Last Minute Tips and Strategies for SBI PO Prelims 2018

The Preliminary Exam for SBI Clerk (JA) is already underway and the Preliminary Exam for SBI PO is scheduled for this weekend. As an aspirant, it is common to be anxious about the exam I am sure there are many doubts running in your mind how many questions should you attempt, what could be the possible cut-offs etc.

This article is an attempt to help address some of these queries. In this article, we are going to answer some of the critical questions including –

a. Given the sectional time limits, what is a good number of attempts in Verbal Ability, Numerical Ability and Reasoning Ability sections?

b. What is a “good” overall score in SBI PO Prelims 2018? How many questions and more importantly what kind of questions should I attempt to reach this score?

c. What might be the 90th percentile scores in each section and at an overall level?

Over the last few months, thousands of students have been taking model tests on our adaptive test engine platform – Our analysis is backed up by these students’ performance. Once the notification for the introduction of sectional time limits was out, we inculcated the same into our model tests for SBI PO Prelims 2018. We analyzed this data in along with the test results of the model tests for SBI PO Prelims 2017. The numbers are as follow.

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How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for SBI PO Prelims 2018?

SBI PO Pre Exam Preparation 2018: SBI PO Prelims is scheduled to be held on 1st, 7th and 8th of July 2018 and the exam being just a week away, the aspirants' preparation is at a peak now. Many aspirants might have been preparing for the last several months and they would be wondering what is left to be done further? This is the time for SMART WORK. This is the time to decide what you want to do in the exam.
Many aspirants take several mock exams during this time. Do check out the mock tests available on our website. The mock exams are set by faculty with multiple years of experience and ensure that you are well-prepared for the main test.
After each mock spend a few hours analyzing your performance, working on your weak areas and polishing and refining your skills in the three sections, viz., English Language Section, Reasoning Section, Quantitative Aptitude Section. Now that sectional cut off is no more a criterion, make sure it's not just analyzing your weak areas but also keeping the time limit for each section in your mind. Do make sure that you are spending enough time on each mock before you take another mock.

This article will give you an insight into how to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for SBI PO Prelims Exam. Let's proceed further.

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Step by Step Guide: Quantitative Aptitude Preparation for SBI PO Prelims

Well, as said above, keeping smart work in mind, let's break down the schedule into three parts:

1. Easy questions that are very likely to come in the exam These are usually from Number Series, Simplification, Roots & Average, Surds & Indices, Ratio Proportion, Interest, Percentages.

2. Medium difficulty questions that are likely to come in the Exam These questions usually come from Profit & Loss, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Algebra, Mensuration, Data Interpretation, Progressions

3. Tough questions that are likely to appear in the exam: Questions on Permutation & Combination, Probability, Mixtures & Alligations, Data Sufficiency are usually tough to score in the exam.

Everyone has to necessarily be good at the easy questions. In addition, you should be strong in at least 2-3 topics where the questions are tougher. Usually, it is better to leave the tough questions in the exams unless you know any shortcuts that can help you score marks quickly.

Read More: Latest SBI Prelims Pattern & Implications

Chapter-Wise Strategy Segregation:


Simplification is perhaps the easiest of all to be attempted quickly as well as accurately. It is the matter of effective calculations at the tip of your tongue. Simplification is based on topics from decimals, percentages, square roots, cube roots etc. Marks can easily be obtained in these questions.

Number series

Coming to number series, the recognition of pattern happens to be a challenge but if you have practised well, don't worry about the difficulty. Prelims won't have very challenging questions yet safe advice is to prepare for the worst as well as best. Practice frequently to ace the series recognition.

SBI PO Admit Card is Released. Download Here!

Data interpretation

Data Interpretation is the illustration of data and extracting the data from the illustrations. Least to say, this chapter requires a hell lot of prior practice. Once you have the keen eye to find the right information, you can answer as many questions as you can from DI. 

Quadratic equations

Quadratic equations are all about formulas and identifying the questions the formula fit into. Prelims won't subject you to time-consuming quadratic questions so just ensure you stick to your solving speed and accuracy through practice.

