The SBI PO exam, which is a dream for many aspiring bank professionals, is fast approaching. This exam, particularly the main part, is known to be challenging in the banking sector and many aspirants feel a sense of fear and uncertainty about it. 
In this blog, We will explore some essential facts about the SBI PO mains that will help you gain clarity and confidence as you prepare also we will thoroughly examine every crucial aspect that a candidate should be aware of before attempting a highly competitive and prestigious exam like the SBI PO. 
We will cover topics such as the exam pattern, syllabus, preparation tips, cutoff marks, as well as the significance of group discussions and interviews. So, let's get started on this journey of knowledge and preparation.

Exam Pattern

The SBI PO mains examination is widely acknowledged as one of the most challenging assessments in the banking sector. This examination rigorously evaluates candidates on a multitude of aspects and to embark on the journey of cracking any competitive examination successfully, the first pivotal step is to thoroughly comprehend its requirements. An essential component of this comprehension is understanding the exam pattern.

Understanding the exam pattern is crucial, as it acts as a guiding blueprint for candidates. It provides an insightful roadmap, indicating where candidates need to direct their focus to achieve the best possible results. This knowledge is instrumental in developing a winning strategy for the examination. The SBI PO mains examination is conducted in an online mode, comprising both objective and descriptive tests.

The objective test encompasses four major sections, each of which candidates must attempt within the given time frame. In addition to the objective section, there is a descriptive test that assesses candidates writing skills. This descriptive test holds significant importance in the overall selection process.

For a more detailed understanding of the various sections in the examination, the time limits allotted for each section, the maximum marks, and the number of questions, you can carefully see the comprehensive table below.
Test Name of Test No of Ques Max Marks Duration
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 40 50 50 Minutes
2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 30 50 45 Minutes
3 General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness 50 60 45 Minutes
4 English Language 35 40 40 Minutes
  Total 155 200 3 Hours
Descriptive Paper
English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 2 50 30 Minutes
Grand Total 250  

As you can see, this table offers a clear and concise overview of the different sections in the examination, the time limit for each section, the maximum marks, and the number of questions within each section. It serves as an invaluable resource for candidates seeking to navigate the intricate landscape of the SBI PO main examination. 

Now we will delve into each section in more detail

Reasoning & Computer Aptitude

The "Reasoning & Computer Aptitude" section is crucial in the SBI PO mains exam, contributing to about 25% of the objective part's weightage. It assesses a candidate's logical and analytical reasoning skills through questions like puzzles, seating arrangements, and critical reasoning.
Under the updated exam pattern, candidates face a challenging task in this section, with 40 questions worth 50 marks to answer in 50 minutes. Speed and accuracy are vital to maximize attempts while maintaining accuracy. Regular practice is the key to excelling in this section.
Interestingly, many candidates develop a fondness for this section, especially if they enjoy solving puzzles and tackling complex problems. It serves as a stimulating mental exercise, making it a favorite for those who thrive on such challenges during their journey to success in the SBI PO mains exam.

Data Analysis & Interpretation

This section evaluates the candidate's data handling proficiency, particularly their numerical aptitude. This evaluation is executed through the presentation of challenging data interpretation problems, where candidates must decode underlying logic. 
Additionally, arithmetic problems, data sufficiency, and number series questions are commonly seen in this section, further testing candidates' numerical skills. This section is often perceived as more demanding by candidates, but the advantage lies in the allocated time. Candidates have 45 minutes to tackle 30 questions. It's noteworthy that the marking system is not uniform; some questions are worth 1 mark, while others carry 2 marks
A valuable strategy for excelling in this section involves starting with the easier questions and gradually advancing to the moderate and challenging ones. Practice is a must in honing the ability to distinguish between question complexities.

It's important to note that while this section might feel challenging for some excelling here can provide a significant advantage in comparison to peers. Gaining mastery in the "Data Analysis & Interpretation" section can set you apart and elevate your performance in the SBI PO mains exam.

General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness

For those aspiring to pursue a career in the banking sector, an in-depth knowledge of current affairs, economic developments, and banking awareness is imperative. This section holds tremendous significance in the SBI PO mains examination, representing a substantial 30% of the overall weightage, the highest among all sections
To put it into perspective, out of the 200 marks allotted to the objective paper, the general awareness section carries a substantial 60 marks. Candidates are provided with a 45-minute to answer this crucial section. Given the substantial marks at stake, maintaining a strong command over this area is vital. 
To excel in this section, it is imperative to stay abreast of current events by regularly reading newspapers and engaging in daily preparation of current affairs. A proactive approach to keeping yourself well-informed about the latest happenings in the world and the economic sector will greatly enhance your performance in the general awareness section. In addition to securing a substantial number of marks, this proficiency can contribute significantly to your overall success in the SBI PO mains examination.

English Language

Having a strong command of the English language can make a substantial difference when it comes to the SBI PO main examination. Among the four sections, the English Language section is often regarded as relatively straightforward and less challenging. This is primarily attributed to its scoring potential and the perception that it is more manageable in comparison to the other three sections.
The English Language section primarily evaluates candidates on their reading and comprehension skills, grammatical knowledge, and vocabulary. A key strategy that can greatly enhance performance in this section is the cultivation of daily reading habits. Engaging in regular reading not only aids in improving vocabulary but also sharpens comprehension skills, a crucial aspect of this segment.
Once candidates gain a thorough understanding of the types of questions asked and develop a logical approach to address them effectively, it becomes apparent that there is no need for separate and intensive preparation for the English Language section. This underscores the advantage of acing this segment for those who possess a solid foundation in the English language.

