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Probationary Officer (PO) Examination

Probationary officer is selected through a written examination. After qualifying the exam the person has to undergo a training programme. The extent of the training varies with each bank.

During the training, Probationary Officers are trained to do banking activities such as dealing with the customer opening new account, managing the transactions and other such correlating issues. They gain practical knowledge in various fields of banking during their training period.

After the completion of their training, probationary officers are designated as Assistant Manager. They are made in charge of the branch are required to supervise entire operation of that branch. In some big branches, there could be number of Probationary officers posted as Assistant managers.


A Bachelor’s or post graduate degree from any UGC recognized University. Apart from this, the person must have diploma offered by Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF). A minimum work experience of two years as Clerk with a JAIIB (Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) and CAIIB (Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) is also required. The candidate must have computer knowledge and language proficiency of the state applying for the post.

Age limit

A probationary officer must have attended 21 years to be eligible to write this exam. However, the government has relaxed the age limit of certain sections of the society and this given below;

S.No Category Age relaxation
1. SC/ST - Schedule Caste / Schedule Tribe 5 Years
2. OBC – Other Backward Class 3 Years
3. PWD – Persons With Disabilities 10 Years
4. EX –Servicemen/ ECOs /SSCOs 5 Years
5. Persons ordinarily domiciled in J & K state 5 Years
6. Persons affected by 1984 riots 5 Years

Exam pattern

The probationary officer exam is in two phases; Preliminary examination and Main examination. The preliminary exam comprises of English language, quantitative aptitude and reasoning. The mains exam in addition has general awareness and computer knowledge. The exam pattern is given below;

Preliminary Examination

S.No Name of the section No.of questions Maximum Marks Duration
1. English Language 30 30 1hour
2. Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
3. Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total 100 100

Main Examination

S.No section No.of questions Maximum Marks Duration
1. Reasoning 50 50 2 hours
2. English Language 40 40
3. Quantitative Aptitude 50 50
4. General Awareness 40 40
5. Computer Knowledge 20 20
Total 100 100

Negative Marking

There is negative marking in preliminary and main examination. For every wrong answer one-fourth of marks are detected from final scores in this exam.

How to Apply

The application has to be filled and sent online. For example: IBPS take their application through online mode with online mode of payment. IBPS conducts written examination in the examination centres in different parts of the country. IBPS conducts common interview to those qualified in the written examination. The final selection is based on the candidate’s performance in written examination and interview. The merit list is circulated to the new probationary officer to start their career in the respective bank.

Salary prospects

The salary of probationary officer is in the scale of Rs 23,700 - Rs 42,020 applicable to Junior Management Grade Scale (I) Officer. The probationary officer also gets dearness allowance; house rent allowance, medical allowance etc.

Career prospects

The candidates who have qualified the written exam of probationary officer are placed on the basis of his/her experience and seniority in the service. Those having JAIIB (Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) and CAIIB (Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) diploma are placed in higher scale position. Similarly those having two years’ experience as clerk with a JAIIB (Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) and CAIIB (Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers) are also placed on higher scale.


Probationary officer reach up to the post of Manager (MMGS III), Chief Manager (SMGS IV), AGM (SMS V), DGM (TEGS VI), GM (TEGS VII). He or she can also reach to the level of Chairman of the bank in his or her career.