SBI PO Exam : A Comprehensive Guide

SBI PO Exam Guide

What is a State Bank of India Probationary Officer Job?

State Bank of India is the oldest commercial bank in India. It is a government-owned banking and finance services company. The bank was established in the year 1806, by the British and was formerly known by the name “The Imperial Bank of India”

SBI Probationary Officer competitive examination has become one of the sought-after opportunities of the candidates who are preparing for banking services examination because of its lucrative salary package. We have come up with this blog so as to clear all the shadows of doubts regarding its recruitment procedure.

The reason why SBI PO is so popular these days among candidates is that the bank opens the door of opportunities to thousands of fresh graduates each year. One can estimate the level of career opportunity by seeing the amelioration of other staff. We all know Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of State Bank of India, was herself a part of the SBI PO 1977 batch. Now she has reached the pinnacle of success.

About SBI-PO Job Profile

If you are interested in working in the banking sector, this article will prove to be a great help. We have compiled all the foremost data about the enrollment procedure.

Basically, all the candidates who clear the competitive examination along with personal interview are provided with the probation of 2 years. During this time they get training coupled with assessment tests which they have to clear within a limited period of time. As State Bank of India is a vast bank, the candidates have frequent transfers and changes in their shifts.

After the assessment of their tests and performances, they are approved as a permanent employee as Junior Management grade Scale-I officer.

Career Path Of A Probationary Officer In State Bank Of India

  1. Junior management grade scale I (PO)
  2. Middle management grade scale II (Manager)
  3. Middle management grade scale III (Senior Manager)
  4. Senior management grade scale IV (Chief Manager)
  5. Senior management grade scale V (Assistant General Manager)
  6. Top management grade scale VI (Deputy General Manager)
  7. Top management grade scale VII (General Manager)
  8. Executive director
  9. Chairman and managing director

Working Profile Of POs During The Training

  • Learning basics of Banking.
  • Expanding business.
  • Work entrusted by the bank.

Salary And Emoluments Of POs

The starting basic pay is Rs. 27,620/- (with 4 advance increments) in the scale of Rs.23700 – 980/7 – 30560 – 1145/2 – 32850 – 1310/7 – 42020 (Applicable to Junior Management Grade Scale – I).

Eligibility Criteria for SBI PO Jobs

Educational Qualification

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university.
  • Candidates belonging to the final year of the graduation can also apply for the post.

Age Limit

Age should not be more than 30 years and not less than 21 years as on the date mentioned on the particular notification. Age relaxations will be applicable as per the rules.

Examination Pattern of SBI PO

The competitive examination comprises three tiers viz. preliminary, mains and personal interview.

The first tier comprises tests of English language, quantitative aptitude and reasoning ability. This exam consists a total of 100 questions carrying one mark each with the time limit of 60 minutes.

In the second tier, two other subjects are added in the exam i.e. general awareness and computer knowledge. Here each section carries 40 questions each, followed by a descriptive paper.

Candidates should note that in the written examination of the above tiers, each section is allotted a separate time-frame within which the questions need to be answered. These exams also have negative marking. For every wrong answer, you will lose 0.25 marks, which means you have to be very careful while giving answers. We suggest you to avoid any guesswork. Besides, there is a sectional cut-off in these exams.

How To Prepare For SBI PO Competitive Exam

The following content explains syllabus and ways to prepare for sure success in preliminary exams as well as mains. There are 5 major sections of the exam i.e., Quantitative aptitude, Reasoning, English, General Awareness and Computer Knowledge. We have explained each of these one by one below:

Quantitative Aptitude

Main topics
  • Number series
  • Simplification
  • Data interpretation
  • Quadratic Equation
  • Average
  • Percentages
  • Profit & Loss
  • Interest
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Permutations & Combinations
  • Probability
  • Time, Speed & Distance (including Boat & Stream)
  • Algebra
  • Time & Work (including Pipes & Cisterns)
  • Mensuration & Geometry
  • Mixtures & Alligations

The quantitative section requires regular practice and consistency in studies. The more you practice the faster you become. You need to solve previous years question paper for the best result. Try to do mental calculation rather than written to make yourself faster. The questions asked in PO exams are calculative, rather than conceptual. Knowledge of approximation helps a lot while solving this section. And last but not the least do take a mock test on a daily basis so that you not only feel confident about yourself but also increase speed.

