SBI PO exam syllabus and prep guide

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State bank of India(SBI) conducts exam for recruitment of probationary officers in the month of April  each year.The pattern of examination is as follows:

  • Preliminary Exams

The preliminary exam consists of 3 sections – reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude and english for 100 marks. Duration if the exam is 1 hour. Candidates will have to achieve minimum qualifying marks in each subject.

Distribution of questions in the exam would be as follows:

Test Paper Number of Questions Marks
English Language 30 30
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
  • Main Exams

Main exam will have two parts – Objective Part and Descriptive Part. Objective part will be of 200 marks whereas and Descriptive test will be of 50 marks.

The exam duration for objective test will be 3 hours where, 30 minutes of time will be there for descriptive type test.Descriptive test is basically a test for checking your proficiency in English language containing Letter writing and Essay writing on specific topic.

  • Future Scope

All the selected Probationary Officers will be on probation of two years during which they will get concentrated training. At the end of the training period they will have to go through a screening process. Candidates, who reach up to the predefined standards, will be appointed as Officer Middle Management Grade Scale-II. However, other would be appointed as Officer Junior Management Grade Scale-I.

  • Essential topics to be covered for preparation of preliminary exams:

A. Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation

1. Number System & Simplification(5-11 Questions)

Questions on simple fractions, decimal places, BODMAS operations, number series and patterns, quick number calculations,  number inequalities, ordering of numbers based on values.

2. Algebraic Expression & Inequalities(1-5 Questions)

Questions based on linear,quadratic equations, finding roots of quadratic equations mainly based on age, inequalities, finding values of digits in numbers, distance.

3. Average (0-2 Questions)

Finding average of various quantities mainly based on average of successive number series, weights or other quantities.

4. Percentage (1-2 Questions)

Simple problems on calculating percentages

5. Ratio & Proportion (0-2 Questions)

Questions on ratio comparisons,compound ratio,shares,mixtures,alligation

6. Profit & Loss (1-2 Questions)

Problems for finding cost price,selling price, profit, loss , discounts,tax calculations

7. Simple and Compound Interest(0-3 Questions) 

Problems on calculating Simple Interest and Compound Interest, amount of returns, loans, investments

8. Time & Work (1-2 Questions)

Questions on part of work completed by members/entities typically on work,parts filled in certain time

9. Distance, Speed and Time (Boats and Streams) (1-2 Questions)

Problems on speed(unit conversions),distance covered in certain time,boats and streams,trains

10. Mensuration (1-2 Questions)

Problems on calculating length,surface area,perimeter and volumes of solids

11. Clock and Calendar(0-2 Questions)

Problems on relative positions of hands, finding days of the week for a particular year

12. Permutation, Combination & Probability(1-3 Questions)

One of my favorite section with problems on  probability,combinations of digits/numbers,arrangements

13. Data Interpretation & Sufficiency(5-10 questions)

Problems based on data shown using tables, bar graphs, Line Graphs, Pie Graphs or combination of multiple graphs, finding values of variables/quantities based on certain statements

B.Reasoning Ability

1. Alphabetical Arrangement, Word Analogies and Classification (0-5 questions)

Simple problems on word positions, alphabetical arrangements,vowels,consonants along with finding synonyms,antonyms,word relationships, finding odd man out

2.  Coding-Decoding & Patterns (0-5 questions)

Finding next element in a given set of elements following a pattern, finding code for certain terms based on given statements or relationships.

3. Direction,Distance and Time/Number/Figure Sequences (3-7 questions)

Finding current direction of entity based on previous steps,distance from starting point, finding days or next numbers in series or next figure based on given set of figures

4. Blood Relations(2-3 questions)

Problems based on family relationships and members

5. Cube & Dice(1-2 questions)

Finding number faces painted in a cube,surface area, position of a certain side

6. Inequalities(0-5 questions) 

Finding solutions to problems based on combining inequalities

7. Statements,Arguments & Inferences(5-7 questions)

Problems based on deriving logic from given arguments for a statement and checking whether inferences drawn from given set off statements hold true or deciding course of actions/conclusions based on certain statements

8. Input-Output(0-5 questions)

Finding output at nth  step based initial step and transformations

C. English Language

1.Vocabulary and Grammar(0-5 questions)

Fill in the blanks with appropriate words, find grammar mistakes

2.Reading Comprehension(5-10 questions)

Answer questions after reading passages

3.Paragraph jumbles(0-5 questions)

Reorder jumbled sentences in a paragraph based on certain set of occurrence of events

4.Cloze Test(5-10 questions)

Find appropriate words to fill up gaps in passage or sentences

5.Finding synonyms,meanings of phrases/idioms(0-3 questions)

Finding meanings of given words or phrases

Exam Tips

Tip #1:

The objective is to solve around 100 questions in 60 minutes which might not be realistically possible for everyone. Add to that one needs to qualify minimum passing criteria in each section.

A better approach might be to solve half of each sections first. For example 18 questions from quants and reasoning followed by 15 from English section. That gives us a much more practical goal of solving 51 questions in 60 minutes and also giving us a simple assurance that we might be able to clear minimum passing criteria for each section before we move on to tougher problems. A simple trick could be to solve questions using this pattern first and then use remaining time to increase your chances rather than trying to solve entire quants/reasoning section first.

Tip #2:

Since the exam will be conducted online there might be a little overhead between reading quant/reasoning questions and solving sections on paper. Trying to come up to closest possible option by calculating closest value from options by approximations also will boost your chances.

Tip #3:

Not everyone might be adept in maths, expert in logical deductions and well versed in english with sound vocabulary but you might have a good idea in which topic you are better than other ones. Try to cover all possible topics in greater detail in one of those topics for getting maximum score and then cover other ones in spare time.

That brings us to end of today’s article…

Connect Deeper:

In the next article I will covered  some formulae in quant section with 1-2 examples of each topic here :- Quant Formulae . In order to get notified about upcomg posts you can follow us of facebook : Technoetics


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About Saurabh Mhatre 71 Articles
Currently working in web and hybrid application development