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SBI PO Syllabus 2018 - Prelims and Mains

SBI PO Exam Pattern

SBI PO 2018 Syllabus is similar to previous years. Based on the topics in SBI PO syllabus, the question paper for the preliminary and mains exam will be set. Before starting the preparation, it is important to have complete knowledge about the questions and topics that are frequently asked in the exam. Even though SBI PO syllabus is similar to the other banking exams, it focusses more on Quantitative Ability Section and Computer Aptitude.

Preparing according to the Syllabus of SBI PO 2018 will help candidates to score good marks in the exam. Read through the article to get details of SBI PO Syllabus along with best recommended books.

SBI PO Prelims

  • The exam is held in online mode.
  • There are 100 objective-type questions.
  • The duration of SBI PO Prelims is 60 minutes.
  • This paper has 3 sections (English language, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability). Check Now SBI PO Sample Papers

SBI PO Mains

  • The exam is held in online mode.
  • There are 155 objective-type and 50 subjective-type questions.
  • The duration of objective paper is 3 hours, while for subjective paper, it is 30 minutes.
  • This paper has 4 sections in the objective paper (Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, Data Analysis & Interpretation, General Awareness about Economy/ Banking, English language).
  • In the subjective paper, you have to write a Letter and an Essay.

SBI PO Descriptive Test

  • Descriptive Test of 30 minutes duration with 50 marks will be a Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay).
  • Subsequently, those qualifying the mains will be called for Group exercise and Interview.

SBI PO Group Discussion & Interview

  • Aggregate marks of candidates qualifying in both the Objective Tests and Descriptive Test will be arranged in descending order in each category.
  • Adequate number of candidates in each category, as decided by the Bank will be called for Group Exercises and Interview. 
  • Final merit list will be prepared on the basis of mains, group exercise and interview.

SBI PO 2018 Exam Pattern for Prelims

  • SBI PO Prelims is conducted in different slots on different dates.
  • It is an online mode exam with 100 objective type questions in English and Hindi.
  • Candidates have to solve all the questions by clicking on the radio button using the mouse. Do not use the keyboard
  • The duration of the exam is 1 hour
  • The exam will be of 3 sections with different number of questions in each- English, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning
  • Last year, English was found to be moderate in SBI PO
  • Quantitative aptitude has 35 questions from basic mathematics. 
  • Reasoning section tests the thinking skills of candidate with moderate difficulty level.
  • The major highlights of SBI PO Exam Pattern are given below:

sbi po 2018 prelims exam pattern


Here is a table to analyze SBI PO Exam Pattern for Preliminary Exam:

Duration of Examination1 hour or 60 minutes
Types of questionsObjective Type Multiple Choice Questions
Maximum Marks100 marks
Total number of questions100 questions
Marking scheme1 mark each for every correct answer
Negative markingQuarter of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted
Mode of examinationEnglish Language

SBI PO 2018 Exam Pattern for Mains

  • Candidates who qualify the Preliminary exam for SBI PO are eligible to appear for Mains.
  • The exam has objective type questions along with the descriptive test.
  • Here are the important SBI PO Exam Pattern highlights for Mains:

SBI PO Mains Exam Pattern

  • Reasoning and Computer Aptitude section in the exam has 45 questions to be solved in 45 minutes. The total weightage of this section is 60 marks.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation has 35 questions carrying 60 marks. within the duration of 45 minutes.
  • GK section has 40 MCQs to be solved in 40 minutes. 
  • The descriptive section tests English proficiency of candidate. It is 30 minutes online test carrying a weightage of 50 marks.
  • There are questions based on letter and essay writing.
SectionObjective TestDescriptive Test
Duration of the examination3 hours or 180 minutes30 minutes
Number of questions155 questionsLetter Writing/ Essay Writing
Maximum marks200 marks25 marks
Negative MarkingQuarter of the marks assigned to the question will be deductedNA
Mode of examinationHindi and English (Hindi will not be applicable for English language section)English

