Everything You Need To Know About SBI PO Exam Preparation

SBI PO exam is conducted every year by the State Bank of India or SBI to recruit qualified candidates for the post of Probationary Officers (PO) in different branches of the State Bank of India. The SBI job is one of the most demanding jobs in the banking sector of the nation. Millions of Indians aspire to get a job in the most reputed banks of India. The SBI PO job is a premium job across the country due to the following reasons. 


  1. Reputation and brand value of the SBI bank connected with the SBI post. 
  2. Offers the highest salary among all PSU banks. 
  3. Provides multiple job opportunities where a PO can be promoted to the seat of the chairperson. 
  4. Social prestige and satisfaction are associated with the job. 


SBI PO exam is divided into three phases- Prelims, Mains and Group Discussion and Personal Interview round.  Before preparing for the SBI PO exam, a candidate must know the latest updates, eligibility, exam pattern, selection procedure, etc.  In this article, the SBI PO aspirants will get to know all the necessary related information and the best preparation tips for cracking the exam. 

Tips for preparing SBI PO exam 

  • Know the eligibility criteria 

Before starting preparation, the candidates must fulfil the given eligibility criteria to appear for the exam. 

  1. The age of the candidate should be 21 years to 30 years. 
  2. The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized board. Aspirants who are in their final semester or year of graduation can also apply for provisional placement if they are called for an interview. However, they need to submit proof of completion of their degree. 


  • Read the selection procedure carefully 

Here are the selection procedure details. 

  1. Biometric Verification- The bank will digitally capture the candidate’s thumbprint to ensure a secure and error-free selection procedure. The biometric verification of the candidate will be rejected in case of inconsistencies. 
  2. The number of attempts- Each category of candidates gets a different number of maximum attempts. Candidates exceeding their maximum limit are not eligible to apply. 


         Category                                                                      Number of Attempts

         General/EWS                                                                  4

         General/ EWS (PWD)                                                    7

         OBC/ OBC(PWD)                                                            7

         SC/SC(PWD)/ ST/ST(PWD)                                     No restriction 


  • Comprehend the exam pattern 

The candidates preparing for the SBI PO exam need to have a thorough understanding of the exam pattern. To get a job in SBI, candidates have to qualify in all three phases- Prelims, Mains, and Group Discussion/Interview. For appearing in these phases, aspirants must have the SBI PO admit card.


However, the Prelims and Mains phases of the exam are conducted in an online mode. And the interview is conducted in offline mode. 


Here is the detailed exam pattern. 


Prelims Exam Pattern


Candidates who will qualify for the Prelims exam are eligible to apply for the Mains exam. 


  1. The SBI PO prelims exam will have 3 sections- Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning and English. 
  2. There will be 100 objective type questions asked in the Prelims exam. And each question will carry one mark. 
  3. The duration of the exam will be 1 hour. Each section is 20 minutes. 
  4. A negative marking of 0.25 marks will be there. Marks will not be deducted if the questions are left unattempted. 
  5. 30 questions will be based on the English language. And 35, 35 questions will be asked from Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning.  


Mains Exam Pattern 


  1. The Mains phase consists of two papers- Objective and Descriptive. Candidates have to complete the objective section in 3 hours and the descriptive section in 30 minutes. In the objective section, there will be 4 parts namely, Data Analysis and Interpretation, English Language, Computer Aptitude and Reasoning, Economy/ General Knowledge/ Banking Awareness. 
  2. Candidates will be allotted 30 minutes to wrap up with the descriptive paper along with the above-mentioned test. This section will contain 2 questions based on the English Language. It may include questions like essay writing or letter writing. 
  3. 0.25 marks will be reduced if the candidate has answered the question incorrectly. No marks will be given nor reduced for unattempted questions. 



Candidates who will clear the Prelims and Mains exam will be called for an Interview including, Group Discussion. These candidates have to face questions asked by the selectors. The questions will be focused on General Knowledge and Banking Sector Reforms. Candidates will be selected on the basis of the aggregate scores of Group Discussion (20 marks) and Interview (30 marks).


  • Choose the right books and solve previous year papers

Aspirants must solve previous year’s question papers to know their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, solving questions will also allow them to cut down the extra syllabus so they can focus on the crucial topics only. At the same time, choose the right study materials or books to avoid wastage of time.


  • Make Notes

Only reading books will not help candidates to crack the SBI PO exam. It is important to make notes of significant concepts and chapters. Writing will help candidates to improve their memory retention capacity.  


  • Prepare a preparation plan and divide tasks 

Candidates must calculate the time that they have for preparation so they can prioritize their time in studying important topics first. Prepare a study plan to carry out all the daily activities on time. 


  • Practise concepts 

Practise all crucial concepts with solved questions and examples. Also, make a habit of solving previous year’s question papers and sample papers to know the format of questions asked in the main exam. 


  • Learn from mistakes

The SBI PO exam aspirants must solve numerous mock test papers to analyse their performance and learn from mistakes. This will help them to stay on track and provide them with hands-on experience of the actual exam.  


  • Keep on revising things

If one aspires to crack the SBI PO exam in the first attempt, then he must keep on revising concepts regularly. Go through all the crucial topics and shortcuts for solving difficult questions daily. 


  • Read newspapers, books and magazines

To improve English communication and grammatical skills, aspirants can read English journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. 








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