26 Jun

As it is already known, the pattern of SBI PO has undergone a change this year. The prelims exam is going to be followed by a mains exam. The mains exam will have an objective test worth 200 marks. In addition to the objective test, a descriptive test of 50 marks will also be there.

The objective test will be on the same lines as the last year. You will be tested on four sections of 50 marks each: (I) English (II) Data Analysis & Interpretation (III) Reasoning (High Level) (IV) General Awareness, Marketing & Computers. However, over here, it is important to note that SBI clearly mentions in its recruitment notification that the Reasoning section will have a high level of difficulty.

Quite often students who are going to attempt SBI PO are in dark regarding how they should go about preparing for this section. In order to guide them in the right direction, Vidya Guru, the best Bank Coaching Center in Delhi, has come up with an analysis of the reasoning section as seen in 2014 exam.

SBI PO Reasoning 2014 Analysis

SBI PO Reasoning 2014 Analysis

 Noteworthy Points:

  • The section can be divided into around 10 topics
  • Non-verbal reasoning, also known as visual reasoning, was there in 2013 but not in 2014.
  • Questions on Direction test were not there in 2013, but they were included in 2014.
  •  Input-Output, Seating Arrangement and Mathematical Inequations (Inequalities) are the 3 most scoring areas.
  • Questions on Data Sufficiency are also present in the Reasoning section.

Topic Wise Analysis:

1. Puzzle Test – A tabular / grid approach is recommended to solve these questions. The information given in the question generally has 3 categories / variables which have to be arranged systematically to prepare the table. Out of the 3 categories / variables, one each is shown on X axis and Y axis of the table respectively. The third variable (the person) is then fitted into the table after carefully looking at the conditions provided in the question.

2. Direction Test – At the start of any direction test question, you must make sure that you get a sense of where you will point the North, East, West and South directions. Once it is done, you need to understand how directions are changing as the question progresses. This should be done by assuming that you yourself are following the path mentioned in the question and are covering the distance given from initial to the final point. Quite often questions are also based on calculating the distance travelled between these two points. In such a case, remember to calculate the shortest distance (straight line distance) between the points. Pythagoras theorem can be used to calculate this distance.

3. Blood Relations – These questions can be best attempted by preparing a family tree. Family tree is a diagrammatic structure demonstrating the relationships within the family. The relationships are shown by drawing arrow like lines to connect the members of the family with one another. Over here, it is also critical to point out the male and female members of the family. Finally when it comes to answering the question, make sure you clearly understand from whose perspective the relationship needs to be determined. The answer may turn out to be different, if the reference point is changed. Let’s say we have the following information: A is the father of B who is a male member of the family. So, if you have the question: How is B related to A? The answer will be: SON.

4. Input – Output – From this topic, generally 3 types of questions are framed in the exam: (I) Questions based on numerical operations (II) Questions based on alphabetical / verbal operations (III) Questions based on alpha-numeric operations. One aspect is common in all these questions: the processing, which the input goes through to give the final output, has to be identified. Out here, the first thing you need to do is compare the input with the final output (last step). A number of intermediate steps are given that show the sequence in which processing happens from the start to the end. Once the step-wise processing has been understood the same can be applied on the given input to obtain the desired output.


input output


5. Seating Arrangement – Questions based on this topic can be arranged into 3 categories: Circular (facing the centre, facing outside of the centre & a combination of both), Linear (single row arrangement & multiple row arrangement) and Others (square, hexagon and octagon etc.).
CIRCULAR: At first, assume yourself to be a part of this seating arrangement so that you can easily decide where you are seated in respect to others and vice versa. Since, it is a circular pattern, you can begin allotting positions from the first statement itself. For example, the first statement is: A and B are opposite to each other. So, you can start like this:

circular pattern

Now, you can move ahead and keep allotting further positions as per the given information. At times, the seating arrangement may not even get completed. You need not worry about it as the question may have been designed that way.

LINEAR: Over here, you need to start from the person whose position has been clearly defined. Once it is done, the information from subsequent statements can be used in reference to the position of this person. The information which is not clear has to be withheld till you are sure about how it will figure out in the arrangement.

MIXED: Since these are closed figures and follow a cyclical arrangement, questions based on them can be solved in a manner similar to that of a circular arrangement.

6. Mathematical Inequations (Inequalities) – There are five inequality symbols that we deal with in these questions: Greater than (>), less than (<), greater than or equal to (≥), less than or equal to (≤) and equal to (=). These inequalities are, at times, encoded using symbols such as @, #, $, * etc. The inequality symbols given should be arranged in a sequential manner to as much extent as possible. Towards the end, a conclusion will be drawn on the basis of this arrangement.

7. Critical Reasoning – Critical reasoning questions require the application of verbal logic. These questions can be based on any of the following areas (I) Assumptions (II) Inferences or Conclusions (III) Cause & Effect (IV) Course of Action (V) Strengthening the Argument & Weakening the Argument (VI) Degree of Truth or Falsity (Probably True / Definitely True / Probably False / Definitely False). To solve such questions, you have to read between the lines and logically analyze the meaning of the information provided in the statements.

8. Syllogisms / Venn Diagrams – Inferential reasoning is an integral part of any bank exam. Syllogisms or venn diagrams is the most common type of questions based on it. In such questions, certain statements are there and you have to decide which conclusions can be drawn on the basis of these statements; you must be able to find out which conclusions are valid and which are not. The statements can primarily be of 4 types: (I) Some As are Bs (II) Some As are not Bs (III) All As are Bs (IV) No A is B. The first thing you need to do is go through the statement and draw the relevant venn diagrams. Once it has been done, the possibilities should be neglected as they can’t be a part of the conclusion. Only certainties can be there in the conclusion.

9. Data Sufficiency – In these questions information is given in the form of separate statements (two statements or three statements). Your job is to analyze how much information is needed to answer the question. As the name suggests, it is about finding out whether the data given is sufficient or not. At times, one statement alone is sufficient to answer the question. However, sometimes it is a combination of two or more statements which is required to answer the question. All such possibilities are given in the form of options and you have to choose the most appropriate option as your answer.

10. Coding – Decoding – There are primarily 4 types of questions which are there from this topic: (I) Alphabet to Alphabet coding (II) Alphabet to Number coding (III) Alphabet to Symbol coding (IV) Statement Coding. The logic which has been used to encode the information has to be decoded. Once you have understood the logic behind the encoding, it can be used to encode or decode the given problem.

Finally, the methodology of approaching the above mentioned questions can be better understood by enrolling yourself at an institute for Bank PO Coaching or Bank clerk coaching. Doing so will give you much greater clarity as to how you can handle even the trickiest aspects of the reasoning section.

This article presents a detailed analysis of the Reasoning section which you can expect to see in SBI Probationary Officer exam. To learn further by getting in touch with the experts who have done this analysis, you can write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com.

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