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SBI PO 2017 Exam Pattern

SBI PO (State Bank of India Probationary Officers examination) is conducted by the State Bank of India for the recruitment of Probationary Officers in various SBI branches throughout the country. SBI PO examinations are conducted in two phases- Preliminary and Mains

SBI PO 2017 examination for the first phase would be held in last week of April and first week of May. Those who qualify for the mains phase would be called for the second phase of SBI PO 2017 examination in the first week of June, 2017.

SBI PO 2017 examination is conducted online. The first phase i.e. Preliminary examination is of one hour’s duration and it consists of 3 sections. The second phase of SBI PO examinations consists of 2 sections- Objective Test and Descriptive Test. The objective test duration will be of 3 hours and descriptive test will be of 30 minutes duration.

SBI PO 2017 Exam Pattern

SBI PO exam is conducted in 2 phases. Candidate who qualifies in the first phase i.e. SBI PO Preliminary Test will proceed to the next phase i.e., SBI PO Mains Test. In SBI PO exam, there is provision of sectional cut off. A candidate has to clear the minimum qualifying marks in each section of the test, to get selected for the subsequent rounds.

Phase 1- SBI PO Preliminary Test (SBI PO Pre)

SBI PO Pre would be conducted in last week of April and first week of May , 2017. SBI PO Preliminary test is an objective type examination. Candidates have to qualify in each of the 3 sections by securing minimum cut off marks to be decided by the Bank.

Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by the Bank (approximately 20 times the numbers of vacancies subject to availability) will be shortlisted for the Main Examination.

Following are the exam details of Preliminary Test of SBI PO Pre 2017:

SectionEnglishQuantitative AptitudeReasoningTotal
Time Duration1 Hour (60 Minutes)
Number of Questions30 Questions35 Questions35 Questions100 Questions
Marks30 Marks35 Marks35 Marks100 Marks
Marking Scheme+1 mark for each correct marked answer -1/4 marks deducted for each wrong marked answer
MediumOnly English Language
Types of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions (Each question has 4 options, out of which only 1 is correct)
SBI PO 2017 expected Pre Cut Off (General)8.757.25747.50
SBI PO 2017 Pre expected Cut Off (OBC/SC/ST/PwD)64.254.2544.50 OBC38.75 SC29.25 ST36.00 OH37.00 VH15.75 HI

Phase II- Mains (SBI PO Mains)

Candidates who secure the required marks and adhere to the cut off set by State Bank of India will proceed to the second Phase of SBI PO 2017 examination. SBI PO Mains is subdivided into 2 exams that would held on the same day after the one is conducted. The tests are- objective test and descriptive test.

Both the sections are conducted online.Objective test will be conducted in 3 hours duration and Descriptive test will long for 30 minutes. SBI PO Main Objective Test section includes topics such as Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, Data Analysis and Interpretation, General/Economy/Banking Awareness and English Language. Candidate’s Letter Writing and Essay Writing capabilities will be assessed in the SBI PO Main Descriptive Test.


Objective Test and Descriptive Test

Objective test for SBI PO 2017 examinations will be conducted after the candidate successfully qualifies and secures marks according to the cut off set by State Bank of India to sit in the Mains examination for SBI PO 2017. The objective test will be conducted for 3 hours and the total marks for the same will be 200 marks.

In the following table, SBI PO Mains highlights are represented

SectionReasoning & Computer AptitudeData Analysis & InterpretationGeneral Awareness about Economy/ bankingEnglish LanguageTotal
Time Duration60 Minutes45 Minutes35 Minutes40 Minutes3 Hours (180 Minutes)
Number of Questions45 Questions35 Questions40 Questions35 Questions155 Questions
Marks60 Marks60 Marks40 Marks40 Marks200 Marks
MediumOnly English Language
Types of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions (Each question has 4 options, out of which only 1 is correct)

Candidate will start with the descriptive test paper immediately after attempting the Objective Test. Candidates will be given 30 minutes to complete the Descriptive paper and total marks for this paper will be 25 marks.

