Tips to clear sectional cutoff for General Awareness section IBPS PO MAINS 2015

Dear IBPS PO Mains aspirants

We have been publishing series of articles on IBPS PO Mains preparation.  We have received queries from many candidates asking us to post tips for clearing sectional cutoffs for GA, English and all other subjects. Owing to this, today we will post a complete analysis of the general awareness(GA) section including the division of questions among various sub sections of GA, the required number of questions to be attempted from each sub section and ultimately tips on how to clear the sectional cutoff for General Awareness (GA).  

40 questions are asked from this section in IBPS Mains examination

The questions in GA section are divided into the following categories/ sub- sections:

1.Banking Awareness : No. of questions asked 10-15

2. Current Affairs : No. of questions to be asked 15

3. General Awareness: No. of questions asked 5-10

We will take up each section one by one

1 . Banking Awareness: This is divided into following two categories:


With the help of analysis of previous paper, we can safely predict that in banking awareness more stress is given on checking the theoretical knowledge than the current knowledge of banking sector. Consistently from past 4-5 years, atleast 15 questions are asked from banking theory against maximum of 5 questions from banking current affairs. Clearly the focus is on theory.

For preparation of theory you can refer

Money, banking and finance by BSC Publications. 

The key to preparing theory is not trying to be an expert on each and every topic but remembering small bits of information and definitions. The theory preparation will also come in handy in the interview, if you manage to clear  Mains. Try and cover the following topics

a) RBI

  1. Origin of RBI
  2. Governors of RBI – Present, Previous, Important governors who brought paradigm shifts in the functioning of economy.
  3. RBI vs SEBI vs IRDA: Complete details along with main bosses,  NBFCs, MFI, Gold Loans, ULIP, Mutual funds etc.
  4. Functions of RBI
  5. How is money flow in market controlled by RBI.
  6. Information about open market operations, MSF, liquidity adjustment facility.
  7. Different rates SLR, CRR, Repo, Reverse repo, bank rate
  8. Priority sector lending:
  9. Domestic vs Foreign Bank
  10. Currency chest, Mint and press. Where are different notes printed. Who signs coins and currency?
  11. Measures of money supply
  12. Management of Foreign exchange,  forex reserves, Forex under RBI. Information about FERA/FEMA, Tarapore Committee recommendations on capital account convertibility
  13. Banking regulation act and its recent amendment
  14. Banking reform, Banking License, Narsimhan, BASEL norms.
  15. Financial Inclusion.

b) Banks

  1. Definition and functions? Difference between NBFC/NBFC-factor, Post-office savings, Chit Fund, Nidhi etc?
  2. Different types of banks: commercial , regional rural , cooperative , investment , development.
  3. What is a Scheduled commercial bank?
  4. Public sector versus private sector banks. Where does RTI apply?
  5. Individual banks: IDBI, ICICI, IFCI, SIDBI, EXIM, NHB etc.
  6. Bank nationalization, various mergers and consolidations happening in the industry.
  7. Chairman/CMD of larger banks.
  8. Basic knowledge related to banks: first commercial bank of India, first bank setup by Indians, origins of SBI/ICICI, subsidiaries of SBI, etc.

c) Banking Services

  1. Assets, liabilities and working capital of a bank.
  2. Demand vs time liabilities
  3. Banker’s rights . Know your customer (KYC) norms, Adhar Card enabled payment, Money laundering and Benami transections
  4. Types of Bank customers and various provisions related to them:
    1. Minor-Guardian, partnership firms
    2. HUF and karta
    3. NRI, PIO
    4. joint account holders
    5. Married Women
    6. partnership firm accounts
    7. public/private companies
    8. trusts and cooperatives
  5. Types of bank accounts and their features:
    1. current and savings account
    2. term deposit vs fixed deposit,
    3. PPF, senior citizen’s account
    4. NRE-rupee account, FCNR account, RFC, EEFC, escrow account
    5. Allied topic: post office savings account and National savings certificate
  6. Unclaimed/dormant accounts, RBI provision for them, Death of customer, insolvent customer, liquidation, Garnishee orders
  7. Types of negotiable instruments: bank draft, bank check, promissory note, warehouse receipt, Treasury bills etc.
  8. Cheque:
    1. order/bearer/travel/bankers cheque
    2. endorsement, cheque-crossing,
    3. post-dated cheque, what if cheque-date is invalid (31st Feb) or holiday (2nd Oct)?
    4. when Bank should not pay, cheque-bouncing
    5. MICR, Cheque truncation, new CTS-system
    6. Note refund, clan note-policy.
  9. demand drafts, telegraphic transfers, safe deposit lockers
  10. ATM: PIN, HWAK, White Label ATM, third party ATM
  11. Debit, credit and smart card
  12. Mobile Banking, personal banking, tele-banking, corporate banking
  13. Various components of online banking:
    1. NEFT, RGTS, EFTS, Bankwire, E-commerce
    2. networking among banks: INDONET, BankNET, RBINET, SWIFT, Point of Sale (POS) terminal
    3. core-banking solutions
    4. Electronic signature and Information Technology Act
  14. Loans
    1. different type of loan products,
    2. Subprime lending
    3. mortgage, reverse mortgage, collaterals, stamp duty on loan documents
    4. lien, set-off
    5. Priority sector lending: and its subsectors. How do they apply to Domestic bank vs Foreign bank?
  15. bank guarantee, letters of credit
  16. Banking Ombudman: powers functions, appeal structure and Consumer courts
  17. Bancassurance, cross-selling, universal / narrow / retail banking

