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Tips and strategies to crack SBI PO in the first attempt

Every year State Bank of India (SBI) conducts the SBI PO exam to recruit eligible candidates for the post of probationary officers. The selection to this post is carried out in three stages:

  • Prelims
  • Mains
  • interview

SBI is a highly reputed public sector bank and offers lucrative salaries. The job security and handsome salary that it offers is the reason why every year lakhs of aspirants appear for the SBI PO exam. The syllabus of SBI PO might look exhaustive, but with hard work and regular practice, you can easily succeed in this exam. It is recommended to start your preparation as early as possible to avoid the last moments of panic. It is possible, in fact, easy to crack SBI PO in the first attempt. Here, we briefly discuss some tips and tricks for the same:

  • Understand the exam pattern: The first and most basic step in exam preparation is to get acquainted with the syllabus and exam pattern. As we mentioned, the SBI PO exam is conducted in three stages:
  • SBI PO Prelims: The different sections and the respective marks allotted are summarised in the table below:

Subject

Number of questions

Marks

Duration

English Language

30 

30

20 minutes

Quantitative aptitude

35

35

20 minutes

Reasoning ability

35

35

20 minutes

total

100

100

60 minutes

Each correct answer will fetch 1 mark and each incorrect answer will lead to a deduction of 0.25 marks.

  • SBI PO Mains: Students who pass the prelims exams are only qualified to appear for the SBI PO mains exam. The main paper has both objective and descriptive types of questions. The pattern of the mains exam is summarised in the table below:

Sections

Questions

Marks

Duration

Reasoning and computer aptitude

45

60

60 minutes

Data analysis and interpretation

35

60

45 minutes

General/ Economy/ Banking awareness

40

40

35 minutes

English language

35

40

40 minutes

Total

155

200

3 hours

The objective section of the mains exam carries 200 marks and the descriptive section carries 50 marks. 

  1. Practice with commitment: Once you complete reading a certain topic, start solving questions from that topic. Always start with easy questions. This helps to build your confidence. Do not avoid solving easy questions, the more you practice, the better you will get at it. All questions, no matter easy or difficult, are equally important. Once you have solved enough easy questions, move on to difficult ones. Do not look at solutions and be honest with yourself. Mark the difficult questions and the questions that you were unable to solve. After a gap of a few weeks or a month, solve these marked questions. If you are not able to solve many questions, do not get disheartened. You need to maintain your confidence. If you keep practicing diligently, you will improve. Even if you are getting all your answers right, do not become overconfident. You have to keep practicing so that you master the application skill.

  1. Read newspaper daily: You must make it a habit to read a newspaper every day. It will enhance your reading and comprehension skills. The most important advantage of reading newspapers is that it improves your general awareness. General awareness is an important section of the SBI PO syllabus. Note down important current affairs and news in a separate notebook. Revise them regularly. One more advantage of reading a newspaper is that it improves your vocabulary. Mark important words, or note them down. This helps in your English language section. You can write better answers in the descriptive section. 

  1. Practice mock tests: You must practice mock tests regularly. Do not wait to complete your syllabus before giving mock tests. SBI PO prelims mock test will give you an overview of questions asked in the prelims exam. You must be accurate in the objective section since there is a penalty for incorrect answers. Once you complete a topic, give one mock test. The best way is to give topic-wise and chapter-wise mock tests. This way, you can practice a variety of questions from one particular topic. Try to attempt as many mock tests as possible. Take note of common mistakes that you make in these tests. After each mock test, spend some time analyzing your response. Try to identify your weakness. Note down the topics you are weak at and prioritize them. Mock tests help you to assess your preparation. If you come across any new concepts in your mock tests, add them to your notes. Another significant advantage of giving mock tests is, it makes you habituated to perform in a time-bound environment. There are sectional time limits in the SBI PO exam. You must be good at time management so that you are able to attempt all the questions in the exam.

  1. Solve previous years’ question papers: Solve at least the previous five years’ question papers. Do not look at the solution and assess how much improvement is needed. You will come across topics that are frequently asked in SBI PO exams, note them down and prioritize them. Look for any topic that you might have missed while studying. It prepares your mindset for the final exam and will prevent nervousness and anxiety at the last moment. 

  1. Prepare simultaneously for prelims and mains exam: There is less time gap between prelims and mains exam. You must prepare for both the exams simultaneously and reserve the time gap between both the exams for revision. It is not advisable to start new topics in that time gap. For example, while you are studying for SBI PO prelims, study general awareness and data interpretation too, these are part of the mains syllabus. 

SBI PO exam is one of the most sought-after exams in India. This job role is highly dignified and offers a handsome salary and a good lifestyle. As the number of applicants is increasing every year, competition is increasing too. This exam is not tough, though the syllabus might seem exhaustive. You must start your preparation as early as possible so that you can complete your syllabus on time. 



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