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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.

 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. 

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 – 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

Sections Number of Questions Marks Test Duration (minutes)
Numerical Ability 35 35 20
English Language 30 30 20
Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude 35 35 20
Total 100 100 60

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

Sections Number of Questions Marks *Test Duration (minutes)
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45
General English 40 40 35
Reasoning and Computer Aptitude 50 60 40
General Awareness and Finance 50 50 40
Total 190 200 160

*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 Prelims Marking Scheme for Mains
For each right answer +1 Undefined
For each wrong answer -0.25 1/4th of the total marks of each question
For unattempted questions 0 0

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 Language Reasoning Ability Numerical Ability
Reading Comprehension Puzzle Equation and Algebra
Fill in the Blanks Seating Arrangement Data Interpretation
Synonyms and Antonyms Blood Relations Work and Time
Sentence Rearrangement Direction Test Surds & Indices
Sentence Correction Syllogism Stock & Shares
Cloze Test Coding-Decoding Time & Distance
Idioms and Phrases Input-Output Simplification
Vocabulary Order and Ranking Sequence & Series
Alphanumeric Series Ratio & Proportion, Percentage
Data Sufficiency Simple Interest and Compound Interest


SBI Clerk Mains Syllabus

General English Quantitative Aptitude Reasoning Ability Finance and General Awareness
Reading Comprehension Data Interpretation Puzzle Current Affairs
Synonyms and Antonyms Data Sufficiency Machine Output Static General Awareness
Sentence Rearrangement Profit and Loss Syllogism Banking and Financial Terms
Sentence Correction Mensuration Direction Test Important Abbreviations
Fillers Simple and Compound Interest Blood Relation Banking Awareness
Cloze Test Mixtures and Allegations Coding and Decoding Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Idioms and Phrases Permutation and Combination Statement and Assumptions Important Government schemes
Vocabulary Work, Time and Distance Order and Ranking Awards and Honours
Miscellaneous Number series Linear Arrangement Indian Constitution

SBI Clerk Exam Pattern – FAQs

✔️ 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.

✔️ 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. 

✔️ 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.

✔️ 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.

✔️ 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.

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