How to Prepare for SBI Clerk Exam?

By Amit Chaudhary, Education Consultant

State Bank of India (SBI) is the biggest Public Sector Bank in India. Every year it recruits thousands of candidates for different posts in various cadres. The most common of them are Probationary Officers and Clerks.

The highest number of vacancies is in the clerical cadre. The exam notification is likely to come in a few weeks. Every year, SBI conducts online written examinations for the recruitment of thousands of candidates in the Clerical Cadre. The eligibility criterion to apply is graduation in any discipline.


This is one of the most awaited exams of the Banking Sector. And as expected, the number of applicants is very high.

In the recent years level of competition for jobs in Banking Sector has increased drastically. Therefore one must be serious while preparing for this exam. In this article, we willl discuss how to prepare for SBI Clerk Exam.

Selection Process:

The very first thing for the preparation of any government sector exam is to know its selection process. As far as SBI Clerk Exam is considered, it is a 2 phase selection process.

  • Written Test
  • Interview (most likely will not be conducted from this year onwards)

Only those candidates who qualify the written tests are called for interview.

Written Test:

The written tests are conducted online and it is likely to have two exams

  • Prelims (100 marks exam containing 100 questions in 1 hour)
  • Mains (200 marks exam containing 200 questions in 2 hours)

Prelims Exam:

It contains about 100 questions carrying 100 marks and the time duration is 1 hour. The Questions are divided into 3 Sections

  • Reasoning
  • Quantitaive Aptitude
  • English

Mains Exam:

1. It contains about 200 questions carrying 200 marks and the time duration is 120 minutes.

2. The questions are divided into 4 (sometimes 5) sections

The selection after Mains exam will be purely based on performance in this exam. And the exam will consist of the following subjects:

  • Reasoning (40 marks)
  • English Language (40 marks)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (40 marks)
  • General Awareness (40 marks
  • Computer Knowledge (40 Marks).

All subjects have equal weightage and sectional cut off in the exam, so you should focus on every subject. Every correct answer carries 1 mark, and every incorrect answer carries negative mark of 0.25

How to Prepare for SBI Clerk Exam?

Subject wise Preparation Tips for SBI Clerk Exam

You shoud know as to what you need to study. This is the most crucial step which can make or break your chances of selection. Below are the subjectwise preparation tips for individual sections of SBI Clerk exam 2016.

1. Reasoning

Reasoning is one of the most important parts of SBI Clerk exam. Every year questions are asked on the similar pattern and you can easily ace it with bit of practice. The questions are mostly asked from syllogisms, puzzles, seating arrangement, blood relations etc.

2. English Language

English is one section where your command over English can fetch you a lot of marks easily and quickly. The questions are mostly asked to check your reading ability, grammar skills and vocabulary.

3. Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude is one such section where you have to devote more time as it involves so many calculations. Majority of the questions are from Number System, Percentages, Profit & loss, and most importantly Data Interpretation.

4. General Awareness

General awareness is one such section where you can score goood marks if you are thoroughly prepared.The questions are mostly asked from current affairs. You should focus on current affairs of last six months. In addition to that, you can focus on topics related to finance, economics, history of banking, banking terms, and fiscal & monetary policies etc.

5. Computer Knowledge

This is an additional part and genearlly has less weightage in other exams. You will be mostly asked basic topics to check your familiarity with computers.

General Preparation Tips for SBI Clerk Exam

Getting selected in SBI in clerical cadre is not much difficult, if you follow proper strategy. Following are some of the handy tips that you should keep in your mind while preparing for the SBI Clerk Exam

  • If you want to get selected in SBI, improve your reading skils. You can read a good English newspaper daily
  • Get yourself updated with the complete syllabus and pattern of the exam
  • Make a proper study plan for each subject
  • Regularly revise whatever you have studied
  • Note important short cuts, tricks and formulas in a notebook and review them regularly
  • Practise as many mock tests as you can
  • Do a proper planning about the exam

This article is written by Amit Chaudhary, education consultant at

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