careerwill careerwill app difference between inps po & ibps so ibps ibps po & ibps so

Difference Between IBPS SO VS IBPS PO- Which one is easier to Crack?

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts the IBPS SO exam to recruit eligible candidates for various public sector banks. The two exams are IBPS SO and IBPS PO. Today, we will discuss the difference between IBPS SO and PO and which is easier to crack.

Checkout : Difference between HTET & CTET?

IBPS SO vs IBPS PO- Overview 

 IBPS PO exam has a prominent position among all the exams happening in the country. IBPS SO and PO have differences in their work profiles, career prospects, salary, and work environment. We will compare them to clear your mind about choosing the right one.

IBPS SO stands for Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Common Written Examination for Specialist Officers to recruit eligible candidates for the posts mentioned below:

  1. Agriculture Field Officer
  2. Marketing Officer (Scale I)
  3. HR/Personnel Officer (Scale I)
  4. IT Officer (Scale I)
  5. Law Officer (Scale I)
  6. Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale I)

IBPS PO stands for Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) to select eligible candidates for the post of Probationary Officers in different public sector banks in India.  

We will compare the two in terms of work profile, educational requirements, exam pattern, syllabus, career prospects, and salary in the below section.

IBPS SO versus PO- Exam pattern 


This exam has three stages –

  •  Prelims
  • Mains 
  • Interview

Prelims Exam 

The IBPS PO Prelims exam has 100 objective questions from three sections.

The sections are-

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability
  • English Language

The candidate has 60 minutes to solve the question paper, and the sectional time is 20 minutes. The candidates must qualify for the prelims exam to appear in the Mains exam.

Subject Questions Marks 
English Language3030
Numerical Ability3535
Reasoning Ability3535

Mains Exam 

The main exam of This has two papers -Objective and Descriptive; and both are online. The objective paper has four sections & Computer Aptitude, English Language, Data Analysis and interpretation, General Awareness, Economy, and banking Awareness. The descriptive test consists of letter and essay writing in English.

Name of Paper SubjectQuestionsMarks
Objective TestReasoning & Computer Aptitude4560
English Language3540
Data Analysis & Interpretation3560
General Awareness, Economy & Banking Awareness4040
Descriptive TestEnglish Language (Letter Writing & Essay)225

IBPS SO exam 

  • The IBPS SO exam has three phases – Preliminary, Mains, and Interview Process.
  • The candidate has to solve the paper in 120 minutes, and the sectional time is 40 minutes.
  • Candidate has to qualify for the Prelims exam to appear for the Mains exam.
  • The exam has four sections – English Language, Reasoning, General Awareness with Special Reference to the Banking Industry (For Law and Rajbhasha), Quantitative Aptitude (For IBPS SO I.T officer, Agriculture, HR/Personnel, and Marketing).
Subjects Marks 
English Language25
General Awareness ( especially Banking Industry)50
Quantitative Aptitude( For IBPS SO I.T officer, Agriculture, HR/Personnel and Marketing)50

Mains Exam 

The main exam has questions from professional subjects. The details are given below-

Subjects Marks 
Professional Knowledge (Objective for Agriculture, Law ,HR ,IT)60
Professional Knowledge (Objective for Rajbhasha)60
Professional Knowledge (Descriptive for Rajbhasha)

IBPS SO VS IBPS PO- Differences 

In the above section, we discussed the differences in exam patterns. Now, there are other factors we need to consider while making a choice. Let’s differentiate all those factors.

Work ProfileThe profile of Bank PO and So are not similar.The key responsibilities of a Bank Po include tasks such as connecting with potential and new customers, administrative and direct customer interaction, establishing positive working relationships, collecting and verifying their documents for loans, authorizing transactions, etc.They are hired on a 2-year probationary period and are evaluated in all areas.A bank SO does not require interact much.The work of a Bank SO is mostly working with corresponding bank workers. The other task includes ensuring that other bank departments are operating in harmony despite not having the bank’s primary responsibility, which is to acquire new clients.
Growth PossibilitiesThere are possible growth opportunities in IBPS PO. If you are determined and hardworking , you may get promoted to Senior Management Grade Scale-III (SMGS-III) level (the term granted is Senior Manager) or possibly Senior Management Grade Scale-IV (SMGS-IV).On the other hand, an IBPS SO may hold the same position or title within their separate departments. The main differences between IBPS POs and IBPS SOs’ growth chances and responsibilities and obligations are those two things.
Growth and PromotionYou can grow potentially and rapidly in this field.

