SBI PO is an examination held for recruiting Probationary Officers. It marks the Junior Management Level direct entry in the Bank for young graduates. Exam for SBI PO is conducted each year for appointing officers in the Bank. Candidates in a huge number appear for this exam but only the best ones are selected as SBI PO. What makes a difference here is the SBI PO Preparation. A candidate should be aware of the exam pattern, important books and preparation tips in order to make the SBI PO Preparation effective. Here we will cover all the major aspects of SBI PO Preparation so that the candidates can perform upto best of their potential and crack the exam.

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SBI PO Prelims Preparation Tips And Tricks 2017-2018

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SBI PO Mains Preparation Tips And Tricks 2017-2018

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SBI PO GD PI Preparation Tips And Tricks 2017-2018

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SBI PO Exam Pattern / SBI PO Exam Tiers

The basic thing that a candidate needs to be aware of is the pattern of the exam of SBI PO. Once, the pattern is well-understood, the SBI PO Preparation will itself become effective.

The State Bank Of India has changed the pattern of it’s SBI PO exam from last year. Earlier the exam was conducted in Two Parts but from last year there has been an addition and now the exam of SBI PO is conducted in Three Parts i.e. Phase I, Phase II and Phase III.

Phase I is the Preliminary Examination, Phase II is the Main Examination and Phase III is the Group Discussion & Interview. Below are the details given for each Phase.

Phase I – Preliminary Examination

This is the first step of the SBI PO exam. It is an online objective test of 100 marks. It’s duration is 1 hour.

Name of Test No. Of Questions Marks
English Language 30 30
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total 100 100

Candidates qualifying this Test will be shortlisted for the Main Examination.

Phase II – Main Examination

After qualifying the prelims, candidates appear for the Main Examination. It is an online exam consisting of objective test for 200 marks and descriptive test for 50 marks.

Objective Test – Consists of 4 sections

Name of test Questions Marks Duration
Reasoning and computer aptitude 45 60 60 minutes
Data analysis and interpretation 35 60 45 minutes
General / economy / banking awareness 40 40 35 minutes
English language 35 40 40 minutes
Total 155 200 3 hours

Descriptive Test – The duration is of 30 minutes and is a test of English Language (Letter Writing and Essay) of 50 marks.

Phase III – Group Discussion & Interview

Those candidates who will qualify the Prelims and Main will be called for a GD round and then a personal interview. The final selection will take place keeping in mind the result of all the three phases.

After knowing the pattern of SBI PO exam, candidates can frame out their strategies accordingly and start their SBI PO Preparation.

Books For SBI PO Exam / Important Books For SBI PO Preparation

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Whenever preparaing for an exam, it is very important to identify the correct study material. There are a lot of Books For SBI PO but here is a list of the most recommeded and useful books to prepare for SBI PO.
English Language (30 Marks)

Name of the Book Buy from Amazon
Objective English for Competitive Examinations by Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Rani Sinha SBI POBuy on Amazon
Objective General English by R. S. Aggarwal, Vikas Aggarwal SBI POBuy on Amazon
High School English Grammar by Wren & Martin. SBI POBuy on Amazon

Quantitative Aptitude (35 Marks)

Name of the Book Buy from Amazon
Fast Track Objective Arithmetic (Arihant) Rajesh Verma SBI POBuy on Amazon
Magical Book On Quicker Maths by M Tyra SBI POBuy on Amazon
Quantitative Aptitude Test by N. K. Singh SBI POBuy on Amazon

Reasoning Ability (35 Marks)

Name of the Book Buy from Amazon
A Modern Approach To Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal SBI POBuy on Amazon
A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal and Non- Verbal by BS Sijwali, Indu Sijwal SBI POBuy on Amazon
The Hand on Guide to Analytical Reasoning and Logical Reasoning by Peeyush Bhardwaj SBI POBuy on Amazon

These Books For SBI PO Exam will guide the candidates in the correct direction and help them in preparing for SBI PO in a better manner.

