IBPS Clerk Preparation – A Complete Guide

Introduction: You will learn about IBPS Clerk preparation, syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility, books, time management, how to prepare for IBPS Clerk etc. in this article. IBPS has released its clerk recruitment notification and it is the right time for providing the information. In this detailed article I will cover almost all the aspects related to IBPS Clerk Exam. However if I miss anything you can ask me by posting in the comments section.

Since this is a long article I will prefer it to keep it in question answer format. It will help you to easily scroll through the required information. As you may find it difficult to read the entire article in one go. The structure of the article will be as under:


What is IBPS?

What is IBPS Clerk?

How many times IBPS conducts Clerk Recruitment in a year?

How many students appear in IBPS Clerk Examination?

What is the Eligibility for IBPS Clerk?

What is the Job Profile of IBPS Clerk?

How is the career growth for IBPS Clerk?

What is the Salary and Allowances of IBPS Clerk?

What is the Exam Pattern of IBPS Clerk?

Which are the most important Books for IBPS Clerk?

Which are the important dates for IBPS Clerk 2016?

How much time is required for preparation?

What is the correct approach of IBPS Clerk Preparation?

Whether coaching is necessary for IBPS Clerk Preparation?


Some of these questions may sound quite basic. But as I have told the objective of this article is to provide complete information on the topic. Every year lakhs of students appear in IBPS Clerk Examination. Every year many new students appear in this exam so the information will be useful for such students. Now I will answer each question one by one.

What is IBPS?

Earlier bank recruitments in India were done by Banking Service Recruitment Boards (BSRBs). Later on individual banks have started to conduct their own recruitment. However to conduct bank recruitments in a more organized manner the government had decided to give the responsibility to IBPS. Before the advent of IBPS there used to by many bank exams for different banks.

IBPS Clerk PreparationInstitute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is an autonomous body. Now it is the main body for recruitment of banking personnel for public sector banks in India. Every year IBPS conducts recruitments for Clerks, Probationary Officers, Specialist Officers for public sector banks. It also conducts recruitments for Regional Rural Bank. IBPS basically conducts Common Written Examinations for these vacancies and allotted the shortlisted candidates to respective banks.

What is IBPS Clerk?

IBPS is now the main authority for recruiting the Clerks or Assistants in public sector banks of India. Therefore in the last few years bank clerks are also often referred as IBPS Clerk. Actually it should be bank clerk or assistant only. Therefore IBPS Clerk is nothing but Bank Clerk only. IBPS is responsible for conducting common written examination for recruitment of bank clerks in India.

How many times IBPS conducts Clerk Recruitment in a year?

ibps preliminary exam patternIBPS conducts common written examination for clerk recruitments once a year. Actually it has become almost a whole year affair now. The process is like this. First IBPS announces notification for Clerk Recruitment. Thereafter preliminary examination will be conducted. After the declaration of preliminary exam the IBPS conducts main exam. Shortlisted candidates will need to appear in the main exam. Thereafter main exam result is announced and candidates are shortlisted for banks.

The entire process is quite long. It takes almost 7-8 months or sometimes even more to complete the recruitment process. The current notification for IBPS Clerk CWE is VI such notification. The recruitment through IBPS was started with the objective to make it hassle free. However students still have complaints with this system as it is very time consuming. But in a country like India lakhs of students appear in exams such as IBPS Clerk. Therefore we should appreciate the efforts done by IBPS to conduct a really fair exam.

How many students appear in IBPS Clerk Examination?

As I told you that IBPS Clerk is one of the most popular exams of the country. Lakhs of students appear in this exam. Level of competition is quite high just because of sheer number of candidates. Although no official data is available however as per information more than 30 lakhs students appear in IBPS Clerk every year. Last year for IBPS Clerk CWE V 2015 more than 43 lakhs applications were received. However the number of students who have appeared would be about 30 lakhs assuming 70% attendance. These are approximate figures. Therefore you can understand the level of competition.

Despite of such a high number of candidates those who are well prepared have fair chance of selection. The facts remains that the number of well prepared students remains quite low. Therefore you should not scared by seeing the number of candidates and keep focus on IBPS Clerk preparation. If you prepare well there is no reason why you cannot qualify despite tough competition.

What is the Eligibility for IBPS Clerk?

It is very important before applying you should be well aware about the eligibility criteria for IBPS Clerk. Therefore please check the eligibility criteria well before applying. Always go through the official notification very carefully before applying. There are 3 main parameters which students should check. These parameters are age, qualification and nationality.

To be eligible for applying for IBPS Clerk the minimum age is 20 years and the maximum age is 28 years. The cutoff date for reckoning the age for the current notification i.e. IBPS Clerk VI is 01.08.2016. A candidate must have been born not earlier than 02.08.1988 and not later than 01.08.1996 (both dates inclusive).

As per the government norms there are relaxations in the upper age limit which are as under:

Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe: 5 years

Other Backward Classes: 3 years

Persons with Disability: 10 years

There are also age relaxation for Ex-servicemen and for certain other categories.

A candidate should have completed graduation in any discipline from a recognized university of Government of India. A candidate should also have working knowledge in computer and should possess a certificate in it. Or the candidate should have studied computer or IT as one of the subjects.

Proficiency in the Official Language of the State/UT (candidates should know how to read/ write and speak the Official Language of the State/UT) for which vacancies a candidate wishes to apply is preferable.

These are the important eligibility criteria which I have observed. However please check the detailed official notification which will give you a clearer picture.

What is the Job Profile of IBPS Clerk?

ibps clerk job profileApart from the doing IBPS Clerk preparation you must be aware about the other aspects. Those who got final selection are placed in various public sector banks of India. The job profile of IBPS Clerk or Bank Clerk is mostly a front office jobs. It means that they will be directly required to interact with the customer and provide solutions. You must have seen in banks that there are various counters such as Cash, FDR, Draft, Loan, Locker etc. Now-a-days in many banks there are also Single Window Counters or Single Window Operators (SWO). SWO performs various duties or a mix of duties mentioned above.

Bank Clerks now-a-days work mostly as Single Window Operator where they extend all types of general banking services to the customer. In the branches where there is no SWO concept then they have to work on specific counters.

Normally the job and duties and timings of a bank clerk are well defined. However if you really want to progress in the bank then you need to always show positive attitude and contribute as much as you can.

How is the career growth for IBPS Clerk?

clerk career growthThose who will join as a bank clerk have good opportunities for career growth. However for growth in banks right attitude and approach is very important. In banks there are periodical promotion tests for promotion from clerk to officer. Once you get into officer cadre you can get even faster promotion. But as I said that positive attitude is important for faster promotions in bank.

Bank recognizes the efforts of sincere and positive workers and they are suitably rewarded. Therefore even if you join bank as a clerk you can rise to a very high level. In SBI career growth is even faster as in SBI opportunities are more. Here is a tentative career growth chart in SBI. The same is very much applicable for IBPS Clerk.

What is the Salary and Allowances of IBPS Clerk?

The salary and allowances of the IBPS Clerk has revised. The next revision is due in November 2017. The salary of the bank employees is revised after every 5 years. The increment in the salary is implemented every year. Whereas Dearness allowance generally increases every quarter. So you can see there are lots of avenues for increase in the salary of IBPS Clerk. This might work as a motivation for you for IBPS Clerk preparation. The salary of a Bank Clerk is as under:

Pay Scale: Rs. 11765 – (655×3) – 13730 – (815×3) – 16175 – (980×4) – 20095 – (1145×7) – 28110 – (2120×1) – 30230 – (1310×1) – 31540

Let us understand the pay scale. Rs. 11765 will be the basic salary. The figures in the bracket are increments. When you will join your basic salary will be Rs. 11765. Thereafter increment amount for the first year will be Rs. 655 and so on.

Dearness Allowance: As an IBPS clerk you will also be entitled for dearness allowance. Dearness Allowance is paid every quarter. At present DA is 45% which means that on a basic salary of Rs. 11765 you will get Rs. 5294 as Dearness Allowance.

Special Allowance: Special allowance is 7.75% of the basic salary. You will also get DA on Special Allowance. It means that on a basic of Rs. 11765, the special allowance will be Rs. 912 and DA on it will be Rs. 410.

House Rent Allowance: HRA is linked to the place of posting. Depending upon the place of posting it can be either 10% or 9% or 7.5%.

Therefore the salary of an IBPS clerk is in the range of Rs. 19000 to Rs. 20000 depending upon posting place.

More details on Salary

What is the Exam Pattern of IBPS Clerk?

Before starting IBPS Clerk preparation you must be well aware of the IBPS Clerk Exam pattern. IBPS Clerk exam is now conducted in two phases viz. Preliminary and Mains exams.

Exam Pattern of Preliminary Examination

  1. English Language
  2. Numerical Ability
  3. Reasoning Ability

In preliminary examination there will be three sections viz. English Language, Numerical Ability and Reasoning. There will be 30 questions in English Language. In Numerical Ability and Reasoning section the number of questions is 35 each. Hence there will be a total of 100 questions of 100 marks. The composite time will be 60 minutes or 1 hour.

Exam Pattern of Main Examination

  1. Reasoning
  2. English Language
  3. Quantitative Aptitude
  4. General Awareness (with special reference to Banking)
  5. Computer Knowledge

In main exam there will be 5 sections as mentioned and there will be 40 questions in each section. Marks for Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning will be 50 each. Marks for English Language and General Awareness will be 40 each. For Computer Knowledge marks will be 20. Hence there will be a total of 200 questions of 200 marks. The time will be 135 minutes. However there will be separate time duration for each section.

Reasoning – 30 minutes

English Language – 30 minutes

Quantitative Aptitude – 30 minutes

General Awareness (with special reference to Banking) – 25 minutes

Computer Knowledge – 20 minutes

More details on Exam Pattern

Which are the most important Books for IBPS Clerk?

Here I am providing you a list of recommended books. These are probably the best books on the topics. I am providing you books for 3 sections only. For Computer Awareness and General Awareness you can refer to good books of your choice.

Reasoning Section:

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R.S. Aggarwal (Author)

A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non verbal – B.S. Sijwalii & Indu Sijwali (Author)

Quantitative Aptitude:

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive – R.S. Aggarwal (Author)

Magical Book on Quicker Maths – Tyra (Author)

English Language:

Objective General English – R.S. Aggarwal (Author)

Objective English for Competitive Exam- Prasad (Author), TMH publication

Which are the important dates for IBPS Clerk 2016?

ibps exam calendarHere is the entire calendar for IBPS Clerk 2016. Please note that this is a tentative calendar only. IBPS has published this calendar in IBPS Clerk Notification. Hence it is the most authentic. As you can see that exam is not far hence it is the right time for IBPS Clerk preparation.

How much time is required for preparation?

Normally 6 months preparation is good enough for IBPS Clerk Preparation. However it will also depend on person to person. Each person is having different ability and grasping power. However if you study 4-5 hours each day, six months are enough. There are two aspects, one is to prepare well and the other is to score high in less time. Since competition is high the ability to score high in less time is very important. In 2-3 months time you should be able to learn most of the concepts.

ibps clerk time managementThereafter you should focus on increasing your speed as much as you can. Speed with accuracy is the key to success for IBPS Clerk. A good score will give you a direct job offer. Now there is no interview in IBPS Clerk selection process. Therefore your objective should be to snatch as many marks as you can. This will ensure your place in the final merit list.

What is the correct approach of IBPS Clerk Preparation?

Often students ask me is it really possible to get through when the number of candidates is so high. My answer is a definite yes. As I told you that the key to success is speed and accuracy. Another important thing for IBPS Clerk preparation is the correct approach. The correct approach is regular studies and practice. This exam demands high level of regularity and those who are regular are bound to succeed. You have to regular studies even in off seasons.

Do not wait for exam dates and for the last few months or days. Regular studies will keep you in good rhythm and your speed and accuracy will be maintained. Even if you do not get success do not do the mistake of leaving your preparation.

Whether coaching is required for IBPS Clerk Preparation?

Well, I am not against any coaching but I feel that self studies are sufficient for this exam. You should study from quality books as few of them I have also mentioned. As the syllabus is not so difficult hence any average student can easily understand the concepts. However this is my personal view. If you wish you can join any good coaching. You can also join a good online coaching as it will save your time.

IBPS Clerk Preparation


Hope this article must have given you a good insight about, IBPS, IBPS Clerk and IBPS Clerk preparation. So if you are serious about this exam you can start your preparation. Before concluding the article I would like to tell you a few more things.

  • The syllabus of IBPS Clerk exam is very much similar to that of IBPS PO, other Bank Exams, SSC Exams and Railway Exams. So when you are preparing for competitive exams you should fill as many forms as you can. Even if you do not get selection it will give you a very good practice.
  • Do not feel despair if you do not get selection in the first few exams. It happens with everybody. Important is persistent efforts and preparation. This will led you to success.
  • Do not worry even if you are and average student and do not have very good academic record. It is the time to start a fresh. These are open competitive exams and there is a very good opportunity to perform. Even an ordinary student can perform and get selection if he or she prepare methodically.
  • In competitive exams you need to score high marks for final selection. Your objective should be to first clear sectional and overall cut off and then to score as high marks as you can. Even fraction of a mark can be the difference between final selection and non selection. Therefore understand the importance of each mark.

There is no reason that you cannot qualify the IBPS Clerk Exam if you can prepare with a clear cut approach. If you have any question regarding IBPS Clerk Exam or on IBPS Clerk preparation feel free to ask in the comment section.

About Anshu

As a full time blogger I have taken a pledge to provide in depth and honest information for my visitors. The objective of my life is to help others as much as I can. Blogging has provided me this platform and I am enjoying it like anything. You can know more about me in the 'About Me' tab.


what might b the ibps clerk cut off this time for general and how many questions must attemt with 90 % accuracy?
reply please

how we study to English..generally every student can understand math and reasoning..but we feel so difficulty to understand english..most time we don’t know that what is he asking in question?
please tell something about English language preparation..

I m tried of searching for syllabus there are so many sites and every site shows different syllabus, can you please send me the detailed information about ibps clerk syllabus please

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