State Bank of India (SBI) Exam sbi exam sbi clerk sbi po sbi so quantitative aptitude preparation tips books exam preparation

Introduction – SBI Exam

SBI exams are conducted by the State Bank of India. Being the largest public sector bank in India, The State Bank of India conducts recruitment annually and recruits eligible candidates through the following SBI bank exams.
  • SBI Clerk (Junior Associates)
  • SBI Probationary Officer (PO)
  • SBI Specialist Cadre Officer (SCO/ SO)

About SBI

The State Bank of India (SBI) was established on 2nd June, 1806 as Bank of Calcutta; 15th April, 1840 as Bank of Bombay; 1st July, 1843 as Bank of Madras; 27th January, 1921 as Imperial Bank of India. On 1st July 1955, the Imperial Bank of India became the State Bank of India.
  • SBI is the 49th largest bank in the world by total assets and ranked 221st in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest corporations of 2020, being the only Indian bank on the list.
  • It is considered as one of the largest banks by asset size. It has the highest number of domestic branches spread across India and has a strong international presence too.
  • It is also the fifth largest employer in India with nearly 2,50,000 employees. In India, working in SBI is considered as an attractive employment opportunity. Hence, candidates who wish to benefit from this opportunity need to prepare themselves so that they can beat the competition and be one among the final list of selected candidates.

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SBI Clerk Exam

The SBI Clerk Exam mainly recruits new employees in the position of Junior Associates for the clerical cadre of the Bank.

There are two different stages in this SBI exam.

  • SBI Clerk Preliminary Exam: This exam is also called as SBI Clerk Prelims. This exam is the initial stage of the clerical cadre of the banking giant which filters out candidates for the next level.
  • SBI Clerk Mains Exam: This SBI exam is commonly referred to as the SBI Clerk Mains. In this stage, the marks that candidates secure usually determines the selection status of candidates as clerks in the State Bank.
SBI Interview: There is no interview in this stage and the SBI exam results are announced in a couple of months from the SBI Clerk Mains exam and the final selected candidates are deputed on merit-basis.


It is also known as the SBI Probationary Officer (PO) Exam. The SBI PO exam mainly selects candidates for the management cadre of the Bank. The selected candidates are deputed to the role of Probationary Officers during the training phase. Later, they move on to management roles on completion of their training.

The SBI PO exam is categorised into three stages.

  • SBI PO Preliminary Exam: The SBI PO Prelims usually skims the candidates from a huge lot for the next stage of the exam. It retains about 2.8% of the total number of applicants for the SBI Mains examination.
  • SBI PO Main Exam: In the SBI PO Mains section, the performance of the candidates is assessed in such a way which helps in determining whether they are eligible to make it to the next stage of the exam. The SBI PO exam paper comprises of two sections:
    • Objective test: In this section, the focus is mainly on core knowledge areas which are required in the modern workplace. The SBI PO exam syllabus consists of Data Analysis & Interpretation, General Knowledge, Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, Economy, Banking Awareness and English.
    • Descriptive test: This test primarily measures the candidates’ ability to use written English language skills in a business setting.
  • SBI PO Group Discussion and SBI PO Interview: Candidates who clear the SBI PO Mains exam are put through group discussion and interview, which is the final stage of selection before a merit list of final selected candidates is listed.


The SBI SO exam aims to recruit Specialist Officers (SO) for the Bank. SBI Specialist Officer aspirants have to mandatorily fulfil the minimum SBI SO eligibility requirements to appear in the SBI Selection Process set by State Bank of India. The selection process of this exam primarily consists of an interview which emphasises on the work experience and specialisation of the candidates.

SBI Notification

SBI releases the official notification of each competitive exam – Probationary Officer, Clerk and Specialist Officer every calendar year in which it updates about the tentative exam dates, call letter download and application closure dates for its prospective aspirants.

SBI Vacancy

The SBI notification clearly mentions the number of vacancies released for each post and aspirants can check the official notification at the official site of SBI. State Bank of India conducts the recruitment of SBI officers/personnel for different competitive bank exams.

Given below is the list of SBI exams along with the number of vacancies in 2022-23.

Posts (2022-23) Vacancies
SBI PO 1,673
SBI Clerk 5,486
SBI holds the right to declare the number of vacancies to be released. Hence, it may increase or decrease in number.