Important Tips For SBI PO Exam For Aspirants

Here are some tips on how to crack the SBI PO exam. These will help the candidates in their SBI PO Preparation.

Study According To The Exam Pattern

  • Go through the pattern of SBI PO exam and frame you strategies accordingly. No extra work is required.

Cover Entire Syllabus

  • Make sure that you haven’t missed anything that was in the syllabus. Be 100% prepared from your side.

Solve The Mock Test Papers

  • The more you will practice the better you will become. Solve the mock test papers and analyse your mistakes.

Give Equal Attention To All The Sections

  • All the sections are equally important and require equal attention and hard work. Don’t over do any section.

Make Notes

  • While studying from the book, keep writing down the points that you think are important. Making notes helps a lot during the revision.

Discuss With Your Friends, Teachers

  • Exchanging ideas with each other is a very effective way of learning new things. Interact with your friends and teachers and try and learn from them and vice-versa.

Make Seperate Notebooks For Different Subjects

  • If you keep on writing in the same notebook about all the subjects, then at the end it will just become a pile of confusion.

Stay Calm And Composed

  • There’s no need to panic. Just make sure that you SBI PO Preparation is going well and be cool.

Get Enough Sleep And Food

  • Maintaining your health is an aspect that is often overlooked by the candidates. It plays a very important role in your preparation and should be properly taken care of.

Eliminate All The Negative Thoughts

  • Don’t let any kind of negativity enter your mind. It’s effects are adverse and can destroy your confidence for nothing.

Keep up with these points during your preparation for SBI PO and you will be on the road of success.

Review By Selected Aspirant of Sbi PO.

My two strong sections were GA and English, in DI/Quants I just think to clear the cutoff and in Reasoning I try to clear the cutoff somehow, and then try to add as much marks as possible.

1. General Awareness-

Since my childhood, I’ve had this habit of reading newspapers, so I’ve always been aware about the world. If we talk about Banking Exams’ perspective, it is important to have a great grip on Current Affairs. There are various sources, but I’d suggest the following-

Bankers Adda Daily Updates

GovernmentAdda Tricks n Tips
Affairs Cloud Daily Updates
Gradestack Daily Updates
GKToday Daily Quizzes
Affairs Cloud Daily and Monthly Mock Quizzes.
Testbook App Quizzes.
Newspaper (Most important), You can choose The Hindu or The Indian Express. There is no need to go for a separate Financial newspaper.

If you follow the above diligently, I bet you’ll get 100% marks in you Current Affairs part of GA. Also, this won’t take more than an hour for you to complete it.
Also, it is really important to know what to read and what to ignore. I’d come up with a different post on this.

The other part covers Banking Awareness. For the this, it is a must to go through the FAQs on the RBI website. Once you’re done with this, go through the Banking Awareness Modules of GKToday, it is freely available to read online on their website. There is no need to buy any Arihant. If you have this OCD of having a book, then you can go through Disha Publications, which I believe is freely available on the internet as a PDF. For revision, you can go through any capsule, from Affairs Cloud or Gradestack. Please avoid BankersAdda Capsule of any kind and its Banking/Financial Awareness Quizzes. There are more errors in them than the questions (Personal Opinion).
The other source that you can use in addition to RBI FAQs and GKToday Module (these two are compulsory if you ask me), is the Mrunal Videos on Banking which are available on YouTube. You should go to the Economics Playlist and watch the lectures from L1/P2 to L1/P9. This will be more than enough.


The next part of this section is Static GK. For this wto sources I’d suggest – Wikipedia, and any Static GK Capsule from either of these – Exampundit or Affairs Cloud or Gradestack. DO NOT go for BankersAdda, please.
You should focus on Indian Static GK. Like Dams and rives, National Park and WLS, Nuclear, Thermal and Hydro Power Plants, CMs and Governors, Capital and Currency of Countries, HQs of major Organizations.
This is mostly 4-5 questions out of 40 or 50. So, you can guess the cost benefit ratio.

