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IBPS RRB PO Exam Guide: All you need to know!

Updated on 14 March 2023
40 min read 16 views
Updated on 14 March 2023

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection takes many recruitment exams to supply entry-level officers or probationary officers to the banks and financial services which they're affiliated with. One such exam that helps you pave your way through to the banking sector is the IBPS RRB PO, which caters to banks in rural areas. In this article, we will cover the entire IBPS RRB PO Exam Guide.

The IBPS RRB PO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Regional Rural Banks Probationary Officer) exam shortlists personnel for 52 Gramin banks (regional rural banks). They look for, shortlist and select officers - from assistants to Scale II and III posts. 

IBPS RRB Overview:

An essential recruitment exercise, the IBPS RRB PO is an annual IBPS offering, among the IBPS PO, the IBPS RRB Clerk and the IBPS RRB Assistant. Their mission: Find the right-fit candidates for the banking and financial institutions who know the basics and can train ahead to be assets for these organisations. The idea behind this examination is to get quality candidates for financial institutions in rural areas, at a time when most would instead flock to cities.

The exams require you to meet the age criteria, hold a bachelor's degree with 50% marks and hold a solid command over the exam subjects and syllabi like reasoning ability, quantitative ability, numerical ability, English, Hindi and Computer awareness. Based on your exam performance, you go through a series of shortlisting steps before you get the positions.

Total vacancies and salary structure:

IBPS shares details for the upcoming IBPS RRB PO exam through a public advertisement, generally in June-July. This public advertisement extensively lays down the list of total vacancies, where they are available and all other details relevant to application and selection. While we believe that the current Coronavirus lockdown and epidemic will impact most recruiting processes, we can make a safe estimate around these details based on the procedures for 2019.

The 2019 IBPS RRB PO had announced 9989 vacancies in 52 Gramin banks. We expect that the IBPS RRB PO 2020 would open this out to over 10,000 jobs. Depending on the profile, these jobs offer a basic pay band from Rs 7200 to Rs 25700 for office assistant and officer (Scale 1) positions. These, coupled with necessary salary additions like HRA, DA and other perks can still safely peg one to a salary of Rs 25,000 and above for these entry-level positions.

IBPS RRB PO Exam Date:

The IBPS RRB PO Exam Date for 2020 has been announced as of now. It will be officially announced with the formal advertisement for the exam on their official website. However, by estimates and patterns, these are the exam dates you should watch out for:

For preliminary exams - 19,20 and 26 September 2020

For mains exams - 18 October 2020

Candidates should also look out for the IBPS RRB PO Exam Notification for more details.

IBPS RRB PO eligibility criteria:

As we've discussed earlier, there are two main kinds of eligibility criteria which IBPS RRB PO candidates need to clear - age limitations and education qualifications.

Broadly, the IBPS RRB PO exam is open for candidates between 18 to 40 years of age, depending on the scale that you've applied for. The higher age limits apply to senior positions (like Officer Scale III), while the lower ranks are for younger candidates.

Here is the age limit criteria -

  1. Office Assistant (multi-purpose) - 18-28 years

So, candidates who were born between July 2, 1989, and July 1, 1999, can apply.

  1. Officer Scale - I (Assistant Manager) - 18-30 years

So, candidates who were born between July 3, 1987, can June 30, 1999, can apply.

  1. Officer Scale-II (Manager) - 21-32 years

So, candidates who were born between July 3, 1985, and June 30, 1996, can apply.

  1. Officer Scale-III (Senior Manager) - 21-40 years

So, candidates who were born between July 3, 1977, and June 30, 1996, can apply.

With these age limits, there are also a few age relaxations which are available for candidates depending on their socio-economic backgrounds. These include:

  1. SC/ST candidates get an age relaxation of 5 years.
  2. OBC candidates get an age relaxation of 3 years.
  3. PWD personnel get an age relaxation of 10 years.
  4. Ex-servicemen and disabled ex-servicemen get a relaxation for their active-duty years + 3 years. The maximum age limit in such a clause is for 50 years.
  5. Widows, divorced women and legally separated women get an age relaxation for nine years.
  6. People affected by the 1984 riots can avail for an age relaxation for five years.

Educational qualifications:

The minimum age qualifications for these positions are a bachelor's degree with 50% aggregate marks. There are also professional experience details for those who hold some work experience before applying. 

Now, these details vary depending according to the advertised positions. So, when we break down the positions, our educational qualifications are:

For Office Assistant - Any fresher with a Bachelor's degree.

