A bank Probationary Officer’s job is considered one of the most prestigious in India. Every year, there are only 2000 vacancies for this posts, and the SBI PO exam is the ticket to those jobs. Read on to find out more about the syllabus, important dates, and also how you can study to fare well.

What is a Bank PO?

A bank probationary officer is a Scale I officer at a bank, an assistant manager of the same scale at the bank. Once a probationary officer is selected, the Institute of Banking Management trains them.

About the exams

A host of private and government banks conduct Bank PO exams yearly to recruit more probationary trainees who also go on to become officers. For example, SBI PO exams are conducted by the State Bank of India annually, for the PO posts across all branches in India. Only about 2000 vacancies are announced every year, which around 25 lakh candidates compete for. Another one of the main Bank PO exams is IBPS PO.

Here are some other banks that conduct PO exams:

  1. Allahabad Bank
  2. Bank of Maharashtra
  3. Bank of Baroda
  4. HDFC Bank
  5. ICICI Bank
  6. Oriental Bank of Commerce
  7. Syndicate Bank

Each bank also has its own set of parameters and criteria used to select candidates for the post.

Important Dates:



Admit card: 17th May – 9th June 2019

Exam date: 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th June 2019


Admit card: Late June-Early July 2019

Exam date: 20th July 2019


Registration:  Aug 2019 (likely)

Preliminary:   Oct 2019 (likely)

Mains:           Nov 2019 (likely)


Both these exams have sections testing the following broad topics: English, Quantitative computing, and Reasoning. IBPS also does include a section on General Banking and Awareness, for around 40 marks.

Marks distribution:












Analysis of shifts of the previous SBI exams gives us this distribution of topics for each section in the SBI PO exams only :


These are the most common of all the English topics. Reading Comprehension also appears in all papers, with a high weightage. This is followed by sentence related questions including sentence improvement in all types, matching sentences, etc. Error detection is the next most common thing, so be sure to brush up on these types of questions.


The quantitative section has a few overlaps with the Reasoning aptitude questions in areas such as Data Sufficiency, Work, Time, Speed, and even at times with  inequalities and data interpretation. Be sure to finish up these overlapping topics, and then move on to Quadratic equations, which is seen as 18% of the most common topics that appear in this section, followed by yet another important topic Number Series.


Reasoning questions are extremely tricky, but with a lot of practice, one can achieve high levels on excellence in this particular field. Puzzle questions appear consistently in large numbers, followed by code-decode type questions, and data sufficiency, which is one of the overlaps of the Reasoning and Quantitative sections.



A graduate degree in any field from an accredited university/ recognised university, or also any such equivalent qualification the Central Government has recognised. Those in their final years may also apply provided that they can produce proof of passing on or before 31.8.2019. Those with integrated dual degrees must ensure the same. Those with the qualifications of chartered accountants may also apply.


Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 30 (21&30 are included as well) as on 1.4.2019. Therefore, applicants must be born between 2.4.1989 and 1.4.1998 (those dates included).


5 years for SC/ST

3 years for OBC (non-creamy layer)

15 years for PWD-SC/ST

13 years for PWD-OBC

10 years for PWD-GEN

5 years for Ex-Servicemen, Commisioned officers (ECOs, SSCOs) who have rendered military service of 5 years and have been released on completion of assignment. Those whose assignments are due to be completed within 6 months form last date of application receipt may also apply.

5 years for persons ordinarily domiciled of the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the period 1.1.1980 to 31.12.1989

Application fees for SBI PO:

General: INR 750



SBI PO/IBPS PO aspirants must write a preliminary exam. Following the qualification of this, they write the main exam with objective and descriptive tests, following an interview and group exercise round. The scores of all these tests except preliminary are aggregated to provide the final merit score, on which the merit list is based.

How to prepare:

Many people prepare for PO exams during their college years. Due to the fact that lakhs of people apply but only a few thousand get seats, the PO exams (especially SBI PO) are tough nuts to crack. Studying for these exams while also pursuing a college degree is very stressful and time consuming, especially for those whose disciplines do not include economics, banking awareness, or maths.

As a result, many people turn to online coaching platforms so that they can focus on their college studies and also the PO exams at the same time. Edureify is one such platform that provides material on each topic, mock exams, tuition and overall assistance to Bank PO exam aspirants. It is one of the top online coaching institutions for SBI PO exams.

Get help to study via Edureify

The platform also has a dedicated set of teachers who specialise in English, Maths, and Economics, so you can request to be tutored by them to improve your performance. You will not only succeed with the English and Quantitative questions, but will also gain enough knowledge to  do well in the General Awareness and Banking sections of IBPS, as well as the interview rounds.

With over 650000 questions per topic and teachers with over 7 years of experience in the education industry, Edureify challenges you while also helping you find the answers in your own time. Here, each sub-topic such as Sentence Completion, Reading Comprehension, etc. are given a vast set of questions, so you can be sure that you’ll be thorough before writing an exam.

Edureify solving sets are also designed in levels of increasing difficulty. In addition to this, be sure to participate in the game-quizzes and AIR challenges that are full of HOTs questions, like the real Bank PO examination. 

Feeling prepared enough to write an exam is also a real confidence booster. Many times, this is all you need to succeed in exams.


  1. Do not use your mobile phone/laptop/TV/iPod, etc while studying, as it can cause major distractions.
  2. Get a good night’s rest the day before the exam. Try not to study anything new 24 hours prior to the exam. Just revise what you already know.
  3. Reach the exam venue at least 1 hour before the exam start time just in case of traffic. DO NOT ARRIVE LATE.
  4. Try to be cool and calm during the test.

If you keep all these points in mind, you are sure to do well. Remember, you can accomplish any goal with hard work. Good luck to all Bank PO aspirants! Visit edureify.com for more information and also for practice papers.

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