Descriptive Test

Following the completion of the Objective Test, candidates will be presented with the Descriptive Test, a critical section of the SBI PO mains examination. Notably, this test involves typing responses directly onto a computer. This unique approach marks a distinctive feature of this section.
In this Descriptive Test, candidates typically encounter two specific questions. The first pertains to letter writing, while the second involves writing an essayTogether, this segment accounts for a substantial 50 marks, underscoring its significance in the overall assessment.
What makes the Descriptive Test a crucial stage is its potential to significantly impact the final score. With a modest degree of preparation and consistent practice, candidates have the opportunity to secure commendable marks in this test, which is often considered a "game-changer" in the SBI PO main examination.
To excel in this section, candidates must be meticulous when composing their essays and letters. Grammatical mistakes should be diligently avoided, and a keen eye for spelling errors is essential. This careful attention to detail can be the key to securing a favorable score on the Descriptive Test.

Negative Marking

There will be a penalty for wrong answers marked in Objective Tests. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, 1/4th of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as a penalty to arrive at a corrected score. If a question is left blank, i.e. if no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.


A comprehensive breakdown of the subject-specific topics essential for SBI PO 2023 Mains Exam preparation is provided in the following table for your reference. Please review the table for detailed information.
SBI PO Mains Syllabus 2023:
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude Data Analysis & Interpretation :  General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness: English Language:

Seating Arrangement Data interpretation Current Affair Reading Comprehension
Puzzles Caselets Banking/ Financial Awareness Vocabulary
Syllogism Data Sufficiency General Awareness Sentence Improvement
Input Output Number series Static Awareness Grammar
Blood Relations Quadratic Equations   Para Jumbles
Directions and Distances Arithmetic Based DI   Error Spotting
Ordering and Ranking Arithmetic Topics   Fill in the blanks
Data Sufficiency     Cloze Test
Coding and Decoding      
Coded Inequalities      
Critical Reasoning      

Preparation & Tips for Cracking SBI PO Mains

The SBI PO exam is the entry point to India's prominent public sector bank, marking a significant milestone on the journey to join this reputed institution. To excel in this exam, we'll discuss key Tips and preparation strategies.

• Understand the exam pattern and syllabus
• Utilize exam-relevant and updated study materials. 
• Seek the right guidance and attend concept-clearing lectures
• Develop a personalized study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses
• Practice extensively - it is an essential requirement
• Enhance your time management skills
• Stay informed about current affairs
• Improve your language proficiency
• Establish a structured revision and self-assessment schedule
• Take mock tests and thoroughly analyze the results
• Maintain composure and confidence during the exam.

Additionally, one must remain mindful that attaining success in the SBI PO examination necessitates unwavering dedication, expert guidance, meticulous strategic planning, and resolute efforts in the right direction.

Cut-off Marks

The SBI PO mains exam cutoff varies annually and is contingent upon multiple factors, including vacancy numbers, examination complexity, applicant category, and competition levels. These factors collectively influence the determination of cutoff scores.

In accordance with the preceding trend, the SBI PO mains exam in 2022 featured a cutoff of 88.93 marks out of a total of 250 marks, while the previous year's cutoff for the general category stood at 94.85 marks.

GD and Interview

The formation of category-wise merit lists will be based on the cumulative scores attained in Phase II (Main Exam). According to the official notification, candidates numbering up to approximately three times the category-specific vacancies will be selected for Phase III from the upper portion of the category-specific merit list. This selection is contingent on a candidate achieving the minimum aggregate qualifying score as determined by the Bank.
Phase III encompasses (i) a Psychometric Test, (ii) Group Discussion, and (iii) an Interview.
The Psychometric Test is designed to perform personality profiling for candidates shortlisted for Phase III. The outcomes of this test may be presented to the Interview panel to provide a comprehensive understanding of the candidates.
      Maximum Marks 20 30 50

During the Group Discussion (GD), participants are assigned random topics, and a group comprising 8-10 students is tasked with engaging in a discussion to conclude. Subsequently, a personal interview is conducted. The final merit list of selected candidates is prepared based on the marks obtained in the Main Exam, GD, and interview.

Author : Saurabh

Greetings! I'm Saurabh, an aspiring writer fueled by a deep passion for self-discovery through the written word. Along my journey, I have stumbled upon the enchanting realm of blog writing, which has become my true calling. As an avid wordsmith, nothing brings me greater joy than imparting knowledge and assisting students in their preparation for competitive exams. I invite you to join me on this thrilling expedition as we venture into the vast ocean of possibilities that writing offers. Stay connected to receive invaluable insights and expert guidance in every blog post. Together, let's unlock our full potential and embark on this educational adventure that awaits us!


The difficulty level escalates in the main exam, incorporating more advanced concepts and introducing additional sections in General Awareness.

The main examination comprises two segments: the objective part, which lasts 3 hours and carries 200 marks, and the descriptive test with two questions totaling 50 marks. In total, the main exam is worth 250 marks and has a time limit of 3.5 hours.

In the GD/Interview round, success is achieved by effectively articulating and presenting your viewpoints with clarity and confidence, thereby projecting your authentic personality.

Yes, a 1/4th negative marking is applied for each incorrect response.

Solve some mock tests, section-wise tests, and quizzes as part of your practice routine, these will help you improve time management for SBI PO Mains.

Visit official websites and activate notifications for essential websites that deliver timely updates on banking examinations. This is how you can stay informed about SBI PO Mains notifications.