your opportunities for promotion are restricted unless you eventually transits to general banking
Perks, Pay-scale, and BenefitsIn public sector banks, an IBPS PO’s base salary ranges from INR 23,000 to INR 27,000. 
You also get other benefits such as HRA and Dearness Allowance, which makes it between INR 39,000 and 42,000.
The base salary is about INR 23,700. It offers similar benefits to IBPS PO, including travel, dearness, and HRA allowances.
 -The general pay varies based on their position. It is around INR 30,758 in metro areas and INR 30,448 in state capitals. In rural branches it is around INR 29,927 branches, and INR 30,448 in district capitals.

Which exam—IBPS PO or IBPS SO—is easier to crack?

The primary reasons to choose IBPS SO and PO positions are basic pay, benefits, and compensation offered. To make a career decision for yourself, you should consider the following points-

  • IBPS PO offers possibilities to gain several skills and improved learning experiences. It also offers faster professional progression.
  • The IBPS SO profile is more straightforward than the IBPS PO job profile. There are few opportunities to get posted to rural areas.
  • IBPS So candidates are often placed in urban areas and get decent compensation and benefits, and the duties are lighter than those of IBPS PO. 
  • Both position has their perks and are worthwhile. The decision to choose one is in your hands. You have to consider all the factors and differences mentioned above before choosing. Also, read the latest syllabus before beginning the preparation. Do give mocks and analyse them to strengthen your weaker section.

IBPS SO VS IBPS PO- Educational Qualification 

Let’s see the differences between the educational qualifications of IBPS PO and SO.


  • To be eligible for this post you need a graduate degree (BA, B.Com, BSc, B.Tech, or equivalent) from a university recognized by the Government of India. 
  • The candidate has to state their graduation marks when registering for the IBPS Bank-PO test and have a mark sheet or degree to verify the marks.
  • Computer Literacy -The candidate must have a working knowledge of computers as most of the work will be on computers.
  • Language Proficiency -The candidate must have written and verbal proficiency in the state’s official language. He should be literate in the language.


There are various positions in IBPS SO, such as Agricultural Field Officer, Marketing Officer, I.T. Officer, H.R./Personnel Officer, and Rajbhasha Adhikari, and every post has different educational requirements.

Post nameEducational requirements
(Scale I) IT officerAn engineering degree in computer application, computer science, IT,  telecommunication engineering, electronics and communication engineering, electronics and instrumentation, postgraduates in these fieldsOR Graduation degree along with certificate  of passing DOEACC “B” level exam
Agricultural Field Officer (Scale-I).Horticulture, Fishery Science, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Science, Agri- Marketing and CooperationAgricultural engineering, Dairy Science, Pisciculture, Co-Operation and Banking, and Agro-Forestry are all four-year graduation degrees in these fields.
Adhikari Rajbhasha (Scale I)
Post-Graduate Degree in Sanskrit with English and Hindi as Subjects at Graduation Level OR Post-Graduation in Hindi with English as a Subject at the Graduation or Degree Level
Law Officer (Scale I).The candidate must have a bachelor degree in law and registration with the Bar Council as an advocate.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1Is IBPS PO easier to crack?

A1– This exam is one of the toughest exam in the country and is not easy to crack.

Q2- In how many months can one crack ISPO PO or SO exam?

A2– It depends on a person to person otherwise 6 to12 months would be sufficient.

Q3: How do careers differ between IBPS PO and SO?

A3: For This, there’s a clear path to higher management roles. For IBPS SO, growth is more specialized, focusing on their expertise unless they shift to general banking.

Q4: Any specific tips for preparing for IBPS PO and SO exams?

A4: Yes! For This post, focus on general banking knowledge and math skills. For IBPS SO, concentrate on your field (like law or IT) and banking awareness.

Q5: What’s the work environment like for IBPS POs and IBPS SOs?

A5: IBPS POs work with customers in various roles. IBPS SOs work in specialized areas with less customer interaction, focusing on specific tasks.

Q6: How often are IBPS PO and SO exams held?A6: IBPS PO and SO exams happen yearly. Keep an eye on the IBPS website for exact dates.

A6: IBPS PO and SO exams happen yearly. Keep an eye on the IBPS website for exact dates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *