Preparation for Bank Probationary Officer (PO) Exam

In this article, aspiring candidates who are looking to start their career in the banking sector will find out the effective ways of preparing for the Bank PO exam and bank exam syllabus. The Bank PO full form stands for Probationary Officer exam.

Do you wish to enter the banking sector as a Bank PO??

Start your preparation now and refer to the links given below and ace the upcoming Probationary exams:

Every year there are around 2-3 million applicants who opt to appear the Bank PO and start off their career in a number of nationalized banks which is covered under either Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) or State Bank of India (SBI).

Candidates are also advised to check the bank exam syllabus for the various posts for which examinations are conducted in the banking sector at the linked article.

To explore other bank exams, check at the linked article.

The three major Bank PO exams conducted in the country include:

  1. IBPS Probationary Officer (PO)
  2. SBI Probationary Officer (PO)
  3. IBPS RRB Probationary Officer (PO in Regional Rural Banks)

While the candidate is preparing for the Bank PO position, it is very important for them to understand the bank exam syllabus and important steps and stages that are included in the selection process.

To know about various SBI exams, check at the linked article.

Before starting the Bank PO preparation, candidates must get familiar with the syllabus for the various subjects which are a part of the bank exam syllabus. The table given below gives the links to the subject-wise syllabus articles which are a part of the Probationary Officer exam:

Logical Reasoning Syllabus Topics for Quantitative Aptitude
Verbal Ability  Daily Current Affairs
Static GK Banking Awareness

Stages of Bank PO Exam

Generally, there are two stages of Bank PO exam:

  • CRP (Common Recruitment Process)
  • Interview

The CRP is covered into 2 phases namely:

  1. Preliminary Examination
  2. Mains Examination

When the candidate is able to clear the Prelims exam, it is only they are allowed to appear for the Bank PO Mains examination. Once the CRP stage is through for a candidate, then the shortlisted candidates are called for the Interview which is supposed to be the last phase of the selection process.

For better results in the upcoming exams, candidates must include solving previous year question papers as a part of their bank PO preparation. To get free online previous year Bank PO Question Papers, candidates can visit the linked article.

To learn more about SBI PO Preparation, check at the linked article.

Candidates who have any doubt about the level of Bank PO exam or the type of questions asked in the Probationary Officers exam, they can refer to the links given below:

This article will help the aspirant to prepare for Bank PO exam preparation. Applicants can find all the relevant information about the Subjects & Topics covered in bank exam syllabus for all the phases of CRP. Besides, we bring forth some useful tips, tricks & suggestions, that come in handy to candidates while preparing for the Bank PO Exam.

Interested candidates can get the list of upcoming bank exams at the linked article and based on the exam schedule, they can continue with their preparation accordingly.

Government Exam 2022

Important Topics of Bank PO Exam

The table below shows the bank PO exam pattern, important topics, subjects and a generic tip for attempting each of these sections:

Section Asked in No. of Questions Important Topics Tips
Reasoning Ability Prelims & Mains 35 in Prelims

60 in Mains *.

Series, Comprehension, Logical Reasoning & Coding-Decoding As most of the questions asked in this section are general, so candidates should save time in solving this section and make reasoning a high scoring section.
Quantitative Aptitude Prelims & Mains 35 in Prelims

50 in Mains

DI, Number Series, Ratios, Average and Simplification The focus of the candidate should be on practising different types and difficulty level questions.
English Language Prelims & Mains 30 in Prelims

40 in Mains

Cloze test and Reading Comprehension Good command over the language is important to score in this section.
Computer Awareness Mains 60 * in Mains Operating System, Computer Basics, Network Basics and Shortcuts This section is very generic and requires the student to be clear with the topics as this section is very less time-consuming.
General Awareness Mains 50 in Mains Indian Economy, Marketing, Sports, Finance, Constitution, History of Banking and Banking Terms, Banking Awareness The candidate should focus on current affairs of last 6 months related to the Banking, Finance and Economic Sectors.

*- In some of Bank PO Main Examinations, both the Reasoning Ability and Computer Awareness sections are combined together to make one section that consist of 60 questions overall.

To know more about SBI PO exam pattern, check at the linked article.

We recommend the candidates to focus on the entire bank PO syllabus by devoting some extra time and effort on the important topics given in the table. This might increase and improve their chances of clearing the Bank PO Examination in the first attempt.

Candidates can refer to the below mentioned links to prepare for the Bank PO exams 2021:

Types of Banks Country, capital and currency Famous Books and Authors
Letter Writing Format Maths Tricks & Shortcuts Idioms and Phrases

General Tips for Bank PO Preparation

Apart from the important topics that are covered in bank exam syllabus, we also present some general tips for the candidates that would be helpful during their bank exams preparation and in the examination hall:

  • Use General Knowledge as a Weapon:

Keeping the focus on topics like Current Affairs and events, banking awareness, political news, economic news and sports on a daily basis for at least last 3 months. This will improve your command over this section and help you in scoring high marks in this section of the Bank PO exam.

To explore SBI PO Recruitment, check at the linked article.

