SBI PO Exam: Exam Pattern and Syllabus

What is the SBI PO exam?

The State Bank of India (SBI) annually administers an exam called the SBI PO test to select qualified  candidates for the Probationary Officer post. Many individuals have applied to take the exam, but there are only a few available slots; thus, not everyone who applies will be granted admission. The test to become a probationary officer at State Bank of India (SBI) is among the most difficult in India. Candidates who do well here are given jobs as trainee bank officials at one of the numerous branches. The Preliminaries, Mains, and Physical Ability, Personality, and Group Exercises are the three sections that make up the SBI PO test.

The number of people who try to register for the SBI PO exam each year consistently exceeds 10 lakh. Workers at the State Bank of India (SBI) enjoy both excellent wages and stability in their employment with this well-known institution.

Because of this, a huge number of people rush to sign up for the many tests that the bank offers.

Features of SBI PO

Please have a look at the following for a summary of some key points relating to the SBI PO exam.

Exam Particulars Exam Details
Exam Name SBI PO
Authority  State Bank of India
Level National level
Exam Frequency Once a year 
Mode of Exam Online
Total Registrations Approximately 10 lakh
Stages of Exam Prelims, Mains and Interview
Exam Fees INR 750 for General/EWS/OBC categories

SC/ST/PWD categories are exempted from fee payment

Exam Duration Prelims: One hour

Mains: 3 hours 30 minutes

No. of Papers and Total Marks Prelims: Three (100 marks)

Mains: Four (250 marks)

Total Questions Prelims: 100 questions

Mains: 156 questions

Marking Scheme 0.25 marks are deducted for wrong answers
Language/Medium of Exam English and Hindi
Exam Purpose For the selection of Probationary Officers in various branches of SBI
No. of Test Cities Prelims: 200 cities (Approx.)

Mains: 70 cities (Approx.)

Official Website
Contact Details 022-22820427

Subjects for SBI PO Exam


The preliminary stages of the SBI PO Exam will focus on the following subjects:

  1. English
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. Reasoning

The following are some of the topics covered in the three subjects:

Topics for SBI PO Prelims 
Quantitative Aptitude Reasoning English
Simplification/ Approximation Alphanumeric Series Reading Comprehension
Profit & Loss Directions Fill in the blanks
Mixtures & Alligations Logical Reasoning Cloze Test
Permutation, Combination & Probability Data Sufficiency Para jumbles
Work & Time Ranking & Order Vocabulary
Sequence & Series Alphabet Test Paragraph Completion


The following topics will be covered in the SBI PO Mains exam:

  1. Data Analysis & Interpretation
  2. Reasoning
  3. General/Economy/Banking Awareness
  4. English Language
Topics for SBI PO Mains
Data Analysis & Interpretation Reasoning General/Economy/Banking Awareness English Language
Tabular Graph Verbal Reasoning Current Affairs Reading Comprehension
Line Graph Syllogism Financial Awareness Grammar
Bar Graph Circular Seating Arrangement General Knowledge Verbal Ability
Charts & Tables Linear Seating Arrangement Static Awareness Vocabulary
Missing Case DI Double Lineup Banking Terminologies Knowledge Sentence Improvement
Radar Graph Caselet Scheduling Banking Awareness Word Association

Stages of the Exam

The fact that SBI receives applications from lakhs of students each year means that the level of competition is high and that the SBI PO test is difficult to pass. If passing the SBI PO exam is a goal of yours, it is imperative that you study according to the most recent SBI PO syllabus and exam pattern. Using this as a guide will propel your studies for the SBI PO exams in the proper direction.

The selection for the post of SBI PO is based on 4 stages:

  1. Preliminary Examination
  2. Mains Examination
  3. Psychometric Test
  4. Final Selection
SBI PO Exam Stages
Exam Conducting Body State Bank of India (SBI)
Post Probationary Officer (PO)
Selection Process/Stages
  1. Prelims
  2. Mains
  3. Psychometric Test
  4. Final Selection

Both the preliminary and main exams for SBI are exclusively offered in an online format. The preliminary examination is a screening examination that is used to select candidates for the main examination. It is required that you do well on every one of the tests. Let’s have a look at the SBI PO exam pattern and the whole SBI PO syllabus.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The SBI PO Preliminary Exam Syllabus and the SBI PO Main Exam Syllabus are quite similar to one another. There has been just a minor adjustment made to the mains section, and two more sections—namely, general and banking awareness—have been included. In spite of this, the degree of difficulty of the SBI PO Mains Paper is rather more than that of the Preliminaries.

