The SBI bank clerical exam is one of the most competitive exams in India. Though lakhs of candidates appear in the exam every year, only a few thousands are selected for this entry level job in SBI.

So, what does it take to outsmart your competitors? How should you prepare to score high in the written exam? What can bring you competitive edge in this banking exam?

Click here to Enroll SBI Clerck online test series to boost SBI Clerk 2014 preparation.


Though experts say that cracking the clerical level exam for banks are not much difficult, they suggest candidates to have a planned and consistent approach towards preparation strategy.


Careers360 here brings section-wise and overall exam preparation tips from coaching experts to help candidates accentuate their SBI exam preparation. According to coaching experts, a section-wise division of whole preparation for SBI Clerk exam can immensely help candidates qualify in the objective-type test. They also stress on the importance of clarity of concepts and efficient time management to succeed in banking job exam.


With lakhs of candidates appearing in the exam, making it one of the most competitive recruitment exam, experts opine that candidates need to have a planned preparation strategy for the last week and on the exam day as well to crack it.

“A proper assessment of one's strengths and weaknesses in the test areas will help an aspirant channelize his/her efforts in the required direction. Thus, proper application of the results of this self-analysis will ensure success across a number of bank exams. In addition to this, thorough preparation will go a long way in yielding the desired fruit,” says Mr. Manek N Daruvala, director at T.I.M.E.


Plan your Preparation in synch with SBI Clerk pattern

SBI Clerk Selection Process includes written test and Personal Interview (PI). The PI is conducted after the results of written exam are announced. According to the SBI Clerk Paper Pattern, the duration of the objective-type written test is 2 hour 15 minute. The paper with 200 questions is divided into five sections – General Awareness, General English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability and Marketing Aptitude/Computer Knowledge – carrying a total of 200 marks.


No of questions


General Awareness



General English



Quantitative Aptitude



Reasoning Ability



Marketing Aptitude/Computer Knowledge






Marking scheme: While each correct answer carries 1 mark,every wrong answer invites a penalty of 0.25 marks.

Section-wise SBI Clerk exam preparation plan

The syllabus of a banking job exam comprises five different sections and the right approach to get perfection in all these areas is to divide your preparation according to the sections. Further, work more on your weak areas and simultaneously continue practicing those subjects where you have a good hand. But be sure that you are not ignoring any of these sections and give equal importance to all the subjects.


“The written exam for the banks consists of sections on Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, General Awareness, English & Basic Computers and candidate has to qualify in each of the sections individually. So, if you are weak in any of the above sections, you should immediately start working on the same,” Mr. Anil Nagar, director of Career Power Institute.


How much weightage to different sections: Analyze weak points (section-wise) and on the basis of them, give weightage to every section. Equally you have to have perfection in every section but it doesn’t mean you should give equal weightage to each section in last month of preparation. Give more importance to sections which need to be strengthened.


Daily practice and revision: More or less, the last-month of preparation for this competitive exam is based on revision and practice. At this moment, candidates are suggested to be focused and selective with their studies. Instead of studying all the topics, they should try to strengthen their weaknesses and utilize their strengths in the best possible way.


Group exercise for General Awareness: Nothing is more effective for enhancing General Awareness than discussing various topics with others and allowing a two way communication to understand view points of other. Even with a small group of 5 students, you can do this daily exercise, where every student comes up with 10-20 questions for discussion. After a group discussion of an hour or so, you will be able to learn at least 50-100 GS questions a day which will remain in your memory for longer.


Read Newspapers for General Awareness, English, Marketing: You cannot afford to skip questions based on General Awareness and Current Affairs while preparing for the banking job exam. You have to be aware of what are the major happenings in your country and the world. You cannot avoid reading a newspaper. Apart from that, an English newspaper improves your English and enhances your Marketing knowledge.


“The candidates should read newspapers regularly. An English newspaper reading can help improve their General Awareness, Marketing knowledge and English language. The idea behind setting a question paper is that the candidates are Graduates and they must know the basics,” says Mr. Javed R Siddique, director at BSC Academy.


Daily Mathematics and Reasoning Practice: In areas like Mathematics and Reasoning, you should have clear concepts and strong fundamentals. Besides this, you need to have accuracy and speed to cover Mathematics and Reasoning portions. Your calculation skills must be strong. Daily practice is a must for all these sections. Consulting a few good reference books to learn short cut to solve questions and calculation techniques is also a good option.


Last-week preparation strategy for SBI Clerk exam

In the last week of preparation, the candidate should be focused and very selective in terms of subjects and topics to be revised and studied. Study only those subjects where you need to improve. Practice of a few hours a day will work. Solving previous test papers will help you build and maintain confidence.


Solve test papers: The candidate appearing for this exam should possess commendable speed and accuracy level for solving questions. You can continue with solving previous test papers to polish your skills at every level.


