Want To Ace The SBI PO Exam? Here's How You Can Do It

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The SBI PO exam is conducted by the State Bank of India to recruit probationary officers for its branches across India. Many candidates aspire for this position as it is reputed and the salary package is higher as compared to other nationalized banks. The competition for this post is also high, due to a large number of applicants. 

There are three phases in the SBI PO recruitment procedure – preliminary exam, main exam, and interview. 

  • Prelim exam – The SBI Prelim exam is a one-hour, online test, comprised of three sections – Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability, and English Language. The total duration of the exam is one hour and there is no sectional time limit. The English Language section consists of 30 questions for 30 marks whereas the other two sections each consist of 35 questions for 35 marks. The maximum marks of the prelim exam are 100, wherein 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer and 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer. To qualify for the main exam, candidates need to clear the cut-off in every section of the prelim exam.
  • Main exam – The SBI Main exam is a 3.5-hour online exam. It is divided into two parts – the objective test and the descriptive test. The objective test is comprised of 4 sections, to be completed in 3 hours. The total marks of the objective test are 200. The Reasoning and Computer Aptitude section consists of 45 questions to be completed in 60 minutes, for 60 marks. The General/Economy/Banking Awareness section consists of 40 questions for 40 marks to be completed in 35 minutes. The English language section consists of 35 questions for 40 marks to be completed in 40 minutes. The Data Analysis and Interpretation section consist of 35 questions for 60 marks to be completed in 45 minutes. The descriptive test consists of two questions – letter writing and essay, to be completed in 30 minutes for 50 marks. Candidates need to clear the cut-off in each section of the main exam to qualify for the SBI PO Interview.
  • Interview – The SBI PO interview is a personal interview that lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. Candidates are asked personal questions, questions related to general awareness, current affairs, banking sector, economy, and academics. 


Here are some tips to crack the SBI PO exam –

  1. Familiarize yourself with exam pattern – The first step as you start preparing for the SBI PO exam is to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern. You can do so by giving a mock test. You will get a fair idea of the paper pattern, time duration, and marking scheme for both the prelim and main exam. You can also identify your level and go ahead from there.
  2. Go through the syllabus – Another important tip to crack the SBI PO exam is to go through the syllabus for both exams. You will observe that some topics are common for both exams whereas there may be some difference in the type of questions asked. Hence, you can prepare accordingly for both exams. For the preliminary exam, your goal should be to clear the cutoff, since these marks aren’t considered in the final merit list. However, for the SBI PO Main exam, you need to score the maximum marks possible for making it to the final merit list. Hence, identify the most important topics from the syllabus and start studying.
  3. Clear the foundation – As you start studying for the SBI PO exams, make sure to clear your basics and foundation first. You cannot jump to learning the advanced concepts without clearing your basics. Don’t mug up the concepts, understand them in detail. This makes solving questions easier. Also, make notes while studying to jot down the important points and formulas. This will help you, in the end, to revise topics quickly and also help you retain information.
  4. Create a study plan and schedule – Once you have gone through the syllabus and paper pattern, you need to make a timetable as per your daily routine. You need to dedicate time to each section if you want to crack the SBI PO exam. Make your schedule in such a way that you can dedicate time towards learning new concepts, revising old concepts, solving questions, and taking SBI PO mock tests.
  5. Practice by solving questions – To master a concept, you need to solve questions once you’ve understood it. Start by solving the easy questions and then move on to the difficult problems.
  6. Take mock tests – One of the most important steps to cracking the SBI PO exam is giving mock tests and solving past year’s question papers regularly. Once you have completed your syllabus, you should start giving mock tests. Crack the SBI PO Test Series with Oliveboard to get an idea about your weak areas so you can concentrate more on them. You will also know your speed and accuracy while giving the test. You need to improve your accuracy first, and then your speed. Hence, you should be able to solve questions correctly and quickly. You will also get an idea about how much you can score in the actual exam by analyzing your mock test results. It also helps you get used to the exam pressure.
  7. Improve test-taking skills – Even if your concepts are clear, you cannot score marks unless you can apply your knowledge properly in the exam. You should know how to manage your time in the exam and which questions to select. This will improve with taking more and more mock tests. You should remember that you don’t need to attempt all the questions as there is negative marking in the exam. Also, don’t spend your time being stuck on one question. Dedicate a certain amount of time to a question and if you aren’t able to solve it in that timeframe, move ahead.

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