How to Become a Probationary Officer

Bank Jobs are the most common and dream job of many youths. There are many posts in the Banks like LDC (Lower Division Clerk), SDC (Senior Division Clerk), etc. Here in this article, I am going to share with you the complete details about the How to become a Probationary Officer. What are the required Eligibility Criteria and the selection process etc. Check out the complete blog below to get all details about this.

Probationary Officer
IBPS conducts examinations for all the banks but SBI conducts its examinations separately. It is good to keep in mind that every bank has its own sets of papers. IBPS only conducts the written examination for all the public sector units.  The main exam is conducted by the IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) and SBI (State Bank of India). Now let’s see what is Probationary Officer.

What is Probationary Officer?

Probationary officer (PO) is a managerial level post and is offered by many public sector units (PSU’s). The probationary officer is basically an assistant manager of scale I or we can say the junior manager of scale I. after the selection, the candidate has to undergo training for around 2 years, the time duration of training differs from bank to bank. Now let’s see the required eligibility criteria to become a Probationary Officer.

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Eligibility Criteria for Probationary Officer 2021:

Lakhs of students appear for this exam every year and this exam is conducted nationwide and it is a highly demanded an entry-level exam. To become Probationary officer, appear for this exam, the candidate must match the criteria for this exam which are as follows:

  • Nationality- The candidate must be the responsible citizen of India.
  • Age limit- The age of the candidate must be between 21 to 30 years while applying for the Bank PO exam and the relaxation of 5 years is given to the SC and ST (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe )category, and 3 years of relaxation is given to the OBC (Other Backward Categories) and those candidates who are holding Jammu and Kashmir quota are given relaxation of 5 years.
  • Educational qualification- It is another important aspect of the Bank PO eligibility. The candidate must have at least a bachelor’s degree from any recognized college or university from any stream like Commerce, Science, or arts.
  • Record- The candidate must not have any criminal record or the candidature will be canceled if found guilty.

Selection Process of Probationary Officer:

The Selection of the candidate will be done in three phases. One will need to clear the:

  • Preliminary Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Interview

The preliminary Examination would have an objective-type Question with Multiple Choice Answer while the Mains Exam will be descriptive. All those who would clear preliminary and mains will proceed for the Interview.


Bank PO exam conducted by IBPS includes a large number of banks of both the public and private sector. They recruit young and talented officers for their bank and here is the name of some major banks in the list:

  • State bank Of India
  • Allahabad bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • ICICI bank
  • Cooperative bank
  • Cooperation bank
  • Syndicate bank
  • HDFC bank

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Syllabus of Probationary Officer Exam 2021:

In order to get selected for the Bank PO exam, the candidate needs to clear 4 tests. The first one is the preliminary exam and after clearing the preliminary exam candidate will be called for the main examination and after that, there is a descriptive test conducted by IBPS. After clearing all these tests the candidate will finally call for the interview and after clearing all these steps the candidate has to undergo training for around 2 years.

Prelims Exam Syllabus:

In the preliminary Examination, One will need to prepare the following subjects:

  • Reasoning syllabus
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • English Language etc


  • Logical reasoning
  • Alphanumeric series
  • Coding decoding
  • Input-output
  • Direction, ranking, Alphabet test
  • Blood relations
  • Data sufficiency
  • Syllogism
  • Tabulation
  • Coded inequalities
  • Puzzle
  • Seating arrangement

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Simplification
  • Probability
  • Profit and loss
  • Sequence and series
  • Number system
  • SI &CI (simple interest and compound interest)
  • Ratio and percentage
  • Time and distance
  • Work and time
  • Mensuration
  • Time and distance.

