Navigating the IB ACIO Exam: A Comprehensive Guide



The Intelligence Bureau (IB) of India performs an essential role in safeguarding the nation’s security. To maintain its operational efficiency, the IB normally recruits proficient people to be part of its force. The IB ACIO (Assistant Central Intelligence Officer) Grade-II/Executive examination is one of the major ways in which the IB selects candidates for a range of operational and intelligence-related roles.

This blog post delves into the overview of the IB ACIO exam, providing a complete overview of the eligibility criteria, examination pattern, and important dates. With this information, aspiring IB ACIOs can correctly prepare for the examination and expand their possibilities of success.

What is IB ACIO?

The IB ACIO examination is an aggressive examination performed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to recruit people for the position of Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO) Grade II/Executive. Selected candidates are vested with indispensable duties in gathering, analyzing, and disseminating brain data to protect the nation’s security.

Eligibility Criteria for IB ACIO:

  • Nationality: Must be a citizen of India
  • Age: Must be between 20 and 30 years old as of January 1 of the year of application.
  • Educational Qualification: Must possess a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or institution.

Exam Pattern of the IB ACIO:

The IB ACIO exam consists of three tiers:

Tier I: Objective-Type Exam

  • Sections: General Studies, General Awareness, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language
  • Duration: 60 minutes.
  • Number of Questions: 100
  • Marking Scheme: One mark for each correct answer; negative marking of ¼ for each incorrect answer.

Tier II: Descriptive Type Exam

  • Sections: Essay (English), Precise Writing (English), and Intelligence Bureau and Its Role in National Security (English)
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Marking Scheme: A detailed marking scheme is provided by the IB.

Tier III: Interview

  • Format: Personal Interview
  • Duration: ~ 30 minutes.
  • Assessment Criteria: Communication skills, intelligence, aptitude for intelligence work, and overall personality

Important Dates for IB ACIO

  • Phase I (Tier I Exam): January–February 2024
  • Phase II (Tier II Exam and Tier III Interview): April–May 2024

How to prepare for the IB ACIO?

Understand the syllabus and examination pattern-

The first step to getting ready for any competitive exams like IB ACIO, is to understand the syllabus and examination pattern. This will help you in focusing your studies on the most essential subjects and practicing answering questions in the layout that are usually asked in the exam.

Collect the essential study materials-

Once you comprehend what you want to study, you want to collect the essential materials. This means collecting books, online resources, and the previous year’s question papers. There are many extra materials accessible for the IB ACIO exam, so you can pick out the ones that go well with your thoughts and budget.

Create a study plan-

Once you have found the ideal materials, you want to create a study plan. This will help you continue to remain on track and make certain that you cover all of the vital topics. Your study plan has to be practical and achievable, and it needs to encompass proper time for each reading of a new topic and revising what you have already learned.

Practice regularly

One of the best approaches to put together for the IB ACIO examination is to practice answering questions regularly. You can do this by solving exercise papers and taking mock tests. There are many special exercise papers and mock tests available on the Internet and also in books.

Focus on your weak areas.

As you start answering questions, you will perceive your weak areas. Once you are aware of your weak areas, you can focus your research on these topics. You will additionally need to get additional exercise material for these topics.

Syllabus for the IB ACIO exam:

  1. General Studies:
  • History of India and the world’s political, social, economic, and scientific advancements.
  • Indian Constitution and its amendments.
  • General awareness of geography, including countries, capitals, and major landmarks.
  • Knowledge of Indian culture, heritage, and traditions.
  • Current affairs, including national and international events, prominent personalities, and important developments.
  1. General Awareness:
  • Knowledge of current events, including major national and international issues.
  • Understanding of India’s political system, governance structure, and policies.
  • Awareness of social, economic, and environmental issues impacting India.
  • Familiarity with important scientific discoveries, inventions, and technological advancements.
  • Knowledge of India’s sports, arts, and cultural heritage.
  1. Reasoning:
  • Analogical reasoning: identifying relationships between concepts or objects.
  • Number series: recognizing patterns in sequences of numbers.
  • Letter series: identifying patterns in sequences of letters.
  • Odd man out: Identifying the element that doesn’t belong in a group.
  • Coding-decoding: solving coded messages and deciphering patterns.
  • Data sufficiency: Assessing whether the provided information is sufficient to answer a given question.
  • Syllogisms: Logical reasoning based on relationships between propositions.
  • Blood relations: Understanding family relationships and solving puzzles based on kinship.
  1. Quantitative Aptitude:
  • Number system: Understanding properties of numbers, including factors, multiples, and LCM.
  • Arithmetic: Solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Algebra: Basic algebraic concepts, equations, and inequalities.
  • Geometry: Understanding shapes, angles, and properties of geometric figures.
  • Trigonometry: Basic trigonometric functions, ratios, and identities
  • Data interpretation: analysing and interpreting data presented in various forms, such as tables, graphs, and charts.
  • Percentages: Calculating percentages, solving percentage-based problems.
  • Profit and loss: Understanding concepts of profit, loss, and discounts.
  • Ratio and proportion: Solving problems involving ratios and proportions.
  • Time, speed, and distance: Calculating speed, time, and distance based on given information.
  • Averages: Calculating the mean, median, and mode of a set of data.
  1. English Language:
  • Vocabulary: Understanding and using a wide range of English words.
  • Grammar: Applying correct grammar rules, including sentence structure, verb tenses, and subject-verb agreement.
  • Comprehension: reading and understanding passages of varying complexity.
  • Précis writing: summarizing lengthy passages into concise and accurate summaries.
  • Essay writing: writing essays on a variety of topics, demonstrating coherence, clarity, and effective communication.

