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SBI PO Syllabus and Exam Pattern – Detailed Analysis

SBI PO Syllabus and Exam Pattern – Detailed Analysis

Profile photo of shashi kumar shashi kumar
December 16, 2017

Welcome to the story of SBI PO exam pattern and syllabus. In this story I will try to give you the detailed analysis of SBI PO exam pattern and SBI PO syllabus. If you are new to bank exams field you will get a glimpse of the important areas you need to target in order to achieve the target.

This story will be long because I will try to cover SBI PO Prelims and SBI PO Mains exam pattern and syllabus. I will also try to give data from previous year SBI exam 2017 so that It can help you in the planning for exam.  Let us go part by part

SBI PO Syllabus and exam pattern

SBI PO exam is generally conducted in three phases. First is Prelims (100 marks), Second is Main (Objective + Descriptive = 200+50 marks) and third phase is Group Exercise + Interview (20+30 marks). For Simplicity I have divided this story into six parts. Three for prelim and three for main. We will check exam pattern, syllabus and important topics appeared in previous year.

  1.  SBI PO Prelim Exam Pattern
  2. SBI PO Syllabus – Prelim
  3. SBI PO Prelim – Important Area to Focus
  4. SBI PO Main Exam Pattern
  5. SBI PO Syllabus – Main
  6. SBI PO Main- Important Areas to Focus

1. SBI PO Prelim Exam Pattern

SBI Probationary Officer exam starts with Objective exam or Prelim exam. As the name suggest this exam is conducted to filter the crowd. As millions of students fill the form, SBI conducts prelim exam to bring the number down to thousands. So, this is the first yet important to appear in main exam. The marks obtained in this exam is not added in the final score.

Note – Total Questions = 100 | Total Marks = 100 | Negative Marking for wrong question (0.25) | Time Duration = 60 Minutes

Subject Marks
English Language 30 30 Total Time is 60 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35

2. SBI PO Prelim Syllabus

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Simplification
  • Profit & Loss
  • Mixtures & Alligations
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Work & Time
  • Time & Distance
  • Mensuration
  • Ratio & Proportions
  • Percentage
  • Number System
  • Sequence and Series
  • Permutation and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Quadratic Equation
  • Data Interpretation

Reasoning Ability

  • Logical Reasoning
  • Alphanumeric series
  • Direction Test/ Ranking
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Coded Inequalities
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Blood Relations
  • Syllogism
  • Input Output
  • Coding Decoding
  • Puzzles

English Language

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Cloze Test
  • Para Jumbles
  • Fillers
  • Multiple Meaning / Error Spotting
  • Paragraph Completion

3. SBI PO Prelim – Important Area to Focus

SBI PO Syllabus Prelim Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Simplification
  • Number Series
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Data Interpretation

These four topics should be covered properly. There were almost 25 questions from them in SBI PO exam 2017. Other important topics which should be prepared thoroughly are

  • Percentage
  • Profit and Loss
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Speed, Time and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Probability
  • Mixture and Alligations

Topics like Percentage, Profit and Loss, Speed Time and Distance, CI and SI plays an important role in solving questions from Data Interpretation. So, It is very necessary to cover these topics as well in order to score good in SBI PO exam. The topics can be visually represented in the following chart.

Reasoning Ability

  • Coding Decoding
  • Direction Test
  • Blood Relation
  • Syllogism
  • Coded Inequalities
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Puzzles
SBI PO Syllabus Prelims Reasoning

Reasoning Ability has vast area so It’s better to proceed via the important topics. Most questions asked in SBI Prelim exams were from above mentioned topics. So, its better to cover them thoroughly then move to some other chapters


English Language

  • Reading comprehension
  • Sentence Rearrangement
  • Paragraph Completion
  • Error Detection / Multiple Meaning
SBI PO Syllabus Prelims

English Language tests your understanding of English. We should read more and more English daily. We should have basic understanding of Tense, Preposition, Subject Verb and Agreement, Voice, Narration, Article etc.

4. SBI Main Exam Pattern

Let me take you through the SBI Main Exam Pattern. The real game starts now as getting into prelims requires time management and accuracy which you can achieve by keep practicing but SBI PO Main is not all only about practice. In the previous article I have written more about my experience of SBI PO Main exam 2017. Let us look at the exam pattern.

The main exam is of 200 marks consisting 155 questions. The time allocated to each subject is different and you can not choose any particular section first. The total time is 3 hours. Let us look at the marks and question distribution for each section.