For Officer Scale-I - Any fresher with a Bachelor's degree, though the banks prefer candidates who have a degree in subjects related to rural areas, like Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry and livestock-oriented graduate courses. Beyond this, they also prefer people who have studied agricultural marketing, IT, management, law, accounts and economics.

For Officer Scale-II (General) - Here, they're looking for any graduate banking officer with two years experience in a bank or financial institution.

For Officer Scale-II (Specialist Officers) - It depends on the specialisation they're looking for:

IT officer - A bachelor's degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Communication or Electronics with 50% marks. Candidates who hold a certificate in ASP, PHP, C++, Java, VB, VC, OCP would be preferred. They should hold a minimum year's worth of experience.

Chartered Accountant - A CA certified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with an experience of minimum one year.

Law Officer - A law graduate with two years of experience as an advocate or a law officer.

Treasury Manager - An MBA in Finance or a CA with a year's field experience.

Marketing officer - An MBA in Marketing with a year's experience in the field.

Agricultural Officer - A bachelor in agrarian courses (Agriculture/ Horticulture/ Dairy/ Animal Husbandry/ Forestry/ Veterinary

Science/ Agricultural Engineering/ Pisciculture) with two years experience. 

For Officer Scale-III (Senior Manager) - This position requires a seasoned, graduate banking officer, one who holds at least five years of experience.  

IBPS RRB PO Application Process:

Now, let's check how you can apply for the exam. The IBPS RRB PO application process is an online process, where candidates can register themselves after the notice appears in June. The last date for application is announced in the next month.

First, a candidate can apply for the position of an office assistant and an officer at the same time, though in individual applications. However, among official positions, they would need to pick one (Officer Scale I, II or III). They would also need to pay the application fee (Rs 600) separately for each post they apply for.

To apply, they need to access the official website (https://ibps.in), click through to IBPS' CRP for RRBs and choose either of the two links - CRP-RRB Officers or CRB-RRBs-Office assistant. 

Next, on the online application page, click for the new registration link and fill in your details. You will see a provisional registration number and password on the screen (it will also come via SMS and on email). 

IBPS RRB PO Syllabus and Exam Patterns:

The IBPS RRB PO exam has two parts - a preliminary examination and a mains exercise for office assistants. If you've applied for an officer position, you will face a finalising interview as well. 

As far as the exam syllabus is concerned, the candidates face specific modules and questions in reasoning ability, quantitative ability, English and Hindi, computers and general awareness. Here is a list of the subjects you'd face in each of these segments:

1. Reasoning ability - Coding-decoding, blood relations, syllogism, series, odd one out, ranking, number tests, puzzles, directions, causes and effects, decision making, assertions and reasons, statements and conclusions, arguments and word formations.

2. Quantitative aptitude - Number systems, HCF and LCM, decimal fractions, simplification, simple and compound interest, time, work and distance, averages and simplification, partnership, percentages, ratio and proportion, profit and loss, case studies, charts and graphs, permutation and combinations and probability.

3. English - Spotting errors and misspelt words, replacing phrases, cloze tests, jumbled sentences, idioms, expressions and reading comprehension.

4. Hindi - Grammer, paragraphs and comprehension exercises

5. Computers - Fundamentals, abbreviations, software and hardware, shortcut keys, networking, basic internet know-how, MS Office, database and security tools, history and future of computers and internet, viruses and hacking.

6. General awareness - Current affairs, banking know-how, countries / Currencies, UNO, Indian and International economy, marketing, banking terms, awards and honours, RBI & its functions, sports, books and authors, finance, fiscal, monetary policies, agriculture, Repo and Reverse Repo Rate and a history of Banking.


The IBPS PO selection process is merit-based, that is how you perform on the preliminary, mains and interview examinations. You can analyse your performance and time it with IBPS RRB PO cut-offs from the previous year. These cut-offs can vary on state and category levels as well. 

If we look at the category-wise cut-offs for 2019, you'd see a general category cut-off between 56-65 (out of 80). Subject-wise, the cut-offs have primarily been between 16-17 points per area. 

This was the complete IBPS RRB PO Exam Guide that one needs to know to clear the exam with flying colors. We hope that this article has helped you to understand and get a clear idea regarding the examination.

Good luck to all the aspirants!

More To Read :-

IBPS RRB Office Assistant Exam: Preparation Guide

IBPS RRB Clerk Exam Guide: Know All About It

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