Article | Educational

10 Helpful Preparation Tips for SBI PO Exam

By Barnali Barman
Last updated on 13th Nov 2021
Helpful Preparation Tips for SBI PO Exam

The SBI Probationary Officer (PO) exam is conducted by the State Bank of India to recruit eligible candidates for the post of Probationary Officer. A large number of candidates apply for the exam, out of which only a few are selected depending on the number of vacancies. SBI PO is considered the most sought after banking exam in the country. Successful candidates are posted as Probationary Officers in the various branches of the bank.

Preparation Tips

To crack a highly competitive exam like the SBI PO you should adopt some smart strategies. To help in your preparation, some practical strategies have been mentioned below:

1. Know the Exam

Before starting to prepare for any exam, you should be familiar with the syllabus and exam pattern. When you know the syllabus, you will be able to get some ideas about the topics.  Besides the syllabus, you should also be familiar with the exam pattern. By knowing the exam pattern, you will be able to get an idea about the marks distribution and question pattern.

The SBI PO exam is conducted in three stages. These are the Preliminary exam, Main exam and Interview. The Preliminary exam consists of three sections including the English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability carrying a total of 100 marks. The Main exam consists of five sections including Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, Data Interpretation and Analysis, General/Economy/Banking Awareness, English language and Descriptive test carrying a total of 250 marks.

2. Collect Study Materials

Once you are familiar with the syllabus and exam pattern, you should collect study materials from reliable sources. You should also do proper research before buying books. One good book is sufficient for one subject. A list of books have been mentioned below:

  • Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal
  • A new approach to Reasoning
  • General Knowledge by Arihant Publication.

3. Make Notes

By making notes, you won’t have to face difficulty while revising the topics before the exam. Make notes in an easy and comprehensible manner. Try to keep the sentence short and make points. Make notes by using two or three colours to differentiate among the important topics.

If possible make notes in the digital format. You will be able to add new information to the existing answers. When you write notes you build the habit of writing answer that becomes helpful to you during the exam.


4. Study Regularly

By doing the regular study you will be able to complete the syllabus on time. When you study regularly you will build a habit which is very important to get success in a highly competitive exam.

Try to apply the Pomodoro technique while studying. This technique is about taking small breaks while doing a big task. This technique encourages breaking a big task into small parts. If you apply this method, your productivity will increase and get rid of exhaustion.

5. Revise

Revise every topic you have studied earlier. Revision helps you to retain the information for a longer period of time. The more you revise the more you will be able to understand the topics. When you keep on revising the topics, you won’t have to spend much time on revision when the exam is near.

Moreover, revision helps you to know many other topics along with one main topic. Thus you get to know about other important topics as well.

6. Practise Mock Test

Practise as many mock tests as possible. By practising mock tests, you will be able to know about the level of your preparation.

Moreover, when you practise a mock test, you will be able to involve in the competition. You will also be able to get ideas about time management during the exam. By practising mock tests, you will also be able to remember the topics you have studied earlier.

There are various websites that provide free online mock tests. Some of these websites are, etc.

Subject-wise Preparation Tips

The SBI PO exam can be conducted in three stages. These are the Preliminary exam, Main exam and Interview. The subject wise preparation strategies have been discussed below:

1. Preparation for the English Language

The English language is a common subject included in the syllabus of almost every exam.  To have an edge in this subject, you will have to clear the basic concept of grammar. Buy a good grammar book that can clarify your basic concept. You can refer to the book titled “Objective General English” by S.P.Bakshi.

Since the English Language is included in the syllabus of both Preliminary and Main exams, you should also try to improve your writing skill to excel in the descriptive paper. To improve your writing skill you should read at least an English newspaper regularly and practise writing regarding various social issues. By reading a newspaper, you will also be able to improve your vocabulary.


2. Preparation for Quantitative Aptitude

The object of including this section is to test the problem-solving skill of a candidate. Topics include Simplification, Profit Loss, Simple and compound interest, Work and Time, Distance and Time, Data interpretation, Ratio and percentage etc.

To score good marks in this section, first, you should try to clear the basic concepts. Try to remember formulas and rules whenever required. After completing the syllabus practise mock tests. The more you practise the more your concept will be clear.

3. Preparation for Reasoning Ability

Reasoning ability tests the reasoning skill of the candidates. Topics of Reasoning Ability include Coding, Decoding, Blood relations syllogism, Tabulation, Puzzle, Seating arrangement, Coded inequalities, Data sufficiency, Ranking, Alphanumeric series, Logical reasoning.

To score high in this section, you should clear your basic concept. After completing the syllabus, you should practise mock tests.

4. Preparation for General Awareness

To prepare for general awareness you should keep yourself aware of all the current issues related to social, political, financial etc. The topics of General Awareness include Financial awareness, Current affairs, General knowledge, Static awareness, Banking awareness, Financial awareness.

You should read newspapers or magazines to keep yourself updated with current affairs. You should also make notes on important topics. General Awareness is included in the syllabus of the Main exam only that carries 40 marks.


Since the SBI PO exam is a highly competitive exam, you should start your preparation early and prepare seriously. To get a successful result, you should adopt some smart approaches. By going through the above-mentioned preparation tips, you will be able to lead your preparation in the right direction.

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