Tips to prepare for SBI PO Prelims & Mains Exam

The SBI PO exam is no doubt the biggest exam conducted in India for filling various vacancies in banking sector. This year also, a number of aspirants have been preparing hard to crack this prestigious exam. Unlike every year, this time SBI has introduced some changes in its examination pattern. If you are planning to prepare for the SBI PO 2018 exam, you need to know these changes in the SBI PO exam and then start preparing afresh. This article will cover preparation tips for SBI PO (prelims & mains) 2018.

The prelims exam of SBI PO consists of three sections- English language (30 questions), Quantitative aptitude (35 questions) and Reasoning ability (35 questions).

The mains exam of SBI PO consists of four sections-  Reasoning & Computer Aptitude (45 questions), Data Analysis & Interpretation (35 questions), General Awareness about Economy/Banking (40 questions) and English language (35 questions).

Before going for the tips, let us discuss the changed pattern in brief first. SBI PO exam will take place in 3 stages – Prelims, Mains and Interview.

Few important changes in the SBI PO exam 2018 are:

  1. SBI PO 2018 exam will have sectional timings in Prelims (20 minutes for each section).
  2. However, there will be no sectional cutoffs in Prelims.
  3. There will be no sectional cut off in Mains as well.

Now, to start with the preparation of the exam, you need to have a proper plan and dedication to it as well. We have given below the important tips to refer for so.

  • Right books: There are many books in the market on SBI PO exam, both for mains and prelims but not all books are relevant. So, pick the right books that deal with the parts concerned which are examinable by SBI PO. Some of the books are
Books Authors
Quantitative ability
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R. S Aggarwal (S. Chand Publication)
Data Interpretation Arun Sharma (TMH Publication)
Reasoning ability
Modern approach to verbal Reasoning R.S Aggarwal
Analytical Reasoning MK Pandey
English Language
Word Power made Easy Norman Lewis.
Descriptive General English S P Bakshi and Richa Sharma.
  • Know the Pattern and Syllabus: Before starting any preparation, you should be aware of the Exam Pattern and Syllabus of SBI PO Prelims and Mains 2018. You should have beforehand knowledge of the latest changes in the syllabus and the pattern of exam.
  • Regular Analysis: Go for mock tests after preparing the syllabus. Attempt Prelims and mains mock tests and then analyze your score and where do you stand. This will help you know the areas where you need to improve and what are your string points. This will also make you analyze the time taken by you in each section as it is time based in prelims.
  • Select the Time-Consuming Topics: You’ve to choose the topics which consume your most of the time. Take out some time to practice these topics to consume less time. Practice regularly to improve your skills and save time.
  • Previous Year Question Paper: Though there are changes in the exam patter, the syllabus is still same. So, candidates should solve previous year question papers again and again so that they can become habitual of solving similar type of questions during the exam.

Go section wise for further preparation:

Preparation Tips for English Language (Prelims)

  • English Language section is one of the scoring section.
  • All you need to do is brush up your basic skills in grammar by developing a regular reading habit. This will also help improve your vocabulary.
  • Questions in this section are asked from Comprehension, Spotting Errors, Para Jumbles, Antonyms and Synonyms.
  • Read newspaper and write word meaning, their antonyms and synonyms and go through them daily.

Preparation tips for Quantitative Aptitude (Prelims)

  • Quantitative Aptitude section is the toughest section as observed in any entrance exam.
  • Candidates need to be well versed with topics like Ratio and Proportion, Average, Speed and Distance, Time and Work, Number Series, Data Interpretation, Quadratic Equations, and Simplification.
  • To score in this section, basics rules of mathematics should be clear. Some short tricks should be understood and employed accordingly.
  • To do so, start learning and revising tables till 20, squares, cubes and square roots.

Preparation tips for Reasoning Ability (Prelims)

  • Reasoning section is the most scoring and interesting section in the SBI PO exam.
  • Here candidates need to prepare for topics such as Syllogism, Puzzles, Seating Arrangement, Coding-Decoding, Ranking and Order, etc.
  • This section tests analytical and logical ability of a candidate. The biggest part in this section is covered by Puzzles/Seating Arrangement.
  • They are twisted so remember not to get stuck on puzzle or seating arrangement questions for too long. Do practice reasoning ability daily for at least 2-3 hours.

For English Language, Data Analysis & Interpretation, and Reasoning sections of the SBI PO Mains exam, same preparation tips (as that of prelims phase) can be followed.

Apart from this, prepare flowchart-based questions for the Computer Aptitude sections. There is no fixed set of formulas used in this section. It all comes down to how well you are able to interpret the given flowchart/ figure and answer questions based on it.

For the preparation of General Awareness section, the candidates must read newspapers and magazines, and watch the news on daily basis. Important topics in this section are the Indian Economy, Marketing, Awards & Honours, Sports, Finance, Indian Constitution, Agriculture, and Banking. Particular attention to banking terminologies can provide you an edge over other candidates. Always remember that questions are generally asked from last 6 months.

Therefore, a clear-cut knowledge of all the above-mentioned topics is must to crack the SBI PO exams. If you are aspiring so, then don’t forget to make a proper study plan dedicating sufficient time to each section depending on your level of understanding. Don’t waste time as it is too precious and start preparing from now. The success awaits you if you follow these simple tips with dedication.

Wishing you all the very best!

Team gradeup!