Judicial Service Examination

This article has been written by Oishika Banerji of Amity Law School, Kolkata. This article discusses the IBPS exam and the associated importance of walking with it. 


Just imagining about qualifying an examination won’t work if you have no knowledge about what the examination consists of or how to start preparing for the same. 

Yes, talking about the syllabus of the examination in this regard, the IBPS exam is imagined to be difficult to crack. But even before we jump to conclusions in that regard, we must be thorough with the syllabus and the possible study materials that can be referred to during the time of preparation. 

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IBPS SO exam syllabus 

The IBPS Specialist Officer syllabus is designed separately for Preliminary Exam and Mains Exam. Apart from the major three sections of English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning,a candidate is required to be fluent in his/her area of expertise or the Specialisation Subjects.

Detailed syllabus for IBPS SO examination

Reasoning Ability

  1. Seating Arrangements.
  2. Puzzles.
  3. Inequalities.
  4. Syllogism.
  5. Input-Output.
  6. Data Sufficiency.
  7. Blood Relations.
  8. Order and Ranking.
  9. Alphanume-c Series.
  10. Distance and Direction.
  11. Verbal Reasoning

English Language

  1. Cloze Test.
  2. Reading Comprehension.
  3. Spotting Errors.
  4. Sentence Improvement
  5. Sentence Correction.
  6. Para Jumbles.
  7. Fill in the Blanks.
  8. Para/Sentence Completion

Quantitative Aptitude

  1. Number Series.
  2. Data Interpretation.
  3. Simplification/ Approximation.
  4. Quadratic Equation.
  5. Data Sufficiency.
  6. Mensuration.
  7. Average.
  8. Profit and Loss.
  9. Ratio and Proportion.
  10. Work, Time and Energy
  11. Time and Distance.
  12. Probability.
  13. Relations.
  14. Simple and Compound Interest.
  15. Permutation and Combination

General Awareness

  1. Current Affairs.
  2. Banking Awareness.
  3. GK Updates.
  4. Currencies.
  5. Important Places.
  6. Books and Authors.
  7. Awards.
  8. Headquarters.
  9. Prime Minister.
  10. Schemes.
  11. Important Days.

Candidates are required to have professional knowledge in his/her area of expertise as well. The detailed syllabus is discussed below.

Professional knowledge required for the IBPS SO examination

ibps bank exam
IT Officer (Scale-I)Database Management System
Data Communication and Networking
Operating System
Software Engineering
Data Structure
Computer Organisation and Microprocessor
Object-Oriented Programming
Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I)Basics of Crop production
Seed Science
Agronomy and Irrigation
Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Practices
Soil resources
Animal Husbandry
Government Schemes
Marketing Officer (Scale-I)Basics of Marketing Management
Brand Management
Business Ethics
Market Segmentation
Market research and forecasting demand
Product Life Cycle
Corporate Social Responsibility
Service Marketing
Marketing Strategies
Law Officer (Scale-I)Banking Regulations
Compliance and Legal Aspects
Relevant Law and Orders related to negotiable instruments, securities, foreign exchange
Prevention of Money-laundering, Limitation Act
Consumer Protection Act
Banking Ombudsman Scheme
Laws and Actions with the direct link to Banking Sector
Bankers Book Evidence Act
HR/Personnel Officer (Scale-I)Human Resource Development
Business policy and strategic analysis
Transnational Analysis
Training and Development
Recruitment and Selection
Rewards and Recognition
Industrial Relations
Business Policy and Strategic Analysis
Grievance and Conflict Management
Performance Management and Appraisal

Subject-wise list of IBPS SO preparation books

The IBPS SO exam’s syllabus is completely covered in some of the finest books specially designed for the examination. They convey information that is easy to understand, is in line with the IBPS SO syllabus, and offers enough practice questions. The IBPS SO syllabus for the prelims is the same as the IBPS PO syllabus. Hence the books required for the prelims exam are the same as the IBPS PO books. The Mains examination has some common papers which can also be prepared using the same books. These subjects are:

  1. Reasoning.
  2. General Awareness with special reference to the banking industry.
  3. English Language.
  4. Quantitative Aptitude.
  5. Computer Knowledge

Prelims exam books for IBPS SO examination

English Language

Despite the fact that no publications besides the standard IBPS guidelines initially appear to be relevant for the SO exam, nearly all the subjects covered in both stages of the examination are from these books:

  • ‘How to Read Better and Faster’ by Norman Lewis
  • ‘High School English Grammar and Composition’ by Wren and Martin. Reading this book will also improve the knowledge level and proficiency in the English language. This book is also relevant for the English descriptive test in the IBPS Probationary Officer main exam.
  • ‘Reading Comprehension, Ordering of Sentences, Ordering of Words and Cloze Test’’ by Dilip Khushwaha.
  • ‘The Complete Success Package – Bank PO Recruitment Examination – Arihant Publications.
  • Comprehensive Guide to IBPS – Disha Publications.

Quantitative Aptitude

Since the Quantitative Aptitude component of the syllabus is covered in both the SO and management entrance exams, there are several books available for it. However, the greatest publications on this topic are:

  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by R.S Agarwal.
  • The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude by Dinesh Khattar.
  • Quantitative Aptitude Test for Bank PO by N K Singh by Upkar Publication.
  • Target IBPS PO by Disha Publications
  • Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma.
  • Objective Mathematics for Competitive Exams by Tarun Goyal.

Reasoning Ability

This subject needs to be prepared independently, even though it is paired with computer aptitude in the Mains exam. The most beneficial books on this topic are:

  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S Agrawal
  • A New Approach to Reasoning by B.S Sijwali and Indu Sijwali
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K.Pandey.

General Awareness, the economy and banking

This topic has a comparatively wide scope. For this reason, reading books, weekly current events publications, and newspapers should be used for preparation. Most of the events from three to four months before the exam are used as the basis for the current affairs questions:

  • India Year Book by Publications Division, Government of India
  • Banking Awareness by B.K Raut and S.R Behera
  • Mahindra Financial and Banking Awareness.
  • Apart from these books, the Hindu and Indian Express are good sources of information on the latest developments. The focus should be on the business and world news sections of these newspapers.
  • Pratiyogita Darpan (Monthly Edition).

IBPS SO books for professional knowledge

The Professional Knowledge segment of the mains exam has questions depending on the specialisation the applicant chooses, making getting marks in this subject quite simple. Books on professional knowledge are available for each field of specialisation, as follows:

Information Technology

The IT field’s evolution is reflected in this exam. The IBPS SO books required to cover the complete syllabus of professional knowledge are as follows:

  1. Objective Computer Knowledge by R Pillai.
  2. Data Communications and Networking by Behrouz. A Forouzan.


There is a large amount of material on agriculture in the specialist officer exam course. In order to prepare, the following books are suggested:

  1. NCERT Science Textbooks: Classes VI-IX.
  2. Agriculture Field Officer by R.Gupta

Rajbhasha Adhikari

The Rajbhasha Adhikari syllabus is meant to identify candidates with a strong command of Hindi language and grammar. These officers approve all advertising copy written in Hindi and the majority of internal communications performed in Hindi. The following books should be read by candidates in order to prepare for this paper:

  1. Upkar Prakashan’s Hindi Vyakaran Aur Rachna.
  2. Rajbhasha Adhikari Guide by R.Gupta.

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