SBI Syllabus

The SBI bank exam syllabus is pretty similar to other bank exams. Irrespective of test type – SBI PO, Clerk or SO, candidates are assessed based on the following sections:
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability
  • English Language
  • General Awareness
  • Professional Banking Knowledge

SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus

The SBI Clerk mains is the second phase of the examination. The syllabus for Mains is almost the same as the prelims examination, only the General Awareness section is included in the SBI Clerk Mains syllabus.

The marks scored in the SBI Clerk mains exam, are the marks based on which the merit is calculated for the final selection of candidates.

A detailed list of SBI Clerk mains syllabus is given below.

SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus
English Language Quantitative Aptitude Reasoning Ability General Awareness
Cloze Test Compound Interest Blood Relations Awards and Honours
Fillers Data Interpretation Coding and Decoding Banking Abbreviations
Idioms and Phrases Data Sufficiency Distance and Direction Sense Test Banking and Financial Terms
Reading Comprehension / Unseen Passages Mensuration (Volume and Surface Area) Seating Arrangement (Linear and Circular) Banking Awareness
Sentence / Passage Correction and Improvement Mixtures and Alligations Machine Input Output Current Affairs
Sentence / Passage Completion Number Series (Series Completion) Order and Ranking Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Sentence Rearrangement Permutation and Combination Puzzles Important Government schemes
Synonyms and Antonyms Profit and Loss Statement and Assumptions Indian Constitution
Vocabulary Simple Interest Syllogism Static General Awareness
- Time and Distance - -

SBI PO Mains Syllabus

The syllabus of SBI PO for the Mains Examination constitutes of four major sections (Objective-type questions).
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation
  • Reasoning Ability
  • General / Economy / Banking Awareness
  • English Language
The SBI PO Mains syllabus comprises a descriptive test as well. The descriptive test consists of two questions, one letter writing and one essay. Candidates need to score passing marks in the descriptive test as well to qualify the SBI PO mains exam.

Here is the SBI PO syllabus topic-wise as per the Mains exam pattern.

SBI PO Mains Syllabus
English Language Data Analysis and Interpretation Reasoning General / Economy / Banking Awareness
  • All the Chapters mentioned in Quantitative Aptitude (SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus) + Following Chapters
  • Bar Graph
  • Caselet DI
  • Charts and Tables
  • Line Graph
  • Missing Case DI
  • Pie Charts
  • Probability
  • Radar Graph Caselet
  • Tabular Graph
  • All the Chapters mentioned in Reasoning Ability (SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus) + Following Chapters
  • Code Inequalities
  • Course of Action
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Decision Making
  • Double Lineup
  • Scheduling
  • Verbal Analogy and Reasoning
  • All the Topics mentioned in General Awareness (SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus) + Following Topics
  • Banking Terminologies Knowledge
  • Financial Awareness
  • General Knowledge
  • Principles of Insurance

SBI SO Syllabus

The position of System Officer (Test Engineer, Web Developer and Performance/Senior Automation Test Engineer) will be filled through a written examination that will be administered online. The Specialist Officer examination covers all of the significant subjects and chapters included in the SBI SO Syllabus. The online written exam will be based on General Aptitude and Professional Knowledge.

The following lists the subjects that fall under each of these headings.

Subject Topics
General Aptitude English Language
Reasoning Ability
Quantitative Aptitude
Professional Knowledge General IT Knowledge
Role-based IT Knowledge
Given below is the detailed syllabus for the SBI SO exam for the recruitment of candidates for various posts in the SBI Bank.

SBI SO Syllabus: General Aptitude
S.No. Name of the Subject Syllabus Topics
1. SBI SO Syllabus: English Language
  • All the Chapters mentioned in English Language (SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus) + Following Chapters
  • Articles
  • Conclusion
  • Tenses and Tense's Rules
  • Parts of Speech
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Theme Detection
  • Word Formation
  • Word Games
2. SBI SO Syllabus: Quantitative Aptitude
3. SBI SO Syllabus: Reasoning Ability

SBI Exam Dates

State Bank of India (SBI) releases the important dates of different SBI bank exams like PO, Clerk and SO along with its official notifications. Aspirants must carefully check the exam schedule before applying for the SBI exams.

