SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – Prelims & Mains Paper Pattern, Syllabus

State Bank of India prescribes the SBI Clerk exam pattern separately for the Prelims and Mains exams. Candidates who are preparing for the SBI Clerk Preliminary exam 2021 are currently awaiting the exact dates when the tests will be conducted. At the same time, the final submission date of SBI application form was 17th May 2021, has now been extended to 20th May 2021. The authority is has released the notification for the same in its official website.

SBI Notification (Latest) In the meanwhile, applicants can learn about the SBI Clerk exam pattern 2021 for the prelims and Mains test that contains some crucial information like mode of test, type of questions, marking scheme, time duration, number of sections, distribution of marks, time allotted per section, etc. 

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SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – Highlights

  1. Both SBI Clerk Prelims & Mains exams are conducted through online mode only
  2. The medium of language for both the exams is Hindi and English (except for English Language section)
  3. Preliminary exam contains a total of 3 sections namely Numerical Ability, Reasoning and Computer Aptitude, and English Language
  4. Mains examination includes 4 sections – Finance & General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude, General English, and General Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
  5. SBI Clerk Prelims has a total of 100 questions (of 100 marks). Candidates are allotted 60 minutes to attempt the Prelims exam 
  6. For SBI Clerk Mains examination, test takers have to attempt 190 questions (carrying a maximum weightage of 200 marks) in 2 hours 40 minutes
  7. For every wrong answer in the SBI Clerk written exams (Prelims and Mains), 1/4th of the total marks is deducted 
  8. There is no sectional cutoff applicable in SBI Clerk Mains and Prelims  
  9. Different questions carry different weightage of marks in SBI Clerk Mains exam

SBI Clerk Exam Pattern 2021 โ€“ Prelims

Candidates can look into the highlights of the SBI Clerk exam pattern for Prelims highlighted below:

  • Sections – Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability and English Language
  • Mode of Test – Online 
  • Type of Questions – Objective
  • Number of Questions –  100 
  • Time Allotted – 60 minutes (20 minutes allotted to each section) 
  • Marking Scheme – One mark is awarded for every correct response and 0.25 mark is deducted for every incorrect answer

Important Note: Preliminary exam is only qualifying in nature. Candidates must qualify the Prelims exam to get selected for the Mains exam. However,  the marks acquired in Prelims are not calculated during the preparation of the SBI Clerk final merit list. 

Sectional Weightage in SBI Clerk Prelims

SectionsNumber of QuestionsMarksTest Duration (minutes)
Numerical Ability353520 
English Language303020 
Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude353520 
Total10010060 

SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – Mains 

To score well, candidates should pay heed to the SBI Clerk exam pattern for Mains. As the schedule for the Mains exam is yet to be announced, test takers have got ample time to brush up their preparation. The key facts pertaining to the structure of SBI Clerk main examination are as under:

Sections – Quantitative Aptitude, General Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, Finance & General Awareness, and General English 

  • Mode of Test – Online 
  • Type of Questions – Objective
  • Number of Questions –  190 
  • Time Allotted – 160 minutes 
  • Negative Marking – 1/4th of the total marks is deducted for each incorrect answer

Sectional Weightage in SBI Clerk Mains

SectionsNumber of QuestionsMarks*Test Duration (minutes)
Quantitative Aptitude505045
General English 404035
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude506040
General Awareness and Finance505040
Total190200160

*There is no sectional time limit applicable in SBI Mains. The time duration for each section mentioned in the table above is based on expert opinion. 

SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme

Go through the table below to understand the marking scheme for both SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam:

Marking pattern of SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam

Particulars Marking Scheme for PrelimsMarking Scheme for Mains
For each right answer+1Undefined
For each wrong answer-0.25 1/4th of the total marks of each question
For unattempted questions00

SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – Local Language Test

This language test is organized after the SBI Clerk Mains examination for those applicants who:

  • Have not studied their local language in class 10,  OR 
  • Have failed to furnish the proof of studying their local language in class 10

Candidates who produce the class 10th mark sheet testifying their local language proficiency are exempted from this test. 

