Banking Exam

  Institute of Banking Personnel Selection                               

    Common Written Exam (CWE) Clerical   

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is an autonomous agency in India, which started its operation in 1975 as Personnel Selection Services (PSS). In 1984, IBPS became an independent entity at the behest of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Public Sector Banks. IBPS is envisioned as self-governed academic and research oriented Institute, with a mission of enhancing human-resource development through personnel assessment. In 2011, IBPS announced a common written examination (CWE) for the selection Officers and Clerks in Indian banks. IBPS CWE is now mandatory for anyone who seeks an employment in 20 public sector and Regional Rural banks. IBPS periodically accepts the exam applications from the candidates at their website, and the exams are organized at various locations in the country either in online or offline mode.SBI conducts its own recruitment exam and does not consider IBPS CWE.

Governing Board

The Governing Board consists of nominees from Reserve Bank of India, Ministry of Finance Government of India, National Institute of Bank Management, representatives of Public Sector Banks, Insurance sector and academics. The matters related to policy and affairs of the Institute are vested in the Governing Board.

  • Allahabad Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Bharatiya Mahila Bank
  • Canara Bank
  • Central Bank of India
  • Corporation Bank
  • Dena Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Punjab & Sind Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • United Bank of India
  • UCO Bank
  • Vijaya Bank
  • IDBI Bank
  • Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Bank

Exams for different cadres 

  • CWE PO/MT for the position of Probationary Officer or Management Trainee.
  • CWE Clerk for Clerical positions.
  • Specialist Officer for specialist officer positions.
  • RRB officer. For the selection of officers & office assistants to Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) governed by NABARD.

Though the common exams were conducted once every six months, it is no more in practice.As per latest modifications  PO & Clerk will be conducted by IBPS once a year.

Moving beyond traditional testing methods, IBPS has introduced online testing for recruitment and selection in its client organizations. It has been one of the pioneers in Online testing module especially in the financial sector. It currently has the capacity to hold online examination for over 5000 candidates across the country in a single session. It ensures providing a congenial test environment, high availability servers at data center, secure leased lines, test centers having range of capacities - from 10 PCs to over 100 PCs, trained test administrators at the test centers for proctoring and professional support. IBPS’ services in this regard include downloadable admit cards and personal intimations through e-mail and SMS.
Online Mock Test Link is given below:

A pioneer in the use of Objective Type testing methodology for employment testing in the country, the Institute constantly seeks to keep pace with the times as well as the needs of client organizations.
A robust research environment and the experience gained over two and a half decades of testing employees at entry, middle and senior levels as well as assessing in general and specialist cadres, ensures that the Institute provides methods of selection which are efficient and relevant to the job profile. Its approach to selection is based on identification of talent that is most appropriate to the changing functional roles and business needs.
Over the years, IBPS has enhanced its infrastructure, network and expertise to contemporary requirements and have upgraded its modus operandi to handle mass recruitments at any centre across the country. To date, the volume of candidates assessed stands unparalleled.
Below is the comparative analysis for Recruitment during the years 2009-10 and 2010-11.


The eligibility conditions to apply for these common examinations have reportedly been changed recently as per the approval of Government of India.[4] The minimum age for someone looking to apply for PO & clerical exams is 20 years and the maximum age is 30.While the minimum educational qualification is a degree from recognized university.

Additionally, applicants to the Specialist cadre are required to have a professional qualification  in Law, Accounting, Agriculture, IT or management sector. A certificate in computer operations or knowledge in computers has also been mandatory for posts other than specialist officers.

Common Written Examination (CWE)

The CWE syllabus and general instructions on filling IBPS online application will be provided in the exam notification. Each candidate will be intimated with the date and venue of the exam via a call letter, that will be available for download a few days after they register at the IBPS website. IBPS CWE is an objective type exam with negative marking for false answers. Initially, the exams were organized in the offline mode but in 2012 IBPS moved to an internet-based examination process. As per the official report approximately 141 lakhs candidates were registered with IBPS in 2011-12 out of which 97 lakhs were tested during the same period.

IBPS CWE results are published online at their official website. All candidates who appear for the CWE will be able to check their status once the results are out. IBPS applies a cut-off method to determine the final score known as the TWSS
(Total Weighted Standardized Scores). Although scorecards were issued to candidates who secured the minimum TWSS, IBPS has discontinued that practice during mid-2012.Qualified candidates can directly see their scores online and wait for common interviews to take place.
TWSS is calculated by linear transformation method. In this method firstly z-score is determined from actual mean score and standard deviation of all candidates and then t-score is calculated by taking mean = 25 and standard deviation = 5 as mentioned in IBPS notification.
             Common Interview

In 2012, IBPS announced that the participating banks would no longer conduct separate interviews for successful candidates after the CWE. Instead, IBPS itself will arrange a common interview (CI)  for them at different locations and will prepare a final merit list which will be used to recruit them directly to the banking positions reported during the validity of their score card.

The institute has been criticised for forcing applicants to travel very far in order to take the CWE.

In December 2013, a large group of applicants who passed the exam in March 2013 claimed that 30,000 of them were still waiting to be allocated a job, nine months after the exam.[9]
At the time of initial IBPS PO 3 notification, maximum age criteria was changed to 28 years. However following massive complaints, IBPS decided to revert the age criteria back to 30 years. 

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