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The IBPS SO Exam is conducted every year by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS ) to recruit Specialist Officers for different positions in the Public sector banks in India. This article is about the various important information related to the IBPS Specialist Officer Exam.

Latest Update

  • The Institute has released the IBPS SO Admit Card for the prelims examination scheduled for December 26, 2021. The Specialist Officer preliminary examination hall ticket was released on December 10, and candidates who had applied for the post can visit the linked article and get the direct link to download the call letter.

The IBPS conducts different recruitment examinations for the Public Sector banks of India.

In this article, we shall take you through the IBPS SO exam dates, notification, vacancies, exam pattern & syllabus, and all the other important information regarding the exam.

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IBPS exams shall soon be conducted by the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), which will conduct a Common Recruitment Test (CET) to appoint candidates at various posts in SSC, RRB and IBPS. Recruitment for Non-Technical and Non-Gazetted posts will be conducted by the NRA.

For detailed information on upcoming bank exams, refer to the linked article.

IBPS SO Notification 2021-22

The IBPS SO 2021 recruitment notification was released on November 2, 2021. The IBPS SO Notification gives an idea on various important aspects of the SO Exam. The application process for this examination is entirely online. Candidates can apply online for IBPS SO through the official website.

Candidates can get detailed information on the IBPS SO Online Application Process, Application Fee, Admit Card through the official IBPS SO Notification.

IBPS SO Exam Date

The exam schedule for the IBPS Specialist Officer has been released by the conducting body and given below are the important IBPS SO exam dates 2021 as per the official IBPS Specialist Officer notification:

IBPS SO Exam Dates 2021
IBPS SO Preliminary Examination December 26, 2021
IBPS SO Main Examination January 30, 2022
Interview February/March 2022

To know the IBPS exam dates for all the upcoming IBPS exams 2021, candidates can visit the linked article and check the IBPS calendar 2021.

IBPS SO Recruitment

The IBPS SO Recruitment gives important details related to the various posts, vacancies, salaries, and the IBPS SO eligibility.

IBPS SO Recruitment- Posts

The IBPS SO exam is conducted to recruit Specialist Officers in the various participation banks in IBPS. The exam is conducted for various posts and the eligibility and selection criteria also differ for each post of Specialist Officer.

As for 2021, the vacancies had been released for the following Specialist officer posts:

Department IBPS SO Recruitment - Position
Information Technology Officer Scale I Officer
Agriculture Field Officer Scale I Officer
Rajbhasha(National Language) Scale I Officer
Law Scale I Officer
Human Resources/Personnel Scale I Officer
Marketing Scale I Officer

The examination for these IBPS SO posts is conducted in a common format with the syllabus differing for specific departments.

IBPS SO Vacancy

A total of 1828 IBPS SO vacancies had been released in 2021. The exact distribution of vacancies for the Specialist Officer post has been given below:

The total number of IBPS SO vacancies for 2018 was around 1600. Whereas over 1100 vacancies were released in the year 2019.

If a candidate wants to know about the vacancies released for other IBPS exams, he/she can visit the IBPS notifications page and get the required information.

IBPS SO Salary

The IBPS SO Salary varies according to the posts and grade.
The IBPS SO Salary details for various posts are given below:

Grade IBPS SO Salary
Officer Scale I Monthly Salary – Rs. 36400/-
Pay Scale – Rs. 23700-980/7-30560-1145/2-32850-1310/7-42020
Officer Scale II Monthly Salary – Rs. 48800/-
Pay Scale – Rs. 31705-1145/1-32850-1310/10-45950
Officer Scale III Monthly Salary – Rs. 64600/-
Pay Scale – Rs. 42020-1310/5-48570-1460/2-51490
  • The IBPS SO Salary includes dearness allowance and HRA for all the grades.

IBPS SO Eligibility

The IBPS SO Eligibility criteria has 3 important aspects.

They are:

  1. IBPS SO Age Limit
  2. Nationality
  3. Educational Qualification

Age Limit:

Candidates have to fulfill certain eligibility with regard to the Age limit to appear for IBPS Specialist Officer examination.

The IBPS SO Age Limit is as follows:

Minimum Age - 20years

Maximum Age - 30years

There is a certain upper age limit relaxation for various categories.

The IBPS SO age limit relaxation is given below:

Relaxation of Upper Age Limit:

Sr. No. Category Age Relaxation
1 Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe 5 years
2 Other Backward Classes 3 years
3 Persons With Disability 10 years
4 Ex-Servicemen, Commissioned Officers including Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs) / Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) who have rendered atleast 5 years military service and have been released on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from the last date of receipt of application) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency or physical disability attributable to military service or invalidment 5 years
5 Persons ordinarily domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period 1-1-80 to 31-12-89 5 years
6 Persons affected by 1984 riots 5 years


A candidate must be either -

(i) a Citizen of India or
(ii) a subject of Nepal
(iii) a subject of Bhutan or
(iv) a Tibetan Refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India,
(v) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India, provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) & (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Educational Qualification

The necessary Educational Qualification that a candidate needs to have for IBPS Specialist Officer is given below.