P.S. I don’t believe in notes making especially. But, it is a very personal thing. If you are comfortable with that, you should follow. I’ve never made any notes, for any subject for that matter during my preparation.

2. English Language:

You may or may not relate to this. I’ve a very sound basic, as I studied in an English medium school. I don’t know no rules, I just know if the English is right or wrong.
For people who don’t have their basic set right, I’d suggest you to follow Wren & Martin/SP Bakshi. Also, read either The Hindu or The Indian Express. I used to follow The Hindu for news and Editorials. And, The Indian Express for Editorials and the “Explained” section.

Vocabulary is something that is built over a period of time, and not overnight. It requires patience and hardwork. The best way to widen your vocabulary is reading. Read anything. A newspaper, a magazine, an article of lipstick, a food blog, a novel. It will just increase your vocabulary.
If you read a word, say, “unequivocal”, go to the internet and search the meaning, and try to learn it. Trust me, you cannot learn it in the first go. I bet, that you’ll come across that particular word again in the next 2-3 days. Learn it again, make a sentence using it in a context that suits the word in your head and then you’ll never forget it, all your life.

For English, it is really important to practice questions. You can opt OB or PM, but never opt Career Power. I opted both OB and PM, and these two mocks were my only source for English.

3. Reasoning:

There is a total change in this section as majority of the questions now being asked are Puzzles/Seating Arrangement. So, someone, like me, who is not good at solving them, has to rely on other miscellaneous questions, like Syllogisms, Inequality, Blood relations. In SBI PO Prelims, I couldn’t solve a single puzzle, but I made sure that I do all other questions with cent percent accuracy, and that alone, helped me sail through the Prelims. I’d suggest you to attempt as many questions as possible for this section. Practice and practice alone will help you in solving those puzzles.
You can follow OB and PM Mocks, Affairs Cloud questions, Exampundit questions. Also, I’ve heard a lot about this “Kaashvi Puzzle PDF”, I cannot say much, because I’ve not gone through it.

4. Quantitative Aptitude/DI:

I, personally, just try to clear the cutoff, somehow! So, my target is just to go for DI and Quadratic, and while I skip and next, I keep one of my eyes closed as I don’t want to get distracted by those easy-looking word problems, which I am never able to solve. I simply go to the DI part, and start solving. Also, it is important which question to choose and which to skip in DI. Try to solve questions which have minimal caluculation. A set of 5 questions will have 2 easy, 2 moderate and 1 diffcult. Try to do those 4 only, and skip the difficult one, as it will take a lot of time. FOllow this in all three or four sets of DI available in the Exam, and you can easily score 12-13, which is generally the cutoff. So, the people who just want to clear the cutoff, this is the easiest way to do so.
The sources for DI are mocks. The best sources you’ll find. OB and PM mocks have very good DI questions.

Now, for people who want to score good. I’ll suggest just one book, Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma. Anyone, who has no understanding of Quants can also read it and learn Quants. It very lucid and to the point, with many questions. Stop following books like RS Aggrawal, it is of no use, at all. And, please, practice as many questions as you can, because Quants is something where you’ll forget your concepts if you don’t practice.

Special Mention: MOCKS-

I’ll recommend OB and PM again. They’re the best in the market. Please DO NOT opt for Career Power, it is full of mistakes. Same goes for Mahendra’s. Don’t waste your money of CP, Mahendra’s and Testbook.
Also, please do not get disheartened by less marks in mocks. Mocks are for 2 reasons only- One, to see how many can you attempt in a pressure situation in one hour, and two, to know different types of questions that can be asked.
Marks in mocks matter nothing. Nothing at all. Just don’t let these mocks dent your confidence. I’ll give you an example. I took OB mock one day before my UIIC exam, and all I could score was 87/200. Next morning, I attempted 177/200, and cleared the written. Had I been demotivated with my mock score, I’d have never attempted that much. Mocks, sometimes, are unnecessarily tough.

Have faith in your abilities, please!



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