SBI PO exam preparation strategy by Mrigank Shanker, SBI PO 2019 exam topper, Mistake to avoid
Tell us something about yourself?
I am from Ranchi (Jharkhand) and I am from an MA English background. So, it does not matter what your background is, everyone can clear this exam with his/her hard work.
Why did you choose the banking sector?
Karl Marx’s lessons were in my curriculum and they helped me to know more about the economy so I somehow got attracted to this sector and my father is also from SBI.
What is the pattern for the SBI PO exam?
The stages involved in the selection of aspirants are as follows:
1st Stage: SBI PO Preliminary Exam
2nd Stage: SBI PO Main Exam
3rd Stage: Group Exercises and Interview
The SBI PO Preliminary Exam syllabus comprises three sections:
English Language 30 questions 30 marks
Numerical Ability 35 questions 35 marks
Reasoning Ability 35 questions 35 marks
Total 100 questions 100 marks
SBI PO Mains Syllabus
Data Analysis & Interpretation
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 questions 60 marks 60 minutes
Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 questions 60 marks 45 minutes
General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness 40 questions 40 marks 35 minutes
English Language 35 questions 40 marks 40 minutes
Total 155 questions 200 marks 3 hours
The Descriptive Paper of 30 minutes duration with two questions for 50 marks will be a Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay).
What was your marks distribution?
My marks(approx) in SBI PO 2018 and 2019 across different phases:
Pre 2018: 71/100 (Cutoff 56)
Mains 2018: 100/250 (Cutoff 95)
Overall 2018: 50.73/100 (Cutoff 50.79)
Pre 2019: 81/100 (Cutoff 71)
Mains 2019: 149.75/250 (Cutoff 100)
Overall 2019: 65/100 (Cutoff 54)
What was your strategy for English?
I had the privilege of coming from a decent background with Decent schooling. This helped develop my language skills.
Aspirants can develop the habit of reading and can start will the field they are interested in and then move on to the topics that are asked in the exam such as the economy and other banking terms.
English will directly help you get 90 Marks in Mains (40 in English, 50 in Descriptive). Other than this, if you have a good comprehending ability, it will also help you decode Logical Reasoning and Puzzles with slight ease.
Even in Data Interpretation, tough language is used in Questions. Good command over language will help you tackle this section as well.
What was your strategy for Maths?
I had a phobia that no matter what I do, I won’t be able to match the aptitude level of the questions asked. I just had to get rid of this mindset and start enjoying the learning process.
For Data Interpretation, it is more about the understanding of the language and less about Quantitative skills. Your ability to read between the lines will help you here.
What was your strategy for Reasoning?
The first step would be to clear all your basics in one month. My scores in reasoning were more or less the same in both years. I loved this section, although I was not brilliant at it. This section will challenge your brain with all its might. Take it as an opportunity to show the paper-setter what you are made of and nail the examination.
Puzzles and Seating arrangements might seem scary at the start but once your start practicing, everything falls into place.
For Critical Reasoning, people often say that this part is dicey and unpredictable. this section is easy to score once you start getting hang of things.
Tell us something about the GD round.
Group discussion is a crucial part for those who have not scored well in mains, don’t rely on it fully.
Keep it as a discussion and not a debate, give good points and listen to others.
In GD- I scored around 17/18 marks out of 20 in my last two attempts.
Tell us something about the Interview exam?
Current affairs are important for the interview.
Questions were asked from my biodata that I had filled.
Typical HR type questions were asked.
Banking and basic economics knowledge is a must for aspirants aspiring for Interviews.
Factual questions were not asked more rather than opinion-based questions were asked more.
What was your strategy for General awareness?
70 to 80% of my current affairs were covered by the Study iq.
Prashant Dhawan sir’s videos helped me a lot in the interview.
Ankit Agarwal sir’s economic videos were also helpful.
I followed Gaurav Garg sir for the series of daily current affairs for comprehensive coverage of current plus static with no-nonsense coverage.
Best 200 current affairs were really helpful by him.
My approach to Current Affairs was a bit unorthodox. I never made notes. I relied heavily on Videos and the YouTube playback feature which lets me play videos at 2x speed.
The key to success in Current Affairs Section in Banking Examination is Repetition.
I want to thanks the Bank iq team and Prashant Mavani sir.
What message would you like to give to fellow aspirants?
Don’t be afraid of taking a calculated risk in the examination.
Speed matters a lot in this exam.
Don’t forget the concepts in the mains examination.
Do not demotivate yourself and search for motivation outside.
Just believe you can and you are halfway there.
Hard work with self-belief is very much required in this exam.
I worked very hard for my exam.
I want to thank my parents, elder brother and my friends.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. So the only advice would be to practice.
Lastly, I want to thank the Study IQ team for giving me a platform to express my views and thoughts.