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07 Tips to Prepare for SBI PO Exam : Pre and Main

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Your Preparation for SBI PO Online Exam will become interesting. Just follow these steps. I will tell you what to do in a simple and easy way.

If you have read my previous article How to prepare for SBI SO Exam, you will get an idea about the selection process and exam syllabus of State Bank of India.

You know that SBI has made some changes in the system of the online exam.

How to prepare for SBI PO



The main key to easy and effective preparation for SBI PO is to get a clear knowledge about the Exam pattern and the official syllabus for the exam.

Before preparation or buy a guide book, open the Online SBI PO Advertisement and read carefully the above two things.

Selection Procedure and Exam Pattern for SBI PO Exam:

SBI PO Exam will be held in Three (03) phases-

  • Phase-I: Preliminary Examination: 
This Preliminary Examination is consists of Objective questions. Total marks will be 100 marks. This will be conducted online. You will be given 1 hour duration tom answer 3 sections.



  • Phase – II: Main Examination: 
The Main Examination will be consist of Objective Type questions for 200 marks and Descriptive Type questions for 50 marks.

Both the Objective and Descriptive Tests, Exam will be online. You will have to answer Descriptive Test by typing on the computer. Descriptive Test will be administered, after completion of Objective Test.

The candidates who score above the SBI PO Preliminary Cutoff Score will be allowed to take the SBI PO Main Exam which will follow a completely different exam pattern.

SBI has made some changes in the exam pattern of SBI PO Main Examination. Main Examination will consist of Objective Tests for 200 marks and Descriptive Test for 50 marks. Both the Objective and Descriptive Tests will be online.

Candidates will have to answer Descriptive Test by typing on the computer. Immediately after completion of Objective Test, Descriptive Test will be administered.

The candidates are required to qualify in each of the tests by securing passing marks, to be decided by the Bank.

For every correct response provided, the candidates would be awarded 1 mark and for every wrong response ¼ marks will get deducted. However, no mark will be deducted for any response.


  • Phase - III : 
This phase includes Group Discussion for 20 marks & Interview for 30 marks. To get selected for phase III, you will have to qualify both in Phase-II and Phase-III separately.

Marks secured by the candidates in the Written Test (out of 250 marks) are converted to out of 75 and marks secured in Group Discussion & Interview (out of 50 marks) are converted to out of 25.

Who clear the cutoff score for the Main Examination would be called for a group discussion and personal Interview test. There candidates will have to face an Interview board.

The aggregate marks of candidates qualifying in both the Objective Tests and the Descriptive Test will be arranged in descending order in each category. Adequate number of candidates in each category, as decided by the Bank will be called for Group Discussion and Interview. The qualifying marks in Group Discussion and Interview will be decided by the Bank.



  • Preparation of Final Merit List :

After the Interview, The final merit list is arrived at after aggregating converted marks of Written Test and Group Discussion & Interview ( Phase I + Phase II + Phase III) out of 100 for each category. The selection will be made from the top merit ranked candidates in each category.



Syllabus of SBI PO Preliminary Examination:




Duration = Composite Time of 1 hour
Total No. of Questions = 100
Marks =100

You have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing passing marks as decided by SBI. Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by the Bank (approximately 20 times the numbers of vacancies subject to availability) will be shortlisted for the Main Examination.


English Language
    No. of Questions = 30
    Marks = 30


    Quantitative Aptitude
      No. of Questions = 35
      Marks = 35


      Reasoning Ability
        No. of Questions = 35
        Marks = 35


        Syllabus for SBI PO Main Exam (Phase II) :

        • Objective Test :
        Total No of Questions - 155
        Max Marks - 200
        Duration - 3 hours

        SBI PO Main Examination will consist of Objective Tests for 200 marks. The objective test will be for 3-hour duration consisting of 4 sections. The Objective Test will have separate timing for every section.

        Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
        No of Questions - 45
        Max Marks - 60
        Duration - 60 minutes



        Data Analysis & Interpretation
        No of Questions - 35
        Max Marks - 60
        Duration - 45 minutes


        General/Economy/ Banking Awareness
        No of Questions - 40
        Max Marks - 40
        Duration - 35 minutes


        English Language
        No of Questions - 35
        Max Marks - 40
        Duration - 40 minutes



        • Descriptive Test:

        Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay)
        Max Marks - 50
        Duration - 30 minutes


        Immediately after completion of Objective Test, Descriptive Test will be administered. Descriptive Test for 50 marks



        Preparation of English Language  for SBI PO Exam :

        SBI PO English Exam is tough to prepare. If you compare with other competitive exams, SBI gives more interest in English Language. In this is the section most of the aspirants can't score minimum cut off marks too.

        You should have a good knowledge of grammar too. In this section the common questions are asked from the following categories-

        1. Grammar
        2. Synonyms & Antonyms.
        3. Comprehension
        4. Error Correction
        5. Sentence Rearrangement
        6. Vocabulary
        7. Cloze Test
        8. Fill in the blanks
        9. Para jumbles



        Bank PO English Language Previous Years’ Solved Papers:

        This book has been divided into nine chapters namely : Spotting the Error, Sentence Improvement, Double Fillers, Sentence Rearrangement, Cloze Test, Reading Comprehension, Idioms & Phrases, Synonyms & Antonyms and Miscellaneous.

        Each containing ample number of solved questions asked in previous years’ Bank Probationary Officers Recruitment Examinations. The questions asked in previous years’ Bank PO examinations have been solved in detail with explanation wherever required.