Books we recommend
  • NCERT books
  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations (S. Chand) R. S. Agarwal
  • Fast Track Objective Arithmetic (Arihant) Rajesh Verma.


Main topics
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Ability

The grammar part consists of error detecting and improvement of sentences. Learning basic grammatical rules can help you solve these questions easily. Regular reading of newspaper will help you not only in attempting reading comprehension section but also improving your vocabulary part. Other important sections under English comprises Cloze Test, Jumbled Sentences, and Verbal Ability. You can improve this part by following some of the books that we have mentioned below. We recommend you to read the editorial of the newspapers like The Hindu and The Indian Express daily.

Books we recommend
  • Word Power made Easy By Norman lewis.
  • Objective General English By R. S. Agarwal and Vikas Agarwal.
  • High School English Grammar by Wren & Martin.
  • Descriptive General English by S P Bakshi and Richa Sharma.


Main topics
  • Coding & Decoding
  • Inequalities
  • Syllogisms
  • Puzzles
  • Input-output
  • Ordering & Ranking
  • Arrangement & Pattern
  • Analogy
  • Binary logic
  • Direction sense
  • Blood relation

This section can be prepared within 2 months before the examination with regular practice. The nutshell is daily practice of previous year questions as the kind of questions never change in these exams. Try to solve as many questions as possible during the mock test. Attempt at least one question paper which comprises all of the above sections daily. Picking up of easier questions first during the exam is the key to success in this section. Don’t waste too much time on difficult ones.

Books we recommend
  • Verbal Reasoning By R.S. Agarwal.
  • 501 challenging Logical reasoning problems.
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-VerbalReasoning (S.Chand) by R.S.Agarwal.
  • A new approach Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning(Arihant) by BS Sijwali.
  • Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey.

General Awareness and Financial Awareness

Main topics
  • Financial Terms and Concepts
  • Monetary Policy
  • Summits and Pacts
  • Business Deals and Acquisitions
  • Indian Economy
  • World Economy
  • Committees & Recommendations
  • Banking Awareness
  • RBI
  • Financial Organizations
  • Schemes and Policies
  • People and Banks in News
  • Financial Markets
  • Agreements & MoUs

This is a vast topic that needs long time for preparation; overnight rote learning won’t work. The best way to prepare is to read the newspaper and magazines daily. As the bank exam comprises sectional cut-off you cannot skip this part, it will take at least 4-5 months of regular studies. Taking regular mock test will also help you remember many questions which can be asked in the examinations. We have listed a few books below that will surely help you increase your score.

Books we recommend
  • NCERT books
  • Manorama Year Book 2017
  • Current Affairs Yearly 2017 by Arihant Publications
  • India 2017

Computer Awareness

Main topics
  • Basic Computer.
  • Operating Systems, Input- output Devices, Software hardware devices.
  • MS Office.
  • A computer using in banking and insurance industry.
  • Networks LAN, MAN, and WAN.
  • Security Terminologies.
  • Full forms etc.

This is the easiest section in the exam. You can prepare this part within a few days. Basic knowledge of computer can help you score easily. The regular mock test is enough for passing this section.

Books we recommend
  • Objective Computer awareness- Arihant publication
  • Computer- Lucent

Selection procedure

Candidates will be selected strictly on merit of Prelims, Mains and Personal Interview.

How To Apply For SBI PO Jobs

Candidates need to log on to the official site of State Bank of India via online mode only. There is no other approach to applying for this job.

Important links

SBI official website

Thank you for reading this blog. If you like the information, kindly share with your friends and bookmark our website for further updates. We hope after reading the blog it will help you in pursuing your career. If you find any corrections/doubts regarding this post, kindly drop in the comment box below.

The team of FreasherTimes wishes you Best of Luck for your future.

Disclaimer: the examination data/results/imprints distributed on this site is just for the prompt data to the examinees and does not to be a constitute to be an authoritative record. While endeavors have been made to make the data accessible on this site as credible as it could be. We are not in charge of any accidental mistake that may have published in the information we have distributed on this site. We regret any misfortune to anyone or anything created by any shortcoming, inaccuracy or mistake of the data on this site.

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