Most of the aspirants appearing for the competitive examinations always face a confusion regarding which exam to choose depending on their capabilities. However, sometimes even after analysing everything it becomes tough to choose the right exam. SBI PO and SBI Clerk exam are some of the reputed examination that people opt for when targeting the competitive examinations.

Every year SBI released thousands of posts for the SBI Clerk and PO. If you are concerned about clearing the examination, it is important that you are opting for smart study. Even if you work hard and opt for rigorous practice, it is impossible to gain success. Both SBI PO and clerk examination is no doubt competitive. Therefore, you have to target getting high scores and clear the cut off.

Preparation for SBI Clerk 2021

The first thing that you have to do is have a clear overview of the SBI clerk examination. Here is the list of details that you need to keep in mind when preparing for SBI clerk examination.

Stages 3 (Preliminary, main, and test of opted local language)
Mode of exam Online
Level of difficulty Easy-moderate
Negative marking 0.25 marks
Time duration 1 hour for prelims and 2 hours and 40 minutes for the mains
Maximum marks 100 for prelims and 200 for mains

Exam patterns for the SBI Clerk preparation

Sections Number of questions/Maximum marks
General/Financial Awareness 50/50
General English 40/40
Quantitative Aptitude 50/50
Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude 50/60
Total 190/200

It is important for the candidates to clear the cut off from each sections for the prelims as well as mains. Apart from that, it is also necessary to keep in mind about the tips and tricks that are useful in clearing the examination.

SBI PO Exam Pattern

The SBI PO examination is although not different from the SBI clerk. You have to qualify in the three stages, prelims, mains, and interview. Prelims depends on the qualifying nature. However, the mains and interview is decided once the merit list is released.  Here is the exam pattern for the SBI PO examination.

  • You will get three sections in the SBI PO examination, English, Quantitative aptitude, and reasoning ability.
  • You will get total of 100 questions.
  • The duration of the SBI PO examination is of one hour.
  • While preparing the merit list, marks is not counted since what matters is the qualifying nature.
  • 25 marks is deducted for every question answered wrong. If you leave any question unattempted, there will be no negative marking.

SBI Prelims Exam Pattern

Serial no. Name of tests No. of questions Maximum marks Duration
1. English language 30 30 20 minutes
2. Quantitative aptitude 35 35 20 minutes
3. Reasoning


35 35 20 minutes
Total   100 100 1 hour


It is an important to understand that category wise merit list I drawn depending on the aggregate marks that you are getting in the prelims. There are no sectional cut-off in the prelims.

Mains Exam Pattern

When it comes to mains examination, you will get objective as well as descriptive section. You have to complete the paper within three hours and the descriptive paper within thirty minutes. You will get four sections, reasoning and computer aptitude, economy, English Language, banking awareness, and data analysis and interpretation. There is a 0.25 negative marking for every wrong question answered.

Serial No. Name of Tests (Objective) No of questions Maximum marks Duration
1. Reasoning and computer aptitude 45 60 60 minutes
2. Data analysis and interpretation 35 60 45 minutes
3. General/ economy/ banking awareness 40 40 35 minutes
4. English Language 35 40 40 minutes
Total 155 200 3 hours
Descriptive test 02 50 30 minutes

Interview process

Once you clear the prelims and mains, you will get a call for the interview session, where you have to face group discussions. Here you will be asked about the general knowledge and banking sector questions.

What is better SBI PO or Clerk?

PO is officer level post and is one of the highest post in the SBI recruitment process. Due to this reason, the demand for the SBI PO post is quite high. However, the SBI clerk is the clerical post but is a bit lower than the PO post. After two years of joining, PO’s become deputy manager or the manager. Due to this reason, the demand for PO is high.

Salary- PO vs Clerk

Talking about the monthly salary of SBI PO, it is almost INR 23,000. However, SBI PO draws a monthly salary of INR 40,000. PO’s get almost leased accommodation by considering the HRA. You can also get various allowances.

Work timing- PO vs Clerk

A clerk always have fixed work timings, which is ten to five. Therefore, you can get enough time to spend with your family or friends. When it comes to PO, there are no fixed timings and the job is quite hectic as well as demanding. The post comes with many responsibilities and the shift time stretches beyond 10-5.

Which one to choose?

The SBI PO post comes with many responsibilities, which is just not applicable for the post of clerk. Hence, if you are not ready to take extra pressure, it is best to opt for the SB clerk post. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is if you want to stay close to your hometown, you have to sacrifice the promotions throughout your career.

Hence, these are some of the things you must know about the difference between SBI PO and clerk post.

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