Time, speed, and distance

These questions are a must and require a great deal of knowledge from streams and river-related questions. This area generally builds confusion among many students. It's the power to imagine the upstream and downstream questions and also apply the addition and subtraction effectively.

Permutations and combinations

You might be aware of the kind of questions that permutation and combination have in its reserve. They are tough and cannot be aced in a day or two, to be honest, but if you have a good approach towards permutation and combination, go for it without any fear.

Must-read: SBI PO English Preparation Guide for Prelims


If permutation and combination have been aced by you, probability requires very less effort now. Don't panic if a difficult probability question comes through, just move forward to the next question. Probability questions have wide varieties and if not practised before, don't attempt to waste time on it now.

Tips & Strategy: 

You need to make sure you take practice tests individually for each chapter and try to target at least 30 questions from each. Finish the individual practice test within 2 days (targeting both speed and accuracy). After the individual practice, run a quick revision. It's for retaining what you learn. And for the rest of the days till the exam, try to emphasis on mock tests. Mock tests are like fuel to the fire. They can ignite the spark as well as sustain the spark of the prelims. For the tough category chapters, make sure you don't waste enough time there. Skip the questions if you can’t get a clear idea within 30 seconds.

The prelims exam is all about getting enough marks to qualify for the mains. Once you are in the exam, try to maximize on your strengths and ensure that you are not spending too much time on any single question. We hope that you succeed in giving your best on this exam.

Lastly, fix the strategy that you have decided is the best for you, concentrating on your strengths and weakness. You can go for Conduira Online that offers free mock tests for SBI PO Preparation 2018. You can also watch YouTube videos on different topics for SBI PO Preliminary Examinations. All the Best Guys!

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How to Crack English Language Section in SBI Prelims 2018?

Hello Aspirant! We are now just a few weeks away from the Preliminary Exams of SBI PO and JA. As discussed in our previous strategy blogs, I am sure you have started taking mock tests to identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as to finalize your test-taking strategies.

In our column last week, we detailed out the test-taking strategy for the English Language section. We reasoned out the increased importance of this section because of the introduction of sectional time-limits and suggested a couple of strategies to maximize your score in this section.

I would strongly suggest you start employing these strategies in your mock tests if you haven’t done so yet. In today’s article, let us look at a few tips to attempt the different question types you come across in the English Language section in the PO and JA Preliminary Exams.

The English Language section consists of 30 questions spread across the following areas 

1. Reading Comprehension – 10 Questions usually

2. Cloze Test – 5 to 10 Questions

3. Fill In The Blanks – 0 to 5 Questions

4. Error Spotting – 0 to 5 Questions

5. Para jumbles – 0 to 5 Questions

6. Critical Reasoning Questions – 0 to 5 Questions (in the PO Exam only)

Reading Comprehension:

In Reading Comprehension, yes, you are expected to read the passage and answer the questions based on it. However, it is also important to know the common question types you would see in RC passages –

• Questions based on facts from the passage

• Synonym/ Antonym based questions

• Inference based questions

• Structure-based questions

• Questions based on the tone of the author/passage

• Questions on central idea/title of the passage & Questions on the summary of the passage

The first two question types are less time consuming as well as easy to score as they do not require us to understand the complete passage. The ability, however, lies in how fast you can identify a relevant paragraph to locate a word/ phrase in question. However, you need to be good with vocabulary to be able to answer these questions accurately.

Inference based questions require us to understand the logic behind author’s opinions/ assumptions. Based on what has been mentioned in the paragraph, which of the following would the author disagree with is a common question in this category. In some cases, questions could also be asked on the logical structure of the passage; for example, is the author answering a question that he has initially put forth in the passage or is he trying to convince the reader of his point of view with examples etc. These questions are more commonly asked in the PO as compared to the Clerk.

When it comes to questions based on the central idea of the passage, you are asked either for the summary of the passage or the purpose with which the author has written the passage. These questions are preferably attempted after fact-based or vocabulary-based questions.