SBI PO 2018 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus 

Candidate must attempt questions that they find easy to solve, less time consuming and most importantly, scoring. To help candidates identify those concepts we are providing here a list of topics which can be solved easily in short span of time:

  1. Simplification: (5-10 Questions)
  • This include problems based on BODMAS Rule, Fractions, Approximation, Decimals and Surds & Indices.
  1. Number System: (0-1 Questions)
  • It is based on problems related to Divisibility & Remainder, Multiples & Factors, Integers, LCM & HCF.
  1. Average: (1-2 Questions)
  • Questions on Average Weight/Height/Age/Marks, Average Money expenditure, Average Temperature etc. will be asked from this topic.
  1. Percentage: (1-2 Questions)
  • There will be calculation oriented basic percentage problems.
  1. Ratio and Proportion: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on Simple Ratios, Compound Ratios, Componendo and Dividendo, Proportions etc. can be expected from this topic under Quantitative aptitude.
  1. Interest: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on Simple Interest, Compound Interest as well as mixture of both SI & CI are commonly asked in SBI PO examinations.
  1. Number Series: (3-5 Questions)
  • Problems based on completing the Series, Finding the Missing Term, Finding the Wrong Term. The concepts behind this can be based on simple AP, GP, AGP or more complex patterns.

Next set of topics can be tricky sometimes but if candidate is clear with concepts, they can easily score in it as well. These topics include:

  1. Profit and Loss: (0-2 Questions)
  • Questions like successive selling, partnerships, discount & MP and dishonest dealings are commonly asked from Profit and loss topic.
  1. Speed, Time and Distance: (1-2 Questions)
  • 1 or 2 questions can be asked on relative speed, average speed, problems based on trains, boats and stream.
  1. Algebra: (3-5 Questions)
  • Problems based on Quadratic Equations in which two quadratic equations are given and we have to determine the relation between x and y. Linear Equations questions based on ages may be asked, Sometimes Inequalities are also asked.
  1. Mensuration: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on areas of Square, Rectangle, Circle, Semicircle and Parallelogram. Questions pertaining to Cone and Cylinder can also be asked.
  1. Data Interpretation: (5-10 Questions)
  • Problems that fall in this category are Line Graphs, Bar Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables and other miscellaneous info graphics. Triangular Graph & Radar Graph problems appear rarely. Missing data types questions are also asked in the SBI PO examination.

Finally, candidate must attempt questions that are tough and likely to get inaccurate answers. These questions are highly time consuming. Following are the concepts that fall in this category:

  • Time and Work: Problems based on Work Efficiency, Pipe & Cistern, Work and Wages can be asked.
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Mixture Problems: Problems based on making a mixture of two or more entities/mixtures.
  • Probability: Basic questions are asked from probability section.
  • Data Sufficiency: Data sufficiency problems are based on almost all topics mentioned above.

SBI PO Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Books

Book NameAuthor/Publisher
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationsR S Aggarwal
Shortcuts in Quantitative Aptitude with 4 eBooks for Competitive ExamsDisha Experts
Bank PO Quantitative Aptitude Chapterwise Solved PapersArihant Experts
Chapterwise Solved Papers 2000-2015 Bank PO QUANTITATIVE APTITUDEArihant Experts

SBI PO 2018 Reasoning Ability Syllabus 

Reasoning ability is to judge candidate’s ability to apply reason in solving a particular problem. Candidate must begin with solving some easy questions to secure those marks at least without wasting much time on them. Here is the list of topics under this category:

  1. Coding & Decoding: (1-5 Questions)
  • Mostly questions include Coding and Decoding by Letter Shifting, Coding by Analogy and Coding Letters of a Word.
  1. Inequalities: (3-5 Questions)
  • Mostly Direct Mathematical Inequalities problems are asked in the inequalities concept.
  • There may be a single statement or 2-3 complex statements. There may be 2-4 conclusions which can be extracted from these statements.
  1. Ordering and Ranking: (1-3 Questions)
  • Several questions on arranging by age, floor, rank, order in row etc. can also be asked.
  1. Directions & Distances: (0-2 Questions)
  • Simple problems that can be solved by just plotting all the given information on paper.
  • The questions under this concept are rarely asked in SBI PO examination.
  1. Arrangement & Pattern: (0-2 Questions)
  • Questions related to this topic are less likely to appear in SBI PO examination.
  • However, if asked, then questions on Random Sequence of Alphabets, Number Arrangements and Dictionary or Alphabet based Arrangements etc. can be thrown at candidate.
  1. Analogy: (0-2 Questions)
  • This includes Meaning based, Letter based and Number based questions.
  1. Classification: (0-2 Questions)
  • These questions are also less likely to appear and includes Letter based and Meaningful Words based questions.
  • GK based and Number based questions can also be asked.

Questions from the following topics can be asked which would not be difficult to answer if the concepts are clear. The topics that can be categorized in this section are:

  1. Syllogisms: (5 Questions)
  • Problems with numerous statements and multiple conclusions can be dealt with.
  • Questions are asked whether the conclusions follow or not.
  • Mostly possibility based questions will be asked.
  1. Blood Relations: (1-3 Questions)
  • As the name suggests, questions pertaining to family tree and coded blood relation will be asked in this category.
  1. Input-Output: (0-5 Questions)
  • Words and numbers are arranged based on some pattern which is to be identified and applied on the question statements to arrive at the output.
  1. Data Sufficiency: (0-5 Questions)
  • Questions on various topics including Blood Relations, Ordering & Ranking, Coding in Fictitious Language, Circular Arrangements, Directions & Distances, Ages & Birthdates can be asked as per the observations made from previous SBI PO examinations.

Lastly, questions that can be tricky and time consuming will be asked from the following topics:

  1. Circular Seating Arrangement: (5 Questions)
  • This concept basically includes uni-directional and bi-directional problems (i.e. facing inside, outside or in both directions).
  • Sometimes, tough Square/Rectangular/Hexagonal Table problems also asked.
  • These questions may be paired with Blood Relations or some other Double Line-Up information along with Circular Arrangement information which makes the problem more difficult and time consuming.
  1. Linear Seating Arrangement: (5 Questions)
  • Problems involving single row or 2 rows facing each other are given under this category.
  • It can include Double Line-Up type problems with information sorting.
  1. Double Line Up: (0-5 Questions)
  • These problems are usually negatively informed so, candidate is required to attempt clean charting, proper technique and step-by-step solving of the problem.
  1. Scheduling: (0-5 Questions)
  • Questions in this category are less likely to appear.
  • The problems in this category is very similar to Double Line-Up problems.
  1. Grouping and Selection: (0-5 Questions)
  • These are the questions which are less likely to appear.
  • Problems on teams and committees asked under this category.
  1. Verbal Reasoning: (0-2 Questions)
  • Cause and effect, course of action, statement and assumptions, statement and arguments, statement and inferences, statement and conclusions and critical reasoning questions are possible.

SBI PO Reasoning Preparation Books

Book NameAuthor/Publisher
Bank PO Reasoning: Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 to till Date 7330+Objective Questions Think Tank of Kiran Prakashan, Pratiyogita Kiran, KICX
Bank PO Reasoning Chapterwise Solved PapersArihant Experts
Chapterwise Solved Papers 2000-2015 Bank PO REASONINGArihant Experts
Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams (Objective with Subjective)Soumya Ranjan Behera

Read MoreSBI PO Reasoning Syllabus

SBI PO 2018 Computer Knowledge Syllabus 

  • Basic of Computer
  • Hardware and software
  • Operating system
  • MS Word and MS Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Generation of Computer
  • The internet, etc.
  • Short forms (Eg. Jpeg, mp3, pdf)
  • Android and Apple related news

SBI PO 2018 English Language Syllabus

The third concept in the Preliminary Examination of SBI PO is that of English Language. Here are several topics that will be covered in this concept:

