11 May

The largest and most prestigious bank in India, the State Bank of India has released the notification for probationary officer recruitment 2016. Just like in 2015, even this year major changes have been introduced in the selection procedure. Any candidate aspiring to become a PO must be aware of these changes. Without understanding them, it will not be wise to start preparing for the exam.

To make you aware of the revised exam pattern, the center for Best SBI PO Coaching in Delhi has explained below all the essential details. It is suggested that you note down these details carefully so as to begin your preparation on the right note.

Mode of Selection

The selection procedure will have three phases: Preliminary Exam (Phase-I), Main Exam (Phase-II) and GD & Personal Interview (Phase-III). Now, let us understand these phases one by one.

Preliminary Exam (Phase-I):

It will be an online objective exam with a total of 100 questions to be attempted in a span of 1 hour. There will be 3 sections in the exam.

  • English – 30 Questions – 30 Marks
  • Quantitative Aptitude (Maths) – 35 Questions – 35 Marks
  • Reasoning – 35 Questions – 35 Marks

There will not be any sectional time limit. However, you will have to demonstrate your competence in all sections. Pls. note there will be separate cutoff marks for each of the 3 sections. Moreover, there will be negative marking for wrong answers. For each incorrect answer 25% of marks allotted to that question will be subtracted from your overall score.

On the basis of the Preliminary Exam, candidates will be shortlisted for the second round. The number of candidates shortlisted for the second round will be 20 times the overall number of vacancies.

Main Exam (Phase-II):

The Main Exam will have 2 parts: (A) Objective Test (B) Descriptive Test

(A) Objective Test – It will be a 3 hour online objective test worth 200 marks. The 4 sections that will comprise the test and their respective break ups are as follows:

  • Reasoning Ability & Computer Knowledge: 45 Questions – 60 Marks – 60 Minutes
  • Data Analysis & Data Interpretation: 35 Questions – 60 Marks – 45 Minutes
  • General, Economic & Banking Awareness: 40 Questions – 40 Marks – 35 Minutes
  • English Language: 35 Questions – 40 Marks – 40 Minutes

Pls. note that there will be a separate time limit for each of the sections. The test will have a total of 155 questions. As in case of the Preliminary Exam, there will be cutoff marks for each section and also negative marking to the tune of 25% (of the allotted marks) for each incorrect answer.

(B) Descriptive Test – This online test worth 50 marks will have to be attempted in 30 minutes. The test will be administered immediately after the Objective Test described above. It will be composed of two tasks: Essay Writing & Letter Writing. Typing for the Descriptive Test will have to be done on the computer itself.

You must pass this test by scoring minimum qualifying marks in order to be considered for final selection. The bank will determine the cutoff marks for this test in due course of time. However, pls. note that your Descriptive Test paper will be checked only if you secure qualifying marks in the Objective Tests & are also placed sufficiently high as per marks scored in the Objective Test.

Group Discussion & Personal Interview (Phase-III):

Your performance in both the Objective Tests & the Descriptive Test will be the basis of your getting shortlisted for the GD & PI phase. The weightage of the two sections is as follows:

  • Group Discussion – 20 Marks
  • Personal Interview – 30 Marks

Depending upon total vacancies available with the bank, sufficient number of candidates will be called for GD & PI from each category.

Final Selection

  • The marks scored in the Preliminary Exam (Phase-I) won’t be added in the final merit list.
  • Only the marks you have scored in the Main Exam (Phase-II), both in the Objective Test and the Descriptive Test will get added to the marks obtained in GD & PI (Phase-III) for preparing the final merit list.
  • You will have to qualify Phase-II & Phase-III separately so as to be considered for selection.
  • The marks you secure in the Main Exam (out of 250 marks) will be converted to marks secured out of 75.
  • Similarly, the marks you score in GD & PI (out of 50 marks) will be converted to marks scored out of 25.
  • The final merit list will be arrived at by adding the converted marks of the Main Exam and GD & PI out of 100.

Finally, you must ensure that you prepare for the exam keeping in view the above mentioned details. Doing so will give your SBI exam preparation the right direction it deserves. To further enhance your chances of getting selected, you may consider attending preparatory classes at the Best Bank PO Coaching Institute in Delhi. The learning from these classes will be really helpful in improving your speed and accuracy. It will ultimately provide you with the competitive edge required to beat other candidates in the exam.


This article on the revised pattern of SBI PO 2016 exam has been written in order to help out students who are preparing for upcoming banking examinations. To get further guidance and support from Vidya Guru Institute faculty members & experts, you can write at vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com.

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