How To Prepare For SBI PO 2019

Every year the State Bank of India (SBI) conducts the SBI PO exam for the post of Probationary officer across all its branches in India. This year SBI has notified around 2000 vacancies for Probationary officer. Candidates who are keen to make a career in the banking sector can apply for the SBI PO recruitment starting from 1st April 2019 – 22nd April 2019.

Before we take a deep dive into the preparation process for SBI PO, here are all the important details that every aspirant must know before attempting the exam.


Important Dates for SBI PO 2019 

Events Dates
 SBI PO 2019 Online Registration  2nd – 22nd April 2019 
 Payment of Application Fee/ Intimation Charges  2nd – 22nd April 2019 
 Download of Call Letter for Online Preliminary Examination  3rd week of May 2019 onwards 
 SBI PO 2019 Preliminary Exam Date  8th, 9th, 15th & 16th June 2019 
 SBI PO 2019 Preliminary Exam Result  1st week of July 2019 
 Download of Call Letter for Online Main Examination  2nd week of July 2019 
 SBI PO 2019 Main Exam Date  20th July 2019 
 SBI PO 2019 Main Exam Result  3rd week of August 2019 
 Download of Call Letter for Group Exercises & Interview  4th week of August 2019 
 SBI PO 2019 Group Exercises & Interview Date  September 2019 
 SBI PO 2019 Final Result  2nd week of October 2019 


Vacancies for SBI PO 2019 

 Category   No. of Vacancies 
General 810
SC 300
ST 150
OBC* 540
EWS^ 200
Total 2000


Listed below are the eligibility criteria a candidate must meet for the post of SBI PO.


Eligibility Criteria for SBI PO 2019

Educational Qualification

The aspirant needs to have a graduation degree from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government. Those who are in the final year/ semester of their Graduation may also apply provisionally subject to the condition that, if called for Interview, they will have to produce proof of having passed the graduation examination.


Age Limit

Applicants should not be below 21 years and not above 30 years as on 01.04.2019.  The age relaxation for different categories are as follows:

  • SC/ST: 5 years
  • OBC: 3 years
  • Persons with Disabilities: SC/ST: 15 years
  • Persons with Disabilities (PWD) – OBC: 13 years
  • Persons with Disabilities (PWD) – GEN/EWS: 10 years


Language Proficiency

The candidate should be proficient in reading, writing or speaking the official language of his State.

A foolproof study plan and thorough preparation are crucial for a sure shot success at SBI PO examination. The SBI PO exam consists of three phases.

  • Preliminary Phase
  • Mains Phase
  • Interview

There are three major sections to focus on if you are preparing for SBI PO prelims exam. They are:

  • Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Language


SBI PO 2019 Preliminary Exam Syllabus

Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude English Language
 Logical Reasoning   Simplification  Reading Comprehension 
 Alphanumeric Series   Profit & Loss  Cloze test
 Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test    Mixtures & Allegations  Para jumbles
 Data Sufficiency   Simple Interest & Compound Interest & Surds & Indices    Miscellaneous 
 Coded Inequalities   Work & Time  Fill in the blanks 
 Seating Arrangement   Time & Distance   Multiple Meaning /Error Spotting 
 Puzzle   Mensuration – Cylinder, Cone, Sphere    Paragraph Completion 
 Tabulation  Data Interpretation
 Syllogism  Ratio & Proportion, Percentage
 Blood Relations  Number Systems
 Input Output  Sequence & Series
 Coding Decoding  Permutation, Combination & Probability  


For the SBI PO Mains exam, there are 4 sections for you to focus on.

