ixamBee, a pioneer in offering courses related to competitive exams viz.,. RBI, NABARD, bank POs etc.,. has launched the IBPS AFO 2018 online learning course in partnership with Gradeup (https://gradeup.co).

The course content is prepared by the ixamBee faculty (who have cleared IBPS AFO and other exams like NABARD, RBI etc.,.) and the same faculty will be taking all the live sessions.

Kindly click the below link to know complete details about the course

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Online comprehensive course (Phase I + Phase II) for IBPS SO (Agriculture Field Officer) 2018


After completing graduation in agriculture and allied courses, you can get a guaranteed government job with few months of preparation. The best thing is you know the date of exam well in advance so you can prepare thoroughly for the exam. Once you get selected your joining comes in few months and you are probationary officer (Scale I) in a public sector bank. The job brings you opportunity to work in a professional work environment with handsome pay, perks etc.

An agriculture graduate has limited career options. After graduation in agriculture you can either work in private sector in which most of the jobs are sales jobs or you can prepare for competitive exams for government jobs. Large number of vacancies in IBPS SO (AFO) increase your chances of success if you prepare well for this exam. Every year IBPS conducts direct recruitment (DR) drives for the post of agriculture field officers. Joining bank directly at scale I (Junior Management) level provides you an opportunity for a fast track career in banking in which you may reach to the top level in Public Sector banks. Most of the CMDs/CEOs of public sector banks started their career as PO/SO (Scale I officer) in the banks.

IBPS SO (AFO) Exam Notification

IBPS generally releases notification for the post of IBPS Specialist Officer in the month of October/November. As per the tentative calendar of IBPS important dates are:

  • Application form filling – October /November 2018
  • Download of admit card- Second fortnight of December
  • Online preliminary exam- 29 and 30 December 2018
  • Preliminary exam results- January 2019
  • Mains exam- 27 January 2019
  • Interview- February-March 2019
  • Final Results- 1st April 2019

IBPS SO (AFO) Exam Pattern

Agriculture Field Officer has great demand in all commercial banks to look after all the priority sector credit especially in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry (dairy), floriculture, food processing etc. The main job of AFO is to sanction loans to the farmers and achieve the agriculture lending targets. This job requires you to travel out in field for credit appraisal and post sanction visits. In some banks it is also known as Rural Development Officer (RDO). Exam for IBPS SO (AFO) is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1: Preliminary Exam- an Objective test consisting of English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability with following details.

Sr. No.

Name of Tests

No. of Questions

Maximum Marks

Medium of Exam



English Language




2 hours





English and Hindi


Quantitative Aptitude



English and Hindi




You have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing minimum cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by IBPS depending upon vacancies will be shortlisted for Online Main Examination.

Phase 2: Mains Exam-subject based objective test- agriculture

Name of Tests

No. of Questions

Maximum Marks

Medium of Exam


Professional Knowledge



English & Hindi

45 minutes

Penalty for Wrong Answers (Applicable to both – Preliminary and Main examinations)

There will be penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at corrected score. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question

Each candidate will be required to obtain a minimum score in the test of Online Main examination and also secure sufficiently high scores to be shortlisted for interview. The cut-off also depends on the number of vacancies available.

Phase 3: Personal Interview

The total marks allotted for Interview are 100. The minimum qualifying marks in interview will not be less than 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates). The weightage (ratio) of Online CWE (Main Exam) and interview will be 80:20 respectively.

IBPS SO (AFO) Exam Syllabus

Before starting to prepare for IBPS SO (AFO) Exam, it is important that aspirants are well versed with topics and the detailed syllabus for the exam. IBPS SO (AFO) has objective questions from Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude and English Language in Preliminary exam. Mains of IBPS SO (AFO) has objective questions from agriculture and allied sciences

IBPS SO (AFO) Eligibility Criteria

To apply for IBPS SO (AFO) exam, an aspirant should meet various eligibility criteria wrt to Age, Nationality, No. of attempts permissible etc.

Educational Qualification - 4 year Degree (graduation) in Agriculture/Horticulture/Animal Husbandry/Veterinary Science/Dairy Science/Fishery Science/ Pisciculture/Agri.Marketing & Cooperation/Co-operation & Banking/Agro-Forestry/Forestry/Agricultural Biotechnology/Food Science/Agriculture Business Management/Food Technology/Dairy Technology/Agricultural Engineering.

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FAQS Related to IBPS SO AFO Phase I and II Exam

