After having written four bank examinations, Harini, an IT professional, is looking forward to the next one scheduled within a fortnight – Common Written Exam. She hopes the Common Written Exam for recruitment of probationary officers in 19 nationalised banks would put an end to applying to banks separately.

“Your effort is multiple times if you have to apply to every bank. Also, sometimes two exams are conducted on the same date,” says Harini, adding the common examination would help save money and time.

Nearly 14.43 lakh candidates across the country have registered for the first Common Written Exam for the post of entry level officers' cadre to be held on September 18 by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

The score card of the exam, valid for a year, makes a candidate eligible for recruitment to 19 nationalised banks. This is on a par with international testing patterns, like GMAT and it would even take care of the equalisation, said M. Balachandran, Director, IBPS.

According to a study by IBPS, a candidate aspiring to get a bank job takes five to six exams a year, which could be avoided now.

The organisers have also started online registrations for the post of clerical cadre to be held in November, which would see even more numbers.

At least 50 lakh candidates are expected to register for the exam.

“Avoid last-minute rush”

“Three lakh people have already registered, and this count would pick up in the last few weeks. Candidates should avoid last-minute rush,” said Mr. Balachandran. Officials say that it is not enough if the candidates pay fees as they have to also register themselves.

Institutes that coach students for bank exams in the city say increasingly there is interest among IT professionals to join the banking sector for the fixed working hours. “It takes two to four months to get the result of a written test, after which if selected you are called for an interview. If a common exam can bring down this waiting period, it will be of help,” said Devi Paneerselvam, who is aspiring for a bank job.

N. Kalyanaraman, director, Bankexam Training, suggests that there should be some system where a candidate if selected by a particular bank would not continue to figure in the list. “This will give others a chance and the bank also gets to fill the post,” he said.

The common test, for 250 marks, would consist of questions that test reasoning skills, quantitative aptitude, general English, computers and general awareness.

“All these years, every bank brought in their own flavour in the written test, which will be avoided from now. Also, in the general awareness section the scope of general knowledge has been reduced to confine to the knowledge of banking,” said K. Mohan Chandran, principal, BFIT Institute, a coaching centre, adding that more students will take up the exam.


Talking about how the score will be a benchmark to apply for any banks, Mr. Balachandran said that the exam will be held once in six months and more banks are expected accept this score. Currently, State Bank of India is not part of the common exam. “We will take a little over a month to give the score cards to candidates,” he said.

Keywords: IBPSbank exams


Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

More In: Chennai