Every year, the State Bank of India conducts its own examination in order to select candidates for the coveted position of probationary officer, depending upon the number of vacancies. The exam is conducted in three stages that of the preliminary exam, main exam, and the Interview (along with some group exercises) or of Lakhs of students appear for the exam carries, with the hope of becoming one of the selected candidates, who are then offered a job offer by SBI in any one of its many branches across the country.
Handsome salaries and job stability are two of the primary reasons why people rush to get their position in the company. However, considering the steep competition, getting selected won’t come without a dedicated effort and enough zeal. In the article, we will be discussing a step-by-step approach to how one can become an SBI probationary officer in India.
Understand the eligibility criteria
Before considering applying for the exam and filling the application form, one must make sure to go through the eligibility criteria and ensure that he or she fits into it. There are various brackets that have been set by the company such as the age limit, educational qualification, maximum number of attempts to name a few.
As for the age limit, the candidate must be between 21 and 30 years of age. Put in other terms, the candidate should not have been born after April 2nd 2000 and not before April 1st 1991. However, there are certain relaxations, depending upon your category. The educational qualifications also have a certain number of ifs and buts, regarding the graduation state of the candidate.
The number of maximum attempts is also not the same for every person and depends on the category you belong to. Like you probably have understood by now, One needs to carefully read and understand the eligibility criteria before paying the registration fees, and we recommend you to see more just to make sure you have things covered from your side.
Register for the exam
Once you’ve gone through the eligibility criteria and are sure that you fit in, the next step is to register for the exam. Like most things in today’s era, the registration process is fairly simple and completely online. The exam usually takes place in the month of December and application forms to register for the exam are let out on the official website usually in October. Candidates get about 20 days to register for the exam and pay the fees. The payment can be done through either net banking, credit, or debit card. As for 2021, the registration fee was ₹750 for general category students, and free for SC/ST/PWD.
The pattern of the exam(s)
Like mentioned earlier in this article, the PO exam is held in three stages. The first of the three exams, called the preliminary exam, consists of Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language. The English language consists of 30 objective-type questions, whereas the Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability sections comprise of 35 questions each. Each of these questions carries one mark thus adding up to a total of 100. The duration of this exam is one hour. One important thing to note is that negative marking is a part of the exam, where 0.25 marks will be deducted as a penalty for each wrong answer. However, no such deductions will take place if the question is left not attempted.
The main test consists of two parts; one being the objective questions and the other being descriptive questions. The time allotted for the two parts is 3 hours and 30 minutes respectively. There are a total of 155 objective questions totaling a maximum of 200 marks and two questions for the descriptive part which amount to 50 marks. If the candidate is shortlisted after these two exams, he is then supposed to appear for the interview round, which is the final round for selection.
As the exam welcomes applications from students with different backgrounds of graduation, the syllabus is also designed considering no particular tangent like that of engineering or finance into account. The paper is set on a neutral mechanism based on a syllabus consisting of the basics of every field like math, reasoning, and logic. It also must be brought to attention that the syllabus for both prelim and mean exams are not identical. The prelim exam tests students on rather surface-level knowledge of the subject while the main exam dives a little deeper. Various source material online also provides some named topics under each of the different sections like Qualitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, and English. Candidates expecting to clear the cut-off are expected to go through the syllabus in detail and identify the strengths and weaknesses.
Solve previous year question papers
Similar to preparing for any other competitive exam, for the SBI PO also, it is expected that the candidates go through the previous year’s question papers which are easily available on the Internet. Doing so gives them a brief idea of the type of questions that are asked in the exam and also helps in self-analysis and time management. Since negative marking is a part of the examination special attention must be put to make sure errors are not made. One must not attempt a question unless he is absolutely convinced about the answer. It is also advised to properly analyze the trends in the previous year’s questions, giving this candidate a better understanding of the type of questions that are asked more often than others.
One step at a time
Since the exam has multiple stages, each expecting different things from the student, it is recommended that we focus on one step each time and try to do our best at it. First, attack the prelim exams, then the main exam, and then finally move on to the interview rounds.
With that, we come to the end of our list where we talked about a basic road map of how you can be one of the SBI PO’s. We hope you found this helpful and wish the best of luck to all appearing candidates!