A.Most of us have two types of goals in life viz. a goal to earn money, and have all the luxuries and the second is usually to have a government (stable) job to rule out the fear of losing our job, fear of performance, fear of daily fixed timing, fear to be far away from home etc., Many of us prefer to achieve the second goal first, because of many reasons, and in the present times, when there is more focus on self-employment by the government and availability of very less vacancies in the government departments, leaving IBPS agriculture officer, the best choice for an agriculture graduate. Also, currently, the private companies opt for post graduates, preferably a candidate with an MBA for a marketing job or MSc/PhD for a research job. So joining bank as an agriculture officer is the best choice.
A. First of all, it is a specialist officer job which can be filled only by an Agri or allied sciences graduate, so you can expect less competition. Moreover, Mains exam is based on subject knowledge, and Prelims is merely a qualifying round. Second, whether you admit it or not, during the four years course in agriculture, there is a bond that develops between us and those, who are totally dependent on farming. So this is the only platform where we can serve the farmer community, as we have the power to provide credit which even a DM does not have. As a bureaucrat/politician, one can make the schemes/plans for the social upliftment, but only a banker can mobilize it, only a banker has the power of authority, whom to give a loan, and in this process, no one can interfere, so in itself this is a job with great respect and great power.
A. It is very rewarding to start one’s career in a bank as a scale 1 (officer cadre), as one has a career path that can lead to become a CMD of any bank, as you are aware, many of the present CMDs with various public sector banks, have started their career as an agriculture field officer. It is a white collar job with handsome salary, starting with apprx. 34k-36k after deductions, which is the current scenario, and since the revision of wages is pending from November, 2017, so the pay would be more by the time you join. Also other than the salary, there are many other allowances given by the bank like house rent allowance of 6-8k/month, petrol allowance 3-4k/month, similarly, newspaper allowance, cleaning allowance, entertainment allowance, medical allowance etc.,. and many other things like LFCs, foreign tours etc
A. To start with, please note, Mr. Suresh N. Patel (MD & CEO) of Andhra bank, started his career as an Agriculture Officer, Mr. Rajkiran Rai Gundyadka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Union Bank of India started his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Finance Officer in Central Bank of India. He is an Agricultural Science graduate. The bank promotions are very quick. After joining, within three to four years, you can get your first promotion. Similarly, you can go up to scale 7 within twenty five to thirty years, by which you will become DGM or GM, which only means that you are the head of a region or a zone in which you will have 500 to 700 branches under your authority. Similarly, after GM then to Executive Director and finally to Chief Managing Director. Many of the present CMDs have started their career as an Agri officer.
A. IBPS AFO consists of Preliminary exam of 125 questions (50 each from Quant and Reasoning and 25 from English), in which one has to clear the cut off, only then he/she can appear for Mains exam. This exam is to filter out the candidates hence, it does not affect your merit but if you do not clear the Prelims you are simply out of exam. Mains exam is totally based on Agri and Allied science (60 questions) and these questions are not only from the core of the subject but also from various other topics related to Agri, as IBPS does not prescribe any syllabus. On the analysis of previous year papers, it has been found that only core subject knowledge is not asked and subject like genetics and plant breeding, pathology, entomology have very minimum percentage in the paper. Paper is generally comprehensive, covering all the topics viz., Agronomy, Horticulture (fruit science, floriculture & vegetable science), Agriculture Extension, Economics, Soil Science, Food Technology, Fisheries, Farm Power and Machinery, Animal Husbandry, Poultry Science. It covers only basic aspects of each and every topic mentioned above but not very subjective. So you need to have knowledge of all the topics rather than focussing on only one topic. To know more about syllabus of the Mains exam, watch https://youtu.be/eokoroZo5E0
A. It is the common query of almost all the Agri students as most of them are from non-Mathematical background. We all think that Quant is related to Maths but it is not completely true. It only needs the knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication etc which you learn during your primary/secondary schooling. Rest of the questions are just tricky. First of all, please come out of this false perception about Quant and Reasoning. If still you have doubt, then please watch videos on any topic of Quant on our YouTube Channel which will definitely boost your confidence. As far as English is concerned, start reading daily newspaper which is the simplest and the most effective method for preparing English. Best way to cover the Prelims syllabus is to practice questions from the topics and attempt as many mock tests as you can. So if you want to prepare for IBPS AFO, and then start it right away, you will definitely clear the exam.
A. Cut off is very low, when compared to IBPS PO or even IBPS clerk. Cut off for Quant, Reasoning and English is so low that even if you prepare for some 4 or 5 topics perfectly, you will be able to clear the exam. Cut off for last two years for Quant in General Category is 5.5 and 8.75 respectively, Reasoning 6 and 11 respectively and in English its 2.5 and 1.75 respectively.
A. For IBPS AFO, one does not really need coaching because of two reasons. First, competition is not that fierce as compare to IBPS PO or IBPS clerk, second cut off is too low anyone can clear the exam especially in Quant, Reasoning and English. For Prelims, you can subscribe to online course/ learn from you Tube but there is no need to waste money. However, as Mains exam is totally dependent on agriculture you will require comprehensive material not the detailed study of the topics, you have to be updated from government schemes/programmes/subsidies in Agriculture and allied sector. Some important aspects from the budget, data related to area, production and productivity, role of agriculture in GDP. ixamBee has a comprehensive Online Learning Course for the preparation of IBPS SO (AFO) 2018 Exam (Prelims and mains). This Online Course is designed by experts of ixamBee who have cleared exams like IBPS SO (AFO), Bank PO, RBI Grade B, SIDBI and others. The major highlights of the course are:
A. This is an exam where you have to go through some really good books which cover the summary of agriculture. It has been seen that students always waste their time in covering one topic widely. For ex - In agronomy, there is no end to any topic, even if you take a single crop like wheat or rice, it has endless subject matter, so here we are not concerned with the detailed study but our focus should be on the most important questions/frequently asked questions in the exams. The best way to study agriculture is group study or by discussing. You will get the variation for everything by different authors in different books, so important thing is you have to use logic while answering the questions. For example, if I ask you, what is the seed rate of Paddy? What will be your answer? It may be 40kg/ha for simple transplanting, 10-15 kg for SRI, 100kg for direct seeding, so there is always a range. In the exam also, you have to select the best one according to the question asked.
A. Important books for preparing for Agriculture and Allied Sciences are as follows
• Part 1 & 2 by ArunKatyayan, which is very basic book covering the Agronomy and Soil Science very clearly and is as per the syllabus of any Agri exam. Also, it covers rest of the topics very briefly.
• Agriculture at a glance by R K Sharma, Nem Raj Sunda etc.
• For objective, books by Muniraj Singh Rathore, S R Kantwaetcare the best for preparing for agriculture.
Most important of all, you have to be updated with the current changes of ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture, NABARD, DARE etc for which, you must visit their sites regularly. It is one of the best methods to be updated on the recent updates.