7-Step Guide To Prepare For The Probationary Officer Exam While Working

A perfect 9-6 job, accommodating the perfect work-life balance, is the major reason lakhs of job seekers start applying for the various posts in banks. This industry even attracts working professionals.

Be it a clerk or probationary officer, the number of applicants keeps on increasing every year, specifically from the working folks. If you want to enjoy the hierarchy of the bank industry, you need to start your career as a probationary officer. On an average, IBPS and SBI recruits more than ten thousand probationary officers.


Many bank aspirants believe that a lot of time is required to prepare for the probationary officer exam and working professionals can't devote all the time due to their full-time jobs. To some extent, it's true. However, there is no need to worry because many working professionals have cleared the bank exams without leaving their regular job. With SBI and IBPS all set to release their notification for the probationary officer exam, we have decided to provide a 7-step guide to start preparing for the PO exam while working.

Step-1: Go For Diagnostic Test

After making a wise decision to start preparing for the bank exam, you need to understand where you stand in the competition. Take a diagnostic test of your choice at any website and assess yourself. The syllabus of the bank PO exam usually revolves around the class 10-12 subjects. However, the accuracy and speed is key to crack the bank exam.

Step-2: Do SWOT Analysis

Soon after the diagnostic test, you need to do a SWOT analysis to know your strengths and weakness. No one can be good at everything. Hence, it is better to identify your weakness and threats that are acting as hurdles to your success. You should also know your strengths here.

Step-3: Understand The Exam Pattern

Step-3: Understand The Exam Pattern

The exam pattern for most of the probationary officers will be same except in one or two areas. There is a slight difference in the test format between IBPS and SBI. Prior to your preparations, know the exam pattern and start applying your strategies accordingly.

Step-4: Gather All The Stuff

Be it study material or reference books, try to gather all the information and keep them in one place. This will make your preparation better and easy. Stick to the books you have gathered, because the exam is all about accuracy. However, you can make an exception for the general awareness section.

Step-5: Make A Routine

Once you have decided what you need to study, prepare a timetable. Never ignore studying and always stick to your daily routine. As you are a working professional, time will be the major hurdle. If you miss one day's tasks, it will keep pulling you behind till the end. So never compromise on achieving the daily target.

Step-6: Practise Is The Only Way

The probationary officers exam will be based on quantitative aptitude, reasoning, general awareness, computer and English. Except for general awareness and computers, other areas require speed calculation which can be achieved only through practise. Devote most of the preparation time for practising, which can only bring success.

Step-7: Use Office Hours Productively

Try to utilise the office hours by reading the newspapers. This doesn't mean you should put your current job at risk. Try to be productive at your workplace and complete the daily targets before time. This will give you enough time to prepare in the office as well. One can even cover the general awareness and computer-related questions while working from their cubicle.

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