SBI PO Exam Pattern

Exam Pattern 2021

SBI PO Exam Pattern

Being among the most awaited jobs, SBI offers great opportunities for career growth and thus the SBI exam cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, it is advisable to be aware of the exam format and exam pattern of SBI PO to avoid any errors later. The SBI PO exam 2021 will be conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1 - Prelims Exam.
  • Phase 2 - Mains Exam.
  • Phase 3 - Interview / Group Exercise & Interview.

Phase 3 will be decided according to the current pandemic situation. The existing Covid scenario will be the main factor in deciding if there will only be an Interview or there will also be a Group Exercise along with it. After all the phases of SBI PO are completed, the final list of the selected candidates will be released.

Prelims Exam Pattern

The SBI PO Prelims 2021 will be an online test consisting of three sections - English Language, Reasoning Ability and Numerical Ability respectively, not in any fixed order. You do not have any option to switch to another section in between unless the time for that section is exhausted.

SL. No.Name of TestNo. of QuestionsMarksDuration
1. English Language 30 100 20 Minutes
2. Quantitative Aptitude 35 20 Minutes
3. Reasoning Ability 35 20 Minutes
Total 100 100 1 hour

  • There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for every incorrect answer. It means that for one incorrect answer, one-fourth of the marks allotted to that question will be deducted.
  • There is no sectional cut-off in the SBI PO Prelims. The overall score in all three sections will be considered for selection.

Mains Exam Pattern 

Once the SBI PO exam for Prelims is over, those who are able to qualify will appear in the SBI PO Mains exam. The SBI PO Mains exam will consist of 4 sections:English Language, Data Analysis & Interpretation, Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude and General / Economy / Banking Awareness respectively.Apart from this objective test, the SBI PO Mains exam also consists of a Descriptive Test of 30 minutes duration in which English writing skills will be tested. Thus, the total time duration of the SBI PO Mains exam will be 3 hours 30 minutes. 

(i) Objective Test

The Objective Test of SBI PO Mains exam consists of four sections namely: English Language, Data Analysis & Interpretation, Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude, and General / Economy / Banking Awareness. Weightage is different for each section in SBI PO Mains. For complete details on the SBI PO mains exam pattern refer to the table below.

S.No.Name of Tests(Objective)No. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
1 Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 60 minutes
2 Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 45 minutes
3 General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness 40 40 35 minutes
4 English Language 35 40 40 minutes
Total 155 200 3 hours
Descriptive Test 02 50 30 minutes

(ii) Descriptive Test

The Descriptive Test of the SBI PO Mains 2021 will be held in continuation with the Objective one, though the test will be evaluated only for those who manage to score qualifying marks in the SBI PO objective test. 

Descriptive TestMarksTime Duration
Letter Writing & Essay 50 30 Minutes

  • There will be a similar kind of negative marking in the SBI PO Mains exam, where 0.25 or 1/4th marks will be deducted for every wrong answer.
  • There will not be any sectional cut-off in the SBI PO Mains Exam too. 

Group Discussion & Personal Interview

If you are able to qualify for the SBI PO Mains 2021 exam, then you will be called for Phase 3, i.e. Group Discussion (GD) & Personal Interview (PI), in the ratio of 3:1 with respect to the vacancies, where you will have to participate in group exercises and face an interview board. The qualifying marks or cut-off for this round will be decided later and the distribution of marks for both is given below.

Note: Amid COVID 19 crisis, Phase 3 may consist of an Interview only (50 marks) or GD (20 marks) and Interveiw (30 marks)

Group Discussion 20
Personal Interview 30
Total 50

Final Selection 2021

After all the three phases of the SBI exam 2021  is complete, a final merit list will be declared depending upon the number of vacancies in SBI PO recruitment. The list of selected candidates will be given, based on their scores in the SBI PO Mains and Interview round. 

Exam PhaseTotal MarksConverted To
Written Test 250 75
G.D & PI 50 25
Total 300 100

Marking Scheme

SBI PO exam 2021 marking scheme is the same for both Prelims and Mains. In the SBI PO exam for every incorrect answer, 1/4th of the marks will be deducted whereas for every correct answer 1 mark will be allotted. The details for SBI PO 2021 marking scheme is given below.

SBI PO Marking Scheme

SBI PO 2020 Marking SchemeConsidered Marks
For correct answers 1 mark
For wrong answers -0.25 or 1/4th marks
For not attempted 0 (no marks)

Exam Language

SBI PO exam 2021 will be bilingual in nature which means you can attempt the exam in either of the languages i.e. English or Hindi. One thing that should be kept in mind that the English Language section will be provided in English Language only. The Descriptive test conducted to judge writing skills in the SBI PO mains exam 2021 is also available in English Language only.

Free Mock Tests 2021

Practice forms a major and important part of the preparation of any examination. SBI PO is one of the toughest competition in India that offer great opportunities to eligible candidates. Thus, apart from learning and practice, testing yourself is also equally important. Thus, ixamBee is providing 1000+ free mock tests for the SBI PO exam as well as for all the government-related exams where you can practice and prepare well. You just need to visit the website’s free mock test section and you can attempt the mock test for the SBI PO exam 2021 right away.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I choose Hindi language as the medium in SBI PO Exam?


Yes, SBI PO Exam is bilingual (i.e, Hindi & English). You can choose your preferred language either Hindi or English, except in the English Language section.




The SBI PO Exam will be in online mode.