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11 Useful Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Exam

By Barnali Barman
Last updated on 25th Nov 2021
11 Useful Preparation Tips for IBPS SO Exam

IBPS Specialist Officer (SO) exam is conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection to recruit officers having specialized roles or highly technical in the public sector banks. The officers will be appointed as marketing officer, law officer, agriculture officer, human resource manager and rajbhasha Adhikari.

Preparation Tips

Although lakhs of candidates appear for the exam, only a few are able to clear the exam successfully. Due to being a highly competitive exam, you will require meticulous preparation, unwavering dedication and perseverance. To successfully clear the exam, you may go through the following preparation tips:

1. Be Familiar with the Exam

Before starting the preparation for the exam, you should know the exam very well. To know the exam, you should go through the syllabus and also know the exam pattern. By knowing the syllabus and exam pattern you will be able to understand the exam and prepare for the exam in a better way which increases your chance of getting success in the exam.

The IBPS SO exam is conducted in three stages. These are the Preliminary exam, Main exam and Interview. For Law officer and Rajbhasha Adhikari, the Preliminary exam consists of three subjects including English Language, Reasoning and General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry.

Like the Preliminary exams, the Main exam is also divided into two parts. Professional knowledge is tested in the main exam. The preliminary exam carries a total of 125 marks and the main exam carries a total of 60 marks.

2. Collect the Study Materials

You should collect books and study materials from reliable sources. Follow one good book for each subject. It is not necessary to follow more than one book for one subject.

There are many books available in the market for various subjects. Some of them have been mentioned below:

  • For IT Officer (Scale I): Computers for Competitive Exams: Fundamental of Computer by RPH Editorial Board, Objective Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams 1st Edition by R Pillai.
  • For Law Officer (Scale I): IBPS Specialist Officer CWE Law Officer Online Exam Practice Work Book by Kiran Prakashan.
  • For HR Specialist (Scale I): CWE-IBPS Bank-HR Specialist/Personal Officer Complete Book by Priyanaka Prakashan.
  • For Marketing Specialist Officer (Scale I): CWE-IBPS Bank-Marketing Specialist Officer Exam by Priyanaka Prakashan.

3. Study Regularly

Try to maintain regular study. Regular study will help you to focus on the exam. By studying regularly you will also be able to complete the syllabus on time.

Try to study the same subject at the same time and place. It will help your brain to make associations and remember things easily. For example, if you study Reasoning every Monday at 7 p.m then stick to this time.

During the study hours, keep yourself away from distractions like social media, television, video games etc. It is very important to utilise your time in a more productive way. You should focus on spending your time more productively.


4. Revise

Keep revising the topics you have studied earlier. The revision will help you to retain the information for a longer period of time. The revision also helps you to make a difficult topic easier.

To retain the topics effectively, you may write the topics on paper and stick them to the wall of your room or in any conspicuous place of the house so that you can easily notice them. Plan separate timetable only for the purpose of revision.

5. Practise Mock Test

Practise as many mock tests as possible. There are many benefits of practising mock tests. By practising mock tests, you will be able to figure out in which subject you are weak. You will also be able to know the level of your preparation and increase your ability to manage your time efficiently. Moreover, you will also be able to gain confidence by practising mock tests.

There are many websites available that provide free online mock tests. These websites are, Oliveboard. in etc.

6. Time Management

Time management is one of the important factors that play a key role in getting success in a competitive exam. Try to plan your study to manage your time. Without making a plan it is difficult to manage the time. Avoid social media and other factors that may cause distractions to your study.

To utilise your time efficiently, you may apply the Pomodoro technique. This method lays emphasis on taking small breaks during the task. For example, after doing any task for 25 minutes, you may take a 5 minutes break. It will increase your productivity and help you to manage your time.

7. Take the Help of the Internet

Being in the digital era, you can avail many opportunities with the help of the internet in an enormous way. Whenever you get stuck on any topic, you should take help from the internet.

You should clear your doubts by watching YouTube videos. Many experienced faculties teach on youTube and clear the doubts of students. One of the impressive benefits of clearing doubt from youtube videos is that you may continue your study whenever you want. You may even keep those videos by downloading them on your phone.

Subject wise Preparation Tips

The Preliminary exam of IBPS SO consists of three papers for each category. The Preliminary exam for Law and Rajbhasha Adhikari consists of three sections including the English language, Reasoning and General Awareness. On the other hand, Preliminary exams for IT, Agriculture, HR/Personnel and Marketing also consists of three sections including English Language, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. The Main exam consists of Professional knowledge.


1. Preparation Tips for the English Language

To have a grasp of the English Language, you should clear the basic concept of grammar. Buy a grammar book that can clear your basic concepts. You can buy the book titled “Objective General English” by S. P. Bakshi.

Topics included in the syllabus are Spotting Errors, Sentence Formation, Multiple Meanings (Contextual Usage), Cloze Test, Para Jumbles, Reading Comprehension, Tenses Rules. By reading the English Newspaper you can improve your vocabulary and also get an idea about sentence formation. The capacity of understanding the language will also increase.

2. Preparation Tips for the Reasoning

To score good marks in Reasoning, you should clear basic concepts of all the topics. Topics of the reasoning included in the syllabus are Seating Arrangement, Syllogism, Input-Output, Inequality, Data Sufficiency, Puzzles, Logical Reasoning etc.

To clear the basic concept, you can buy the book “A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning” by Dr R.S. Aggarwal. After clearing the concept, you should practise mock tests. Thus you will have a complete understanding of the topics.

3. Preparation for the Quantitative Aptitude

Like Reasoning, you should clear the basic concepts in Quantitative Aptitude also. Topics include  Number Series, Quadratic Equations, Miscellaneous Topics, Data Interpretation, Simplification/ Approximation, Profit and Loss, Probability etc.

You should also practise mock tests. By practising mock tests, you will be able to get an idea about the relevant important topics.

4. Preparation Tips for the General Awareness

Since General Awareness is a vast subject, you should prepare for this subject early. Read the newspaper daily to keep yourself updated with all the current issues. Since IBPS SO is a banking exam, you should focus more on financial issues and banking awareness. You may read “The Economic Times” to keep yourself updated with important current financial issues.


By taking the right step at the right time, you may get what you want. The same formula also applies to competitive exams. To get success in a highly competitive exam like IBPS SO, you should be very careful and serious while preparing for the said exam. You may get some ideas for preparation by going through the aforementioned preparation tips.

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