SBI PO Exam Pattern
Marks Segregation

of SBI PO Exam

  1. Prelims: 100 Marks
  2. Mains: 200 Marks
  3. Psychometric Test: 50 Marks
  4. Final Selection: 300 marks
Duration of Exam
  1. For SBI PO Prelims: 1 Hour
  2. For SBI PO Mains: 3 Hours
Marking scheme 1 mark each for every correct answer in Online Test
Negative marking 1/4th of the marks assigned to the question in MCQ
Mode of Examination Online For Paper I and Paper II
Language of examination English OR  Hindi

English Language paper has to be attempted in English.

SBI PO Exam Pattern For Prelims

The SBI PO Prelims Exam is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Aptitude
  3. English Language

The Time Duration for the Prelims Exam of SBI PO will be 1 hour.


SBI PO Exam Pattern 2023: Prelims
S.No. Section No. of Questions Maximum Marks Time allotted

for each test

1 English Language 30 30 20 minutes
2 Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 20 minutes
3 Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 1 hour

Key Points of SBI PO Prelims Exam

The following are some of the most important aspects of the SBI PO Preliminary Exam:

  1. There are going to be three different sections.
  2. The total number of points earned on the preliminary exam will be used to make an overall list of merit that will be broken down by category.
  3. There will not be a cut-off at a sectional level. There will, however, be an overall cutoff.
  4. For each question that is answered incorrectly, there will be a deduction of 0.25 points from the total.


SBI PO Syllabus For Prelims Exam

The Reasoning Ability test, the Quantitative Aptitude test, and the English Language test are all part of the preliminary examination for the SBI PO exam. In the next part, we’ll talk about the titles and sub-titles of the sections on the SBI PO Preliminary Exam: 

Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude English Language
Logical Reasoning Simplification Reading Comprehension
Alphanumeric Series Profit & Loss Cloze Test
Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test Mixtures & Allegations Para jumbles
Data Sufficiency Simple Interest & Compound Interest & Surds & Indices Miscellaneous
Coded Inequalities Work & Time Fill in the blanks
Seating Arrangement Time & Distance Multiple Meaning/Error Spotting
Puzzle Mensuration – Cylinder, Cone, Sphere Paragraph Completion
Tabulation Data Interpretation Vocabulary
Syllogism Ratio & Proportion, Percentage Sentence Improvement
Blood Relations Number Systems Word Association
Input-Output Sequence & Series Error Spotting
Coding-Decoding Permutation, Combination & Probability Verbal Ability

SBI PO Exam Pattern For Mains

Candidates who pass the SBI Preliminary Exam with scores higher than the specified cut off will be permitted to take the SBI Mains Exam.The curriculum for the SBI PO Mains Exam is quite similar to that of the IBPS PO Exam. Changes have been made to the mains section, including an increase in the weightage of general economy/banking awareness and a reduction in the time allotted for the exam from 3 hours to 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The Descriptive Test will last for a total of 30 minutes and will be scored out of a possible 50 points. During this part of the testing process, letter writing and essay writing will be used to test the candidates’ writing skills. 

SBI PO Exam Pattern 2023: Mains
S.No. Section No. of Questions Maximum Marks Time allotted
i) Objective Type
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 40 50 50 minutes
2 General Economy/ Banking Awareness 50 60 45 minutes
3 English Language 35 40 40 minutes
4 Data Analysis & Interpretation 30 50 45 minutes
ii) Descriptive Paper
5. English Language

(Letter Writing & Essay)

02 50 30 minutes
6 Total 155 200 3 hours

Key Points of SBI PO Mains Exam

The following points are the highlights of the SBI PO Mains Exam:

  1. The nature of each question will be objective.
  2. The nature of each question will be objective.
  3. There will be a total of three hours allotted for the SBI PO Mains Exam.
  4. The objective examination will have individual timing for each part of the test.
  5. There will not be any cuts made to certain sections. There will be just one cutoff at the overall level.
  6. Every wrong answer to a multiple-choice question will result in a reduction of 0.25 points from the total possible score.
  7. You need to appear in the Descriptive Paper, which is worth 50 marks.


Note that the descriptive paper of a candidate will only be examined if they have already passed the objective test with the minimum qualifying marks that have been established by the bank.


SBI PO Syllabus For Mains Exam

The Mains Examination of SBI PO exam comprises 4 sections:

  1. Data Analysis & Interpretation
  2. Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
  3. General/Economy/Banking Awareness
  4. English Language
  5. In addition, a descriptive examination is a part of the SBI PO Mains curriculum. 
  6. In order to go on to the SBI PO mains exam, candidates need to demonstrate that they are able to perform well on the descriptive examination as well.

