SBI PO Prelims Syllabus 2021, Important Topics, Exam Pattern and Books

Updated On -

May 31, 2021

The State Bank of India organises the Probationary Officer (PO) exam to complete the recruitment for the managerial cadre position. SBI PO Syllabus 2021 is stipulated by the exam conducting authority, the conducting body of the exam. The SBI PO Result will be issued by the authorities 2-3 months after the exam. 

Download SBI PO Previous Years’ Question Papers

SBI PO Syllabus

SBI PO Prelims Exam-Topic-wise Syllabus

SBI PO Prelims syllabus consists of three sections:

Sections Number of Questions Maximum Marks Time Duration
English Language 30 30 20 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 20 Minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 Minutes
Total 100 100 1 Hour

SBI PO Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

The aspirants should have clear knowledge about basic Mathematics. The section examines the Mathematical and Analytical ability of the aspirants. Candidates must attempt questions that they find easy to solve, less time consuming and most importantly, scoring. To help candidates identify those concepts we are providing here a list of topics which can be solved easily in short span of time:

Topics No. of Questions Topic Description
Simplification 5-10 BODMAS rule, fractions, approximation, decimals and surds & indices
Number System 0-1 Divisibility & remainder, multiples & factors, integers, LCM & HCF
Average 1-2 Average weight//age/marks, average money expenditure, average temperature etc.
Percentage 1-2 Calculation oriented basic percentage problems
Ratio and Proportion 1-2 Simple ratios, compound ratios, componendo and dividendo, proportions
Interest 1-2 Simple interest, compound interest as well as mixture of both SI & CI
Number Series 3-5 Simple AP, GP, AGP or more complex patterns
Profit and Loss 0-2 Successive selling, partnerships, discount & MP and dishonest dealings
Speed, Time and Distance 1-2 Relative speed, average speed, problems based on trains, boats and stream
Algebra 3-5 Problems based on quadratic equation and linear equations
Mensuration 1-2 Areas of square, rectangle, circle, semicircle and parallelogram
Data Interpretation 5-10 Line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, tables and other miscellaneous infographics- triangular graph and radial graphs appear rarely
Mixture Problems - Mixture of two or more entities
Permutation and Combination Probability Data Sufficiency can be based on all the above-mentioned topics - -

SBI PO Reasoning Ability Syllabus

Reasoning ability is to judge a candidate’s ability to apply reason in solving a particular problem.The candidate must begin with solving some easy questions to secure those marks at least without wasting much time on them. Here is the list of topics under this category:

Topics No. of Questions Topic Description
Coding & Decoding 1-5 Coding and decoding by letter shifting, coding by analogy and coding letters of a word
Inequalities 3-5 Direct mathematical inequalities problems
Ordering and Ranking 1-3 Arranging by age, floor, rank, the order in row etc.
Directions & Distances 0-2 Simple problems that can be solved by just plotting all the given information on paper.
Arrangement & Pattern 0-2 Random sequence of alphabets, number arrangements and dictionary or alphabet-based arrangements
Analogy 0-2 Meaning based, letter-based and number-based questions
Classification 0-2 Letter-based and meaningful words based questions- can also be GK based
Syllogisms 5 Problems with numerous statements and multiple conclusions can be dealt with. Questions are asked whether the conclusions follow or not. Mostly possibility based questions will be asked.
Blood Relations 1-3 Question-related to family and coded blood relation
Input-Output 0-5 Words and numbers are arranged based on some pattern which is to be identified and applied to the question statements to arrive at the output.
Data Sufficiency 0-5 Blood relations, ordering & ranking, coding in fictitious language, circular arrangements, directions & distances, ages & birthdates
Circular Seating Arrangement 5 This concept basically includes unidirectional and bi-directional problems (i.e. facing inside, outside or in both directions). Sometimes, tough square/rectangular/hexagonal table problems also asked. These questions may be paired with blood relations or some other double line-up information along with circular arrangement information which makes the problem more difficult and time-consuming.
Scheduling 0-5 The problems in this category are very similar to double line-up problems
Grouping and Selection 0-5 Problems on teams and committees asked under this category
Verbal Reasoning 0-2 Cause and effect, course of action, statement and assumptions, statement and arguments, statement and inferences, statement and conclusions, and critical reasoning questions

SBI PO English Language Syllabus

The third concept in the SBI Preliminary examination is that of the English Language. Here are several topics that will be covered in this concept:

Topics No. of Questions Topic Description
Fill in the Blanks 5 Double blank type questions. Vocabulary based questions. Answers can be easily picked by eliminating options and understanding the context of the sentence
Reading Comprehension 10-15 Likely the RC will consist of one passage of 10 questions, including 3-4 questions on vocabulary. The topics you should look out for are moral stories, banking & economy, business, education, technology and social issues. Synonyms, antonyms and meanings of phrases will be asked in vocabulary-based questions. Theme and main idea based questions can also be asked.
Para Jumbles 5 A set of 6 sentences will be given to be rearranged and form a meaningful paragraph. All questions will be based on this single test.
Cloze Test 5-10 A single passage with 5 or 10 blanks. Passage could be on any topic ranging from banking & economy to social issues. Words are usually easy to moderate, but there are always one or two tough words.
Error Spotting 5 Questions in this category could be asked either from the grammar or vocabulary section. Important topics covered under this are tenses, subject-verb agreement, article-noun agreement, correct part of speech, correct use of prepositions, parallelism, phrasal verbs, easily confusable words, contextual usage, sentence construction, degree of comparison, conjunctions, finite and non-finite verbs.
Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction 5 Mostly grammar-based- The questions sometimes test a candidate's standard construction of sentences, the order of words etc.
Phrase Idiom Meaning - The phrases will be given and the candidate will need to select the correct meaning of the given phrase
Sentence/ Paragraph Completion - Candidates will be given an incomplete long sentence with four options to choose from to complete the sentence meaningfully.
Spellings - Candidates will have to choose the word that is correctly spelt or wrongly spelt from the given options.

Read Detailed SBI PO 2021 Selection Process

Preparation Books

SBI PO Exam: Best Books for Preparation

SBI PO syllabus is vast and the competition is high. To secure the SBI PO Cutoff of each phase of exam, the aspirants should plan and follow an effective preparation strategy before appearing for the SBI PO Exam. As a result, it will help the aspirants to understand the SBI PO exam pattern and the syllabus of the exam. In addition, all the aspirants are requested to choose the study books wisely and read thoroughly for preparing the exam. In addition, the aspirants should also read newspapers, journals and magazines to enhance the grammatical skills and knowledge in current affairs.



Ques. Is SBI PO Prelims scores counted in the final merit list?

Ans. The SBI PO Prelims scores is considered only for shortlisting the candidates for SBI PO Mains exam. The final merit list considers only the SBI PO Mains and Interview scores.

Ques. Is there any negative marking in the SBI PO exam?

Ans. Yes, the aspirants will get a deduction of 0.25 marks in case of every wrong answer.

Ques. Is there any sectional cutoff for each section in the SBI PO Exam?

Ans. No, the State Bank of India has removed the Sectional Cutoff for SBI PO Prelims and Mains examination.

Ques. When can I apply for the SBI PO exam 2021?

Ans. Once the notification is released, the aspirants can apply for the SBI PO 2021 from the official website.

Ques. What is the marking scheme of SBI PO exam 2021?

  • Prelims will be 100 marks exam
  • Mains will be 250 marks exam
  • GD and PI will be 50 marks exams.
3 Months Crash Course

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


bhagyashri kene
Can you tell me the expected date for the SBI PO exam?
jaya garg

Hi. The dates for the SBI PO 2021 are not yet scheduled, the dates will be announced only after the release of notification. For more information, candidates can refer to the official portal as all the latest information is posted there.

ammar zaheer ahmed
I am a BA Arts, am I applicable to give the SBI PO exams?
jaya garg

Hi. Yes, a BA graduate can apply for SBI exam. In order to give the SBI PO exams, you just need to have a graduation degree in any discipline from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized by the Central Government.

sheetal chib
I am B. Arch student, can I apply for the SBI PO exam?
jaya garg

Hi. Yes, B. Arch students are eligible to apply for the SBI PO exam. Any candidate who has completed his/her graduation program from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized by the Central Government can apply. No specific degree requirement is there.

mohammed najamuddin
Is Reading Comprehension important, how many questions are asked?
jaya garg

Hi. Almost 10-15 questions come from this section. Likely the RC consist of one passage of 10 questions, which include 3-4 questions related to vocabulary. The topics one must look out for are moral stories, banking & economy, business, education, technology and social issues. Synonyms, antonyms, etc.

sadim ansari
Is SBI PO Exam vast?
jaya garg

Hi. SBI PO syllabus is huge and the competition level is high. To secure the SBI PO Cutoff of each phase of exam, candidates can plan and follow an effective preparation strategy before appearing for the SBI PO Exam. More details related to SBI PO Exam: Best Books for Preparation are here.

lakshay kakkar
What kind of questions are asked in Fill in the Blanks?
jaya garg

Hi. Questions related to Double blank type questions, Vocabulary based questions are asked in the exam. Answers can be easily picked by eliminating options and understanding the context of the sentence.