Candidates will have to type on the computer to attempt this paper. Descriptive paper of a candidate will be checked only if he/she qualifies in the Objective test as per the qualifying marks decided by the Bank.

SBI PO 2017 Time Duration

For the phases of SBI PO 2017, there are different time slots and duration of time to complete particular section. There are three different sections in the preliminary examination and for second phase, the objective test contains four sections and descriptive test will revolve around the letter writing and essay writing skills of the candidate.

Here is an elaborated table on the division of time slots for each section in Phase I and Phase II examination of SBI PO 2017 examination:

Phase I- SBI PO Preliminary Test

Name of TestNo. of QuestionsMaximum marksTime Duration
English language30 Questions30 Marks60 Minutes
Quantitative aptitude35 Questions35 Marks
Reasoning ability35 Questions35 Marks

Phase II- SBI PO Main Objective Test

Name of testNo. of QuestionsMaximum marksTime duration
Reasoning and computer aptitude45 Questions60 Marks60 minutes
Data analysis and Interpretation35 Questions60 Marks45 minutes
General/economy/banking awareness40 Questions40 Marks35 minutes
English language35 Questions40 Marks40 minutes
Total155 Questions200 Marks3 hours (180 minutes)

Phase II- Descriptive type

SBI PO Descriptive type test will be based on English Language (letter writing and essay writing). Descriptive test will be administered immediately after the Objective Test. Descriptive test will be checked of the candidates who will qualify in the Objective test according to the cut off set by SBI.

Once the candidate successfully clears both the sections of Mains examination, candidates will be shortlisted and called for group discussions and interview session. On the basis of group discussions and interview, candidate will be recruited at the State Bank of India anywhere in the country.


SBI PO 2017 Marking Scheme

SBI PO 2017 examination will be evaluated on the basis of 3 sections of the examination:

  1. Preliminary phase
  2. Mains phase (Objective Test and Descriptive Test)
  3. Final phase (Group discussion and Interview)

Candidate must follow and understand the points given below to get an idea of how the marking will be done for each phase and its particular section:

  1. Preliminary Phase

  • Candidate whose application form has been successfully submitted, is eligible to sit for the SBI PO Pre Test.
  • SBI PO Preliminary test consists of 3 sections- on English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability.
  • English language section is of 30 marks while the other 2 sections are of 35 marks each.
  • Candidate must secure decent score to match the cut off set by the State Bank of India to qualify for next phase of SBI PO 2017- Mains Phase.
  • Each correct marked answer will fetch you 1 mark and each wrong marked answer will deduct you -1/4 marks.
  1. Mains Phase

  • The second phase of SBI PO 2017 will be for the candidates who qualify the SBI PO Pre exam.
  • Mains will be held in two parts- Objective and Descriptive.
  • Objective test will be consisting of four sections namely reasoning and computer aptitude, Data analysis and Interpretation, General/economy/banking awareness and English language.
  • All the sections will be of 200 marks and the candidates who will successfully qualify this section will qualify for the checking of descriptive test.
  • Descriptive test will evaluate candidate’s ability in letter writing and essay writing. The total marks for this section will be 25 marks as per revised changes.
  1. Final Phase

  • After clearing the second phase, candidate will be called for group discussions and interview by the SBI.
  • This phase will be evaluated on the basis of both, group discussion and interview.
  • Group discussion will be of 20 marks and interview will be of 30 marks bringing the total to 50 marks.
  • Candidates will be shortlisted finally and called for recruitment in various branches of State Bank of India all over India.


SBI PO 2017 Sample Paper

Sample Papers for both Preliminary Phase and Mains are easily and readily available online for candidate’s convenience. Candidates can download the sample papers for Preliminary examination for the preparation of SBI PO 2017.

To crack the preliminary section candidate will be able to practice the sample paper and get a strong grip on English language, aptitude and reasoning skills. Similarly, mains sample paper will help the candidate to solve the problems related to aptitude, general knowledge of banking and economy data analysis, etc.