Bonus Read: Study Plan for SBI PO 2018Study Plan for SBI Clerk 2018

Cloze Test & Fill in the Blank Question Types

Cloze test gives you a passage with some of the words omitted. While solving for the omitted words, remember that the sentences in a passage flow in a logical way and in the first reading, you should be able to understand the flow and hence the central idea of the passage. Once that is established, you can fill in the blanks while ensuring the tone of the passage is maintained. One more quick way to eliminate options is by making use of parts of speech. We have seen a few modifications of this question type in the last couple of years – however, the basic strategy still remains similar.

For dual blank questions, we suggest you guess the answer to the question based on the tone and context of the question before looking at the options. This will help manage your time well while reducing a lot of confusion.

Error Spotting Questions

Error Spotting questions evaluate a candidate’s grammar abilities. However, if you have really looked at the previous SBI PO and JA Prelims question papers, you would notice that questions often evaluate you on some basic principles such as subject-verb agreement, tenses, adjectives, and adverbs etc. With good practice, it is easy to develop comfort with these basic question varieties and error spotting questions can become easiest and the most scoring question types.

A student could be either asked to spot the error or pick the right option for a specific part of the sentence – in both these cases, the strategy remains the same. Do not go with gut feel but keep eliminating the different rules of grammar that are not violated until you identify the actual mistake.

Para jumbles

The first step in solving a para jumble is to identify the central idea of the paragraph. Look for connectors/ tone changes like but, however or further to build a logical flow to the passage. Mark these statements as pairs and start eliminating options based on these sentence combinations to arrive at the final answer. You could also use pronouns (which would only follow nouns) or words that suggest chronology or sequence of events to identify these pairs of statements. Students often find these questions confusing and rightly so – however, solving one set of jumbles can give you answers to 4 or 5 questions and that is always tempting

Critical Reasoning

The PO Exam could also see a few questions based on Critical Reasoning – these questions could range from identifying the central idea of a passage to flaws in author’s logical reasoning or identify options that might strengthen or weaken the author’s conclusion. You are certain to see these questions in Mains exam but if the examiner wants to spring a surprise, you might also see a few of these in the Preliminary Exam.

Before you go for the final exam, you should have a fair idea where your strengths lie – are you better with Para Jumbles or the Grammar-based questions or is RC your strong suit or the Cloze Passages? How do you do so? Practice, Practice, and Practice! A mock test a day keeps all worries away

We wish you all the best!

 Must Read Posts For SBI PO/ JA Aspirants:
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SBI PO Salary & Perks

SBI PO 2018 Eligibility Criteria

SBI PO Mock Test Analysis 2018

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SBI PO Prelims Admit Card 2018 is Released For Download

The State Bank of India recently released the SBI PO admit card/call letter to be downloaded from SBI's official website. SBI is due to hold the Probationary Officer (PO) exam in the month of July. The exam is scheduled to be conducted on the 1st, 7th and 8th of July 2018. You can download the hall ticket/admit card any time between 18th of June and 8th of July 2018 but it is advisable to download it well before the exam date and save a soft copy of the admit card in a safe folder/space. 

Prerequisites to Download SBI PO Prelims Examination Hall Ticket:

To download the admit card, these two things should be handy to avoid a mess.

  • Registration No./Roll No.
  • Password/DOB (in DD-MM-YY format)

Step by Step Process to Download the Admit Card/ Call Letter for SBI PO 2018:

  1. Please log on to
  2. Now there's a 'Latest Announcement'  yellow-colored tab on the top right corner. Scroll through the announcements to find the announcement reading 'Recruitment of Probationary Officers in State Bank of India'
  3. There are many links below the said announcement. The last but one announcement that reads 'Download Preliminary Examination Call Letter' is the official link to download the admit card for SBI PO Prelims 2018.
  4. Click on the link below to directly go to the official download page released by SBI [DOWNLOAD LINK]
  5. Now after landing on the official page, you would find the 'Login Credential' section on the right-hand side of the page. Enter the desired information and then submit your details.
  6. View and download the admit card and save a soft copy for exam use.

