IBPS SO Study Plan

IBPS SO Study Plan

ByKanika Ralhan  |  Updated on: Nov 21, 2020
IBPS SO 2021 Admit Card for prelims exam. Candiates can download the IBPS SO admit card to grab 1828 Specialist Officer vacancies in various public sector banks.This is a prime opportunity for candidates looking for a growing & stable job. Candidates can scroll the page to check out the important dates, post-wise & bank-wise vacancies, syllabus, exam pattern, cut off, question papers, free mock test, & official notification of IBPS SO recruitment 2021.

IBPS SO Preparation Strategy

IBPS SO preparation Strategy 2020: We all know IBPS is going to conduct IBPS SO Prelims exam 2020 on 26th and 27th December 2020 and only a month is left to boost your preparation. In this article, we are sharing IBPS SO preparation strategy to help you revise most expected topics, and how to prepare them? Most of you must be in the middle of your preparation while many of you may be clueless about where to start.

No doubt, IBPS SO is a prestigious job with lots of benefits. Lakhs of candidates with the desired field apply for specialist officer posts every year through IBPS recruitment. This year IBPS has released 647 vacancies for IBPS SO. As the IBPS SO exam is highly competitive, those who have applied for IBPS SO must plan their preparation order to ensure a job. Before we proceed with the IBPS SO preparation strategy, let's have a look at the exam pattern to get a clear idea of what we will be discussing here.

IBPS SO Prelims Exam Pattern and Preparation Strategy 2020

IBPS SO Prelims Exam Pattern & Preparation Strategy 2020

There are two types of exam pattern having three sections in each type. We will discuss the preparation strategy for both exam patterns. For Rajbhasha Adhikari & Law Officer posts, the three major sections are English Language, Reasoning and General Awareness. For all other posts, the three sections are English Language, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.

There will be a total of 150 questions carrying 125 marks.  The medium of examination will be Hindi and English (Except for English Language Section). Candidates have to score minimum qualifying marks and have to clear the overall cut off which will be decided by IBPS in order to get shortlisted for IBPS SO mains, from each category. Negative marking of 0.25 marks will also be there so we suggest you not to mark answers on random guessing. Although the prelims phase will be qualifying in nature this will be your gate pass to IBPS SO Mains examination.

IBPS SO Prelims Preparation Strategy

Know your Exam Pattern: Check the complete and detailed exam pattern and syllabus before planning out other things. This will help you know what exactly you have to deal with. Check section-wise timing and allotment to manage your time during the examination.

Make a Timetable: Having a timetable of each and everything helps you organize and execute things and plan well. Make a time table to keep a track of your study-related activities. Prepare a list of difficult topics and divide time accordingly to those topics. Overall time table should include all the must-do and scoring topics with their time allotments and a certain period for revision.

Study and revise Enough: Never wait for the last moment. Give yourself and your studies enough time to learn, revise and test. Be ahead of every student. Make proper utilization of your time and improve your weak points.

Improve your weak points: Every student is different so their weak areas and capabilities are. Always analyze your weaker areas to work on and allot yourself enough time to improvise on them. This will help you polish your knowledge and you will be able to recall things more easily in the examination hall.

Practice Previous Year Papers: We all know IBPS often repeat questions after a certain period of time. It is important for each student to revise from the previous year papers to know the difficulty level of the exam, types of questions asked, changes introduced in the last few years and expected topics to focus on.

Take Mock Test: Regular practice with the mock test helps you know where you stand among a number of aspirants. This will help you test your speed, accuracy and time management. Taking an online test to prepare for the exam is the best way to revise and improvise.

Time Management: Bound yourself with strict timelines to complete the topics and tests within the given deadline. This will help you bound the time limit for each section. Do not forget to target sectional and overall cut off. Be very sure while marking any answer as this will either increase your chances of selection or will ruin your chance.

Regular revision and practice is the key: One of the best techniques during preparation is to keep memorizing and revising the patterns, methods, formulae, and other tricks that you have already finished. Lack of revision often tends to forget and recall important methods, and tricks. So keep in touch with the concepts and methods regularly.

IBPS SO Section-wise Preparation Strategy

1) English Language Section

  • Practice all the rules and formulae of Grammar. Use them in your daily life so that you do not forget their usage.
  • To increase your reading speed, start reading the newspaper on a daily basis. This will help you tackle the Reading comprehension part of the examination.
  • Vocabulary is an important part of any bank examination. You can make use of flashcards to learn vocabulary.
  • Learn the contexts clearly. This will help you solve questions on verbal ability.
  • Reading and learning are key. Read various books and note down new phrases and words and revise them regularly.
  • Below are mentioned important and expected topics for the IBPS SO English Language section.


Expected Questions

Reading Comprehension

8-10 questions

Error Spotting 

6-8 questions

Para Jumble

5 questions

Fill in the blanks

5-10 Questions

Cloze Test

8-10 Questions


1-3 Questions

2. Reasoning Ability Section

  • First divide your syllabus according to the level of the topics like easy, difficult and lengthy.
  • Clear your basic concepts. Do not go for short tricks in the beginning.
  • Understand and learn all the steps to approach questions and how you are solving it.
  • Check example questions and their solutions. This will help you adopt a good approach to tackle questions.
  • The puzzle is the difficult part in this section and there are various types of puzzles to deal with. Learn each and every type and practice as much as questions you can.
  • Check previous year question papers and list down the important topics to focus on.
  • To manage your time and speed, take regular sectional mock tests.