        The book also contains five practice sets designed on the lines of current examination pattern of Bank PO Examinations. With over 4000 previous years’ solved questions the book covers questions asked in previous years’ examinations like SBI PO, IBPS PO, etc






        Preparation of Quantitative Aptitude for SBI PO Exam:

        To Score a good mark in this section, you must be a master in the basic mathematical questions. You can score more marks in this section if you learn some short cuts to solve the questions. Go through the basic mathematical formula. Otherwise you will loss all your time in the Quantitative Aptitude section.

        Most common questions are comes from the below subjects.
        1. Fractions
        2. Ratio and Proportion
        3. Percentage
        4. Profit & Loss
        5. Simple Interest & Compound Interest
        6. Mensuration
        7. Partnership
        8. Bar graph, Pie-chart and Probability
        9. Average
        10. Number Systems
        11. Time & Work
        12. Time & Distance etc.



        Preparation of Reasoning Ability for SBI PO Exam:

        The aim of Reasoning Ability Test is to test the capacity of solving a problem in lesser time. There are Two types of Reasoning Ability Test - Verbal and Non-Verbal.

        To solve a question you should read the question again and again until you understand the question properly. To score good you should do practice again and again. Previous years question can help you to better understand this section.

        Study the following subjects carefully and start practicing from now.

        1. Analogy
        2. Classification
        3. Seating Arrangements
        4. Syllogism
        5. Ranking
        6. Coding-Decoding
        7. Directions
        8. Blood Relations
        9. Series problems
        10. Data sufficiency etc.


        Also Read> Read These 60 Important Objective GK From History 



        Preparation for Computer Ability:


        Reasoning and Computer Ability Test is one of the most important test in this section. As I described above, prepare for Reasoning ability and learn the basics of Computer. Study Some competitive books for this section.

        For this, you can study Arihant's Banking, Computer & Marketing Aptitude for Bank Clerk/ PO Exams to get the best result. 

        This guide consists of complete chapters on General Awareness specially banking awareness, latest happenings in the Banking arena.and understanding the fundamentals and the current developments in the Computer domain etc.


        Preparation for Data Analysis & Interpretation Test :

        Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Data Interpretation is the major factor of Quantitative Aptitude Test. The Data Interpretation section can be divided into 2 key areas- i.e. Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency.

        DI tests your decision-making ability and speed using limited input. It consists of a myriad of graphs, charts and tables from which you have to glean and analyze data.

        DS problems usually take the form of a logical puzzle, and in the form of question followed by two statements. This book is the source to get the concepts related to various topics which will help in going through the examination. It also includes the basic concepts behind the questions, asked indifferent examinations and makes your better practice to solve the problems.





        Collect this book Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency which is an equally weighted section in many competitive examinations tests the thinking power and mind applicability skills of the candidates.

        The questions asked in various competitive examinations are not easy to solve without having enough practice. The Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency will help aspirants master the ‘Tricks of the Trade’.

        This book has been divided into nine chapters namely Analysis of Data, Data Table, Bar Chart, Line Graph, Pie Chart or Circle Graph, Mixed Graph, Case Studies, Miscellaneous Charts & Data Sufficiency, each sub-divided into number of chapters with different types of questions of multiple patterns asked in various exams. Ample numbers of solved problems have been covered in each chapter followed by practice exercises at the end to help aspirants revised and practice the concepts discussed in each chapter.




        Preparation for General/Economy/ Banking Awareness:

        It is the most important section of main examination. Study regularly News papers and watch TV news to keep yourself update for this section.

        Study Banking, Computer & Marketing Aptitude for Bank Clerk/ PO Exams to get the best result. 

        This guide consists of complete chapters on General Awareness specially banking awareness, latest happenings in the Banking arena.and understanding the fundamentals and the current developments in the Computer domain etc.



        Preparation for Letter Writing & Essay :


        As SBI Po gives most important in knowledge of English language, you should not ignore this subject.

        Here is a good book for SBI PO Descriptive paper -

        Buy Steps to Writing Letters and Essays from flipkart to get a sound knowledge on writing English.

        While not all writing methods work for everyone, tips in this book both in writing Letters and Essays should get you started on your path to writing.

        In this book, the first chapter gives insights towards teaching writing skill. Chapter two explains about techniques for either starting writing or teaching different types of writing. Chapter three is about different types of letters.

        The candidates are required to qualify in the Descriptive Test by securing passing marks,as decided by the Bank. Descriptive Test paper is only for those candidates who have scored qualifying marks in the Objective Tests and are placed adequately high as per total marks in Objective Test.



        Group Discussion & Interview : 

        The aggregate marks of candidates qualifying in both the Objective Tests and the Descriptive Test will be arranged in descending order in each category. Adequate number of candidates in each category, as decided by the Bank will be called for Group Discussion and Interview. The qualifying marks in Group Discussion & Interview will be as decided by the Bank. Candidates qualifying for GD & Interview.




        Final Selection:

        The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination (Phase-I) will not be added for the selection and only the marks obtained in Main Examination (Phase-II), both in Objective Test and Descriptive Test, will be added to the marks obtained in GD&Interview(Phase-III) for preparation of the final merit list.



        Declaration of Result :

        Results of the candidates who have qualified for GD & Interview and the list of candidates finally selected will be made available on the Bank's website. Final select list will be published in Employment News/Rozgar Samachar and also on Bank’s website.


        Have I missed anything? Feel free to discuss with me about Tips to Prepare for SBI PO Exam.

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