d) Rural Banking

  2. Rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF)
  3. financial inclusion goal of Modi government
  4. regional rural banks
  5. cooperative banks
  6. micro-finance institutions (MFI)
  7. primary agricultural credit society
  8. lead bank scheme, local area banks, service area approach
  9. Kisan credit card, Crop Loans

e) Bad Loans

  1. NPA : Gross vs net NPA
  2. Asset classifications under NPA (substandard/doubtful/loss)
  3. Current NPA figures? Which banks have highest NPA?
  4. Capital adequacy norms
  5. CIBIL, CRISIL and other credit rating agencies
  6. SARFAESI Act and its recent amendment
  7. asset reconstruction companies
  8. Debt recovery tribunals.
  9. Lok Adalats
  10. Industrial sickness
  11. Board for industrial and financial Reconstruction

f) International Banking

  1. Bretton Woods Committee
  2. World Bank and its working
  3. IMF
  4. Chiefs of IMF, World Bank, ADB
  5. BASEL norms
  6. banks for International settlement
  7. Asian clearing union
  8. Islamic Banking
  9. ADR, GDR, IDR

These topics are to be covered for preparing theory of banking awareness. If you cover these topics you can be assured of attempting 10-15 questions from this section. So in effect this section alone can help you clear sectional cutoff for general awareness in IBPS PO Mains 2015. Remember not to turn into Einstein while studying these topics, even if you manage to go through everything that would be enough.

For preparation of Current affairs of Banking Awarenesss read about the following topics:

  1. RBI’s latest monetary policy
  2. Key rates and their current numbers
  3. Chairman and functions of committee made by RBI/government for Banking sector.
  4. New directives to banks by RBI and/or Finance Ministry
  5. Person in News: Any new appointments in RBI/other Banks, Any Indian appointed in foreign banks
  6. Banking license, entry of foreign banks.
  7. Government schemes associated with financial inclusion/pension/insurance:  swabhiman, swavalamban etc.

Whenever you come across information related with the above topics, note it down and go through it time and again.

Now lets move on to next sub section

2. Current Affairs : This section is of immense importance in terms of number of questions asked and  accuracy of answers. If you manage to answer 10 questions from the 15 asked your scores are bound to improve. Focus on Budget and economic survey.

This includes the following topics:

  1. Income tax slabs
  2. peak rates of excise, service tax and custom duty
  3. Negative list of Service tax.
  4. latest Estimates of GDP
  5. IIP, WPI, CPI: highest lowest in recent times.
  6. Repo rate, CRR, SLR, Bank rate: highest lowest in recent times.
  7. Rupee vs dollar: highest lowest in recent times.
  8. fiscal deficit, current account deficit
  9. latest FDI limits in various sectors
  10. top-5 items in export and import
  11. excise, service tax, income tax, custom duty (highest to lowest in terms of income to government)
  12. Focus on measures taken by government to improve business sentiments
  13. Recent trips of PM Modi
  14. Announcements related to Make in India
  15. Foreign Trade Policies of India
  16. Recent pacts with various countries.

For preparation of Current Affairs section, start reading Pratiyogita Darpan or any similar book. Also read newspapers for past 2-3 months. This will help you get a knack of what is happening in and around India and keep you in the loop of various announcements and numbers updates.

3. General Awareness: Only a handful of questions are asked from this section. But if they are easy and require less preparation , then what is the harm? This includes

  1. Books
  2. Persons in News
  3. Awards
  4. Military Exercise
  5. Sports
  6. Science and Technology
  7. Defence
  8. Geography
  9. Census data
  10. Politics

The source of preparation is the same as for Current Affairs. Newspaper and Magazines. Around 5-10 questions will be asked. So it doesn’t makes sense to prepare specifically for it. While preparing for current affairs just read the information related to above sections and you will be well prepared.

Now that we have covered the three sections one by one, its time to consolidate the huge pile of information and condense this information into final tips to clear sectional cutoff for GA Section in IBPS PO Mains 2015.

TIPS for General Awareness section of IBPS PO MAINS 2015

  1. The expected sectional cutoff for GA will be 12-15.
  2. If you just want to clear sectional cutoff, focus on Banking Awareness Theory Section
  3. Read everything you can regarding RBI, rural/general banking, banking services and NPAs.
  4. Don’t fall in the trap of becoming an expert in above mentioned topics.
  5. Brush up the current numbers for important rates and GDP metrics.
  6. Keep revising these numbers and update them in sync with recent announcements.
  7. Go through Economic Times of last 3 months and pratiyogita darpan.
  8. Keep giving mock tests and current affairs quizzes.
  9. Give 1 – 1.5 hours daily to General Awareness section
  10. If you are serious about clearing overall cutoff for IBPS PO Mains, this section along with computer knowledge is the deal maker.
  11. It takes the least time and has the highest accuracy.

Friends if you have ANY query regarding IBPS Mains or GA section of mains, which we might have been unable to write about please feel free to ask them in the comments section below and we will be glad to answer them.

Dont Stress for General Awareness section of IBPS PO MAINS



  1. Tushar we are glad it helped you. Its our pleasure to serve aspirants and help them improve their performance in the exam

  2. thank you ………….also how to get more marks to clear the overall cut , inspite sectional………….seems rather confuse to what question to do or leave in limited time

  3. no , pre marks will not be added into final merit list . its was just qualifying nature test. so try to give ur best in mains .best of luck to all who are going to face mains .

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