  1. Fill in the Blanks: (5 Questions)
  • Double Blank type questions.
  • Vocabulary based questions.
  • Answers can be easily picked by eliminating options and understanding context of the sentence.
  1. Reading Comprehension: (10-15 Questions)
  • Likely the RC will consist of one passage of 10 questions, including 3-4 questions on vocabulary.
  • The topics you should look out for are Moral Stories, Banking & Economy, Business, Education, Technology and Social Issues.
  • Synonyms, Antonyms and meanings of Phrases will be asked in vocabulary based questions.
  • Theme and main idea based questions can also be asked.
  • The fact based and inference based questions require a thorough reading of the passage and sometimes could be a bit tricky.
  1. Para Jumbles: (5 Questions)
  • A set of 6 sentences will be given to be rearranged and form a meaningful paragraph.
  • All questions will be based on this single test.
  • Sometimes, the correct order is asked.
  • The passage can be on any general topic.
  1. Cloze Test: (5-10 Questions)
  • A single passage with 5 or 10 blanks.
  • Passage could be on any topic ranging from Banking & Economy to Social Issues.
  • Words are usually easy to moderate, but there is always one or two tough words.
  • Understanding the context of the passage will help candidate to solve it easily.
  1. Error Spotting: (5 Questions)
  • Questions in this category could be asked either from grammar or vocabulary section.
  • Important topics covered under this are tenses, subject-verb agreement, article-noun agreement, correct part of speech, correct use of prepositions, parallelism, phrasal verbs, easily confusable words, contextual usage, sentence construction, degree of comparison, conjunctions, finite and non-finite verbs. 
  1. Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction: (5 Questions)
  • Mostly grammar based.
  • Candidate must avoid guessing too much in these questions.
  • The questions sometimes test candidate’s standard construction of sentences, order of words etc.
  1. Phrase Idiom Meaning
  • To attempt this topic candidate must be sound with interpretation of given phrase idiom.
  • The phrases will be given and will need to select the correct meaning of the given phrase.
  1. Spellings
  • Candidate will have to choose the word that is correctly spelt or wrongly spelt from the given options.
  1. Sentence/ Paragraph Completion
  • Candidate will be given an incomplete long sentence with four options to choose from to complete the sentence meaningfully.

SBI PO English Preparation Books

Book NameAuthor/Publisher
Bank PO English Language Chapterwise Solved PapersArihant Experts
Objective English for Competitive ExaminationHari Mohan Prasad, Uma Sinha
Objective General English (Old Edition)R S Aggarwal

Read More SBI PO English Syllabus

SBI PO 2018 General Awareness Syllabus 

  • News related to RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and other Banks
  • Awareness regarding Union, State and Railway Budget
  • Economics
  • Current Affairs- A candidate must be aware of National and International awards, sports, author and books, summits, etc.

SBI PO Marketing Syllabus 

  • Basics of Marketing and its strategies
  • Market Segmentation and Management
  • Marketing Mix and Products Life Cycle
  • Developing stage of organization
  • Brand and Advertising
  • 4 P’s and 4 C’s of marketing

SBI PO 2018 Descriptive Test Syllabus

This is Level 2 in the Main Exam of SBI PO. It  will commence immediately after candidates completes Objective Test. Listed below are the highlights of SBI PO Descriptive Test.

  • The exam is conducted in online mode i.e. candidates are alloted a desktop in which they are supposed to type their annswers.
  • Candidates are given 30 minutes to complete Descriptive paper
  • There are a total of 2 questions in this section namely Letter writing and Essay Writing
  • Each question is of 25 marks.

Note: Descriptive paper of a candidate will be checked only if they qualifies in the Objective test as per the qualifying marks decided by the Bank.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


upcoming exams

NEET May 5, 2019
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CAT November 25, 2018
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srishti thakur


16 Jul, 2017 00:20
sangeeta rawat

Hi Srishti, Please check this link, it will help you for the preparation of PO test Practice Papers

17 Jul, 2017 12:06

Sir / Madam , Does SBI comes under IBPS? or not.

09 Apr, 2017 00:20
Bhawna Vedwal

Hello Likitha, No, IBPS PO is different from SBI PO. They both exam conducted separately.

07 May, 2018 12:52

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