  • Time Management:

Time management either during preparation or in the exam hall is very important as the candidates will know how much time is required to solve the respective bank exam paper. They would also be able to see which section is taking more time than expected and need to improve on the same accordingly. You can also try free online quiz to hone time management skills. 

  • Effective Planning:

While the candidate starts preparing for the Bank PO Examination, they should plan the time and sequence of the subject in such a manner that important subjects of the bank PO syllabus like Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability are covered in the start as preparing for them require more time than other subjects.

  • Stay Up-to-date:

Once the candidate decides to appear in the Bank PO exam, he/she should start concentrating on everyday general knowledge topics as it gets inconvenient to find the appropriate general knowledge content later.

To know more about Bank Exams Preparation in detail, check at the linked article.

  • Practising & Revision:

The candidates should keep their focus on regular practising and revision as the preparation time for Bank PO exam stretch up to 3 months. It has been observed that candidates who are not revising or practising during this phase suffer a lot of difficulties as the bank exam dates draw closer.

To explore Bank Coaching in Bangalore, check at the linked article.

Few important topics with respect to the Bank PO syllabus have been given below in the table, candidates can refer to the following to excel in the upcoming Probationary Officer exam:

Logical Reasoning Questions and Answers Reading Comprehension
Reasoning Puzzles Data Interpretation
Letter Writing Format History of Banking in India

For more tips on bank PO exams, preparation and practice mock tests, stay tuned to BYJU’S.

Subject-wise SBI PO Preparation Books 2022

Go through the list of section-wise SBI PO preparation guides from the sections below:

SBI PO English Books (Prelims & Mains)

  1. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  2. Bank PO English Language Chapterwise Solved Papers
  3. Objective English for Competitive Examination
  4. Descriptive General English by SP Bakshi and Richa Sharma
  5. Objective General English by SP Bakshi

SBI PO Books for Quantitative Aptitude (Prelims)

  1. Advanced Maths for General Competitions
  2. Magical Book on Quicker Mathematics by M Tyra
  3. Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma
  4. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Agarwal
  5. Bank PO Quantitative Aptitude Chapterwise Solved Papers

SBI PO Reasoning Books (Prelims & Mains)

  1. Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey
  2. A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S.Agarwal
  3. A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non-Verbal by BS Sijwali
  4. Bank PO Reasoning: Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 to till Date 7330+Objective Questions by Kiran
  5. Bank PO Reasoning Chapterwise Solved Papers by Arihant

SBI PO Preparation Books for General Awareness (Mains)

  1. Banking Awareness by Arihant
  2. Lucent General Knowledge
  3. Banking Awareness by RPH Editorial Board Ramesh Publishing House
  4. Manorama Year Book
  5. Banking Awareness for SBI/IBPS Bank Clerk/PO/SO/RRB & RBI exams by Disha Publications
  6. Newspaper Reading

SBI PO Best Books for Computer Awareness (Mains)

  1. Computer by Rani Ahilya Lucent
  2. Objective Question Bank of Computer Awareness for General Competitions by Arihant
  3. Objective Computer Awareness by R Pillai Arihant
  4. Computer Literacy And Knowledge (Kiran Prakashan)
  5. Computer Awareness for General Competitive Exams by Soumya Ranjan Behera

SBI PO Preparation Books for Data Analysis & Interpretation (Mains)

  1. Data Interpretation Decoded by Oliveboard
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT by TATA McGraw HILL

Online Quiz 2023

Frequently Asked Questions on Bank PO Preparation


Q 1. Is the bank PO preparation tough?

Ans. No, the bank PO preparation is not very tough but it is very comprehensive. Candidates need to focus on every topic under each section to excel the bank PO examination.

Q 2. Is bank clerk exam easier than bank PO?

Ans. There is a slight difference in the level of exam for bank PO and bank Clerk. The level of bank clerk exam is slightly less than that of bank PO. Candidates can know more about the bank Clerk exam at the linked article.

Q 3. How to prepare for Bank PO exam?

Ans. Given below are some tips to prepare for the bank PO exam:

  • Strategise your study plan effectively
  • Focus on every topic
  • Solve mock tests and previous year papers
  • Stay updated with latest news across the world
  • Practise and revise more
  • Collect best study material and refer to the best books

Q 4. What is the syllabus for bank PO exams?

Ans. There are mostly five subjects which are included in the bank PO exams. These include: English Language, Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, Computer Knowledge and General Awareness.

Q 5. How to prepare for bank PO exam at home?

Ans. With best study material and books, it is possible to prepare for the bank PO exam at home. For preparation tips refer to the Bank PO preparation at Home article.

Q 6. How many months are sufficient for bank PO preparation?

Ans. So,if you focus on each and every subject according to syllabus and previous years exam papers you will easily get prepared within 6months or 1 year of preparation period.

Q 7. Can a weak student crack bank PO?

Ans. There is no such thing as an average student. If you were an average student in school or college that’s because you were not sincere enough to study hard but that in no way limit your potential and your capability of sitting in a national level exam and cracking it


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  1. Very good explanation ,all doubts are gone

  2. I want to prepare for bank Exam