SBI Clerk 2021 Exam Pattern for Prelims and Mains

Updated On -

May 3, 2021

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Exams Prepmaster

SBI Clerk exam is conducted once every year by the State Bank of India to recruit Junior Associates pan India. The SBI Clerk is conducted in two stages and a local language test after qualifying the mains.

You need a minimum educational qualification of Graduation to meet SBI Clerk Eligibility criteria. The exam pattern and syllabus are such that you must have accuracy and speed in order to ace the exam.

Both prelims and mains are conducted online and hence, basic computer aptitude is elemental for this exam. While preparing for the exam, candidates should study the previous years' papers of the SBI Clerk exam.

Latest Update:

  • The dates for the SBI Clerk 2021 are out. The applications have already been filled.
  • The Prelims are supposed to be February or March.
  • The Mains are on April 19, 2021.
  • SBI authorities have released more than 8000+ vacancies.
Clerk Highlights

SBI Clerk 2021- Important Highlights

Particulars Details
Mode of Exam Online
Stages in SBI Clerk exam 2: Preliminary and Mains
Sections Preliminary Exam: 3
Mains Exam: 4
Total Questions Preliminary: 100
Mains: 190
Maximum Marks Preliminary: 100
Mains: 200
Negative Marking 1/4th of the allotted marks.
Duration of Test Preliminary: 1 Hour
Mains: 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Clerk Exam Pattern

SBI Clerk 2021 Exam Pattern

Prelims Exam

There are 3 sections in the exam – Reasoning Ability, English Language and Numerical Ability. The time span of all the sections is 20 minutes each. The marks obtained in the preliminary exam are just the qualifying marks for the main exam, it does not offer any type of employment.

Section Number of Questions Marks Duration
Numerical Ability 35 35 20 Minutes
English Language 30 30 20 Minutes
Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude 35 35 20 Minutes
Total 100 100 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Each correct answer consists of 1 mark.
  • Each incorrect answer deducts 0.25 marks.

Mains Exam

SBI Clerk Mains have a similar pattern like SBI Clerk Prelims but the difficulty level is usually higher for the second stage. There are four topics, namely- Finance and General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude, General English and General Reasoning and Computer Aptitude. The syllabus is primarily based on 10+2 level subjects. The SBI Clerk 2021 Mains Exam is scheduled for April 19, 2021.

Section No. of Questions Marks Duration
General/Financial Awareness 50 50 35 min
General English 40 40 35 min
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45 min
Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude 50 60 45 min
Total 190 200 160 minutes (2 hours and 40 minutes)

The following are few crucial points regarding the SBI Clerk Mains exam which you must keep in mind in order to make the most of the preparation time as well as the exam duration.

  • The exam duration is 2 hours and 40 minutes
  • There are a total of 190 questions that have to be solved within the allotted time. There are section-wise time duration as well for the Mains.
  • The total marks is 200. For each wrong answer there will be a negative marking of 1/4th of the allotted marks.
Topic-wise weightage

SBI Clerk Topic-wise weightage

SBI Clerk Mains have four sections that should be prepared. If you are aware of the topic-wise marks weightage for all these sections, the preparation becomes much easier. The following are the tables depicting the marks weightage that you can expect for certain topics, and plan the preparation schedule accordingly.

General/ Financial Awareness

Financial and general awareness questions generally are based on the relevant events that have happened over the past three to four months. You should be prepared with the current affairs till date but the news at least 1- 1.5 months before the exam is extremely important.

Reasoning and Computer Aptitude

Important Topic Number of questions
Syllogism 5
Inequality 3
Seating Arrangement (Circular – Inward Outward) 5
Linear Arrangement (North-South) 5
Puzzle – Floor based 5
Coding-Decoding 3- 5
Miscellaneous Qs 2 – 3
Data Sufficiency 3- 4

Quantitative Aptitude

Important Topic Questions/Sets Difficulty Level
Number series 5 Moderate
Data Interpretation (Tabular /Bar Graph / Pie Chart / Missing DI) 2 (10 questions in each set) Easy to Moderate
Simplification 10 Easy to Moderate
Quadratic Equation 5 Easy
Data Sufficiency 5 Easy
Miscellaneous Questions 15 Moderate

General English

Important Topic Questions/Sets Difficulty Level
Reading Comprehension 1 set (10 questions in each set) Moderate
Cloze Test 10 Moderate
Para jumbles 5 Moderate
Sentence Improvement 5 Easy
Spotting Error 5 Moderate
Fill ups 5 Easy to Moderate
Language Test

SBI Clerk 2021 Local language Test

The local language test is conducted for candidates who have qualified the Mains. It is based on the local language you have chosen during SBI Clerk Application and registration. However, the exam is only mandatory if you are unable to produce your class 10 mark sheet or have not appeared for it. Those who have the mark sheet and the required marks can skip the exam. If you are unable to qualify the local language test, you will be disqualified from the recruitment process.

Pre-Exam Training

SBI Clerk 2021 Pre-Examination Training

SBI might arrange pre-examination training for SC/ST/XS/Religious Minority Community at different centers. The guidelines for the same will be decided by the Government of India. If the candidates belonging to the mentioned category are ready to apply for the training at their own cost, they may apply under the relevant column while applying online at the official website.

Since the exam dates are out, it is essential that the students know all about the exam pattern thoroughly to avoid any sort of confusion on the day of the exam.

Clerk FAQs


Ques: Is the exam pattern mentioned in the official notification of the SBI Clerk?

Ans. Yes, the exam pattern is mentioned in detail in the official notification released for SBI Clerk.

Quest: When will be the Pre-Examination Training conducted?

Ans. There is no official notice regarding the dates of Pre-Examination Training as of yet. However, they are generally conducted within a month before the exams.

Quest Where can I find the list of centers for Pre-Examination Training?

Ans. The list of centers for the Pre-Examination Training has not been released by the authorities of SBI yet.

Ques: Which topics have the most weightage in the reasoning ability section?

Ans. There are at least 10-15 questions from the ‘Puzzles’ section hence, it has the maximum marks weightage.

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

3 Months Crash Course

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


Is there negative marking in SBI Clerk Prelims & Mains?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. Yes, there will be a negative marking for wrong answers in the preliminary and mains exams. 1/4th of the mark assigned for the question will be deducted for each wrong answer. You can get latest exam pattern here.

arushi thankur
Are there any changes in Exam Pattern?
kavita rani

Hi Arushi. The questions asked in mains are objective type, except for the test of General English, will be bilingual i.e., English & Hindi. There will be negative marks for wrong answers in the Objective tests. 1/4th of mark assigned for question will be deducted for each wrong answer. SBI Clerk exam is taken in two stages and a local language test after qualifying the mains. Check out the latest exam pattern here.

Will SBI Clerk 2020 exam be online or offline?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. Both, the prelims and Mains examination for SBI Clerk are conducted online.

Is there any penalty for marking wrong answers in SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains Exam 2020?
kavita rani

Hi Sameer. There are negative marks for wrong answers given in the preliminary and mains exams. 1/4th of the mark assigned for the question will be deducted for each wrong answer.  So enusre that you mark the correct options to get a good score in the exam.

mohammed najamuddin
If a candidate fails in one test but acquires standard score, will the candidate be issued score card?
kavita rani

Hi Mohammed. No, you will not get a score card.

Are the Prelims & Mains of SBI Clerk bilingual?
kavita rani

Hi Priya. Yes, the SBI Clerk Question Paper is set in bilingual language including Hindi and English.