It will be held in two phases

The banking sector has been one of the most preferred destinations for employment. Dharani Talukder, Product Head, Bank PO, T.I.M.E, Bangalore, says that the banking sector index has grown at a compounded annual rate of over 51 per cent since 2001. “In the next five years, banks will have to recruit almost 7.5 lakh people,” he said.

The State Bank of India (SBI), one of the biggest names in this sector, has initiated the process for recruiting eligible candidates for the post of Probationary Officer (PO) for its branches across the country. The exam is scheduled for June.

Mr. Talukder said students in their final years of graduation are eligible to write the exam. “The SBI PO recruitment will be held in two phases,” he explained.

Phase I

The written exam on objective test is for 200 marks and descriptive test for 50 marks. The test is of two hours duration for the computer-based objective test and one hour for the paper-based descriptive test. Negative marking is applicable only for the objective test.

Phase II

It is based on GD/PI. Candidate clearing Phase I exam will move to Phase II. The objective test consists of four sections:

1. English Language (Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension, etc.,)

2. General awareness, marketing and computer.

3. Data Analysis and Interpretation.

4. Reasoning.

Descriptive writing is based on English language. Candidates are asked to attempt short précis, letter writing or essay writing.

Candidates belonging to general categories who wish to apply for SBI PO exam can attempt it four times. The candidates belonging to OBC can attempt seven times and SC/ST categories do not have any restrictions.

Tips and skills

Mr. Talukder offered some basic tips to keep in mind to crack the exams:

• Data Analysis and Interpretation are based on mathematical and analytical skills.

• Common questions for the data analysis and interpretation are based on number systems, fractions, ration and proportion, time and work, percentage, profit and loss, problems on ages, simple interest and compound interest, averages, time and distance and area.

• Prepare for data analysis and interpretation by practising calculations and increasing the speed and revise important math formulas, charts, graphs and tables.

• Reasoning section should be understood and attempted as it would be tricky.

• The reasoning section would be more time consuming; if you are not able to answer a question move on and get back to it later.

• Practise various types of puzzles and analogies.

• Questions on general awareness, marketing and computer generally come from the banking sector.

• Questions on computer knowledge come from operating system, computer hardware and software.

• General awareness, marketing and computer is one of the most scoring sections and can be completed in a short time if you have good knowledge.

• Revise your basic grammar skills by referring to Wren and Martin and improve your language skills by reading newspapers.