Every IBPS-PO Mains 2016 exam candidate when trying a mock test, will feel that their score has gone down substantially. Everything about the exam pattern seems to have changed! Though things look similar from the top, they are very different now…


As per the new exam pattern of IBPS-PO Mains:

 Name of the Section 

 No. of Ques.

 Time Allotted 




40 Mins


Quantitative Aptitude


40 Mins


General Awareness (Economy/ Banking)


20 Mins


English Language


30 Mins


Computer Knowledge


10 Mins





140 Mins


 This new exam pattern calls for an updated exam taking strategy. Here are some changes that are suggested by PrepLadder experts:


Updated Strategies for New IBPS-PO Mains Exam Pattern:

  1. Focus on sectional tests:

You cannot ignore any section anymore. You can’t spend just 10 mins on English and GK because you are not very good at it and use the saved time on Logical Reasoning and numerical ability. Practice more sectional tests and try to attempt maximum questions in assigned time.

Get ready to compete at All India Level for IBPS-PO Pre. It's FREE

Start Test  


  1. Sectional Cut-offs will fluctuate:

Since candidates will now get dedicated time to spend on every subject, the cut-offs for some subjects are expected to rise and some are expected to fall. Eg. English and GK are less time consuming sections and thus their cut-off is expected to rise. The cut-off for Numerical Ability and Reasoning are expected to fall because of limited time available for these sections.


  1. English cannot be ignored anymore:

English is the weakest point of most of the IBPS-PO exam applicants. This results in a very low English sectional cut-off year after year. With increased time for this section in IBPS-PO Mains exam 2016, you will be forced to attempt more questions on English when you have fixed 30 mins at hand. If you go well prepared, you will have a better shot at improving your score as compared to making random guesses and losing even more marks to negative marking.

Also Read: How I improved my English score by 200% in Bank-PO?


  1. Revisit your time management strategy:

As per the previous time management strategy, you were expected to spend limited time on sections like GK and English and divert it to your strengths. So as per the new exam pattern of IBPS-PO Mains 2016, the best time management strategy is to first solve less time consuming questions and mark the difficult ones for later review. Once that is done, come back to the difficult questions and solve them.


  1. Plan something different than the Prelims:

What worked for you in the Prelims will not work for you in the Mains. You need to be good and quick at all subjects to excel in IBPS-PO Mains. IBPS wants to select candidates who at good at all subjects and not just 1 or 2. That is why the exam pattern has been changed. While preparing, take a balanced approach towards all subjects.


  1. Expect increased difficulty level:

We can see hat the number of questions in Data interpretation and Reasoning has gone down compared to the time allocated. This means the questions can be more difficult and time consuming. So prepare for the worst.

Must Read: Ways to reduce negative marking in banking exam.


You can either continue as you were preparing and leave your selection to luck or you can start practicing with a fresh plan in mind and assure your entry in IBPS-PO interview round. The choice is yours. Focus your efforts in the right direction. Good luck!

Get flat 30% discount on IBPS-PO Test Pack till tonight. Hurry!

View Offer Details  

Search on PrepLadder