Which books should I prefer for the IB ACIO exam?

General Studies:

  • Arihant’s General Studies for the IB ACIO-II/Executive Exam by “Manish Kumar Singh”
  • Lucent’s General Knowledge by GK Publication

General Awareness:

  • GK Today’s Current Affairs by GK Today
  • Manorama Year Book 2023 by Manorama Yearbook


  • Arihant’s Reasoning for Competitive Examinations by “Arun Sharma”
  • Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by “R.S. Aggarwal”

Quantitative Aptitude:

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by “R.S. Aggarwal”
  • The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by “Dinesh Khattar”

English Language:

  • Word Power Made Easy by “Norman Lewis”
  • A Mirror of Common Errors by “A.K. Singh”

Common mistakes to avoid in IB ACIO

  1. Not understanding the syllabus and examination pattern: The first step to getting ready for any examination is to understand the syllabus and examination pattern. This will assist you to focus your studies on the most essential subjects and to exercise answering questions in the structure that will be used in the exam.
  2. Not practicing regularly: One of the excellent methods to put together for the IB ACIO examination is to practice answering questions regularly. You can do this with the help of solving exercise papers and taking mock tests.
  3. Not focusing on weak areas: As you practice answering questions, you will become aware of your weak areas. Once you understand your vulnerable areas, you can focus your research on these topics.
  4. Making careless mistakes: In any competitive exam, it is crucial to be concentrated and keep away from making careless mistakes. This includes double-checking your options and making sure that you have chosen the proper option.
  5. Not managing time effectively: Time management is very essential in any competitive exam. You prefer to be in a position to manage your time correctly so that you can answer all of the questions in the allotted time.

FAQs About IB ACIO Exam:

  1. What is the role of an Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO)?

An Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO) performs an quintessential feature in gathering, analyzing, and disseminating vital plans to protect India’s national security. They are responsible for:-

  • conducting investigations, 
  • making reports,
  • applying government plans to wide a range of authorities and agencies. 

ACIOs work in a vary of operational and intelligence-related roles, contributing to the Intelligence Bureau’s mission of making sure national security.

  1. What is the income range for an ACIO?

The income of an ACIO varies depending on their pay scale and degree of experience. The beginning salary for an ACIO is about ₹52,500 to ₹60,000 per month. With experience, ACIOs will be promoted to greater pay scales and earn more.

  1. What are the advantages of turning into an ACIO?

Becoming an ACIO affords a variety of benefits, including:

  • Job protection and stability: The Intelligence Bureau is an authority organization, presenting job protection and steadiness for its employees.
  • Challenging and beneficial work: ACIOs work on difficult and earning duties that make contributions to countrywide security.
  • Intellectual stimulation: The work of an ACIO includes inspecting complicated information, fixing problems, offering intellectual stimulation, and regularly gaining knowledge of opportunities.
  • Respect and recognition: ACIOs play a quintessential function in safeguarding country-wide security, income recognition, and attention for their contributions.
  • Good profession prospects: ACIOs have the possibility of growing to greater positions and management roles inside the Intelligence Bureau.
  1. What are the important requirements for becoming an ACIO?
  • Physical fitness
  • Mental fitness
  • Emotional stability
  1. What are the qualities and skills that are important for an ACIO?
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skill
  • Perseverance and dedication


Becoming an Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO) in the Intelligence Bureau of India is a difficult but rewarding career path. ACIOs play a fundamental role in safeguarding country-wide safety with the aid of complicated and intellectually managed tasks. The job provides job security, mental stability, and the probability of making an actual change in society. However, it additionally requires an excessive degree of physical and intellectual fitness, emotional stability, and strong analytical, problem-solving, communication, organizational, interest in detail, perseverance, and dedication qualities. If you are any individual who is fascinated by country-wide security, enjoys challenges, and is inclined to commit yourself to a challenging, however wonderful career, then turning into an ACIO can also be the best choice for you.

suraj verma

As a highly skilled and experienced content writer, I have a passion for creating engaging and informative content that connects with audiences and inspires them to take action. With over 1 year of experience in the industry, I have honed my writing skills to craft content that is both effective and SEO-friendly.

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