Tips to clear SBI PO exam in the first attempt

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SBI PO stands for State Bank of India Probationary Officer. SBI PO is one of the most sought-after jobs in the banking industry and it is a dream career for millions of aspiring candidates in India. There are many reasons that make it one of the most coveted jobs in the banking industry. Some of those reasons are listed below:

  • SBI is the most reputed bank in India and working in such a prestigious organisation adds brand value
  • It offers a lucrative salary which is the highest among public sector banking jobs
  • Job satisfaction and social reputation
  • The growth opportunities are very good and you can rise to the position of a chairperson

The number of candidates applying for the position of SBI PO has been increasing recently. This does add to the competition but proper planning can definitely lead you to success. Investing sufficient hours, consistency and practice are essential for success. Before getting started with the tips to crack the SBI PO exam on the first attempt, you must understand the exam pattern and go through the syllabus properly. The SBI PO exam is carried out in three stages.

  • SBI PO Prelims: There are three sections in the SBI PO prelims exam, including reasoning ability, numerical ability, and English language. For every correct answer, 1 mark is awarded, and 0.25 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer. The exam is conducted online.
  • SBI PO Mains: Candidates can attempt the Mains exam only if they qualify for the prelims exam. The SBI PO Mains paper consists of two sections, one is objective and the other one is descriptive. The objective section carries 200 marks and the descriptive section is 50 marks. This exam is also conducted online.
  • Interview test and group exercises: The final steps include the interview round that carries 30 marks and the group exercises are of 20 marks. 

Detailed study plan:

  1. Get acquainted with the exam pattern and the syllabus

Go through the latest syllabus of the SBI PO exam thoroughly. Make sure to prepare for both prelims and mains simultaneously. Some topics are common in both the exams but the type of questions might vary. If you prepare simultaneously, you can easily understand the differences and extra efforts required. Also, after the results of prelims are out, candidates get less time to prepare for mains. 

There is a time limit for each section. This might be tricky if the candidate is not prepared. You must keep this in mind while attempting the mock tests and practice tests too. Make a clear strategy to decide the order in which you must attempt the sections. You must remember that while the prelims exam is only required for qualifying through the first round, you must score as high as possible to make it to the merit list. The marks of prelims are not considered while preparing the merit list, but the marks in the mains exam carry major weightage in the final merit list. There are the following sections in the mains exam:

  • General awareness
  • Reasoning and computer ability
  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • English language

You get 30 minutes to attempt the descriptive-type questions carrying 20 marks. You must practice writing descriptive type answers within the time limit and improve your speed. You should be aware of the list of your weak and strong areas and you can distribute your time accordingly. Practice your strong areas on a regular basis, devote maximum time to strengthen your weak areas. 

  • Solve previous years papers and analyse your performance

You must solve SBI PO mock papers regularly and analyse your performance after every test. Make sure that you attempt these tests very sincerely as if attempting the final exam. This will prepare you for the required mindset and you can avoid nervousness during the exam as you get used to the exam-like environment. Devote sufficient time to analyse your performance after every test. You can point out your weak areas, and topics which you need to study again or revise again. The more you practice, the more you will gain confidence. One important point to note here is that you must not get demotivated if you do not score well in the mock tests. This is not your final exam, you must accept that you are progressing with every test and you will perform well. It is important to keep yourself motivated throughout your preparation journey. 

Solving mock tests and attempting previous years question papers will help you to gain accuracy and required speed. You will become aware of the type of questions that you must attempt first and the type of questions to attempt last. You can take the 100% Free SBI PO Mock Test for Prelims Exam 2021 with Oliveboard.

  • Make a habit of reading and writing

Make a habit of reading English newspapers and books on a regular basis. This will help you to write answers in the descriptive type sections. You will improve on topics like general awareness and current affairs. You should pay more attention to financial, economic, social, cultural, and banking-related articles. You can also improve your vocabulary with this practice. You can make short notes and keep them handy while revising. 

  • Make a proper timetable

You must prepare a timetable according to your need and convenience. Make sure that your timetable must be practical and suits your schedule. Many candidates make the mistake of overburdening themselves with a very impractical kind of timetable which they are unable to follow. This makes them lose confidence. Time table is a very essential part of exam preparation. Once you have identified your weaker areas, you can frame your timetable accordingly. Make sure that you do not overburden yourself trying to achieve more than possible. You have to address your limits and push them gradually. Do not be too harsh on yourself. Small progress with consistency over a long duration of time will help you reach your goal. Make sure to include mock tests and revision in your daily routine. 

  • Use high quality and reliable resources

There are many resources available online and offline. Candidates make the mistake of accumulating a lot of notes and books from different sources. This just adds to the frustration. The time for preparing for the SBI PO is limited and you must use it wisely. Do not get influenced by everyone. Trust your resources. Make sure that you do not keep a lot of books and notes for the same topics. Try to keep your resources concise. Making short notes is an effective way to cover large topics briefly. It is a very effective method and helps with revision too. Resources from coaching institutes are also reliable. Practice is the key. Make sure that you spend less time in theory and more time in solving questions. Accuracy and speed is the main deciding factor of success in the SBI PO exam.


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