prepp logo
Section-wise Strategy to Crack SBI PO 2020 Exam

Updated On -

Jan 6, 2021

Abanti's profile photo


Exams Prepmaster

SBI PO is an extremely competitive test, and one has to work with the right training technique to crack the test. Candidates must have questions about how to start their SBI PO 2020 preparation. The best way to approach planning for SBI PO is to build a section-wise strategy for all papers. To ace the exam, an excellent time management skill is required along with proper knowledge of the subjects. Apart from that, one must also look at the right SBI PO books and previous year question papers to be able to study well in the time available.

Read the article below to find out the best section-wise strategy to crack SBI PO 2020 exam.

Topics in SBI PO Prelims

The sections in SBI PO 2020 are:

  1. General Awareness
  2. English Language
  3. Reasoning
  4. Quantitative Aptitude/Data Interpretation

Bank exams need extensive strategy and preparation. You have to understand where your strength lies and make the best of it. Suppose, in Quant and Logic, you are exceptional but are not quite good in GA and English. Then, you must seek to optimize the marks in these two sections, and attempt to clear the cutoff in the other two sections.Once you have identified your strong and weak areas, take a look at the section-wise preparation strategy to strengthen your preparation for the exam.

Prepp Test Series

Check Here SBI PO 2020 Selection Process

Section 1: General Awareness

The segment on general awareness plays a vital role in every banking test. One can not clear the Main Exam unless he knows the part of GA. This section includes 40 questions, and also, it does not take long to answer these questions. Just by a simple reading of the questions, one can quickly complete the section provided, indicating that he is well prepared for the test.

General Awareness has three important topics:

Current Affairs

In the GA segment, Current Affairs has the most weightage. Approximately 17-18 questions come from this, and thus it is quite a scoring component. Also, preparing for this takes very little effort.

Important topics for Current Affairs:

  • National Awards and Honours
  • International Awards and Honours
  • Books and Authors
  • Summits and Treaties
  • Capitals and Currency
  • Governance, Schemes, and Policies
  • International Affairs
  • The currency of various Countries
  • Science and Technology
  • Sports

Follow the strategies given below to ace Current Affairs:

  • Read a lot from multiple sources.
  • What you have to do is only spend one hour reading CA every day, and you will be sure to earn one hundred percent marks. Few people tend to make notes, and during revision, it can be useful. However, some others might find it tiring and pointless. Decide what will work best for you.
  • When you read the same current affair from different sources, the information gets embedded into your brain in a different manner. You will not have to make any notes this way.
  • Monthly Quizzes can be followed to carry out revisions.
  • You may select any newspaper, English, or regional language, but it is recommended that you select an English language one, as this will also aid with your English language section and the Descriptive portion.
  • The Hindu and the Indian Express are the most sought-after newspapers. One of them could serve as the primary paper, all sections of which you read every day. The other one could be the secondary newspaper, the editorial section of which you read in your free time.
Pro tip: Current Affairs should be prepared from the last 100 days before the date of the examination

Download SBI PO Previous Year Sample Papers

Banking Awareness

About 17-20 questions are asked from Banking Awareness. Few candidates worry about this component a lot, but, in fact, it is easy to prepare.

Important topics for Banking Awareness:

  • Banking Terms and Abbreviations
  • RBI and its Functions
  • Monetary Policy
  • Financial Sector Regulators
  • Financial Markets
  • Financial Committees
  • National Income
  • World Financial Institutions
  • Recent Banking Updates

Here are a few strategies to crack Banking Awareness:

  • Firstly, you must read through the RBI web site's FAQs.
  • Once you have done that, read GKToday's Banking Awareness Modules. Reading online facilities on their website is freely available. You will not need to purchase a book at all.
  • Along with these, the Mrunal Banking Videos, which can be accessed from YouTube, are another excellent source.
  • You can also go to the Economics Playlist and view the L1 / P2 to L1 / P9 lectures. This should be more than adequate for your preparation.
  • Finally, you can go through some of the Banking Awareness capsules from your preferred website if you want to revise this segment.

Static GK

At least 5-6 questions are asked from Static GK. This portion has the lowest cost-benefit ratio because you can be asked questions from just about any topic. Yet, one should also prepare well for it.

Important topics for Static GK:

  • Important days
  • Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries
  • Census
  • Capitals
  • Currencies
  • Books and Authors

Follow these strategies to attempt Static GK successfully:

  • Topics such as Dams and Rivers, National Park and WLS, Nuclear, Thermal and Hydro Power Plants, CMs and Governors, Country Capitals and Currency, HQs of Major Organizations can be focused on from Indian Static GK.
  • Additionally, the capitals and currencies of the countries that our PM or President has visited recently, or the countries whose heads have visited India must also be known.

Section 2: English Language

The extent of your preparation for this section will depend on whether or not your basics of English language are strong. This is why it is most comfortable for a few and most difficult for some others. Nevertheless, if the preparation is proper and regular, it can turn out to be a very scoring section. The English Language Section typically has long comprehension-based questions that measure the degree of your English language understanding. Questions also check your Grammar and Vocabulary in this section. In comparison to other sections, English Language allows you to consciously apply your knowledge to make it better, and this can only be achieved if you are an avid reader.

Those who have strong Basics:

Scoring good marks is a simple task. You only have to read the newspapers daily and regularly take mock exams. Analyze your attempts on the mock exams and you are sure to score well

Those who are weak in English:

  • The first step to take is to buy Wren and Martin grammar book and read it from cover to cover as many times as you can. Try to understand how the language functions.
  • Read newspapers, novels, magazines and advertising storylines. This would help you to know how to create sentences, where to use every idiom and expression, and so on.
  • Lastly, attempt a lot of mock tests.

Important topics and strategies for English Language:

Reading Comprehension

  • The trick to answering the questions posed here is to read articles thoroughly on different topics.
  • To get hold of the topic, seek to practice at least 2-3 passages every day. This is the lengthiest topic area. Read the questions first and then, go through the passage.
  • This way, as you go through it you will be able to 'pick' out the answers from the passage quickly. Consider answering the vocabulary questions first, if you are confident with them.


  • Sentence rearrangement
  • Go through all sentences to identify the meaning of the passage or its summary.
  • Look up the sentences individually, and then think about how they fit together or match.
  • Then, try to arrange them separately or one-by-one. Aim to locate the passage's first and last sentences, as this helps to create a mental image or idea of how the remaining sentences ought to be.

Error Spotting

  • Read a sentence in its totality to see if it makes sense to you. Very frequently, any mistake is evident and will be easy to figure out.
  • Otherwise, search for the alternatives and see what seems to be the most logically reasonable alternative.

Replacement of Phrases

  • When you first read the initial sentence, you should be able to address the question by dropping the options quickly.
  • Make sure that your grammar preparation and knowledge is on par, since often, identifying a grammar error is one of the simplest ways to dismiss an option.


  • These questions can be asked either as a stand-alone question or in RCs.
  • It will help a lot if you read newspapers and learn new words every day.
  • Use newly learnt words in your daily life to ensure retention.
  • Often, when in RCs you are asked for synonyms / antonyms, seek to consider the context in which that particular term is used and then respond accordingly.

Read How to Prepare SBI PO English Language?

Section 3: Reasoning

Reasoning in banking exams is among the most critical sections. In this section, students achieve full marks and you too can if you apply the correct approach. This is undoubtedly the most dynamic section. It is also seen as difficult because it has no fixed syllabus at all. ‘Analytical Reasoning’ by MK Pandey, BSC Publication is an excellent book for the Reasoning section.

Important topics and strategies for Reasoning:


  • Syllogisms are also called deductive reasoning questions and are intended to test your ability to reason logically.
  • Utilize Venn diagrams or A, E, I, O rules method to solve such types of questions.
  • Venn diagrams will help you establish simple relationships between the various statements given in the question, leading to a valid syllogism conclusion.
  • Syllogisms may have accuracy of 70-80 per cent. This means that you will get around 3-4 correct, on an average, if you answer 5 questions.
  • Target the accuracy laid out above.
  • 3-4 syllogisms must be practiced everyday.

Data Sufficiency

  • These are built to test your cognitive abilities.
  • They can seem long and complicated, but they are incredibly easy to solve.
  • Deciding how you can solve the problem happens by figuring out which form of problem it is:
  • Single person blood relationship.
  • Mixed blood relationship.
  • Coded blood relationship.
  • When it is a single person blood relationship problem, then go ahead and answer it.
  • They require less time and are more accurate (90+ percent accuracy).
  • Break the sentence at is/was/as for a single person blood relationship and resolve it from the last point to is/was/as to find the answer.
  • Solving this can also be done using diagrammatic representation.

Statement Conclusion

  • Ambiguity sets in while solving this kind of question.
  • There is no definitive answer and no particular right or wrong solution, because it depends solely on the candidate's thought process.
  • If you are 100 percent sure, or the question is very straightforward, just answer it.
  • Invest no more than 2-3 minutes on this whole topic.

Seating Arrangement and Directions

  • It is fairly easy to find out from the analysis of previous papers that questions from Seating Arrangement (Liner, Circular) and Directions form a big chunk of the reasoning section.
  • These topics will carry around 35-40 marks. So, preparation must be strong.
  • The good aspect of Seating Arrangement questions is that they are clubbed together. It means that they are asked on the basis of one case as a set of 3-5 questions.
  • If you can get the initial arrangement right, you can answer the questions of that case with 100 percent accuracy in a total time period of 3-4 minutes.
  • When you fail to practice for these kinds of questions, you would be wasting 10-15 minutes and still have an incorrect answer. This would not only cost you marks but also lead to bad time management for the other sections of the paper.
  • Here, then, the slogan will be to practice, practice, and practice.
  • Begin by reading through the key fundamentals of seating arrangement (attempt permutation and combination from the Class 12 NCERT book for better practice).
  • Solve 2 seating structure questions and 1 direction question everyday for about 3 months. It will improve your pace, visualization capabilities and by the date of your exam you will be prepared for the toughest level of Seating Arrangement questions.


  • There could be either coded inequalities or direct inequalities.
  • If you are aware of the basic mathematical rules, the direct inequalities are fairly straightforward.
  • Coded inequalities need to be approached carefully, as a mistake in the analysis can give a wrong answer.
  • Inequalities, however, are simple questions and with due care, good marks can be obtained without much trouble.

Input Output

  • Input Output Questions are not too difficult to answer. However, they take more time in the section than other questions.
  • Be careful not to forget any information (word/number) during input processing, because this is a common mistake that would certainly result in a defective output.

Read How to Prepare SBI PO Reasoning Ability?

Section 4: Quantitative Aptitude/Data Interpretation

The section on Quantitative Aptitude is usually of 35 marks with 35 questions. There is a provision for negative marking. With a smart approach, you can achieve full marks in this section. This is one section that demands a lot of practice. ‘Quantum CAT’ by Sarvesh K Verma is one of the best books for Quantitative Aptitude/Data Interpretation Preparation.

Important topics and strategies for Quantitative Aptitude/Data Interpretation:


  • Aspirants can answer quickly and easily the questions asked from this topic.
  • The exam poses very basic and easy questions.
  • Strong mental calculation skills are key to tackling these problems.
  • Students need to practice all forms of Simplification, including Surds and Indices, Decimals, Percentages, Squares and Square Roots, Cubes and Cube Roots.

Number Series

  • Questions from this topic come in a pattern.
  • The goal is to work out the pattern consistent with the questions.
  • Once the candidates find the pattern, the question can be easily solved.

Data Interpretation

  • The most difficult aspect of Quantitative Aptitude is data interpretation and analysis.
  • Candidates must have a clear understanding of every form of illustration to answer these questions.
  • They should regularly answer questions related to data interpretation and analysis.

Quadratic Equations

  • Questions from quadratic equations are not very complex.
  • Candidates ought to be certain of the formulas and their applicability to answer a particular problem.
  • To answer these questions candidates need to focus on their speed and accuracy.

Permutations and Combinations

  • Candidates must practice extensively.
  • Both Permutations and Combinations have their own resolving strategies.
  • Candidates need to concentrate first on permutations and then on combinations during their preparation.


  • Questions from probability can be of any type.
  • Often, candidates become puzzled when they see a really complicated question.
  • Aspirants must practice question papers from previous years and answer mock tests.

Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest

  • In the case of profit and loss questions, candidates may practice how to translate the statements into numbers or equations.
  • The statements given to the candidates must be converted to equations accurately.
  • They should be well versed with the formulas so that they can bring the appropriate values in place of various factors like interest rates, principal, and time.

Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, and Averages

  • Aspirants should read the questions closely.
  • They need to have strong mathematical skills in case of averages and percentages.

General Preparation Strategies for SBI PO 2020

  • SBI PO Exam Analysis would help candidates estimate the level of difficulty and the types of questions presented. Aspiring candidates may need to refer to it for effective and more targeted preparation.
  • Explore various section-wise training tips and tricks to help you clear the SBI PO test.
  • You must understand the exam pattern well before you begin your practice.
  • When you are well versed with the exam pattern, you will accurately know the SBI PO Syllabus to approach your preparation in the smart order.
  • Attempt as many mock exams and previous years’ question papers as possible for thorough practice. Analyze the results and work on your weak areas.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.