SBI or State Bank of India conducts online exam for the recruitment of Probationary Officers and Clerical Cadre. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious of the Banking jobs and is a dream job of every banking aspirant.
SBI PO paper pattern has been changed from this year. Now SBI PO online exam will consists of 2 phases:
Phase I – Preliminary Examination. The online exam for this phase will have questions from the following three sections:
- English Language
- Quantitative Aptitude
- Reasoning Ability
The online exam is of 60 minutes and contains 100 questions carrying a total of 100 marks. Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests.
Phase II – Main Examination: will consist of Objective Tests for 200 marks and Descriptive Test for 50 marks.
Both Objective and Descriptive Tests will be online. For Descriptive test you will have to type in your answer on the computer.
- Objective Test: It will be of 2 hours and will have questions from the following four Sections(50 marks each summing to 200 marks):
a) Test of English Language
b) Test of General Awareness, Marketing &Computers
c) Test of Data Analysis & Interpretation
d) Test of Reasoning
- Descriptive Test: This test (50 marks) will be of 1 hour and is a Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay).
Descriptive Test paper of only those candidates will be evaluated who have scored qualifying marks in the Objective Tests.
So now the question raises how to prepare? What should be your strategy for preparation? Well, to begin with, SBI PO (or SBI ASSOCIATE PO) paper is not an easy paper. You would definitely need robust preparation combined with smart work to crack these papers. Hence the best approach is to do a section wise planning, focus on your strengths and weakness and working on them accordingly.
So let’s get started with SBI PO exam preparation tips
Phase I – Preliminary Examination
Reasoning Section: This section will contain moderate to high level questions designed to test your analytical knowledge.
- Reasoning can be comparatively easy to solve once you have adequate practice. The questions are almost similar kind to what is asked in the other banking exams.
- For Coding-Decoding, alphabet series and syllogism it is better if you write down the alphabets and then approach to solve these.
- Practice blood relations and word formations as these are relatively easy topics.
- Sitting/Standing arrangements, who-stays-on-which-floor, in a group of working friends who likes which color and who works in which shift etc. kind of questions can be really tricky and if you are not thorough with practice these can take up a lot of time.
- Assertion and reasoning and decision making questions are tricky but not tough. So again practice practice practice.
- For Reasoning you can buy Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R S Aggarwal – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon . This book covers almost all the topics and has enough practice questions.
Quantitative Aptitude: This section will pose Moderate to High level questions. It can also be pretty lengthy as well.
- It is important that you start practicing the quant questions in a time bound manner.
- Do not spend too much time on a single question. If you find one sum to be too lengthy then or too time consuming do not fixate on that. There will be plenty others that you will be able to answer.
- But then DO NOT skip all!!!
- There will be questions from Interest (SI and CI), Profit and Loss, Percentage, Time and work, Time and Distance and Speed.
- The questions will be till 10th-12th So those of you for whom Maths isn’t the strong point need not panic. Its all that you studied till class 10th. Grab any school level book and start your practice.
- Once your concepts are crystal clear, you can learn short cuts and practice from Quicker Mathematics by M. Tyra – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
English: Expect Moderate to High level questions.
- Spotting the wrong in a sentence, idioms and phrasal verbs, fill in the blanks should not be too tough to answer.
- Comprehension and jumbled sentences can be high level and tricky.
- For jumbled sentences try taking 2-3 sentences at a time and arranging. One you have arranged that them it would be easier to put together all of them. Usually 5-6 sentences are given.
- Read English newspaper and magazines and especially the editorials. These will improve your command over language.
- You can prepare the grammatical and Vocab from ICSE class X English language book.
- You can also refer Quick learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
For Phase II – Main Examination
- English Language and Reasoning will more or less be like Phase I. You may encounter higher difficulty question in Phase II. So practice thoroughly.
- General Knowledge, Computer and Marketing Knowledge: Moderate to High level questions.SBI is the only exam that includes the marketing section. So for those of you whose educational background is not Business studies or economics you would find this section to be completely new. But there is nothing to panic. The questions are usually simple and direct. Give time to this section.For GK, focus on current affairs in the business and financial world. Follow the business news and keep a note of all the recent happenings. It would help you if you maintain a copy. Note down the important news that you come across. It would help in the last minute.Computer questions are simple. For those of you with a computer background it would be a piece of cake.
Questions are from operating system, MS Office, software and hardware, basic knowledge of Internet and networking system.Books that you can refer to for this section
NCERT books for History, Polity, Science
Manorama Year Book 2015 (English) – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
Manorama Year Book 2015 (Hindi) – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
Lucent’s General Knowledge (English) – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
Lucent’s General Knowledge (Hindi) – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
Marketing Aptitude/Knowledge For SBI PO & SBI Clerk And Other Banks & Insurance Exams by Kiran Prakashan- Buy on Flipkart orBuy on Amazon
Objective Computer Knowledge & Literacy : Kiran Prakashan – Buy on Flipkart or Buy on Amazon
- Data Analysis & Interpretation- Frankly speaking the DI questions asked in the SBI PO paper are of high difficulty level .DI questions need concentration and a good preparation to score well. As a large number of data are provided in the question in the form of Pie chart, bar diagram, graph. As this section will solely test you on Data Interpretation practice as much DI as you can to improve your speed and accuracy. The calculations might be lengthy but not tough. Since this is the first time aspirants will be encountering with DI as a separate section they are clueless on how to score good in this section. We have therefore written a post solely on how to do well in DI section, Read it here.
- Descriptive English – Practice letter writing & Comprehension
Build a good vocab as that would help you to write précis.
For essays, you can refer to any good essay book available in the market. Also follow the current happenings in the financial world as that would give you ample points to include in your essay.
You can buy one of these books if you are not very thorough with the language.
Also Read Our post covering SBI PO New Paper Pattern SBI PO Exam Syllabus Photo credit: Bill Selak / IWoman / CC BY-ND