The SBI PO Syllabus: The Ultimate Exam Guide


The SBI PO (State Bank of India Probationary Officer) exam is a competitive selection process conducted by the State Bank of India to recruit candidates for the position of Probationary Officer across its branches in India. The exam consists of three phases: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Interview/Group Discussion. It assesses candidates’ aptitude in areas such as English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, Data Analysis, Banking Awareness, and Communication Skills.

The State Bank of India (SBI) Probationary Officer (PO) exam is a competitive examination conducted by the State Bank of India to recruit eligible candidates for the position of Probationary Officer in its branches across India. The SBI PO exam is conducted in three phases:

  1. Preliminary Examination: The preliminary examination is the first phase of the SBI PO selection process. It consists of objective-type questions and serves as a screening test. The preliminary exam generally comprises three sections:
    • English Language
    • Quantitative Aptitude
    • Reasoning Ability
  2. Main Examination: The candidates who qualify in the preliminary examination are eligible to appear for the main examination. The main examination is more comprehensive and also consists of objective-type questions. The main exam generally includes the following sections:
    • Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
    • Data Analysis & Interpretation
    • General/Economy/Banking Awareness
    • English Language
    Additionally, there is usually a Descriptive Test in the Main Examination which involves Essay Writing and Letter Writing.
  3. Interview/Group Discussion: Candidates who qualify in the main examination are shortlisted for the final round, which is the interview or group discussion round. This phase assesses the candidate’s communication skills, leadership qualities, and suitability for the role of a Probationary Officer.

The syllabus for each section is as follows:

  • English Language: Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Correction, Error Spotting, Para jumbles, Cloze Test, Fill in the blanks, etc.
  • Quantitative Aptitude: Number System, Simplification, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Average, Profit & Loss, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Simple & Compound Interest, Data Interpretation (Tabular DI, Bar Graph DI, Line Graph DI, Pie Chart DI), etc.
  • Reasoning Ability: Syllogism, Inequality, Coding-Decoding, Puzzles, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relations, Direction Sense, Input-Output, Data Sufficiency, Order and Ranking, Alphanumeric Series, etc.
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation: Tables, Pie-Charts, Bar Graphs, Line Graphs, Caselets, Missing Data Interpretation, etc.
  • General/Economy/Banking Awareness: Current Affairs (National and International), Banking and Financial Awareness, Static GK (Important dates, country-capital, country-currency, headquarters of financial organizations, regulatory bodies, etc.), Economic news, Budget, Economic Survey, etc.
  • Descriptive Test: Essay Writing, Letter Writing, Precis Writing, etc.

It’s important for candidates to thoroughly prepare for each section according to the prescribed syllabus and practice regularly with mock tests and previous years’ question papers to enhance their chances of success in the SBI PO exam. Additionally, staying updated with current affairs and developments in the banking and financial sector is crucial for the general awareness section. Here, is the detailed syllabus:

  • English Language:
    • Reading Comprehension: Understanding passages and answering questions based on the information provided.
    • Grammar: Rules of grammar including tenses, articles, prepositions, conjunctions, parts of speech, etc.
    • Vocabulary: Synonyms, antonyms, one-word substitution, idioms, phrases, etc.
    • Sentence Correction: Error spotting, sentence improvement, phrase replacement, etc.
    • Para jumbles: Rearrangement of sentences to form a coherent paragraph.
    • Cloze Test: Filling in the blanks in a passage with appropriate words.
  • Quantitative Aptitude:
    • Number System: Properties of numbers, divisibility rules, types of numbers, etc.
    • Simplification: BODMAS rule, approximation, square roots, cube roots, etc.
    • Ratio & Proportion: Proportionality concepts, problems based on ratios and proportions.
    • Percentage: Calculation of percentages, increase/decrease percentages, successive percentage changes, etc.
    • Time & Work: Work efficiency, work and wages, pipes and cisterns, etc.
    • Time & Distance: Speed, distance, time, relative speed, average speed, etc.
    • Simple & Compound Interest: Interest formulas, calculations, applications in various scenarios.
    • Data Interpretation (continued): Interpretation of data presented in various forms such as tables, charts, graphs, etc.
  • Reasoning Ability:
    • Syllogism: Types of syllogism, rules of inference, possibility cases, etc.
    • Inequality: Direct and indirect inequalities, coded inequalities, mathematical inequalities, etc.
    • Coding-Decoding: Coding by letter shifting, coding in fictitious language, coding and decoding based on new patterns.
    • Puzzles: Seating arrangement puzzles, floor-based puzzles, scheduling puzzles, etc.
    • Seating Arrangement: Circular arrangement, linear arrangement, square/rectangular arrangement, etc.
    • Blood Relations: Family tree problems, coded blood relation questions, etc.
    • Direction Sense: Problems based on directions, distance and displacement, routes and paths, etc.
    • Input-Output: Shifting, sorting, coding-decoding, mathematical operations, etc.
    • Data Sufficiency: Analyzing given data to determine whether it is sufficient to answer the question.

This comprehensive syllabus covers the main areas of focus for the SBI PO exam. Candidates are advised to thoroughly understand the concepts and practice a wide range of questions to enhance their proficiency in each subject. Additionally, staying updated with the latest exam patterns and trends can help candidates prepare more effectively and increase their chances of success in the SBI PO examination.


The SBI PO exam is a rigorous assessment designed to recruit competent Probationary Officers for the State Bank of India. It evaluates candidates’ proficiency in various subjects such as English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, Data Analysis, and Banking Awareness. With its multi-phase structure and emphasis on comprehensive skills, the exam ensures the selection of candidates with the necessary competencies to excel in the dynamic banking sector. The SBI PO exam stands as a gateway to a promising career in banking.

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