Candidates need to constantly keep an eye on the official SBI website ( to stay updated about any important updates with respect to the different exams.

Till date, the SBI Clerk and SBI SO (regular and contractual) notifications have been released and the SBI PO notification is yet awaited.

Given below are the SBI exam dates for all three posts:

SBI Bank Exam Dates
Event Name Dates
SBI Clerk Exam Date (Prelims) 5th, 6th, 11th, and 12th January 2024
SBI Clerk Exam Date (Mains) February 2024
SBI PO Exam Date (Prelims) November 2024
SBI PO Exam Date (Mains) December 2024
SBI SO Exam Date (Mains) 2nd February 2024

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SBI Eligibility Criteria

Candidates who are interested in working at State Bank of India in the posts of Clerk, Probationary Officer (PO) or Specialist Officer (SO) need to carefully examine the SBI eligibility criteria properly before applying for the respective job posting.

SBI Eligibility Criteria – SBI Clerk, SBI PO and SBI SO

Given below are the essential eligibility criteria for the different SBI examinations – SBI Clerk, SBI PO and SBI SO in.
  • Nationality: A candidate who is aspiring to apply for SBI exam must be an Indian citizen.
  • Educational Qualification:
    • Candidates must hold a Graduation degree in any discipline from a recognised University or any equivalent qualification which is recognised by the Central Government. They should ensure that the passing certificate should indicate the degree pass date in it.
    • Prospective applicants who are in the Final Year/ Semester of their Graduation may also apply on a provisional basis. However, this is subject to the condition that at the time of the interview, they’ll need to produce proof that they have passed the graduation examination.
    • As per the SBI PO qualification criteria, the candidates should indicate the percentage obtained in Graduation degree and calculate it to the nearest two decimals in the application form. For cases where CGPA is awarded, applicants should convert the grade into percentage and indicate it in the online application form.
    • Candidates with less than 60% in their graduation are also eligible to take the SBI exam. The State Bank of India prescribes no minimum percentage in Graduation for the SBI Probationary Officer (PO) exam.
  • Age Limit:
    • Candidates applying for the SBI Clerk exam should not be below 20 years and not above 28 years.
    • Candidates applying for the SBI PO exam should not be below 21 years and not above 30 years.
    • Candidates applying for the SBI SO posts vary from 21 years to 45 years; however, reserved category candidates get some relaxation.

Total Number of Attempts

As a matter of fact, the State Bank of India has not mentioned any restriction with respect to the total number of attempts for the SBI Clerk exam in the official SBI Junior Associate notification. This implies that a candidate can sit in the SBI Clerk exam up to an Nth number of times, just that he/she must not have crossed the maximum age limit prescribed by the bank.

SBI Apply Online

For the SBI Apply Online process, candidates are required to have a valid email ID and mobile number while registering themselves online through Bank’s official website.

Applicants should fill the SBI exam form once they are fully aware of the exam pattern, SBI syllabus and eligibility criteria, SBI exam dates before they decide to take up any of the SBI online exams.

SBI Admit Card

State Bank of India (SBI) releases the Admit Cards of SBI PO, Clerk & SO exams on its official website at least 10 – 15 days before the commencement date of the exam. Candidates should monitor the SBI official page regularly for latest updates on the SBI Admit Card for both Prelims & Mains Exams.

SBI Exam Preparation Tips

Here are some tips and strategies which can guide candidates on how to prepare for SBI exam.
  • Analyse the SBI SO Syllabus: Candidates must have a fair idea of the topics in the SBI SO syllabus and understand it properly, know the exam pattern and everything related to the exam. Aspirants should try to examine the exam sections and subjects carefully. This will help them to capture their strengths and weaknesses and work on those areas which need improvement.
  • Create a Timetable: Aspirants must create a timetable and prepare for the different sections of the exam accordingly. They can revise all the syllabus topics every day and focus more on the areas which need more attention.
  • Stay updated and Practice more: It is a good practice to read the newspaper and magazines daily and stay updated about the Current Affairs. This will help aspirants to improve their General Awareness and English Language skills. Reading about banking or finance industry will also enhance their knowledge about questions related to the banking industry.
  • Making Notes & Topic-wise studying: Aspirants should focus on section-wise topics to understand the different topics thoroughly. They should practice more problems on various topics and take notes on the important topics so that they can have a quick revision just before the examination.
  • Practice Mock Papers: Practicing mock papers on a regular basis can help candidates to understand the question pattern and also assist in tracking their progress from time to time.
  • Refer SBI SO Books & Study Materials: Candidates should refer to a variety of SBI SO books and study materials available online or paperback to understand the section-wise topics and have a better understanding of the questions pattern.
  • Time Management: Since the SBI exam is all about time management, candidates must practise more and try to attempt more questions within a shorter time duration. 
  • Solve Previous Year Papers: Solving SBI exam previous year papers can also be of great help to candidates. Previous year papers will let candidates understand the exact exam pattern based on the SBI PO syllabus for both prelims and mains exam. 