“These exams are speed and accuracy based so my suggestion to students is that they should first gain clarity on basic concepts of subjects/topics and then practice questions from previous year papers with a focus on their speed and accuracy,” Hanumant Sabharwal, director, SmartPrep India.


Get involved in recreational activities: This is the time when exam is approaching and stress is obvious. The candidates need to be involved in some recreational activities in order to bust exam stress. Play your favorite sport, watch your favorite movie and listen your favorite song. You can also opt to visit an amazing destination around the town.


Don’t forget it’s a digital age: In this age of digital revolution, when the banking job exams are coming up in their newest online avatar, regular practice and time management are the key to crack any competition exam. Candidates, pursuing a bank job, cannot skip computer awareness and marketing knowledge. You can be more concerned with these parts in the last week.


“Many candidates may face problem due to lack of fluency in online test format. Computer awareness and marketing knowledge are compulsory parts of the recruitment process, so, the candidate should be well-versed with basic operating knowledge of computers and basics of marketing and technology to keep up with the competition,” says Ms. Neetu Singh, founder and director of Paramount Coaching Centre.


SBI Clerk exam-taking strategy

You have already practiced a lot. You have solved a number of test papers before entering the examination hall. You are not nervous but full of confidence. Still, experts suggest following some basic test-taking rules in the examination hall.


Read question paper: The first thing you can do with your question paper is to read it carefully, calmly and patiently.


Divide time: You should divide your 2 hour and 15 minute time according to your section-wise strengths and weaknesses. Now, make sure what to attempt first and what to leave for the last.


Accuracy: You cannot compromise with accuracy at any cost. Concentrate and do it carefully. If needed, revise your calculation, etc.


Speed: Time management part has to be totally taken care. You cannot come out of the examination hall, leaving your paper half-done only because the time allotted was not enough for you.


Revise: Make sure some time has been left with you after completion of all the answers to revise them.


Know all about SBI Clerk

India’s largest bank State Bank of India, with over 13,000 branches across the country, announces over 5,000 clerical vacancies in its branches across the country. Out of the total vacancies, over 2000 vacancies are for General candidates. Other vacancies are reserved for candidates belonging from SC, ST, OBC categories. In past years, top three states allotted with highest vacancies were Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.


SBI releases online Admit Card for written exam for the eligible candidates who apply for the computer-based exam in the respective year. The Result of the written exam is announced generally after two months of exam.


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Questions related to SBI Clerk

Showing 136 out of 136 Questions

tamil nadu vacancy for exservice man cut off sbi clerk , preliminary and main exam 2019 and 2020

Sanjay Khandelwal 14th Feb, 2020
Hello sir
The cut off of 2019 SBI clerk for preliminary examination was 61.25 that was for UR, ex servicemen's data is not available for 2019, for 2018  the state cut off for ex servicemen's in preliminary exam was 32.25 and in mains examination was 60.25 for Tamil Nadu . I will try to get 2019 data from other sources for ex servicemen's.

sir Exserviceman cut off mark for sbi clerk exampreliminary and main exam on 2019 and 2020

Sanjay Khandelwal 14th Feb, 2020
Sir can you tell me in which state you are applying or applied. Because cut off for preliminary exam of SBI clerk is based on state wise and also please mention the state you have chosen according to that I will be able to provide you the details. For example servicemen's in 2018 it was 60.15.

how to prepare for the sbi clerk? nd I dont have enough time? plzz suggest me?

Swati Umang 9th Feb, 2020

Hello! Hope you are doing good.

In order to clear any exam, the most important part is clearing the current affairs apart. So, revise as much current affairs as you can.

Also, at this point of time you should start giving mock tests or previous year's appears. This will help in trying to figure out the places where you lack.

Time management is the key in competitive exams so make sure to start giving previous year's test papers. Don't think about whether or not you know the topics or have revised. Everything will be good, once you strt giving test.

All the best


i appeared for the cat but my overall percentile was not so i m planning for the feb mat nd mah cet.but i have also applied for the sbi what should i do? should i preparing for the sbi clerk nd give up mat preparation? plzz suggest me?

Sampriti Student Expert 3rd Feb, 2020
You should appear for MAT and MAH CET. Just get some idea about what kind of questions are asked. If you score really well you can get a decent college which can build your career. But at the same time if you're thinking about SBI clerk then you must keep it also as an option. If you get through the interview you can definitely join and prepare for CAT alongside. It's always better to keep more options to choose from. There's not very much difference between the syllabus of SBI clerk and MAT/MAH CET. Only the banking awareness section of SBI is a little different but is easier to deal with. So you must appear for all the exams.

Good Luck

if i appear for SBI CLERK and get selected then can i appear for the subsequent SBI PO exam or is there any kind of restriction?

Shristi Kirti 27th Feb, 2020

Hello Nupur,

You can definitely appear for SBI PO examination even if you have got selected for the SBI Clerk exam. Not only this, you can appear for any other examination if you wish to. There is no such restrictions on it.

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