A Guide to Understand SBI PO Mains Pattern

The SBI PO (Probationary Officer) is considered one of the most prestigious job posts in India. Not only is it about the salary, but also respect. To fill up the post for SBI PO, IBPS or Institute of Banking Personnel Selection conducts exams every year. The selection consists of two tiers of written examination, of which Mains is the second tier. For clearing the examination, you need to understand the SBI PO Mains pattern.

SBI PO Exam Process

Before the pattern, you must know the entire examination process first. As mentioned earlier, the SBI PO examination is commissioned by IBPS. They conduct the exam once every year.

The process starts with an official notification. This informs eligible candidates that SBI is recruiting Probationary Officers for its branches. They are supposed to apply online within the deadline mentioned in the notice. Eligible candidates will be asked to go through a selection procedure.

The selection process is spread across three phases.

  1. Phase I – Preliminary Examination or Prelims
  2. Phase II – Mains Examination
  3. Phase II – Group Exercises

The main examination is the first round of the SBI PO selection process that you need to go through. This consists of an objective test involving 100 questions. You need to answer them within 3 hours.

Selected candidates would then be asked to go through the second round, which is the Mains Examination. To successfully clear this round, you need to understand the SBI PO Mains pattern. The Mains phase has 155 questions with a mix of both descriptive and objective ones.

Candidates will see themselves arranged in ascending order based on their aggregated marks of Prelims and Mains. Those above in the order will be called for the final round until the total seats are filled up.

The final phase involves a group exercise and an interview. Together, they carry 50 marks.

SBI PO Mains Pattern

If you’ve cleared the preliminary round and are looking forward to the Mains round, then you need to be clear about the SBI PO Mains pattern.

Mains will have four sections. 

  1. Reasoning and Computer Aptitude – 45 questions
  2. Data Analysis & Interpretation – 35 questions
  3. General/Economy/Banking/Awareness – 40 questions
  4. English Language – 35 questions

All of the above are objective tests. A descriptive test of 50 marks follows this. You need to complete an essay and write a letter within 30 minutes.

Thus the total marks for the SBI PO Mains paper is 250.

For Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, you’re required to be versed with different topics ranging from puzzles to data sufficiency. Computer Aptitude revolves around basic computer knowledge like the History of Computers, MS Office, Internet, etc.

For the Data Analysis section, you’re required to carry out some intermediate level of mathematical calculations.

The third section — General/Economy/Banking/Awareness — is usually the toughest one. This is because of so many things aspirants need to cover. This section is also memory-intensive and requires memorisation. You need to read newspapers, financial papers, and magazines daily. Forty questions need to be answered within 35 minutes, which means not even 1 minute for a question.

The final section is relatively easy, and you should be able to ace it with few sets of practice. Generally, the questions will be related to English comprehension, grammar, and error finding.

You need to complete the entire paper within three years. The time duration for each section is as follows:

  • Reasoning and Computer Aptitude – 60 minutes
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation – 45 minutes
  • General/Economy/Banking/Awareness – 35 minutes
  • English Language – 40 minutes

It would be best if you were careful with your answers since there’s a deduction of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer. This could hurt your overall score if you make too many errors. It’s better to leave the questions if you’re unsure.

IBPS will inform you via mail if you’ve completed the Mains section. Successful candidates will move to the third phase and finally get employment with SBI.