English Language

  • Cloze test
  • Miscellaneous
  • Error spotting
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Paragraph completion
  • Para jumbles
  • Reading comprehension

PO Mains Exam Syllabus:

  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • Reasoning
  • English language
  • Computer Aptitude

Data interpretation and Analysis:

  • Tabular graph
  • Pie chart
  • Line graph
  • Bar graph
  • Let It case
  • Missing case
  • Reader graph
  • Probability
  • Data sufficiency


  • Verbal reasoning
  • Circular seating arrangement
  • Syllogism
  • Linear seating arrangement
  • Input-output
  • Scheduling
  • Direction and distances
  • Blood relations
  • Double lineup
  • Ordering and ranking
  • Analytical decision making
  • Data sufficiency
  • Critical reasoning
  • Code inequalities

English language

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Sentence improvement
  • Word association
  • Verbal activity
  • Error spotting

Computer Aptitude

  • Memory
  • Internet
  • Networking
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Computer software & hardware
  • Computer abbreviation
  • Microsoft office
  • Operating system
  • Number system
  • Basis of log gates.

Descriptive Test Syllabus

The descriptive test consists of only two questions of 50 marks of English language (Letter Writing and Essay).


After clearing all the tests candidates will be called for an interview and after this candidate will get employed.

Responsibility of Probationary Officer:

During the time of training i.e during the probation period which is of around 2 years differs from bank to bank, the trainee can be asked to perform a clerk or assistant-type job. This is being done in order to keep the trainee aware of the working procedure of the bank.

During the training, the trainees are given practical training in various things like accounting, billing, financing, etc. in order to build entrust. Successfully after the completion of the training the candidate is posted in any branch of the bank and is given the responsibility of daily customer transactions etc. The employees are given the task of loans and transactions and managing cash etc. The other responsibility of PO is to work as public relations officer, handle customer complaints and address relief to the customers by clearing their problems related to transactions, loans or undue charges, etc.

Once they gain experience in the bank on their personal skills they will be assigned more responsibilities i.e financing, budgeting, planning, loan financing, etc. The employee needs to treat the bank as their own and have to think about the betterment of the bank. The responsibilities of the bank PO includes supervision and taking decisions for the benefit.

The bank PO has to clarify and verify all the works done by the clerk, in every transaction the PO is the checker and in case of loss, the checker is responsible for that. It is the bank PO who issues ATM cards, demand drafts, checkbooks, credit cards, and debit cards, etc.

It is the main responsibility of the bank PO to stay aware of all the developments in the bank and must read all the happenings in the bank to stay updated.

Promotion Criteria of Bank Probationary officer:

The Promotion in the bank is done on the basis of the Experience or through the Promotional Exam or also called as Internal Exam. In order to get a quick promotion, one can appear for the Promotional Exam. But, there are some required eligibility Criteria to appear in the promotional Exam. On the basis of the Experience, PO gets first promotion after 2 years of service.

How to prepare for PO Exam 2021:

PO exam is a highly competitive exam and lacs of candidates appear for the exam which is conducted nationwide by IBPS and SBI. A systematic and good plan is required to start the preparation for the Bank PO exam.

Candidates need to solve all the mock test papers and previous year question papers and sample papers to stay aware and updated from the type of questions asked in the exam.

Time management is the key, you must know how to manage time in preparation and while writing the exam. The candidate must know about the syllabus and the exam pattern before step into this. The syllabus for the Bank PO exam is not vast and determined candidates will clear this exam.

Candidates can take coaching for the preparation if willing to otherwise you can prepare it by yourself at home because self-study is the best study.

Frequently Asked Questions For PO

Is it possible to become a bank PO after the 12th?

No, The Minimum qualification which is required to become Bank PO is Graduation with 55%. A candidate who is in the final year can also apply.

What is the Per Month salary of a Bank PO?

Each bank has different salary criteria. On average, A Probationary officer can make between 35,000/- to 50,000/- per month depending on the bank. Private Banks pay more salary as compared to the Government bank.

What is the responsibility of a Probationary Officer?

The responsibility of the PO is to work as public relations officer, handle customer complaints and address relief to the customers by clearing their problems related to transactions, loans or undue charges, etc.

About the author

Dasharath Maurya

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