About IBPS Common Written Examination (CWE)

1 . The Banking Industry is recruiting in a big way. In the next few years, banks will have to recruit lakhs of candidates. The time taken by a bank to complete the recruitment process has come-down with the introduction of the first of its kind "Common Written Examination (CWE)" in 2011. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts a series of CWEs for selection of personnel for the posts of Clerks / Probationary Officer / Management Trainee in 20 Public Sector Banks and 82 Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) 
The first ever CWE for PO/MT was held in September 2011, for Clerks it was held in November 2011,for Specialist Officers it was conducted in March 2011 and for RRBs in September 2012. 

2 .  Private banks to consider IBPS scores: Some of the old private banks have also decided to use the IBPS CWE scores to recruit candidates for officers and clerks posts in their banks. These banks will now start considering the IBPS CWE scores to fill the PO / Clerks vacancies in their banks. Apart from these private banks, financial institutes like ECGC are also recruiting on the basis of IBPS scores. 

3 .  Participating Banks: Except for SBI, almost all the major Public Sector Banks are participating in the CWE. The 20 banks which are participating in the CWE are Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank,IDBI bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Vijaya Bank. 

IBPS conducts series of CWEs in a year – once for each of PO (General Banking Officer – GBO), Clerical, Specialist Officers for recruitment into the Public Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks to cater to the need of the industry and also to the needs of job aspirants. This means that aspirants are clear about when they should apply, and can plan their preparation in an organised and effective manner. 

4 .  Changing trends in bank recruitment process: 

(A) Paper based to ONLINE – IBPS Clerical CWE 2012 goes online 
(B) Cutoffs to be higher. Calculated at two stages 
(C) Common Interviews for bank jobs 

(A) Paper based test to Online test : 

Like many other exams,the bank exams are now slowly converting to the online format. This was expected from the day when IBPS announced the first ever CWE in Sep2011. 

The IBPS clerical exam conducted in November 2012 was online. This was the first ever online Clerical CWE exam. The IBPS Specialist officer exam conducted in March 2012 and March 2013 were also online exams. 

The next CWE III for POs/MTs may also go ONLINE very soon. 

(B) Cutoffs calculated at two stages : There is one major change in the process of arriving at the over all cutoff score, when compared to the process that was followed for arriving at the overall cutoff scores for the Sep2011 CWE for PO. Earlier the over all cutoff was equal to the sum total of the cutoffs of the individual tests(sections). But this time the Cutoffs were applied in two stages: 

(I) on standard scores in individual tests 


(ii) on Total Weighted Standard Score 

As a result of the above, the over all cutoff for all the categories is now higher than the sum total of the cutoffs of individual sections for the respective category. This would mean that if a candidate scores the minimum cutoffs in each of the individual tests but does not clear the minimum over all cutoff, he/she is not qualified.This process of applying the cutoffs at two stages was first done when the result of the CWE for Specialist Officer (Exam held in March2012) was announced. 

(C ) Common Interviews for Bank jobs: 

To put a check on multiple selections, IBPS has introduced a system of common interview. According to this, each of the qualified candidate will definitely get one interview call. IBPS coordinates this common interview process. Going further, participating banks do not have any role in conducting interviews for the qualified students. The candidates who have qualified IBPS CWE PO II (June 2012 exam) were the first lot who participated in the common interview. The process of common interview is as follows:

  • Candidates who qualify in IBPS CWE(PO & Clerical) will be called for a common interview to be coordinated by IBPS


  • Candidates,successful in qualifying both the CWE and common interview will be listed in order       of merit


  • After the declaration of result of both CWE and common interview , a notification will be issued by IBPS giving the State/UT wise and category wise vacancies for each participating bank


  • Order of preference for banks will then be obtained from the successful candidates


  • Based on the total marks (CWE + Common Interview) and the indication of order of preference of banks and available vacancies, candidates will receive through a computerised system an offer from one of the participating public sector banks


  • Vacancies remaining unfilled on account of candidates declining offer ,will be filled from among the remaining candidates,through subsequent iterations.

5 . Important Note regarding Common Interviews: There will not be any common interviews for recruitment to RRBs, at least for the recruitment based on the CWEs held in Sep2012 for Regional Rural Banks. Each of the RRBs will announce the vacancies separately and the candidates need to apply for banks for which they are eligible as per the criteria announced by the Bank.