SBI PO Exam Paper Trend Analysis

SBI PO Exam Paper Trend Analysis

SBI Bank PO exam is seen as one of the most sought after exams among the Indian youth. Thus, no wonder that about 15,00,000+ candidates take the exam every year.

As per the notification of the exam, it is conducted in two phases:

Phase-I- consists of Two separate tests:

Objective Test of 200 marks, comprising of 4 sections- English Language, Reasoning, Data Interpretation and General Awareness+Computers+Marketing Knowledge. The test duration is 2 hours, and the total number of questions are 200 (50 from each section).

Also, the notification makes it clear that, in order to qualify for the further stages of the exam, it is mandatory to qualify in each of the sections of the objective paper. The qualifying marks are decided by the SBI each year. Thus, it is necessary that you practice on different sections well. Because, doing very well in some sections, while not being able to answer the sufficient number of questions, can break your dream.

Descriptive Test of English language, comprising of Essay writing, precise writing, letter writing and comprehension. The paper carries 50 marks. However, the evaluation for this paper is conducted only for those candidates who qualify in the objective test.

Phase II- it includes two rounds:

Group Discussion (GD)- which is of 20 marks.

Interview- of 30 marks.

The Candidates need to qualify both- phase I and phase II separately.

For the final merit list, the marks secured in the Written Test (out of 250 marks) are converted to out of 75, and marks secured in GD and interview are converted to out of 25.

The final merit list is prepared after aggregating the converted marks of Written test and GD and Interview (out of 100) for each category. The final selection is made from the top merit ranked candidates in each category.

Trend Analysis of Objective Test

Over the years, there have been few changes in the trends of the questions asked in the SBI PO exam. A general analysis of the SBI PO papers of 2010 and 2013 show that- while the diversity of the questions have been limited in the recent exams, the level of difficulty has gone up.

BANKEXAMPORTAL .COM presents an analysis of the SBI PO exam of 2010 and 2013:

A) English Language

The Paper of 2010 included about 15 questions (30%) from the Comprehension section. While the other parts were evenly divided among different constituents of the section. Here is the pictorial representation of the weightage given to different parts of the English paper.


In contrast, the SBI PO exam of 2013 had a greater proportion of the Comprehension part. Out of the 50 questions from English Language, the comprehension part had 20 questions (40%). Also, there were no questions on Idioms and Phrases. However, the weightage of other parts was more or less similar to that of the previous year paper.

Here is a pictorial representation of the analysis of the English Language section of 2013 exam.

Please note that, since a good amount of proportion is given to the Comprehension part, it might not be much useful to spend much time in books for English. Rather, you must work on your skills, instead of mugging things up.

B) Reasoning

The exam notification of the SBI PO exam mentions that the reasoning section of the exam contains the high level reasoning. Thus, many candidates view this section as one of the most difficult ones in the SBI PO exam.

Based on an analysis of the 2010 exam, it is observed that the maximum weightage was given to the section of Inference, Non-Verbal Series, Course of Action, Data Sufficiency, Statement & Conclusion, Puzzle Texts and Mathematical operations.

Below is the pictorial representation of the 2010 paper-

In contrast, the 2013 paper saw a sea change, in the form of exclusion of the purely mathematical sections. Now, more emphasis is given to the reasoning parts, like- sitting arrangement and other components of reasoning.

C) Data Analysis and Interpretation

Over the years, the section of data analysis and interpretation has become most crucial. This is because, you can fetch maximum marks out of this section, if your concepts are clear. An observation of the 2010 SBI PO paper tells us that the most crucial areas in this section were the Table Chart (38%) and Line Bar (18%). Other than these, questions were also asked from Probability (10%), Pie chart (10%) and Data Sufficiency (10%).

A detailed representation of the data analysis and interpretation section of the SBI PO 2010 is given below:

In contrast, the 2013 paper contained a less variety of questions. However, the increased weightage of the crucial areas mean higher level of difficulty. Again the highest proportion was accorded to Table Charts (30%), followed by Line Bar diagrams and Pie charts (20% each). The difficulty level of the exam was enhanced by the inclusion of some question on Mixed graphs.

Surprising, there were no questions on progression, calendar and some other sections that were included in the 2010 paper.

D) General Awareness, Computer and Marketing

Needless to say that the proportion of Economy related question is very high (22%). However, even greater proportion is accorded to the questions on Computer knowledge (30%). what is interesting to note is that, many questions have been asked from miscellaneous issues of general awareness. Thus, it is important to keep oneself aware of the current events.
Here is a pictorial representation of the 2010 SBI PO General awareness section:

In Contrast, the 2013 paper was mainly based on three section- Economy (36%), Computer Awareness (26%), and Marketing Knowledge (24%). Unlike the 2010 paper, the proportion of other areas was very limited.

Below is the representation of the 2013 SBI PO General Knowledge section:

Based on this pie chart, it can be observed that- to be able to clear the SBI PO exam, it is very important to read about current events in the economic sphere. Also important is to have a awareness of the computers and marketing section. You may choose to ignore the trivial sections on 'books and authors' or 'awards and prizes', but one cannot take chances with the economy, computer and marketing aspects of the paper.

We wish the candidates All the Best for their preparations.

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