Expected Questions


3-5 Questions


10-15 questions


4-8 questions

Order and Ranking

2-6 Questions

Blood RElations

3-5 questions


3-5 Questions


1-4 Questions

3. Quantitative Aptitude Section

  • Learn the basic concepts and keep revising formulae and other methods on a daily basis.
  • Once you get familiar with the conventional methods, learn to solve the questions with the short tricks. This will help you save your time.
  • Learn table, square roots, cube roots up to 30 and work on your calculation speed.
  • There are various types of DI learn each type raising the difficulty bar with every revision session.
  • Check solved questions and adopt the same approach.
  • Scan through previous years' paper and practice accordingly.
  • Take sectional mock tests.


Expected Questions

Data Interpretation

10-15 questions

Number Series 

5-6 Questions

Simplification & Approximation

5-7 questions

Quadratic Equations

4-5 questions


10-15 questions

4. General Awareness Section

  • This section requires a daily revision and practice. It is all about learning and memorizing the dates, events, books and authors, place and other details.
  • Check previous year papers to know the latest trend in the GA section. 
  • Learn the past 4-6 months of current affairs. Weightage of current affairs is more in every banking examination.
  • Keep yourself updated with everything happening around.
  • Learn and focus on Economy, banking and finance related news.
  • Read newspapers and magazines daily. You can also refer to BYJU'S Exam Prep for Current affairs, banking awareness and Static awareness questions.
  • Learn and revise as much as you can to score maximum marks in this section.


IBPS SO 2020 Books for Exam Preparation: Here we have compiled the list of books that will boost your preparation for the IBPS SO Exam 2020. Choosing and sticking to the appropriate IBPS SO books and study material are essential to crack the exam. This article will provide you with a list of useful books that cover the syllabus of both IBPS SO Prelims and Mains exam 2020. To help you prepare better, we are providing you with the IBPS SO Books for prelims as well as mains exam.

IBPS SO Books for Prelims

The syllabus of the IBPS SO Prelims is similar to that of IBPS PO Prelims exam. So you can refer to the same books you need for the preparation of the other Probations Officer Exams such as SBI PO or IBPS PO. 

Following are the books that you can refer for the various sections such as Reasoning, Quant etc. of the IBPS SO Prelims Exam 2020. 

IBPS SO Books for Prelims 

Name of the Book

Name of Author

English Language 

English Grammar & Composition

Wren and Martin

Descriptive General English 

SP Bakshi and Richa Sharma

Objective English for Competitive Examinations 

Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha, Mcgraw Hill

Quantitative Aptitude

Fast Track Objective Arithmetic

Rajesh Verma

The Magical Book on Quicker Maths

M. Tyra

Reasoning Ability 

A New Approach to Reasoning: Verbal and Non-Verbal 

B.S. Sijwali and Indu Sijwali

Verbal Reasoning

R.S. Agarwal

Analytical Reasoning

MK Pandey

General Awareness with Special Reference to Banking Industry

Objective Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams 


Guide to Banking General Awareness

R. Gupta

Static General Knowledge

Arihant Publications

Now that we have covered the books for the IBPS SO Prelims Exam. Let's now look at the IBPS SO Books for mains exam 2020.

IBPS SO Books for Mains

IBPS SO Mains Exam syllabus consists of the professional knowledge of fields like Agriculture, HR, IT, Marketing, Law, Rajbhasha. Here is the list of books which covers the syllabus for the various streams of the IBPS SO Recruitment exam 2020. 

IBPS SO Books for Mains

IBPS SO Mains: Books for IT Officer(Scale I)

Name of Authors

IBPS SO Books for IT Officer

Data Communications and Networking 

Behrouz. A Forouzan

A computer for Competitive Exams: Fundamental of Computer with MCQ’s

RPH Editorial Board

Objective Computer Knowledge

R. Pillai

IBPS SO Books for Law Officer 

IBPS Specialist Officer CWE LAW Officer Online Exam Practice Work Book 

Kiran Prakashan

IBPS SO Books for HR Officer 

Bank HR Specialist book 

Kiran Prakashan

Human Resource Management

K. Aswathappa

IBPS SO Books for Agriculture Field Officer 

Agriculture Field Officer 

R. Gupta

IBPS – SO Agricultural Field Officer (Main) Exam

Dr. Lalita Gaur

IBPS SO Books for Marketing Officer 

Principles of Marketing 

Kavita Sharma

CWE-IBPS Bank-Marketing Specialist Officer Exam: Complete Book

Priyanka Prakashan

Marketing Specialist Exam book

Upkar Prakashan

IBPS SO Books for Rajbhasha Officer

Hindi Vyakaran Aur Rachna

Upkar Prakashan 

Rajbhasha/Hindi (Officers, Assistant, Managers) Recruitment Exam Guide (Popular Master Guide)

RPH Editorial Board

Rajbhasha Adhikari Guide

R. Gupta

This is all about the important books for the IBPS SO Prelims and Mains Exam 2020.

PO, Clerk, SO, Insurance