SBI PO Preliminary Exam Strategy - D-day Tips

Published on Friday, June 19, 2015
Any battle fought without strategy is the slowest route to defeat. As SBI Exam admit cards are already out. Yesterday one of my regular asked me to write a perfect exam strategy for SBI PO Preliminary exam. So today I am writing down the detailed exam strategy :-

Expected exam question types

Quantitative Aptitude

  • 2 Data interpretation sets ( 10-15 marks)
  • Arithmetic (Time and work, time and distance, Simple and compound interest, Profit and loss ) - 8-12 marks
  • Algebra - 2-3 marks
  • Probability (Including permutation and combinations) - 2-3 marks


  • Seating arrangement (5 marks)
  • Inequalities (5 marks)
  • Machine input output (5 marks)
  • Puzzle (5 marks)
  • Data sufficiency (5 marks)


  • Reading comprehensions (10 marks)
  • Synonyms, antonyms and vocabulary - 3-4 marks
  • Para jumbles - 5 marks
  • Cloze test - 5-7 marks
  • Spotting grammatical errors - 4-5 marks

Time Management :-

Section Ideal Time allottment Ideal attempt
Quantitative Aptitude 20 mins (+-5) 17-20
Reasoning 20 mins (+-5) 17-20
English 20 mins (+-5) 22-25


First 20 minutes

Start the exam with Quantitative aptitude. It is relatively easy to solve two Data interpretation sets within 10 than solving 10 arithmetic questions within same time.

Never skip Partnership, Simplification, Simple and compound interest and Time and work questions, you can solve any question from these chapter within minute.

Next 20 minutes

It is near to impossible to solve 35 reasoning questions within 20 minutes. An average student can attempt maximum 20 questions. If you have decided to attempt 28-30 questions from Reasoning section, then change your strategy. Aim for 100% accuracy. Give adequate time to every question which you are attempting.

Last 20 minutes

I kept English at last because most of the readers will burn at least 44-45 minutes in above two section.

You might have heard of candidates who cracked a competitive exam with 1 month or 15 days preparation. What is the secret of their success ?

English language is the secret to their success. You can attempt 30 questions from this section within 15 minutes. This is not possible in case of Quantitative aptitude and Reasoning.
  • 2 Reading comprehensions (10 minutes)
  • Spitting grammatical errors, cloze test, synonyms, antonyms etc ( 10 minutes)
  • Para jumbles (Skip it else you will burn at least 10 minutes on them)

Mantra to success in this exam is to skip all the difficult questions you face without even spending 20 seconds on it.

Tips before D-day

  • Solve at least 10 questions from each chapter in the last week before the exam
  • Take any test series. I recommend you to take free full length tests from, you can also download free model papers in PDF format but why not to take online exam if it is free.
  • Revise QT cheatsheet
  • Revise basic grammar rules

Expected Cutoff

Expected cut-off for SBI PO Preliminary exam is 45-46. Don't get demotivated if you are scoring less than 50 in the model papers.

Don't panic in the exam. If you can't solve 65 questions within 60 minutes, Fine. Attempt only 50 with 100% accuracy.

Take a Free SBI PO Online Test

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ramandeep singh

Hey I am Ramandeep Singh. I am determined to help students preparing for RBI, SEBI, NABARD and IBPS exams. Do you want me to help you ?

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