Subject Marks Questions Time
Reasoning and computer aptitude 60 45 60 minutes
Data Analysis and Interpretation 60 35 45 minutes
General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness 40 40 35 minutes
English Language 40 35 40 minutes

5. SBI PO Main Syllabus

Before we start talking about SBI PO Main Syllabus, We should keep one thing in mind that we can not crack main exam using knowledge of prelim. We should always think of pushing ourselves to solve more difficult problems. In prelim exam you will get many easy question but in main exam all questions will be moderate to tough. So, From first day we should think of stretching ourselves to solve difficult questions also.

Reasoning and computer aptitude

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Syllogism
  • Circular Seating Arrangement
  • Linear Seating Arrangement
  • Double Line up
  • Scheduling
  • Input Output
  • Blood Relation
  • Directions and Distances
  • Order and Ranking
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Coding and Decoding
  • Code Inequalities
  • Course of Action
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Analytical and Decision Making

We should not confuse computer aptitude with computer awareness. In computer aptitude you can be asked about Flow Diagrams and Computer Number Conversion.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

  • Tabular Graph
  • Line Graph
  • Pie Chart
  • Bar Graph
  • Radar Graph Caselet
  • Missing Case DI
  • Let it Case DI
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Probability
  • Permutation and Combination

Data Analysis and Interpretation involves the technique of analyzing data from given graphs of table. You will requires to process data to solve questions. So, It is very important to know tricks on how to solve DI effectively.

English Language

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Phrase Replacement
  • Verbal Ability
  • Error Detection
  • Para Jumbles
  • Cloze test
  • Fill in the blanks

General Awareness / Banking Awareness

General Awareness consists of events of national and important events (current affairs).

Important topics to be considered while reading newspaper.

  • Important International and National Reports likes Budgets , Economy reports etc.
  • Awards National and International in the field of literature, entertainment, sports etc
  • Sports Events
  • Books and Authors
  • Important Personalities from all around the globe
  • Important National and International Organizations in news

Banking awareness consists of questions from the following important topics

RBI and Monetary Policy

  • RBI Main Function
  • Instrument
  • RTGS
  • MSF
  • Types of Money
  • Basel Committees
  • Financial Institutions
  • Anti Money Laundering

Money Market in India

  • Money Market Concepts
  • FERA and FEMA
  • FDI and FII
  • Types of Negotiable Instruments
  • Types of Cheques

Public Finance

  • Concept of Budget
  • Financial and Railway Budget
  • Bills
  • Schemes and policies implemented by Govt
  • Revenue of Central Govt.
  • Taxes on Income and Expenditure
  • Revenue Deficit
  • Finance Commissions

Indian Banking Industry

  • History
  • Role of Banking
  • Types of Banks
  • Functions of Banks
  • Important banks, headquarters and Tag lines

6. SBI PO Main – Important Area to Focus

SBI PO exam question paper are frequently getting changed. So, It’s common to see a few surprises in all sections. Let us talk about the important areas to focus while preparing for main exam.

Quantitative Aptitude SBI PO 2017

Topic Number of question Difficulty Level
Data Sufficiency 4 Difficult
Probability 5 Difficult
Miscellaneous (SI, CI, Speed Time and Distance, Ages, Time and Work, Ratio) 6 Moderate to difficult
Inequality 5 Difficult
Data Interpretation 15 Difficult
Total 35

Reasoning and computer aptitude SBI PO 2017

Topic Questions Difficulty level
Sitting Arrangement and Puzzle 23 Difficult
Alphabet (Puzzle type) 3 Difficult
New Pattern Symbol based ques 4 Moderate
Input- Output 5 Moderate- Difficult
Logical reasoning 8 Moderate-Difficult
Data Sufficiency 2 Difficult

English Language SBI PO 2017

Topic Questions Difficulty Level
Reading comprehension 10 Difficult
Double Fillers 4 Moderate – Difficult
Correct Paragraph identification 4 Difficult
Error Detection 10 Moderate- difficult
Jumbled Paragraph 2 Moderate- Difficult
Phrasal Replacement 5 Difficult

I think this article will help you in your next SBI PO Preparation examinations. You can also join Banking preparation group and share your knowledge or ask your doubt. Welcome for your comments and feedback. Share this story with your friends. Keep learning..

Shashi kumar

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I like to help students with their studies. I write articles, solve students queries and enjoy communicating with new people. Join favteacher and connect with me. Ask me any questions by mentioning me @shashi_kumar

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