winning preparation tips. Effective time management and self-assessment are crucial throughout your preparation. By following these subject-specific tips, you’ll increase your chances of achieving success and building a promising career in the banking sector. We wish all the aspirants of the IBPS SO Exam 2023 the very best!

To help you prepare 50% faster for competitive exams, ixamBee provides free Mock Test Series and all the Current Affairs in English and Current Affairs in Hindi in the BeePedia capsules for GA Preparation. You can also get the latest updates for Bank PO, Bank Clerk, SSC, RBI Grade B, NABARD, and Other Government Jobs.

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