SBI PO Prelims 2018 Effective Preparation Strategy & Expected Question Pattern

Dear Aspirants, SBI PO 2018-19 Official Notification has been announced and Examination has been approaching very shortly. We have already given 60 Day Study Planner for SBI PO 2018 and now here we brought you with Effective Preparation Strategy & Expected Questions Pattern for SBI PO Prelims 2018. Aspirants those who are preparing die-hard to crack the examination can make use of it.

Selection Process
Exam pattern
Expected Pattern
How to Clear
Tip to Score
Mock Test

How to begin preparation for SBI PO Prelims 2018?


Before starting the preparation, the first thing that a candidate needs to be aware of the selection process to get an overall idea about the SBI PO exam.

Selection procedure:

Currently, the selection of Probationary Officers comprises of Three Phases:

Phase – 1: Preliminary Examination 100 marks
Phase – 2: Main Examination [Objective Test + Descriptive Test] 250 marks
Phase – 3: Group Exercise & Interview 50 marks


Every aspirant needs to know about the exam pattern of SBI PO as it is considered to be the most important step in attaining a successful professional career.

Exam pattern:

  • Phase – 1: Preliminary Exam Pattern 

Prelims Exam (objective test) of 1 hour duration consists of 3 sections with separate timings for each section. The test will be conducted online for 100 marks as follows:

S.No. Section No. of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
1. English Language 30 30 20 minutes
2. Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 20 minutes
3. Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 1 hour (60 minutes)
  • Phase – 2: Main Exam Pattern 

(i) Objective Test

Objective Test of 3 hours duration consists of 4 sections with separate timings for each section. The test will be conducted online for 200 marks as follows:

S.No. Section No. of Qs Max. Marks Duration
1. English Language 35 Total
40 minutes
2. Data Analysis and Interpretation 35 45 minutes
3. Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude 45 60 minutes
4. General/Financial Awareness 40 35 minutes
Total 155 3 hours

(ii) Descriptive Test

Candidates will have to answer Descriptive Test by typing on the computer. The test will be conducted online immediately after completion of the Objective Test.

S.No. Section No. of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
1. English Language

[Letter Writing & Essay]

2 50 30 minutes

Penalty for Wrong Answers:

Applicable to both Objective Test of Preliminary and Main Examination

(i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one-fourth of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at corrected score.

(ii) If no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.

Phase – 3: Group Exercise & Interview

S.No. Section Maximum Marks
1. Group Exercise 20
2. Interview 30
  Total 50


Previous year’s SBI PO prelims exam analysis let you to a step closer to the journey of becoming a probationary officer.

  • Preliminary Exam

The number of questions asked in each topic (each year) will be helpful for the candidates to focus on that particular area for clearing the prelims exam 2018.

(i) English Language: (30 Qs)

  • In the recent exams, aspirants facing the difficulties in understanding the English exam pattern as because the number of questions and topics are different for different slots.
  • Students have to give equal importance to all the topics to clear the sectional cut off of English.
Topics 2015 2016 2017 2018(Expected)
Cloze Test 5 5 10 5
Phrase Replacement 10 5
Reading Comprehension 10 10 10 10
Error Spotting 5 5 5-10
Para Jumble 5 5
Fill in the blanks 5 5  0-5
Total 30 30 30 30

(ii) Quantitative Aptitude: (35 Qs)

Topics 2015 2016 2017 2018(Expected)
Number Series 5 5 5 5
Data Interpretation 10 10 10 10
Quadratic Equations 5 5 5 5
Simplification/Approximation 5 5 5 5

(Profit & Loss, SI, CI, Time, Speed & Distance, etc.)

10 10 10 10
Total 35 35 35 35

(iii) Reasoning Ability: (35 Qs)

Topics 2015 2016 2017 2018(Expected)
Syllogism 5 0-5
Inequalities 5 5 5 5
Seating Arrangement 5 5 5 20
Puzzle 10 20 15

(Coding-Decoding, Direction, Blood Relations, etc.)

10 5 7 5
Data Sufficiency/Order and Ranking 3 0-5
Total 35 35 35 35



Every aspirant needs to realize that apart from interest and intellectual skill, victory in most of the bank exams, depends mainly on how well you prepare for it. Once you understand the prelims exam pattern of SBI PO 2018, you have to plan a strategy consequently.

  • Candidates need to work out for a right strategy for all these sections and so they can put sincere efforts accordingly. Dedicate more time to sections where you are moderately weaker. But at the same time, you should not disregard the other sections.
  • First, you have to clear the basic concepts of different sections. After that, you have to do a continuous practice on what you have learned. Then, you have to take the mock tests regularly.
  • There are 3 sections in the SBI PO prelims 2018 and every section poses its own challenge. Aspirants need to follow a separate plan for each of the sections apart from overall strategy.

