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8 Tips to Excel in the IBPS Specialist Officer Exam

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection is the body responsible for conducting the recruitment for about a dozen Public Sector Banks in the country. While the general Probationary Officer and Clerk examinations can be taken by any aspirant with a Bachelor’s degree, the Specialist Officer post requires specific educational qualifications.

Discussed in this article are more details about the IBPS SO exam, and the tips to ace the examination with limited attempts. The exam is conducted for the following specialisations:

  • Marketing Officer (Scale I)
  • Agriculture Field Officer
  • Law Officer
  • HR/Personnel Officer
  • IT Officer Scale I
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari Scale I

The latest official notification for the Bank SO exam under IBPS was released on November 2, 2021. A total of 1828 vacancies were released to appoint officers across 11 Public Sector Banks in India. This underlines the fact that the vacancies are limited, but the applicants number in lakhs.

Thus, having a proper preparation plan is of utmost importance. Before moving ahead with the tips to crack the SO exam, let us first review the educational qualifications for each category of Officer.

Educational Qualifications for IBPS SO Posts

Name of the Post Educational Qualification
I.T. Officer A 4-year Engineering/Technology Degree or Postgraduate Degree in a similar discipline or Graduate having passed DOEACC ‘B’ level
Agricultural Field Officer 4 year Degree (Graduation) in Agriculture/Horticulture or related fields
Rajbhasha Adhikari Post Graduate Degree in Hindi with English as a subject, or Postgraduate Degree in Sanskrit with English and Hindi as subjects
Law Officer Bachelor Degree in Law (LLB)
HR/Personnel Officer Graduate and Two Years Full-time Post Graduate Degree or Two Years Full-time Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management/Industrial Relations/HR/HRD/Social Work/Labour Law
Marketing Officer Graduate and Two Years Full-time MMS (Marketing

Two Years Full-time PGDBA/PGDBM/PGPM/PGDM with specialisation in Marketing

Tips to Prepare for Bank SO Exam

  1. Review the detailed syllabusas it varies from post to post. Make sure you go through the exam pattern before starting the preparation, as it shall form the base of setting up the strategy.
  2. Set a timetable so that all the subjects can be covered. In the case of the SO exam, the strength of the candidate lies in the professional subject paper. However, they may not be very confident with the other subjects. Thus, ensure that the preparation plan includes time division for each subject equally.
  3. Solve mock tests to familiarise yourself with the exam pattern and the type of questionsthat can be framed in various topics. There have been multiple cases where candidates were well aware of the concept, but unable to answer the questions due to its complexity and indirect nature. Thus, by solving mock tests, one can comprehend the ways in which a question may be asked.
  4. Focus on your field of specialisation as that is your strength in the paper. The more one can score in the professional subject paper, the higher will be the overall scores. Considering the competitiveness of the examination, candidates must target answering as many questions as possible.
  5. Analyse previous years’ question papers to apprehend the standard of examination. Candidates tend to believe that the level of bank exams is moderate, but that is not correct. Since the number of applicants has been increasing each year, the competition too increases. Thus, the conducting body is bound to upgrade the standard of examination.
  6. Equal focus on all subjects included in the syllabus as there is a sectional cut off. If a candidate manages to cross the overall qualifying marks but is unable to score the minimum cut off in a section, then he/she shall not be shortlisted.
  7. Gather the best and latest study material. This may include books and notes from college or coaching institutes. Many online portals also provide appropriate and reliable data for IBPS SO preparation, and candidates can refer to their resources.
  8. Learn formulas and tricks and memorise, if applicablefor your selection of post. This will save you a lot of time while answering questions in the final paper.

Candidates who are new to the preparation of bank exams can check the detailed IBPS SO Syllabus, exam pattern, list of important topics and more at the linked article. Based on their analysis they can kick start their preparation.

If aspirants face any difficulty in preparing for the exam or require assistance, they must join a bank coaching centre that offers programs for their field of specialisation. This will boost their confidence and guide them through the correct path of preparation.

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