Along with the admit card, the SBI will also release a booklet ‘Acquaint yourself'. This booklet will provide detailed information about the PO exam. ‘Acquaint yourself' contains information pertaining to various aspects of the online exam and describes the kind of test that will be given in the examination. Please read the FAQ before downloading the SBI PO admit card for 2018.

For further updates, stay tuned to the official website of SBI.

Read More: SBI PO Preparation Strategy, SBI PO Prelims 2018 Pattern Update


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SBI PO & JA Preparation Tips & Strategies

With the Preliminary Examination for SBI Probationary Officer and Junior Assistant scheduled within a week of each other, I am sure a lot of you are preparing for both together. Therefore, even in our columns, we are trying to address the strategies needed to crack these exams together. In our previous article we looked in depth preparation of the English Language section. In this week’s column, let us do a deep dive in to the Reasoning Section.

When it comes to the Reasoning Section, some question types make an appearance in both the PO and the JA Preliminary Examinations; however, the big difference is the difficulty level of the questions. The questions in PO Exam are a level higher than the ones in the JA Prelims Exam.

Download Now- SBI JA 2018 Admit CardSBI PO 2018 Prelims Admit Card

Though we cannot be certain, basis the last few years examination patterns, we expect the coverage of both these exams as follows

As highlighted multiple times in our column here, the big change this year is the introduction of the Sectional Time Limits and the removal of the Sectional Cut-Offs. Most aspirants tend to spend lesser time in English Language section and use that additional time in the Reasoning Section; this year around, however, it is not possible. As a result, the scores in Reasoning section could come down. Basis our analysis, a good attempt is around 16 to 18 questions in PO Prelims Exam and around 18 to 20 questions in JA Prelims Exam with high accuracy of course.

Solve the Question Sets: SBI PO Prelims English Questions, SBI PO Prelims Quantitative Aptitude Questions

Preparation Guide for SBI PO & JA - Sections Wise Highlight

Based on attempt strategy of thousands of students who took the SBI PO and JA Prelims Mock Tests on Conduira Online platform. We suggest you follow the strategy below to tackle the time pressure and still emerge victorious in the Reasoning Section.

1. Start with the questions based on topics such as Inequalities, Number/Alphabet Series, Blood Relations, Directions Data Arrangements and Ranks/Positions. In the first 8 to 10 minutes. Target to attempt at least 10 to 12 questions from these areas. These questions are often direct, take lesser time and allow you to score faster and accurately.

2. In the next five minutes, try to attempt 5 to 6 Syllogisms, Coding or Input-Output based Questions, if they make an appearance. However, SBI PO keeps experimenting with newer models of these question types and if that happens this year again, we suggest you leave them and move forward. In the amount of time you have and under the pressure you would be in, trying to decode a new pattern is generally not the wisest strategy.

3. The last 8 to 10 minutes, choose 1 to 2 sets from among the Logical Reasoning Puzzles. Your goal is to choose the two easy puzzles that can be solved within 5 to 6 minutes each. Ideally, choose puzzles like ones you might have practiced earlier.

a. Linear Arrangements puzzles are often easier than Circular Arrangements based puzzles, and Comparisons based puzzles are easier than those based on Blood Relations.

b. Avoid puzzles that also have numerical data as they tend to be difficult and time-consuming. Also avoid puzzles that have multiple parameters or have very little data or have clues that give you negative information.

c. Further, do not try to complete all the questions in a set – attempt the easier ones and leave the difficult ones.

d. Make sure you run through the clues at the end of the puzzle to make sure that all the conditions are satisfied.

Given the sectional time limits, time management and question selection strategy would become extremely crucial in both the Reasoning and Numerical Ability sections. At the risk of repeating myself, ensure that you are taking multiple mock tests to make sure you try out different strategies and finalise one. There should be as little confusion as possible on the final day of the exam in terms of your strategy. Attempting 20 Questions in 20 minutes is a difficult job in itself – you do not need to complicate it by putting yourself under further pressure.

Lastly, multiple websites, including our own website, Conduira Online offers free Live Sessions on our YouTube Channel on different topics for SBI PO and JA Preliminary and Mains Examinations. Do check them out – they might just be the last-minute push you need.

Check Out Our Latest Posts:

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