Educational Qualifications (As on 23.11.2020):

Sr. No. Post Code Name of the Post Age Educational Qualifications**
(from a University/ Institution/ Board recognised by Govt. Of India/approved by Govt. Regulatory Bodies)
01 IT Officer (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years a) 4 year Engineering / Technology Degree in Computer Science / Computer Applications / Information Technology / Electronics / Electronics & Telecommunications / Electronics & communication / Electronics & Instrumentation
b) Post Graduate Degree in Electronics / Electronics & Telecommunication / Electronics & Communication / Electronics & Instrumentation / Computer Science / Information Technology / Computer Applications
Graduate having passed DOEACC 'B' level
02 Agricultural Field Officer (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years 4 year Degree (graduation) in Agriculture / Horticulture / Animal Husbandry / Veterinary Science / Dairy Science / Fishery Science / Pisciculture / Agri. Marketing & Cooperation / Co-operation & Banking / Agro - Forestry / Forestry / Agricultural Biotechnology / Food Science / Agriculture Business Management / Food Technology / Dairy Technology / Agricultural Engineering / Sericulture
03 Rajbhasha / Adhikari (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years Post Graduate Degree in hindi with English as a subject at the degree (graduation) level
Post Graduate Degree in Sanskrit with English and Hindi as subjects at the degree (graduation) level.
04 Law Officer (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years A Backelor Degree in Law (LLB) and enrolled as an advocate with Bar Council.
05 HR/Personnel Officer (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years Graduate and Two Years Full time Post Graduate degree or Two Years Full time Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management / Industrial Relations / HR / HRD / Social Work / Labour Law.*
06 Marketing Officer (Scale - I) Min - 20 years Max - 20 years Graduate and Two Years Full time MMS (Marketing) / Two Years Full time MBA(Marketing) / Two Years Full time PGDBA / PGDBM / PGPM / PGDM with specialization in Marketing.*

There is a certain reservation for candidates having Benchmark Disabilities.

They are as follows:

Reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities

Under section 34 of "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016", persons with benchmark disabilities are eligible for Reservation. The reserved categories of disabilities mentioned under this Act are namely:

  1. Blindness and low vision:
  2. deaf and hard of hearing;
  3. locomotor disability including cerebral palsy. leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy:
  4. autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  5. multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness in the posts identified for each disabilities:

Note: Definition of the above specified disabilities will be as per "THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016"

The allocation of reserved vacancies for the persons with benchmark disabilities will be as prescribed in the "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016" and as per vacancies reported to IBPS by Participating Organisations.

Candidates must note that IBPS SO exam qualifications and eligibility is different from the IBPS PO and Clerk examination.

IBPS SO Exam Pattern

The IBPS has revised the SO Exam Pattern recently. The revised IBPS SO selection process comprises of three phases:

  1. IBPS SO Prelims
  2. IBPS SO Mains
  3. Interview

The Preliminary examination consists of three sections with a total weightage of 125 marks. English Language and Reasoning are common for all departments. The technical departments test the candidates’ ability in Quantitative Aptitude while the non-technical candidates are tested on General Awareness.

To prepare for the General Awareness section for IBPS SO exam candidates can must thoroughly prepare themselves for the Static GK part on various topics.

The candidates have to score above the IBPS cut off in each section to be eligible for the main examination. The main examination consists of one objective type paper of 60 marks for technical and Law candidates. The Rajbhasha candidates have to answer an objective type and one descriptive test for a total of 60 marks.

Candidates willing to appear for the upcoming IBPS SO exam can get the detailed section-wise bank exam syllabus at the linked article.

The candidates who score more marks than the cutoff in the main examination are called for the IBPS interview for specialist officers. The interview is worth 100 marks out of which candidates have to score at least 40. SC/ST/OBC and PWD candidates have to score at least 35. The combined score of the mains and interview are used to draw up the merit list.

IBPS SO Syllabus

The IBPS SO Syllabus is a bit different from other IBPS Exams. The IBPS SO syllabus for Prelims and Mains has subject-specific and posts-specific topics respectively. The common subjects of IBPS SO exam for various posts under Specialist Officer are Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English Language and General Awareness.

Candidates should always be updated on important dates related to the IBPS SO Result, exam dates, etc.

Solving the mock tests and previous year papers will help candidates not just understand the difficulty level and standard of examination but will also help them get a better idea of the IBPS SO syllabus and the type of questions asked.

The competition for the IBPS Specialist Officer exam is very high and the level of preparation required is also equally high. So it is suggested that solving mock tests and previous year papers shall prove to be very helpful for the candidates.

Typical candidates for this exam are experienced in their respective fields and hence, the competition is very high.

Aspirants can follow Reliable Academy for study material, notifications, and strategy for the IBPS examinations.

Frequently Asked Questions for RBI Admit Card

Q. What is the salary of a person appointed as a Specialist Officer in IBPS?

The IBPS SO salary varies from Rs.36,000 to Rs.64,000 and this differs based on the scale of the employee. Candidates can know the detailed IBPS SO salary at the linked article.

Q. What is the age limit for a candidate applying for the IBPS SO exam?

The candidate must not be less than 20 years and not more than 30 years in age to apply for the IBPS SO exam. There is age relaxation that is provided to the candidates belonging to the SC/ST/OBC category

Q. For which post is the IBPS SO exam conducted?

Given below is the list of posts for which the IBPS SO exam is conducted.

  • Marketing Officer
  • Agriculture Field Officer
  • Law Officer
  • HR/Personnel Officer
  • IT Officer
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari

These posts and vacancies depend upon the requirement of the conducting and hiring organisation. The number of vacancies or the posts for which the recruitment is conducted may not be the same every year.

Q. What is the IBPS SO exam?

The IBPS SO exam is conducted to recruit Specialist Officers in various participants Banks under IBPS. These specialisations include Officers in departments related to Law, Human Resources. IT, etc.

Q. Can a student in his final semester apply for the IBPS SO exam?

Yes, a student appearing for the final semester exam is eligible to apply for the IBPS SO exam. But they must note that they need to provide their Graduation degree or certificate at the time of document verification.

Q. Is the exam pattern for IBPS Specialist Officer the same as the exam pattern for IBPS PO?

The exam pattern for both the exams is almost the same. The exam is conducted in three-stage: Prelims, Mains and Interview. However, the syllabus for the IBPS PO and IBPS SO is different from each other.

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