English Language:

Candidates who are strong in English section must aim to score high to clear the overall cut-off to crack the prelims. The pattern and difficulty level of English section have changed from the conventional to a very tricky approach.

  • Aspirants don’t have to be an expert in English. But, you have to learn the basics of grammar.
  • It is really wise to pick the reading comprehension topic as the answers will be within the passage. First, read the question and then search for the answer in the passage so that you will find the answer in a short time.
  • Allocate time for improving your vocabulary skills so that you will find it easy while answering synonyms and antonyms.
  • Place every option in the blank of cloze test and then read the paragraph so that you can find the right option efficiently.

Click Here for English PRO Version eBooks (Purely Based on New Pattern) – Especially for SBI PO 2018

Quantitative Aptitude:

Aspirants who are clear in basic concepts and good in the calculation can score well in this particular section. Practice lets you to score more in this section within a limited time limit.

  • Start to learn and revise squares, cubes, square roots, percentage values and tables till 20 on a daily basis.
  • Aspirants need to become skilled at the fundamentals of Vedic maths as it helps to do calculations quickly.
  • Cover all important topics and then practice more number of questions with a sensible plan.
  • Shortcuts and tricks help the candidates to crack the question in a short time than the traditional method.
  • Data Interpretation is the most important topic as it makes you to score more marks in an effective way.
  • After completing the easy level questions, you can move on to miscellaneous questions like profit & loss, time & distance, etc.

Click Here for Quantitative Aptitude PRO Version eBooks (Hard Level Data Interpretation Especially for SBI PO 2018)

Reasoning Ability:

Questions of reasoning will be tricky and it requires a lot of practice to score well.

  • Candidates should not get stuck on seating arrangement or puzzle type of questions for too long. Regular practice of diverse kinds of questions makes you to solve it in a timely manner.
  • First, try to solve easy level questions and then move on to puzzle type questions as it helps you to score well.
  • New patterns are introduced in each topic of this section so it is advisable to practice more on the new pattern of questions.
  • Apply your mind and skill to spot the difficulty level of a question and then solve it.

Click Here for Reasoning PRO Version eBooks (Hard Level Puzzles Especially for SBI PO 2018)


Observe the following list of points to score more marks in a distinct way.

  • It is really difficult to solve all the questions in the prelims exam within 1 hour. So you have to choose the question which you can solve it without mistakes at the first attempt.
  • Accuracy and Speed are the two very important factors in the case of SBI PO prelims as it helps you to score more marks in each section.
  • Every aspirant needs to be aware of the penalty for wrong answers so that you will not try to attend all the questions.
  • Clearing the prelims exam mostly depend on the reading speed of the candidates. The exam is conducted online so it is advisable to do a lot of practice through mock tests to enhance your reading speed in the SBI PO prelims exam.
  • First, you have to complete the easy level questions and then move on to time-consuming questions as it is considered to be a smart way of scoring well in prelims exam.
  • Sectional timing has added an advantage in the SBI PO prelims 2018 as the aspirant will not spend too much time in any respective section.


Mock Test plays an important part in the preparation of the SBI PO Prelims exam 2018.

  • The test gives you a chance to solve the problems within the time frame as like in the actual prelims exam.
  • Mock tests let you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in all sections.
  • It is advisable to spend time for analyzing the answers after completing the test.
  • Attend more number of mock tests as it helps you to stay away from the fear of SBI PO prelims exam situation.

Install Our Mobile App and Get the Yearly Platinum Package (Including SBI PO COMBO Pack) @ Just Rs. 499/- (Price will increase after 30th April 2018)

Click Here to Download Our Brand New Android Mobile App

Note: Get it using our Mobile App and Take test on both Website & Mobile App


The complexity of SBI PO prelims will be high compared to other bank exams.

  • The difficulty level of the questions varies from one exam slot to another.
  • Sectional timing is newly introduced to check the ability and skill of every candidate effectively.
  • It will be much tougher compared to previous year’s paper as the competition is getting high every year.
  • More numbers of candidates are entering into this big race of bank exams for starting their professional career. It is advisable to make a smart plan and then put more efforts to ace your success.
  • Most of the aspirants scoring well in Aptitude and Reasoning section but lacking in English section. It is desirable to enhance your way of preparation in English so that you can stand out of the crowd.
  • If you want one of the shortlisted candidates, then you have to begin your SBI PO prelims preparation instantly without delaying further.

TO CRACK SBI PO 2018, We IBPS Guide Team providing you with Daily Practice Bundles, which consists of plenty of Standard Questions on Your Fingers, Check Here to Know More Details About IBPSGuide Daily Practice Bundles.

0 0 votes
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments