How to Crack SBI PO in 6 Months Without Coaching - Tips and Tricks

How to Crack SBI PO in 6 Months Without Coaching - Tips and Tricks

SBI PO is one of the most prestigious and competitive exams in India, conducted by the State Bank of India for the recruitment of Probationary Officers. The exam consists of three phases: Preliminary, Mains and Group Discussion/Personal Interview. Each phase requires a thorough preparation and a smart strategy to ace the exam. Here are some steps that you can follow to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months:

Step 1: Know the syllabus and exam pattern

The first step to prepare for any exam is to know the syllabus and exam pattern well. This will help you to understand what topics are covered, what type of questions are asked, what is the difficulty level and how much time is allotted for each section. You can refer to the official website of SBI or other reliable sources to get the latest syllabus and exam pattern for SBI PO. Here is a brief overview of the syllabus and exam pattern for SBI PO:

Preliminary Exam

The preliminary exam is an online objective test of 100 marks, divided into three sections: English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning Ability. The total duration of the exam is 60 minutes, with 20 minutes for each section. There is negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer. The candidates have to qualify in each section and also score above the overall cut-off marks to be eligible for the mains exam.

SectionNo. of QuestionsMarksDuration
English Language303020 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude353520 minutes
Reasoning Ability353520 minutes
Total10010060 minutes

Mains Exam

The mains exam is an online objective test of 200 marks and a descriptive test of 50 marks. The objective test consists of four sections: Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, Data Analysis and Interpretation, General/Economy/Banking Awareness and English Language. The total duration of the objective test is 180 minutes, with different time limits for each section. There is negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer. The descriptive test is a test of English language, where the candidates have to write an essay and a letter on a given topic. The duration of the descriptive test is 30 minutes.

SectionNo. of QuestionsMarksDuration
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude456060 minutes
Data Analysis and Interpretation356045 minutes
General/Economy/Banking Awareness404035 minutes
English Language354040 minutes
Total (Objective Test)155200180 minutes
Descriptive Test (Essay and Letter)25030 minutes

Group Discussion/Personal Interview

The candidates who qualify the mains exam are called for the group discussion and personal interview round, which carries a total of 50 marks. The group discussion is a test of communication skills, leadership skills, teamwork skills and general awareness. The personal interview is a test of personality traits, career goals, banking knowledge and current affairs.

Step 2: Make a study plan

The next step to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months is to make a study plan that suits your learning style, availability and goals. A study plan will help you to organize your time, prioritize your topics, track your progress and revise effectively. Here are some tips to make a study plan for SBI PO:

  • Divide your syllabus into small topics and assign them deadlines according to your convenience.
  • Allocate more time to your weak areas and less time to your strong areas.
  • Include mock tests, previous year papers and practice questions in your study plan.
  • Review your study plan regularly and make changes if needed.
  • Stick to your study plan and follow it diligently.

Step 3: Study the concepts

The third step to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months is to study the concepts thoroughly from reliable sources such as books, online courses, videos, etc. You should focus on understanding the basic concepts, formulas, rules and shortcuts of each topic. You should also learn the application of the concepts in solving different types of questions. Here are some sources that you can refer to for studying the concepts for SBI PO:

English Language

  • Objective General English by SP Bakshi
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Aggarwal
  • Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma
  • Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency by Arihant Publications

Reasoning Ability

  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
  • Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey
  • A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal and Non-Verbal by BS Sijwali and Indu Sijwali

General/Economy/Banking Awareness

  • Banking Awareness by Arihant Publications
  • Lucent’s General Knowledge by Vinay Karna and Manwendra Mukul
  • The Hindu, Economic Times, Business Standard newspapers and magazines

Computer Aptitude

  • Objective Computer Awareness by Arihant Publications
  • Computer Knowledge for SBI/IBPS Clerk/PO/RRB/RBI/SSC/Railways/Insurance Exams by Shikha Agarwal

Step 4: Practice the questions

The fourth step to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months is to practice the questions as much as possible from various sources such as mock tests, previous year papers, sample papers, online quizzes, etc. Practicing the questions will help you to improve your speed, accuracy, time management and problem-solving skills. It will also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them accordingly. Here are some tips to practice the questions for SBI PO:

  • Attempt at least one mock test every week and analyze your performance in detail.
  • Solve previous year papers and sample papers to get familiar with the exam pattern and difficulty level.
  • Practice online quizzes on a daily basis to revise the concepts and enhance your speed.
  • Try to solve the questions using shortcuts, tricks and elimination techniques wherever possible.
  • Avoid guesswork and random marking as there is negative marking in the exam.

Step 5: Revise the topics

The fifth step to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months is to revise the topics regularly and effectively. Revision is the key to retain the information and recall it during the exam. You should revise the topics from your notes, flashcards, mind maps, etc. You should also revise the important formulas, rules, facts and current affairs. Here are some tips to revise the topics for SBI PO:

  • Make short notes of the important points and concepts while studying.
  • Use flashcards, mind maps or mnemonics to memorize the information easily.
  • Revise the topics at least once a week or before attempting a mock test.
  • Revise the current affairs of at least 6 months before the exam date.
  • Revise the descriptive topics such as essay and letter writing by reading samples and writing your own.

Step 6: Prepare for GD/PI round

The sixth step to prepare for SBI PO in 6 months is to prepare for the group discussion and personal interview round. This round is very important as it tests your personality, communication skills, general awareness and banking knowledge. You should prepare well for this round as it can make or break your chances of selection. Here are some tips to prepare for GD/PI round for SBI PO:

Group Discussion

  • Read newspapers and magazines regularly to stay updated with current affairs and trending topics.
  • Participate in online or offline mock GDs with your friends or peers to improve your confidence and presentation skills.
  • Be clear about your views and opinions on the given topic and support them with facts and examples.
  • Be polite, respectful and cooperative with other participants and avoid interrupting or dominating them.
  • Listen carefully to others’ points and try to add value or counter them with logical arguments.

Personal Interview

  • Prepare your resume or biodata carefully and highlight your achievements, skills and hobbies.
  • Research about SBI’s history, vision, mission, products, services, etc. and be ready to answer questions related to them.
  • Brush up your banking knowledge and current affairs related to economy, finance, banking sector reforms, etc.
  • Dress formally and neatly for the interview and carry all the necessary documents such as admit card, identity proof, educational certificates, etc. for the interview and verify them beforehand.
  • Be confident, honest and polite while answering the questions and avoid giving vague or irrelevant answers.
  • Be prepared to answer questions related to your personal background, career goals, strengths and weaknesses, hobbies and interests, etc.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic about working with SBI and show your interest and knowledge about the bank and its culture.


SBI PO is a highly competitive and rewarding exam that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, with proper planning, strategy and practice, you can crack SBI PO in 6 months without any coaching. You just need to follow the steps mentioned above and keep yourself motivated and focused throughout your preparation. Remember, success is not a destination but a journey. So, enjoy the process of learning and growing and you will surely achieve your dream of becoming an SBI PO.

Some Common FAQs

Is 6 months sufficient for SBI PO?

Yes, 6 months is sufficient for SBI PO if you follow a proper study plan and strategy. You need to cover the syllabus, practice the questions, revise the topics and prepare for the GD/PI round in these 6 months. You also need to be consistent, disciplined and focused throughout your preparation.

How many months are required to crack SBI PO?

The number of months required to crack SBI PO depends on various factors such as your current level of preparation, your learning speed, your availability and your goals. However, generally speaking, you can crack SBI PO in 6 to 12 months with regular and effective preparation.

How many hours should I study to crack SBI PO?

There is no fixed number of hours that you should study to crack SBI PO. It depends on your individual capacity, quality and efficiency of your study. However, as a thumb rule, you should study at least 4 to 6 hours a day for SBI PO. You should also take breaks and rest in between to avoid burnout and stress.

Can I pass SBI PO without coaching?

Yes, you can pass SBI PO without coaching if you have the right resources, guidance and self-motivation. You can use books, online courses, videos, mock tests, etc. to prepare for SBI PO on your own. You can also join online communities and forums to clear your doubts and interact with other aspirants.

Can I pass SBI PO in 2 months?

Passing SBI PO in 2 months is possible but very challenging. You need to have a strong command over the basics and concepts of each section and be able to solve the questions quickly and accurately. You also need to revise the topics and current affairs regularly and practice mock tests and previous year papers extensively.

Can I clear SBI PO in first attempt?

Yes, you can clear SBI PO in first attempt if you prepare well and smartly. You need to understand the syllabus and exam pattern, make a study plan, study the concepts, practice the questions, revise the topics and prepare for the GD/PI round. You also need to manage your time, stress and expectations effectively.

Also read: How to prepare for SBI PO interview


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