SBI Books for Exam Preparation

Here are some important books that candidates can refer to while preparing for the SBI exam.

Books for SBI Clerk

SBI Clerk Syllabus Booklist
Quantitative Aptitude Books
  1. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Agarwal
  2. Shortcuts in Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Disha Experts
  3. Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Arihant Publications
  4. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha
Reasoning Ability Books
  1. A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S Agarwal
  2. Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  3. How To Prepare For Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning by Arun Sharma
  4. How to prepare for Logical Reasoning by Arun Sharma
English Langauge Books
  1. Objective General English by R.S. Agarwal
  2. English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin
General Awareness Books
  1. India Year Book by Publications Department, Government of India
  2. Banking Awareness by B.K.Raut and S.R. Behera
  3. Daily Newspaper for current affairs

Books for SBI PO

SBI PO Exam Booklist
English for Bank Exams (Prelims and Mains) by S. Chand Publishers A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal
Comprehensive Guide to SBI PO Exam (Prelims and Mains) by Disha Experts How to prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning by Arun Sharma
Pratiyogita Darpan (Monthly Edition) Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Arun Sharma
Lucent’s General Knowledge Banking Awareness by B.K. Publications

Books for SBI SO

Name of Section Book Title Author/Publication
Reasoning Ability A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning R.S. Aggarwal
Quantitative Aptitude Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive Examinations Abhijit Guha
English Language General English Language Lucent’s
Professional Knowledge Professional knowledge for SBI Specialist IT Officer Exam Disha Experts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: What exams are conducted by the State Bank of India?

Ans.1: There are three major bank exams conducted by the State Bank of India. These include exams for the post of Probationary Officer, Specialist Officer and Junior Associate.

Q.2: How can I get a job in SBI?

Ans.2: The State Bank of India periodically releases notifications for the recruitment of candidates to various posts. Aspirants can visit the official website and get the relevant details about the registration process and fill in the application form to appear for the online examination.

Q.3: Which subjects are included in the SBI exam syllabus?

Ans.3: There are four common subjects which are a part of the SBI exam syllabus: English Langauge, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, Banking/Financial/General Awareness

Q.4: How can I apply for SBI exams?

Ans.4: The State Bank of India releases official notification along with the link to fill in the application form and complete the registration process. Aspirants can visit the official SBI website and then apply for the SBI exams, for the different posts.

Q.5: Can I apply for SBI exams after class 12th?

Ans.5: No, the minimum qualification to apply for SBI exams is Graduation. The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree to apply for the SBI PO, SO and Clerk exam.

Bank Exams Related Links
Bank Exam (Bank Clerk, Bank PO, Syllabus, Mock Test, Salary) SBI Exam (SBI Clerk, SBI PO, SBI SO, Syllabus, Solved Question Papers)
SBI PO Exam (Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Solved Question Papers) IBPS Exam (IBPS Clerk, IBPS PO, IBPS SO, Syllabus)
RBI Exam (Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Exam Preparation) RRB Exam (RRB Recruitment, Group D, Group C, NTPC, JE, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Salary)
SSC Exam (SSC CGL, CHSL, CPO, GD Constable, MTS, Syllabus, Exam Preparation)



About SBI – Clerk, PO and SO Exam

Notification and Vacancy

SBI Syllabus – Clerk (Mains), PO (Mains), SO (Mains)

Exam Dates

Eligibility Criteria – SBI Clerk, PO and SO

Total Number of Attempts

Apply Online and Admit Card

Preparation Tips

Books for Exam Preparation – SBI Clerk, PO and SO

Frequently Asked Questions

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