The Preliminary paper is distinguished by the fact that it has only three sections and is likely to be easier than the Main paper. However, the 1 hour duration in which you need to attempt 100 questions ensures that the paper will be a competitive one. The Main paper will retain its old pattern of five sections and a composite time of 2 hours. Once you qualify through the Main Paper, a third round is conducted – the Interview. Qualifying the interview makes you eligible to become a Clerical Officer in one of the banks under the aegis of IBPS.
Note the following:
BILINGUAL TEST: Every section (except English Language) in both stages will be available in both English and Hindi.
NEGATIVE MARKING: Each wrong answer deducts 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question from your total. In this case, since each question is worth 1 mark, you lose ¼ marks per wrong answer.
CUT-OFFS: Each section has an individual cut-off. Besides this, there is a minimum overall score decided by the IBPS after the results are tallied, that you need to cross to move to the next round. Qualifying the Prelims in this way gets you to the Main Exam. And securing the Mains cut-off qualifies you for the Interview round.
The IBPS, however, has not thrown any light on the syllabus. From the patterns seen in previous years, we know the likely chapters and topics that will make appearances in the Preliminary and the Main papers, as well as their probable weightages.
Here is a subject-wise list of the Prelims syllabus. The list is classified in order of priority – important chapters first. The Nature of Questions tells you whether it is a scoring chapter or a tricky topic or a time consuming one.