SBI PO Exam Pattern 2021 - Marking Scheme, Exam Duration & Mode of Exam

SBI PO Exam Pattern 2021 - Marking Scheme, Exam Duration & Mode of Exam

SBI PO Exam Pattern 2021 - The State Bank of India (SBI) mentions the SBI PO 2021 exam pattern in its official notification. The exam pattern of SBI PO 2021 helps aspirants know about the scheme and mode of exam, structure of SBI PO question paper and weightage of topics. Aspirants preparing for the SBI PO must go through the SBI PO exam pattern 2021 in detail or else their preparations will be incomplete. SBI PO exam is conducted in three phases, prelims mains and interview. Apart from the exam pattern, candidates must also be aware about the syllabus of SBI PO.

Latest Updates for SBI PO

  • 05 Oct 2021:

    SBI PO Application Form 2021 released.

  • 17 Mar 2021:

    SBI PO Final Result 2020-21 announced.

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SBI PO full form is State bank of India Probationary Officers. The SBI PO official website is It is one of India's most popular banking competitive bank. The SBI PO exam is one the most competitive exams in India as it is based on 10+2 and graduation level. The SBI PO 2021 exam pattern is mentioned in the SBI PO notification and is released at Read this article till the end to know all about the exam pattern of SBI PO 2021.

SBI PO exam pattern 2021: Highlights

As per the SBI PO 2021 exam pattern, the exam is conducted in 3 stages - Prelims, Mains and Interview. The prelims and mains stage is conducted in online mode. In order to start the preparation and to crack the exam, aspirants must understand the exam pattern of SBI PO 2021, stick to the syllabus and only refer to the selected-few books. We have shared all the important information related to the SBI PO exam pattern 2021 here in detail.

Key Highlights of SBI PO exam pattern 2021

Exam name

State Bank of India - Probationary Officer (SBI PO)

Official Website

Exam Language

English and Hindi

(Except the test for English)

Stages of the SBI PO exam

Stage 1: Preliminary

Stage 2: Mains

Stage 3: Group Exercise & Interview

SBI PO exam Duration

1 hour

3 hours 30 minutes


Mode of SBI PO Exam


Online (Objective + Descriptive)


Max. Marks


250 (200+50)


Negative Marks

1/4th for wrong answers


SBI PO Exam Pattern 2021 Prelims

Going by the SBI PO 2021 exam pattern, the preliminary stage consists of 3 sections. The total marks allotted is 100 marks. The prelims test of SBI PO is held in online mode.

Exam pattern of SBI PO 2021 - Prelims Stage

S No.


Number of questions


Total Marks


Reasoning Ability


20 minutes

100 marks


English Language


20 minutes


Quantitative Aptitude


20 minutes



1 hour

SBI PO exam 2021 Prelims - Important points

  • There are 3 sections in SBI PO prelims exam.
  • All the sections in the SBI PO exam are - English, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability.
  • In the prelims exam there are a total of 100 objective type questions asked.
  • The time duration of the preliminary exam of SBI PO is 01 hour (20 minutes for each section).
  • As per the exam pattern of SBI PO prelims, the prelims exam is qualifying in nature and the marks will not be counted while preparing the merit list.

SBI PO exam pattern 2021 - Mains

After the prelims exam, comes the mains stage which consists of an objective type test for 200 marks and a descriptive test of 50 marks. Both the tests as per the SBI PO 2021 exam pattern are conducted in online mode. The objective test comprises 4 sections with separate time duration for each section. According to exam pattern of SBI PO 2021 the descriptive test is conducted for 30 minutes duration of 50 marks. Candidates will have to write a letter and an essay in English in the descriptive test of SBI PO.

SBI PO exam pattern 2021 - Mains Stage

Online Objective Test

Name of the test

No. of question



Data analysis and interpretation



45 minutes

Reasoning & Computer aptitude



60 minutes

English Language



40 minutes

General/Economy/Banking Awareness



35 minutes




3 hours

Online Descriptive Test



30 minutes

SBI PO exam 2021 Mains - Important points

  • The objective type paper in the mains stage is to be completed in 3 hours for 200 marks.
  • The descriptive type paper in the SBI PO exam should be completed in 30 minutes. The descriptive test of 30 minutes with two questions for 50 marks will be a Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay).
  • In the objective section, there will be 4 sections English Language, Data Analysis & Interpretation, Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, Economy/ General/Banking Awareness.
  • There will be penalty for wrong answer and 0.25 marks will be deducted in SBI PO mains exam.
  • No deduction will be made in marks if a question is left unattempt.

SBI PO 2021 exam pattern - Interview Stage

Candidates qualifying the mains exam will have to appear for the undergo group exercise and interview. The group exercise and interview is conducted for 20 and 30 marks respectively. Marks secured in preliminary exam will not be added for preparation of final merit list. The final selection in SBI PO is done on the basis of marks obtained by candidates in mains examination and group exercises & interview.

SBI PO Marking Scheme 2021

Marking Scheme of SBI PO Preliminary Exam

As per the exam pattern of SBI PO 2021, aspirants must score equal to or more than the SBI PO cut off marks to qualify for the next stage. The preliminary stage consists of questions from English Language, Reasoning Ability and Quantitative Aptitude. There are 100 questions of 100 marks. One-fourth marks will be deducted as negative marks for wrong answers.

Marking Scheme of SBI PO Mains Exam

The second stage of SBI PO is objective + descriptive level. The objective test consists of four sections of 200 marks according to SBI PO exam pattern 2021. Those who qualify the objective sections will qualify to appear for the descriptive test. The descriptive test evaluates a candidate’s ability in letter writing and essay writing. The total marks for the descriptive section is 50.

How to calculate SBI PO marks?

Calculation of Marks: Total weighted score = Scores obtained in ( Reasoning & computer aptitude+data interpretation+general/ economy/banking awareness + English language)

Group Exercise/Personal Interview Phase: After both the stages successfully aspirants will be called for group discussions and interview. This phase will be evaluated on the basis of group discussion and interview. Group discussion will be of 20 marks and interview of 30 marks.

Candidates will be shortlisted finally and called for recruitment in various branches of State Bank of India all over India after qualifying all the stages of the SBI PO exam.

SBI PO 2021 Syllabus

Along with the exam pattern, aspirants must also know about the syllabus of SBI PO. The syllabus consists of the topics and section for both the phases of the exam. SBI PO syllabus 2021 contains the topics from where the questions will be asked in the prelims and mains.

SBI PO 2021 Syllabus Prelims


SBI PO Syllabus (Prelims)

Reasoning Ability

  • Logical Reasoning

  • Coded Inequalities

  • Ranking/Direction/Alphabet Test

  • Puzzle

  • Alphanumeric Series

  • Input-Output

  • Data Sufficiency

  • Seating Arrangement

  • Blood Relations

  • Coding-Decoding

English Language

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Paragraph Completion

  • Cloze Test

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Multiple Meaning /Error Spotting

  • Para jumbles

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Mixture & Alligation

  • Permutation, Combination & Probability

  • Data Interpretation

  • Simplification

  • Sequence & Series

  • Profit & Loss

  • Simple Interest, Compound Interest & Indices

  • Mensuration – Cylinder, Cone, Sphere

  • Percentage

  • Number System

SBI PO 2021 Syllabus Mains


SBI PO Syllabus (Mains)

Data analysis and interpretation

  • Pie Chart

  • Bar Graph

  • Data Sufficiency

  • Probability

  • Permutation and Combination

  • Line Graph

Computer aptitude

  • The Internet

  • Microsoft Office

  • Computer Fundamentals /Terminologies

  • Computer Hardware

  • Computer Software

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Operating System

  • Computer Abbreviation


  • Blood Relations

  • Analytical and Decision Making

  • Data Sufficiency

  • Directions and Distances

  • Critical Reasoning

  • Code Inequalities

  • Coding and Decoding

  • Linear Seating Arrangement

  • Double Lineup

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Syllogism

  • Input-Output

  • Course of Action

  • Ordering and Ranking

General/Economy/Banking Awareness

  • Banking and Financial Awareness

  • Static Awareness

  • General Knowledge

  • Current Affairs

  • Financial Awareness

SBI PO Best Books 2021

There are a lot of books available in the market to prepare for the SBI PO exam. It is mandatory to stick to the best and selected few books. From the following table, we have shared a list of the best books for SBI PO preparation which can help candidates start their preparation for SBI PO 2020 effectively.

Best Books for SBI PO 2021




Quantitative Aptitude

Quantum CAT

Sarvesh Verma

Quantitative Aptitude

RS Aggarwal



MK Pandey

Verbal- Non Verbal Reasoning

R.S. Aggrawal



SP Bakshi

English Language

Wren & Martin

General Awareness

Guide to Banking General Awareness


Banking Awareness

Arihant Publication


Objective Computer Knowledge & Literacy

Kiran Publication

Computer Awareness

Arihant Publication

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Data interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma

CAT Data Interpretation

Nishit Sinha

SBI PO 2021 Preparation Tips

  • Candidates must stick to the exam pattern of SBI PO 2021 and the syllabus.

  • They must start their preparations at least 8-10 months in advance.

  • Identify their weak and strong points and start the preparations based on that.

  • Aspirants must solve the SBI PO previous year question papers for both prelims and mains to get an idea about the difficulty level of exam, nature of questions asked and weightage of topics from each subject. This practice will help in forming a solid approach and crack the SBI PO exam.