Things you must know before becoming an IBPS clerk


Are you thinking of becoming a bank clerk? Well, then you’re in the right place because in this article we’ll be covering some information you should know before considering this as your career choice. First, let’s clarify what IBPS is. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is an autonomous organization developed to assist organizations in areas such as recruitment, selection, and placement. Its main purpose is to recruit people for various positions in government-owned banks of India.  In addition to this, it provides standardized tools for assessment and results processing services too. IBPS conducts competitive exams for different bank positions such as probationary officers, specialist officers, clerks, and office assistants.

What does a bank clerk do?

The job as a bank clerk is one of the most sought-after jobs for people wanting to join the banking sector. It is an entry-level position. A bank clerk acts as a bridge between the bank and its customers. They primarily provide customer service.

The role of a bank clerk is crucial to the function of a bank as at many times they are the first or only person that a customer may interact with. The job would include assisting customers with various bank-related facilities such as applying for loans, applying for various credit cards/ debits cards, and updating passbooks. They also update customer information, open/ close accounts, and maintain records of all financial transactions. Some of their other duties include processing customer transactions, answering customer questions, cash management, and verifying information.

Skills required to become a bank clerk

Before becoming a bank clerk, you should check whether you have the skills required for the job.

  • A bank clerk should have good interpersonal skills as they handle customer queries and deal with customers on a daily basis.
  • A bank clerk should have good command over computers.
  • A bank clerk should have good mathematical and calculation abilities as the role involves quite a lot of calculations.
  • A bank clerk should be customer-oriented. They should be helpful, polite, and respectful towards customers. They need to pay attention to detail and should be able to interpret the needs of a customer.

IBPS clerk selection process

If you want to be a bank clerk in government-owned banks, giving the IBPS clerk exam is a prerequisite. Candidates are selected for the position of IBPS clerk entirely based on their main exam results. There is no interview needed in the selection process. If you want to become a bank clerk, you have to register and fill in the application form for the exam on the IBPS official website- Candidates who pass the preliminary exam will be shortlisted and selected to appear for the main examination.

IBPS Clerk exam

It is conducted by The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection every year for recruiting clerical cadre to public sector banks all over India. There are two stages to the IBPS clerk exam – prelims and mains. Only those candidates who pass the preliminary exam are eligible to take the main exam. As per the latest guidelines, the test will be conducted in English as well as thirteen regional languages.

IBPS Clerk Exam Eligibility

Before considering a bank clerk as your future career, you should check whether you tick all the boxes. Only those candidates who tick all the criteria are eligible to apply for the IBPS clerk exam.

  1. A candidate must possess a degree (in any discipline) from a university recognized by the Government of India or an equivalent qualification. Candidates in their final year of college are not eligible to apply for the exam.
  2. A candidate must be an Indian citizen.
  3. The minimum age required to apply for the IBPS exam is 20 whereas the upper age limit is 28.
  4. Candidates must possess proof of their graduation (mark sheet/ degree certificate) on the day that they register. While registering online, they are also required to specify the percentage of marks acquired.  If the college has provided CGPA, candidates need to convert it into a percentage (up to two decimal points) to fill in the application form.
  5. Candidates must be adept in the official language of the state that they are applying for. They must be well-versed in writing, speaking, and reading the local language of their preferred state or union territory.
  6. Candidates must possess a functional and working knowledge of computers. This means that candidates should either have a degree/ certificate/ diploma in computer operations/ language or should have studied computers/ information technology as one of the subjects in college or high school.

IBPS exam pattern and Syllabus

The IBPS clerk syllabus 2021 is set as per the guidelines dictated by IBPS. Knowing the syllabus and the exam pattern will help you to prepare for the examination well. Both the prelims and the main exam are online computer-based tests.

Preliminary exams:

The three major sections in the preliminary exams are reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and English. The preliminary exam is conducted in online mode and candidates have a total of 60 minutes to complete the test. This means that candidates have to complete each of the sections in 20 minutes. The prelims will have 100 multiple-choice questions and will be out of 100 marks.

To qualify, candidates need to secure cut-off marks determined by IBPS, in each of the three sections. A fair number of candidates from each category will be shortlisted for the main examinations.

Main examination:

The four main areas tested in the main examination include general/financial awareness, English, quantitative aptitude, and reasoning ability and computer aptitude. The IBPS main exam will include a total of 190 multiple choice questions and candidates will get 160 minutes to attempt them. The exam is out of 200 marks. Earlier, the reasoning ability and computer aptitude sections used to be two different sections. However, as per recent IBPS guidelines, these sections have been merged into one.  The final merit of the candidates is determined by their score in the main examination

It is important to note that both stages of the IBPS clerk examination have negative markings. 0.25 of the marks allotted to the question is deducted for each wrong answer. There is no penalty if a candidate leaves a question unanswered.

This exam is highly competitive as people from all over India take the exam. So, if you want to secure your spot as a bank clerk, make sure you prepare well and start your preparation early.


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