  1. Reasoning + Computer Aptitude
  2. English Language
  3. Data Analysis & Interpretation
  4. General/Economy/Banking Awareness


SBI PO 2019 Mains Syllabus

Data Analysis and Interpretations Reasoning English Language General/Economy/Banking Awareness Computer Aptitude
 Tabular Graph  Verbal Reasoning  Reading Comprehension   Financial Awareness   Internet
 Line Graph  Syllogism  Grammar  Current Affairs    Memory
 Pie Chart  Circular Seating  Arrangement  Vocabulary  General Knowledge  Keyboard Shortcuts
 Bar Graph  Linear Seating Arrangement  Verbal Ability  Static Awareness  Computer Abbreviation
 Radar Graph Caselet  Double Lineup  Word Association  Banking and Financial Awareness   Microsoft Office 
 Missing Case DI  Scheduling  Sentence Improvement  Computer Hardware
 Let it Case DI  Input Output  Para Jumbles  Computer Software 
 Data Sufficiency  Blood Relations  Cloze Test  Computer Fundamentals /Terminologies 
Probability  Directions and Distances  Error Spotting  Networking
Permutation and Combination  Ordering and Ranking   Fill in the blanks  Number System
 Data Sufficiency   Operating system
 Coding and Decoding   Basic of logic gates 
 Code of Inequalities 
 Course of Action 
 Critical Reasoning
 Analytical and  Decision making


Get the best preparation for your SBI and IBPS PO/MT Exam with this book. Attempt all questions from MTG’s best selling SBI and IBPS PO/MT here


SBI PO 2019 Preliminary & Main Exam Preparation Tips

How to prepare for Reasoning and Computer Awareness in SBI PO

Reasoning has always been a difficult section for aspirants attempting the SBI PO exam. No doubt that most candidates find it hard to tackle this section. So, the first thing an aspirant must do is to attempt questions from past year papers. This will give you a rough idea of the type and difficulty level of the questions that are asked.

If you think you are weak or average in this section then make it a point to practice questions on a regular basis. Remember to plan your schedule to cover all the important topics.

With regard to computer awareness, learning how to operate a computer is a basic necessity in today’s age. Thus, a basic level of familiarity with computers and its concepts is a must for any job seeker. Fortunately, that is exactly what this section of the exams will test you on.


How to prepare for Data Analysis and Interpretations in SBI PO

Preparing for the Data Analysis and Interpretation section requires you to be well aware of the syllabus and the common topics from where questions are asked. For e.g., following are the topics you can expect questions from.

  • Data Sufficiency
  • Probability-based Questions
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Caselets and Paragraphs
  • Table/Illustration-related Questions

So, if you are preparing for the Data analysis and interpretation section in SBI PO then you have to be confident about answering questions from any of the above-mentioned topics.


Tips to prepare for Data Analysis and Interpretations in SBI PO

– The first tip is a no-brainer, the data analysis, and interpretation section are a time consuming one, so you may be tempted to rush to get to the answer quickly. But since accuracy is as important as the speed you must ensure that you attempt the questions reasonably fast and correctly.

–  Ensure you practice questions from topics you are not confident of. Acing the data analysis and interpretation section in SBI PO requires you to be comfortable with all kinds of data.

– In this section mental calculation can come in handy especially since the questions are known to be time-consuming. So, if you can calculate the squares and square roots of all numbers from 1-20 mentally then it will certainly help you a great deal while tackling this section.


How to prepare for General Awareness in SBI PO

The general awareness section is said to be the easiest when compared with the other sections in the SBI PO exam. The topics you need to cover are:

  1. Current
  2. Banking (Economy)
  3. Static news of last 6 months.


Tips to prepare for General Awareness in SBI PO

– To score maximum marks in this section, make it a habit to read the news on a daily basis. Try to devote at least 2 hours a day for this section.

–  Try reading the same GK updates multiple times. The idea here is that the more you read the same thing again from different sources more the chances of this information getting embedded to your brain.

– For banking awareness, read through the FAQs on the RBI website. Once that is done check the Banking awareness modules from GKToday. They are readily available for free on the internet.

– For static GK, everything under the sun can be asked. But that doesn’t mean there is no preparation required for it. The common questions asked in this section revolve around the topic dams and rivers, National Park and WLS, Nuclear, Thermal, and Hydro Power Plants, CMs and Governors, Capitals and Currency of Countries, HQs of major organizations, etc.


How to prepare for Reasoning in SBI PO

The reasoning section in SBI PO is said to be very dynamic in nature, as in there is no set syllabus established for this section. The most important fact about this section is that practice is key and if done in a dedicated manner then Reasoning section is the least time consuming one.