Some significant points to remember about the Local Language Test are as follows:

  1. Candidates who qualify SBI Clerk Mains exam but fail to produce any proof in regard to local language proficiency have to appear for Local Language Test
  2. Candidates will be tested on their ability in the local language that they have opted for during the registration process of SBI Clerk 2021
  3. Those who fail to qualify this Local Language Test after the Mains exam will face disqualification from SBI Clerk recruitment

Why a Local Language Test?

SBI asks applicants to provide details about their local language proficiency in the SBI Clerk application form. It is mandatory for the candidates to have studied their local language in  class 10 or they must have a certificate testifying their proficiency in the same. For example, if a candidate belongs to Punjab, then his/her local language should be Punjabi. While allocating the posts, SBI gives preference to candidates with local language proficiency in regions where Hindi is not a local language.     

SBI Clerk Syllabus – Prelims & Mains

After ascertaining the detailed information about SBI Clerk exam pattern, candidates should also get a fair idea of the SBI Clerk exam syllabus. The subject-wise topics under SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains syllabus are mentioned below: 

SBI Clerk Prelims Syllabus

English LanguageReasoning AbilityNumerical Ability 
Reading ComprehensionPuzzleEquation and Algebra
Fill in the BlanksSeating ArrangementData Interpretation
Synonyms and AntonymsBlood RelationsWork and Time
Sentence RearrangementDirection TestSurds & Indices
Sentence CorrectionSyllogismStock & Shares
Cloze TestCoding-DecodingTime & Distance
Idioms and PhrasesInput-OutputSimplification
VocabularyOrder and RankingSequence & Series
 Alphanumeric SeriesRatio & Proportion, Percentage
 Data SufficiencySimple Interest and Compound Interest


SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus

General EnglishQuantitative AptitudeReasoning AbilityFinance and General Awareness
Reading ComprehensionData InterpretationPuzzleCurrent Affairs 
Synonyms and AntonymsData SufficiencyMachine OutputStatic General Awareness
Sentence RearrangementProfit and LossSyllogismBanking and Financial Terms
Sentence CorrectionMensurationDirection TestImportant Abbreviations
FillersSimple and Compound InterestBlood RelationBanking Awareness
Cloze TestMixtures and AllegationsCoding and DecodingFiscal and Monetary Policy
Idioms and PhrasesPermutation and CombinationStatement and AssumptionsImportant Government schemes
VocabularyWork, Time and DistanceOrder and RankingAwards and Honours
MiscellaneousNumber seriesLinear ArrangementIndian Constitution

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SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – FAQs

โœ”๏ธ How many stages are there in the SBI Clerk recruitment process?

Candidates have to undergo two stages of SBI Clerk recruitment process namely Preliminary test and Mains examination. The Mains exam is followed by a Local Language Test which is mandatory for only those candidates who cannot furnish their local language proficiency proof.

โœ”๏ธ What is the mode of SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam?

The mode of both Prelims and Mains examination is online. Just the basic knowledge of computer operations is sufficient to take this test. 

โœ”๏ธ How much time is allotted for the SBI Clerk exam?

Time assigned for SBI Clerk Preliminary test is 1 hour. On the other hand, candidates are given 2 hour 40 minutes for the Mains exam.

โœ”๏ธ What is the marking scheme of SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam?

As per the marking scheme of SBI Clerk Prelims, one mark is granted for every right answer and 0.25 mark is deducted for each wrong response. In Mains exam, weightage of marks is different for every question and 1/4th of the total marks of a question is deducted in case of wrong response.

โœ”๏ธ Are there any qualifying marks defined for every section in the SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam?

No. There are no sectional qualifying marks prescribed by the authority for SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam.