SBI PO 2020 Syllabus, Important Topics, Exam Pattern and Books

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Aug 29, 2020

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Anam Shams

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SBI PO 2020 Syllabus is stipulated by State Bank of India, the conducting body of the exam. Based on the topics in syllabus of SBI PO 2020, the question paper for the exam will be set. Syllabus and difficulty level of Prelims and Mains exam vary. Check SBI PO 2020 Exam Pattern 

Go through the SBI PO Practice Tests for free during the preparation time before the exam

Before starting the preparation, it is important to have complete knowledge about the type of questions and topics that are frequently asked in the exam. Even though SBI PO 2020 syllabus is similar to the other banking exams, it focuses more on Quantitative Ability Section and Computer Aptitude. Read Preparation Plan for SBI PO 2020 

Prepp Test Series
Preparing according to the syllabus of the exam will help candidates to score good marks in the exam. Read through the article to get details of syllabus along with best recommended books but firstly take a quick look at the exam Pattern.

Download SBI PO Previous Years’ Question Papers 

SBI PO 2020 Exam Pattern for Prelims Exam

Here is a table to analyze exam pattern for the preliminary exam:

Duration of Examination 1 hour 
Types of questions Multiple Choice Questions
Maximum Marks 100 marks
Total number of questions 100 questions
Marking scheme 1 mark each for every correct answer
Negative marking A quarter of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted
Mode of examination English/ Hindi Language

Section-wise Pattern for SBI PO Prelims Exam

Section Name No. of Questions Total Marks Sectional Duration
English Language 30 30 20 minutes
Quantitative Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 questions 100 marks 60 minutes

SBI PO 2020 Exam Pattern for Main Exam

  • The exam has objective type questions along with the descriptive test.
  • The descriptive section tests English proficiency of the candidate. It is 30 minutes online test carrying a weightage of 50 marks.
  • There are questions based on letter and essay writing. Below table describes the exam pattern for SBI Mains :
Section Objective Test Descriptive Test
Duration of the examination 3 hours or 180 minutes 30 minutes
Number of questions 155 questions Letter Writing/ Essay Writing
Maximum marks 200 marks 50 marks
Negative Marking Quarter of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted Not applicable
Mode of examination Hindi and English (Hindi will not be applicable for English language section) English

Section-wise Pattern for Main Objective Paper:

Section Total Questions Maximum Marks Sectinal Duration 
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 60
Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45
General Awareness (Economy & Banking) 40 40 35
English Language 35 40 40
Total 155 Questions 200 Marks 3 hours

SBI PO Group Discussion & Interview Pattern

  • Candidates who qualify SBI PO Main Exam, appear for the Group Exercise and Personal Interview rounds.
  • Marks for Group Exercise round are 20.
  • Marks for Personal Interview round are 30.

Check Complete SBI PO 2020 Exam Pattern

SBI PO Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude 

Candidate 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:

  1. Simplification: (5-10 Questions)
  • This include problems based on BODMAS rule, fractions, approximation, decimals and surds & indices.
  1. Number System: (0-1 Questions)
  • It is based on problems related to divisibility & remainder, multiples & factors, integers, LCM & HCF.
  1. Average: (1-2 Questions)
  • Questions on average weight/height/age/marks, average money expenditure, average temperature etc. will be asked from this topic.
  1. Percentage: (1-2 Questions)
  • There will be calculation oriented basic percentage problems.
  1. Ratio and Proportion: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on simple ratios, compound ratios, componendo and dividendo, proportions etc. can be expected from this topic under Quantitative aptitude.
  1. Interest: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on simple interest, compound interest as well as mixture of both SI & CI are commonly asked in SBI PO examinations.
  1. Number Series: (3-5 Questions)
  • Problems based on completing the series, finding the missing term, finding the wrong term. The concepts behind this can be based on simple AP, GP, AGP or more complex patterns.

Next set of topics can be tricky sometimes but if candidate is clear with concepts, they can easily score in it as well. These topics include:

  1. Profit and Loss: (0-2 Questions)
  • Questions like successive selling, partnerships, discount & MP and dishonest dealings are commonly asked from profit and loss topic.
  1. Speed, Time and Distance: (1-2 Questions)
  • 1 or 2 questions can be asked on relative speed, average speed, problems based on trains, boats and stream.
  1. Algebra: (3-5 Questions)
  • Problems based on quadratic equations in which two quadratic equations are given and we have to determine the relation between x and y. Linear equations questions based on ages may be asked, Sometimes Inequalities are also asked.
  1. Mensuration: (1-2 Questions)
  • Problems based on areas of square, rectangle, circle, semicircle and parallelogram. Questions pertaining to cone and cylinder can also be asked.
  1. Data Interpretation: (5-10 Questions)
  • Problems that fall in this category are line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, tables and other miscellaneous info graphics. Triangular graph & radar graph problems appear rarely. Missing data types questions are also asked in the SBI PO examination.

Finally, candidate must attempt questions that are tough and likely to get inaccurate answers. These questions are highly time consuming. Following are the concepts that fall in this category:

  • Time and Work: Problems based on work efficiency, pipe & cistern, work and wages can be asked.
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Mixture Problems: Problems based on making a mixture of two or more entities/mixtures.
  • Probability: Basic questions are asked from probability section.
  • Data Sufficiency: Data sufficiency problems are based on almost all topics mentioned above.

Practice as much as possible Previous years questions papers to know more about the exam pattern of SBI PO 2020 

Read How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for SBI PO?

SBI PO Books for Quantitative Aptitude Preparation 

Book Name Author/Publisher
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R S Aggarwal
Shortcuts in Quantitative Aptitude with 4 eBooks for Competitive Exams Disha Experts
Bank PO Quantitative Aptitude Chapterwise Solved Papers Arihant Experts
Chapterwise Solved Papers 2000-2015 Bank PO QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE Arihant Experts

SBI PO Syllabus 2020 for Reasoning Ability 

Reasoning ability is to judge candidate’s ability to apply reason in solving a particular problem. 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:

  1. Coding & Decoding: (1-5 Questions)
  • Mostly questions include coding and decoding by letter shifting, coding by analogy and coding letters of a word.
  1. Inequalities: (3-5 Questions)
  • Mostly direct mathematical inequalities problems are asked in the inequalities concept.
  • There may be a single statement or 2-3 complex statements. There may be 2-4 conclusions which can be extracted from these statements.
  1. Ordering and Ranking: (1-3 Questions)
  • Several questions on arranging by age, floor, rank, order in row etc. can also be asked.
  1. Directions & Distances: (0-2 Questions)
  • Simple problems that can be solved by just plotting all the given information on paper.
  • The questions under this concept are rarely asked in SBI PO examination.
  1. Arrangement & Pattern: (0-2 Questions)
  • Questions related to this topic are less likely to appear in SBI PO examination.
  • However, if asked, then questions on random sequence of alphabets, number arrangements and dictionary or alphabet based arrangements etc. can be thrown at candidate.
  1. Analogy: (0-2 Questions)
  • This includes meaning based, letter based and number based questions.
  1. Classification: (0-2 Questions)
  • These questions are also less likely to appear and includes letter based and meaningful words based questions.
  • GK based and number based questions can also be asked.

Questions from the following topics can be asked which would not be difficult to answer if the concepts are clear. The topics that can be categorized in this section are:

  1. Syllogisms: (5 Questions)
  • 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.
  1. Blood Relations: (1-3 Questions)
  • As the name suggests, questions pertaining to family tree and coded blood relation will be asked in this category.
  1. Input-Output: (0-5 Questions)
  • Words and numbers are arranged based on some pattern which is to be identified and applied on the question statements to arrive at the output.
  1. Data Sufficiency: (0-5 Questions)
  • Questions on various topics including blood relations, ordering & ranking, coding in fictitious language, circular arrangements, directions & distances, ages & birthdates can be asked as per the observations made from previous SBI PO examinations.

Check Sectional Tests for Prelims before appearing the SBI PO 2020 Exam

Lastly, questions that can be tricky and time consuming will be asked from the following topics:

  1. Circular Seating Arrangement: (5 Questions)
  • This concept basically includes uni-directional 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.
  1. Linear Seating Arrangement: (5 Questions)
  • Problems involving single row or 2 rows facing each other are given under this category.
  • It can include double line-up type problems with information sorting.
  1. Double Line Up: (0-5 Questions)
  • These problems are usually negatively informed so, candidate is required to attempt clean charting, proper technique and step-by-step solving of the problem.
  1. Scheduling: (0-5 Questions)
  • Questions in this category are less likely to appear.
  • The problems in this category are very similar to double line-up problems.
  1. Grouping and Selection: (0-5 Questions)
  • These are the questions that are less likely to appear.
  • Problems on teams and committees asked under this category.
  1. Verbal Reasoning: (0-2 Questions)
  • Cause and effect, course of action, statement and assumptions, statement and arguments, statement and inferences, statement and conclusions and critical reasoning questions are possible.

Read How to Prepare Reasoning Ability for SBI PO?

