Important Tips to clear SBI PO Prelims Exam 2017

SBI PO job is one of the most sought after and lucrative job in the country. Every year lakhs of students appear for this exam, however, only a handful out of that huge number get to see their dreams come true. SBI released the notification for the Probationary Officer (PO) exam quite earlier than expected this year. Now, numbered days are left for the preliminary phase of the SBI PO Exam.

A major question that leaves the student in a fix is How to prepare for the SBI PO exam? So, to help you all with this, we will now share some important tips that will be help you clear the SBI PO exam.

Important Tips to clear SBI PO Prelims Exam

To help you all score better in the SBI PO Prelims exam, we will now share some important tips. Make sure that you read them thoroughly.

First and foremost, you should be very clear with the exam pattern as well as the syllabus. Have a look at the pattern of SBI PO prelims exam from the link below -

S. No.
Test name
No. of questions
Maximum Marks
Total duration
Quantitative Aptitude
1 hour (i.e. a composite time of 60 minutes)
Reasoning Ability
English Language

  • Cutoff would be applicable at two levels - Sectional cutoff and overall cutoff. In order to be eligible for the mains phase, the candidates need to score sufficient marks in both the sectional and overall level. So, make sure that you attempt sufficient questions. If you feel you are weak in a particular section, attempt enough questions to get through the sectional cutoff and cover for the overall cut off from your stronger areas.
  • For this, you should have an idea of the previous year cutoff.

SBI PO Prelims 2016 Sectional Cutoff
Name of Section
Total Marks
Sectional Cutoff (SC/ST/OBC/VH/OH)
Sectional Cutoff (General)
English Language
Reasoning Ability
Quantitative Aptitude
SBI PO Prelims 2016 Overall Cutoff –

Overall Cutoff marks (out of 100)

However, this is just for reference. You need to aim higher than this.

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is the time factor. Unlike mains phase, there is no sectional time division in the preliminary exam. You need to be utmost careful in this case. Make sure that you divide your time efficiently among all the sections. If you do not manage your time properly, you will put at stake your sectional cutoff. So, decide how you will divide the composite 1 hour duration  among all the three sections beforehand. 

Ideally, you should complete each section in the time frame mentioned below - 

Name of test
Time to be spent
English Language
15 minutes
Reasoning Ability
20 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude
25 minutes

A very important parameter for the SBI PO Prelims exam is Question Selection. How you select the questions that you attempt first is crucial. For instance, if you start with a puzzle in the reasoning section and get stuck at any point in the question, you will easily ruin 4-5 minutes, which could have been used elsewhere. So, be very careful with the question selection. Always attempt the less time consuming topics of different sections first. These are – 

(a) English Language - Start with Cloze test, spotting errors, fillers, sentence improvement etc first and then move on to the other topics if time permits.
(b) Reasoning Ability - Attempt the topics like Inequalities, Syllogism, Blood Relations, Direction sense, Coding - Decoding before puzzles and arrangements.
(c) Quantitative Aptitude - Topics like Number Series, Simplification/ Approximation, Quadratic Equations, Data Interpretation should be given preference before Miscellaneous section.

You also need to be very particular about your Accuracy. This is essential since every wrong answer would cost you 0.25 negative marks which would eventually detriment your final score. So, try to avoid guesswork while attempting questions and be very accurate.

Speed is one of the most crucial factor for SBI PO Prelims exam. You need to maintain a proper speed in the exam since the beginning. A good speed will help you attempt more number of questions in the exam and thus score better.

To implement the above mentioned factors properly in the exam, is is essential that you practice mock tests on a regular basis. Understand why it is essential. There are numerous benefits of attempting mock tests - 
(a) Mock tests will help you analyse your overall performance.
(b) They will also get you used to the exam interface.
(c) Mock tests will help you in effective time management.
(d) You will be able to select questions in a better way when you start attempting mock tests.

If you wish to be updated regarding the upcoming exams, their patterns, syllabus and other details, you can try Gradeup App. It provides free study material, updates of upcoming exams and mock tests for various competitive exams.

SBI PO Prelims Mock tests with Video Analysis - Get Now

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