Benefits of solving Sample Papers

There are numerous benefits of solving a sample paper before sitting for the actual examination. Here are some of the benefits that a candidate can get by solving the sample papers of SBI PO examination:

  • Candidate who solves the sample paper is at highly advantageous position as he can grasp the gist of the type of questions that will be thrown at him/her during the examination of SBI PO 2017.
  • Candidate can gain familiarity with the types of questions that can be asked in the SBI PO 2017 examination.
  • Candidates can also judge their preparation on the basis of the questions they can solve while attempting the sample paper
  • It is always a possibility that candidate can get the questions from sample paper in the actual examination of SBI PO 2017.
  • Candidate can gain confidence and change revision strategies, if required.

SBI PO 2017 Preparation Tips

Candidate must put all his/her efforts to prepare for SBI PO examination. There is no short cut formula to succeed in any examination or test, candidate must dedicate 100% of his or her efforts into the preparation. Make a proper schedule to manage time for studies and other activities.

Candidate must properly organize daily activities and take proper rest too. It is very important to go through previous year exam questions of SBI PO examination and attempt mock tests to get the idea of preparation that has been done so far.

For the convenience of the candidate, here are the tips to prepare for each section of the SBI PO 2017 examination:

Reasoning Ability

Reasoning ability is both required for preliminary test and mains exam, only the level of difficulty varies in both the sections of SBI PO examination. Candidate must be sound with his analytical abilities and practice various questions to exercise reasoning skills.

Candidate must try and focus on the following topics to get better scores in both preliminary test and mains examination:

  • Syllogism
  • Statement and Conclusions
  • Directions and Arrangements
  • Ranking
  • Data sufficiency
  • Comprehension Reasoning
  • Coding/Decoding
  • Analogy
  • Classification

Quantitative Aptitude

The section deals with candidate’s ability to attempt aptitude related numerical questions. Quantitative Aptitude section is considered to be one of the toughest sections. To crack this section with great ease, candidate will need to have thorough practice and some tricks to solve the questions within the stipulated time period.

Candidate must start by solving easy questions with minimum calculations and then bring to use small tricks and strategies to attempt hard questions. Following are the topics to be prepared for this section:

  • Number Systems/series
  • Simple Interest & Compound Interest.
  • Time & Work/Distance.
  • Profit & Loss.
  • Percentage.
  • Average.
  • Ratio and Proportion.
  • Data Interpretation.
  • Probability

Language section

English section is common in both Preliminary Test and Mains Examination of SBI PO examination. It can be calculated as the easiest section of this examination provided candidate has a thorough practice and command over basic concepts of the language as Basic English language and its knowledge is tested in this section. Candidate must continuously practice mock tests to strengthen this section.

Following are the concepts that must be taken care of while attempting English Language section:

  • Reading and comprehension
  • Cloze test
  • Spotting errors
  • Para-jumbles
  • Idioms and phrases
  • Synonyms and antonyms

General ability section

To attempt General ability section candidate must be updated with the current affairs and happenings. If candidate is fully aware of all the surrounding events then this section of SBI PO examination will be easiest to crack. Reading newspaper daily will be an added advantage along with awareness for below mentioned concerns:

  • Current Affairs of last 6 months
  • Topics related to finance and economics
  • History of Banking
  • Banking Terms
  • Fiscal & Monetary Policies

READ ABOUT SBI PO Selection Procedure

Computer Aptitude

Computer Knowledge Questions asked in SBI PO exam mainly contain questions related to basic knowledge about computer. It is very important to be acquainted with computer related skills and basic theoretical knowledge to fetch good marks in this section.

Candidate can acquire information related to computers by just downloading pdf from the internet with relevant information on the following topics:

  • Hardware and Software
  • Basics of Computers
  • MS Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point)
  • Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • Basic internet knowledge and protocols
  • Generations of computer
  • Network Basics (LAN and WAN)




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