What are the best books for bank exam syllabus preparation?

The banking system plays a crucial role in the economy of a developing country like India. Economic reforms and technology have widened the banking sector’s scope and has resulted in the creation of several new opportunities. High growth leads to better job prospects, and therefore, a career in banking today is among the top options for a fresh graduate.

 The majority of the bank recruitments happen in two broad categories at the entry-level—first is the officer level selection, and the second is the clerk or assistant grade recruitment. While applying,  a prospective candidate has to choose a bank exam for a specific grade of service.

 Best books: Where to begin?

 To find out the best books, one must explicitly know the bank exam syllabus. The application prospectus mentions the subjects/topics covered for the test questions. You can also find out the exam-wise syllabus online. BYJU’s Exam Prep is a reliable app offering free bank exam tips and the syllabus for various exams.

 Three major banking organisations conduct regular recruitment exams: SBI, IBPS and RBI. The maximum entry-level happens through the SBI and IBPS for both grades.

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 Best books: Know the exam Pattern

Every major bank has its recruitment procedure, generally a three-phase selection- first, a preliminary exam, then the main exam, and finally, an interview. Only the successful candidates of each stage proceed to the next level.

 Explicit knowledge of the pattern of the tests will help you score better. Based on the questions of the previous few years, there are usually three sections in the prelims: i) Reasoning ability, ii) English language iii) Quantitative Aptitude. Two more sections are added in the mains- a) General awareness, covering economic, financial, banking and other general issues and b) Computer aptitude.

 Choosing the Best Books

There is no shortage of preparatory books for bank selection exams. But you have to choose the ones which cover the syllabus topics and explain the concepts in an easy to understand narrative. The books should also include practice exercises for adequate preparation. It is best to remember that the purpose of the exams is to find out a candidate’s general understanding of various subjects, ability to think and react quickly, and a sense of priority.

Reasoning Ability

The objective of this section is to find out a candidate’s logical reasoning ability. Questions are designed for you to choose an answer based on available evidence.

Some of the notable books are:


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  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude and reasoning by N. Singh

English Language

Questions will be on basic grammar and language-based reading/comprehension, sentence completion, etc.

A few essential preparatory books are:

  • High School Grammar and Composition by Wren & Martin
  • Descriptive General English by S.P.Bakshi and Richa Sharma
  • Word Power made simple By Norman Lewis
  • Quick learning Objective –General English by R.S. Agarwal

Quantitative Aptitude

The focus of this section is on speed and accuracy. Questions will be on fundamental principles and simple concepts, but you have to complete them accurately within the stipulated time. The popular books are:

  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Agarwal
  •  Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma
  • Magical book on quicker Mathematics by M.Tyra
  • Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Arihant Publications

General and Banking Awareness

This section will have questions on GK, banking systems, current affairs etc.

Suggested reading:

  • Manorama Yearbook
  • The Pearson General Knowledge Manual
  • Banking Awareness by Arihant Publications
  •  Lucent’s General Knowledge by Vinay Karna, Manwendra Mukul, Sanjeev Kumar, Renu Sinha, R. P. Suman

Computer Awareness

 This section will test your primary idea of operating systems, Internet, database and network management, MS office etc. Some of the books are:

  • Lucent/s Computer –  Rani Ahilya
  • Computer Knowledge for SBI/IBPS Clerk/PO/RRB/RBI/SSC/Insurance exams –  Sikha Agarwal
  • Objective Question Bank of Computer Awareness for General Competitions – Arihant Experts

 The right guidance books and regular study, including mock tests, can give you the desired result. However, a few crucial exam tips can make a potential candidate’s journey smoother. BYJU’s Exam Prep., the online examination guide, provides comprehensive preparation materials from top faculty for all bank exams. To learn more, visit  BYJU’s Exam Prep.

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