The following topics make up the whole of the syllabus:

SBI PO Syllabus: Reasoning

The following topics are covered under the Reasoning section:

  • Critical Reasoning,
  • Analytical and Decision Making
  • Double Lineup,
  • Circular Seating Arrangement,
  • Linear Seating Arrangement,
  • Ordering and Ranking,
  • Data Sufficiency,
  • Verbal Reasoning,
  • Syllogism,
  • Coding and Decoding,
  • Coded Inequalities,
  • The course of Action,
  • Scheduling,
  • Input-Output,
  • Blood Relations,
  • Directions and Distances,

SBI PO Syllabus: Data Analysis

The following topics are covered under the Data Analysis section:

  • Tabular Graph,
  • Radar Graph Case-let,
  • Missing Case DI,
  • Let it Case DI,
  • Data Sufficiency,
  • Line Graph,
  • Pie Chart,
  • Bar Graph,
  • Probability,
  • Permutation and Combination

SBI PO Syllabus: General Awareness/ Economy/ Banking Awareness

The following topics are covered under the Economy section:

  • Financial Awareness
  • Static Awareness
  • Banking and Financial Awareness
  • Current Affairs
  • General Knowledge

SBI PO Syllabus: English Language

The following topics are covered under the English Language section:

  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Sentence Improvement,
  • Para Jumbles,
  • Error Spotting,
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Grammar,
  • Vocabulary,
  • Verbal Ability,
  • Word Association,
  • Sentence Improvement,
  • Cloze Test

SBI PO Syllabus: Computer Aptitude

The following topics are covered under the Computer Aptitude section:

  • Internet,
  • Computer fundamentals/Terminologies 
  • Computer Hardware 
  • Networking
  • Memory
  • Microsoft Office
  • Operating system
  • Keyboard Shortcuts,
  • Computer Abbreviation,
  • Computer Software


  1. Those candidates who make it to the Bank’s Phase-III shortlist may be subjected to a psychometric exam for personality profiling.
  2. Only those applying to be SBI POs should take this exam. This exam is just for SBI PO applicants. The test results may be submitted to the interview committee so that they may have a thorough grasp of the applicants.
  3. The candidates who have made it through the first two stages of the SBI PO test will now go on to the third and final round of the selection process. The Group Discussion is worth a total of 20 points, while the Interview is worth a total of 30 points.
  4. In each area, the total scores of all of the applicants who passed both the objective exams and the descriptive tests will be ranked from highest to lowest to determine who had the best overall score.
  5. In accordance with the Bank’s regulations, a certain number of applicants from each category will be invited to participate in Group Exercises and interviews.
  6. The minimum score required to pass both the Group Discussion and the Interview will be determined by the bank.

Selection of SBI Probationary Officers

The following criteria are taken into account while determining an individual’s final score on the SBI PO Exam:

The SBI PO Exam final score is calculated based on the following factors:


  • For the purpose of selection, your performance in the Preliminary Exam (Phase-1) will not be taken into account.
  • In order to be eligible, candidates must first meet the requirements of both Phase 2 and Phase 3.
  • Marks obtained by candidates in the SBI PO Mains Exam (out of a total of 250 possible points) are converted to a score out of 75, while marks obtained in the Group Exercises and Interview (out of a total of 50 possible points) are transformed to a score out of 25. This brings the new total score for the Mains as well as the GD/PI up to 100.
  • The final merit list for each category is compiled based on the aggregate score out of a possible 100 points. In the end, the candidates who earned the highest merit ranks in each area are chosen.

Is there a negative marking in the SBI PO Exam?

Yes, there will be a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each incorrect answer.

What kind of topics will be asked for SBI PO Group Discussion and Personal Interview?

The subjects will include current concerns of both national and international significance. NPI, natural disasters, women’s empowerment, digitization, and other themes may be covered.

What is the structure of the SBI PO Descriptive Test?

The English language portion of the description exam consists of a letter and an essay for a combined 50 points.

What will be the SBI PO 2023 Mains Exam Duration?

With the descriptive paper included, the Mains test will last 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Is the SBI PO Mains descriptive test conducted online?

Yes, the descriptive SBI PO Mains exam is administered online.

That brings us to the end of our page about the Exam pattern and Syllabus for SBI PO exam. If you want general information about the PO exam (click here). We would like to tell you that if you want any information about the syllabus and pattern of any other exam, we got you covered. We got dedicated pages for every govt and bank exam.