SBI PO Prelims Exam Review & Expected Cutoffs | A Tricky Paper to Solve

The SBI PO prelims exam has started creating a festival like frenzy among candidates vying to secure a job in state bank of India`s PO recruitment for 2200 vacancies.The preliminary exam is the first phase of selection process & atleast 10 lakh people could appear for it.For those who have written & are about to write, here is the detailed SBI PO prelims review & expected cutoffs.


The SBI PO prelims is just a qualifying exam mainly held to filter competition.It would be conducted on July 2, 3, 9 & 10 at various centres across India.


Since this is a qualifying test, candidates are required to pass in each section & score the necessary cutoffs.Only those above these cutoff scores shall get shortlisted for the SBI PO main exam.


SBI PO Prelims: A Lengthy Affair

The online test consists of 100 questions that has to be answered in 1 hour.Though the pattern is similar to IBPS PO prelims, the level of questions is always different.


SBI PO prelims 2016 was no exception with the difficulty level slightly higher than previous years.Also the questions involved lot of calculations consuming a lot of time.


Here is the section-wise analysis of SBI PO prelims examination:


English Language: Questions were on expected lines but those who are already weak in english found it too hard.For such people, this section was tough.Topics asked:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Cloze Test
  • Parajumbles
  • Spotting Error
  • Fill in the blanks

Safe Attempts: If you answered 20+ questions correctly, it can be considered as safe.


Reasoning Ability: A vast majority of candidates termed this section as difficult.It turned out to be different from previous year papers as there were NO syllogism & coding/decoding problems.


The paper had nearly 20 questions related to puzzles in all 4 exam shifts which is a surprise.Those who are not very proficient in solving puzzles felt the section hard.

  • Puzzles (5 sets)
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Direction sense
  • Blood relations
  • Inequality

Safe Attempts: Answering 18+ questions with good accuracy will put you in safe zone.


Quantitative Aptitude: This was not tough but took time to understand the question. Some became more nervous on reading the problems making it even more difficult for them to complete the remaining questions.

  • Data Interpretation (bar graph & tables)
  • Quadratic Equation
  • Approximations
  • Number Series
  • Probability,
  • Simple interest
  • Profit & Loss
  • Time & Work/ Age
  • Partnerships

The difficult level was of moderate level only with few people call it difficult as it involved lot of time to answer.


Safe Attempts: Attending 22+ questions with correct answers can be taken as safe to qualify.


On the whole, the total number of safe attempts in all sections shall be 44+ for general category & 38+ for others. 


SBI PO Prelims Expected Cutoffs

Exams are conducted on 4 different days in 4 shifts.So averaging of marks (normalization) will happen at the time of evaluation after taking into account the difficulty level, candidate performance, total average attempts etc.,

PO vacancies are NOT filled state-wise.Hence there will be NO state-wise cutoffs.A common cutoff score shall be fixed all over India.

Based on the feedback & exam reviews shared by candidates, we believe the SBI PO prelims expected cutoffs may fall in the following ranges:

  • English: 4 - 7
  • Reasoning: 3 - 6
  • Quantitative aptitude: 4 - 7

Inaddition to the above, there are cutoffs on total score that differs for each category which could hover around:

  • General/ UR: 44 - 49
  • OBC: 38 - 42
  • SC: 32 - 36
  • ST: 18 - 25

According to you, how was the exam? Share your total attempts, category & your review of SBI PO prelims

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