Important topics to be covered in this section are:

  1. Inequality
  2. Syllogism
  3. Puzzles
  4. Input-output
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Data sufficiency
  7. Miscellaneous – Blood relation, Direction, Ranking, Alphanumeric Series, Coding-Decoding
  8. Computer Aptitude Questions


Tips to prepare for Reasoning in SBI PO

Puzzles & Logical reasoning:  These are two important topics that cannot be missed. Try and practice at least 3 different types of puzzles & logical reasoning questions on a daily basis. There is no magic trick for solving puzzles and logical reasoning questions, practice is the only way out.

– Always start off with the easier questions so that you can cover the whole section in minimum time.

– Attempt questions in the order of decreasing confidence for a section. If you are confident about a particular section and have been getting it correct in practice, always attempt it first so you don’t lose out on sure shot marks. Never let any question get on your ego that you have to solve it, if a question is taking time, skip it and move on to the next one.

– Solving questions in a timely manner is crucial. Since the questions in reasoning are based on logic there can be different methods for solving one question. So, identify the ideal method in terms of accuracy and time.

– General tip: Try and Identify your strong and weak topics. Since practice is the only way out, allocate sufficient time to practice the weaker topics. Try to create your own short cut and tricks for a type of problem if you can during practice.


How to prepare for English language in SBI PO

The English section is an important and crucial section in SBI PO. But it is also the most avoided and the least prepared one. A candidate has about 20 minutes to attempt English language section in SBI PO.

Important topics in English language for SBI PO are:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Cloze Test
  3. Para Jumbles
  4. Fill in the blanks
  5. Spot the error
  6. Sentence correction/improvement


Tips to prepare for the English Language in SBI PO

–  In reading comprehension, the questions are likely to be based on Banking & Economy, Social Issues, Business, etc. So, practice one comprehension section daily on one of these topics. This should improve your accuracy while attempting the questions.

–  The Cloze test checks the ability of the candidate to understand a passage, their vocabulary, and their command over English grammar. In a nutshell, cracking the cloze test is equivalent to cracking the entire English section. So consistent practice is the key.

–  For Para jumble try and analyze the theme of the jumble and then try restoring the paragraph in the right order. Look for connecting words like conjunctions that will help you link the story well. Also try to fit sentences in chronological or logical order wherever you can.

–  Attempting questions from ‘spot the error’ section is comparatively easier. All you need is a thorough understanding of grammar and sentence rules.

– For ‘Fill in the blanks’ section always apply the elimination technique. i.e. eliminate options that don’t seem fit to you. Choose the best option that fits the blank that doesn’t change the sense or theme of the sentence.  



Selection criteria for SBI PO 2019 Examination

From this year onwards, category wise merit list will be drawn on the basis of the aggregate marks scored in the Preliminary Exam. Meaning there will be no sectional cut-off.

Here is what the official notification from SBI states:

“Category wise merit list will be drawn on the basis of the aggregate marks scored in the Preliminary Exam. There will be no sectional cut-off. Candidates numbering 10 times the numbers of vacancies (approx.) in each category will be shortlisted for Main Examination from the top of above merit list.”


Moving on to the third phase in SBI PO 2019 examination – Interview

Interview for SBI PO is more rigorous than the IBPS PO interview. There are generally 4-5 people in the panel who all have more than 20 years of experience in the bank. The interview goes on for 20-30 minutes and they try to judge and understand as to why you chose to move to the banking sector, especially if you have studied engineering.

They judge your answer on how convincing you can sound. To prepare for SBI PO interviews, you have to prepare a list of all possible questions you can think of, related to your profile, and basic questions like why banking after your degree, why SBI, how will you handle a particular situation, your strengths, your weaknesses, your background. Try to brainstorm along with your friends and get a comprehensive list of questions. It will take at least 4-5 brainstorming sessions to get a good list of such questions. Make a document of these questions and keep adding points for your basic answer. Once you have the points, you can structure a well-rounded answer on the spot during your interview. You can use these points in other questions as well.


That is it, folks. Hope you found all of the information above useful. Follow these tips and strategies for a sure shot success at SBI PO examination. To boost your exam preparation, try out HashLearn’s Free Live Video Classes for SBI PO/IBPS PO.


Preparing for SBI PO Main 2019? Try HashLearn



-The End-

Share this post

Join the conversation