Saturday, June 27, 2015

Common written examinations conducted by IBPS

Banking is one of the most sought after career choice among the students at present. It is an entry into a well paid, secure and status career. Though it may appear that these jobs are meant for commerce/economics students but the factor is that majority of bank officers like probationary officers are from different streams of education namely – agriculture, engineering, medicine, dental etc.,  Though the public sector banks are now appointing management graduates. Chartered Accountants and Chartered Financial Analysts, bright graduates from any subject can get entry in the public sector banks through an All India Examination conducted by them; however, for probationary officer examinations are still for graduation from any stream – science/arts/commerce.

 The emergence of technology driven banks have broadened the scope and range of banking service and entry of financial institutions are into the short term lending business is resulting in needs for more professionals. Now banks are engaged in selling mutual fund products and insurance products. Apart from the above, they are dealing in securitization, business credit cards, consumer loans, housing loans, housing loans besides trading in gold and forex activities. Generally  banks look for people having good communication skills, good interpersonal skills and the ability to deal with customers in an effective manner, alert nature and basic knowledge of the banking industry (such quality is necessary for interview). On account of computerization of the entire functions in the banking industry, people with good computer knowledge are preferred much.

Career opportunities in banking sector:
In view of the facts as mentioned above, joining public sector banks as probationary officers or clerks or specialist officers on the basis of common written examinations conducted by IBPS – Institute of Banking Personnel Selection has become a stepping stone for the career growth in the banking industry

Eligibility criteria and general information about the examinations:
Degree in any discipline from a recognized University (Some banks prefer 60% or 55% in graduation and some banks prefer 60% in 12th examinations and 55% in graduation examinations.
Any equivalent qualifications recognized by Central Government. They should possess a certificate in computer literacy – however, some banks do not give much importance for computer literacy at the time of recruitment

Age: Minimum 21 years – Maximum 30 years. However, maximum age limit may vary in some cases. It may be 28 years, 29 or 30 years. The details can be found from the concerned websites

A candidate should be either a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal, a subject of Bhutan etc., The details are available in details in the websites.

Pattern of examinations:
The selection of banking personnel is based on the following criteria:

a.   Common written examinations: IBPS is conducting common written examination for candidates. The eligible candidates should furnish the details through online mode and the payment also has to be made through online mode only. The details are made available through IBPS websites
At present there are two examinations conducted by IBPA – Preliminary examination and final examination effective from 2015 onwards. The candidates should successfully complete the preliminary examination so that they become eligible to appear for final examinations.

In the case of preliminary examination there are three subjects namely – Reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude and General English. The candidates should score minimum marks in each subject apart from minimum overall score as prescribed by IBPS. Those who score the minimum marks in each subject apart from the minimum overall score become eligible to appear for final examinations conducted by IBPS

In  the case of final examination, there are five subjects namely – Reasoning ability, Quantitative aptitude, General English, General awareness with special preference to banking industry and Computer awareness.

An estimated composition of question paper is as detailed below:
Name of the subject
Number of questions
Time duration

Reasoning ability

Two hours

Quantitative aptitude
General English
General awareness
Computer awareness/Marketing aptitude
Descriptive English

One hour

Normally the question papers are in the above pattern; however, in the case of examinations conducted by IBPS for State Bank of India and associate banks, the pattern is slightly different. Anyhow the subject composition is the same for all examinations conducted for recruitment of clerks and officers in all banks.

Similarly the weightage given to the questions differ from one subject to another. For example, each question in reasoning ability carries one and half marks whereas each question in computer awareness carries half mark.

On the basis of marks obtained in the written examinations, a merit list is prepared and the selected candidates are called for group discussion and interview. This stage carries 50 marks divided as 20 marks for group discussion and 30 marks for interview.

Previous years’ question papers are available in the market for all subjects including preparation for interview.

Candidates who are willing to get recruited in banks should work hard and do as much practice tests as possible so that they are capable of answering the questions in the final examinations in a comfortable manner.

On account of more and more number of candidates are appearing for the examinations, there is tough competition and very few get the opportunity for being selected in banks.

Separate examinations are conducted by IBPS for the following categories:
01.                Clerks in nationalized banks
02.                Probationary officers in nationalized banks
03.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in nationalized banks
04.                Clerks in Regional Rural Banks
05.                Probationary officers in Regional Rural Banks
06.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in Regional Rural Banks
07.                Clerks in State Bank of India
08.                Probationary officers in State Bank of India
09.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in SBI
10.                Clerks in State Bank of India associate banks
11.                Probationary officers in State Bank of India associate banks
12.                Specialist officers (Legal, Human resources, Agriculture, Official Language etc) in SBI associate banks
Candidates can very well appear for all examinations as detailed above and they have better opportunities for getting selected in anyone category
The score obtained in common written examination is valid for one year and the candidate can appear for the interview for the concerned category within the period for one or more banks. Nowadays IBPS is conducting interview process collectively for all nationalized banks and not individually.

Apart from the above, separate examinations followed by interview are also conducted by IBPS for recruitment as assistants, administrative and field officers in public sector insurance companies. The examination pattern is similar to banks and in the case of general awareness, more number of questions will be on insurance matters. 

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