SBI PO Books for Reasoning Preparation 

Book Name Author/Publisher
Bank PO Reasoning: Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 to till Date 7330+Objective Questions  Think Tank of Kiran Prakashan, Pratiyogita Kiran, KICX
Bank PO Reasoning Chapterwise Solved Papers Arihant Experts
Chapterwise Solved Papers 2000-2015 Bank PO REASONING Arihant Experts
Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams (Objective with Subjective) Soumya Ranjan Behera

Check Sectional Tests- Mains during the preparation time of SBI PO 2020

SBI PO Syllabus 2020 for the English Language

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:

  1. Fill in the Blanks: (5 Questions)
  • Double blank type questions.
  • Vocabulary based questions.
  • Answers can be easily picked by eliminating options and understanding context of the sentence.
  1. Reading Comprehension: (10-15 Questions)
  • 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.
  • The fact based and inference based questions require a thorough reading of the passage and sometimes could be a bit tricky.
  1. Para Jumbles: (5 Questions)
  • 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.
  • Sometimes, the correct order is asked.
  • The passage can be on any general topic.
  1. Cloze Test: (5-10 Questions)
  • 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 is always one or two tough words.
  • Understanding the context of the passage will help candidate to solve it easily.
  1. Error Spotting: (5 Questions)
  • Questions in this category could be asked either from 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. 
  1. Phrase Replacement/ Sentence Correction: (5 Questions)
  • Mostly grammar based.
  • Candidate must avoid guessing too much in these questions.
  • The questions sometimes test candidate’s standard construction of sentences, order of words etc.
  1. Phrase Idiom Meaning
  • To attempt this topic candidate must be sound with interpretation of given phrase idiom.
  • The phrases will be given and will need to select the correct meaning of the given phrase.
  1. Spellings
  • Candidate will have to choose the word that is correctly spelt or wrongly spelt from the given options.
  1. Sentence/ Paragraph Completion
  • Candidate will be given an incomplete long sentence with four options to choose from to complete the sentence meaningfully.

Take a look of the questions pattern of SBI PO 2019 for getting an idea about the exam thoroughly

Read How to Prepare English Language for SBI PO?

SBI PO Books for English Preparation

Book Name Author/Publisher
Bank PO English Language Chapterwise Solved Papers Arihant Experts
Objective English for Competitive Examination Hari Mohan Prasad, Uma Sinha
Objective General English (Old Edition) R S Aggarwal

SBI PO Syllabus 2020 for Computer Knowledge 

  • Basics of Computer
  • Hardware and software
  • Operating system
  • MS Word and MS Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Generation of Computer
  • The internet, etc.
  • Short forms (Eg. Jpeg, mp3, pdf)
  • Android and Apple related news

SBI PO 2020 General Awareness Syllabus 

  • News related to RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and other Banks
  • Awareness regarding Union, State and Railway Budget
  • Economics
  • Current Affairs- A candidate must be aware of National and International awards, sports, author and books, summits, etc.

SBI PO Marketing Syllabus 

  • Basics of Marketing and its strategies
  • Market Segmentation and Management
  • Marketing Mix and Products Life Cycle
  • Developing stage of organization
  • Brand and Advertising
  • 4 P’s and 4 C’s of marketing

SBI PO 2020 Descriptive Test Syllabus

This is Level 2 in the Main exam of SBI PO. It  will commence immediately after candidates completes objective test. Listed below are the highlights of SBI PO descriptive test.

  • The exam is conducted in online mode i.e. candidates are alloted a desktop in which they are supposed to type their annswers.
  • Candidates are given 30 minutes to complete Descriptive paper
  • There are a total of 2 questions in this section namely Letter writing and Essay Writing
  • The letter and essay could be asked to be written on any topic relating to banking reforms, social/political or economic policies.
  • Each question is of 25 marks which brings the total marks to 50.

Note: Descriptive paper of a candidate will be checked only if they qualifies in the Objective test as per the qualifying marks decided by the Bank.

SBI PO 2020 Group Discussion/ Interview syllabus

Topics for Group Exercise and Personal Interview
Is right to freedom being misused? Cleanliness should be the fundamental duty of every citizen.
What are the merits and de-merits of One Rank One Pension scheme? What measures should be adopted for avoiding NPA?
SBI Merger: Pros and cons? What do you think about reservations in education and jobs?
How is Swaach Bharat Abhiyan currently important for India?

NSG is the need of the hour for India.

Rail budget should have merged into general budget much earlier. Women employment is possible through mass awareness rather than launching programs.
Is government just renaming the old schemes? Wind power Vs Solar Energy?

Read Detailed SBI PO 2020 Selection Process

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


srishti thakur
sangeeta rawat
Hi Srishti, Please check this link, it will help you for the preparation of PO test Practice Papers
Sir / Madam , Does SBI comes under IBPS? or not.
bhawna vedwal
Hello Likitha, No, IBPS PO is different from SBI PO. They both exam conducted separately.