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SBI Clerk Selection Process

SBI Clerk Selection Process – Recruitment & Shortlisting, Probation

by Team Buddy4Study

State Bank of India (SBI) administers the recruitment process for Clerical Junior Associates (JA) Grade every year at a national-level. The exam conducting authority has segregated SBI Clerk selection process into three stages, namely:

  1. SBI Clerk Preliminary Test 
  2. SBI Clerk Mains Exam 
  3. Local Language Test (if applicable)

Candidates who crack the written examinations (Prelims & Mains) and the Regional Language Test get posted as Junior Associates (Clerks) in SBI branches across India.

The SBI Clerk Preliminary test contains 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) from three sections namely Reasoning Ability, English Language and Numerical Ability. Qualifying this phase is important to get the ticket for the SBI Clerk Mains exam wherein candidates have to face 190 MCQs divided into four sections – Finance & General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude, General English and General Reasoning & Computer Aptitude.

The final step of the SBI Clerk selection process is ‘Local Language Test’ which is mandatory for those candidates who cannot furnish a certificate testifying their regional language proficiency. The last step in the SBI Clerk selection process is document verification. SBI can designate the finally selected Junior Associates (Clerk) across any of the SBI branches PAN India with a probation period of 6 months. Read this page further to find elaborative details about the SBI Clerk selection process.

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SBI Clerk Selection Process – Highlights

  1. The authority will soon release SBI Clerk 2020 Prelims result and schedule for Mains examination
  2. SBI Clerk selection process involves Preliminary test, Mains exam and Local Language Test
  3. Local Language Test is mandatory for those candidates who fail to provide a proof of their regional language proficiency 
  4. Candidates who present their class 10th certificate stating that they have studied their regional language at secondary level (Class 9 and 10) are exempted from the Local Language Test 
  5. SBI Prelims marks are not counted or considered in the final merit list. However, it is mandatory to score equal to or more than the SBI Clerk Prelims cutoff score to qualify for the Mains exam 
  6. The final merit list is based on the candidates’ aggregate score in SBI Clerk Mains and their performance in the Local Language Test 
  7. Candidates don’t have to face any interview or group discussion during the SBI Clerk selection process
  8. SBI is the sole authority to designate Junior Associates or Clerks at any of its branches across India (with no transfer till the period of five years)
  9. All the selected candidates have to undergo the document verification process as a last step of selection
  10. The authority has prescribed the probation period of 6 months for all Junior Associates (Clerk)
  11. Candidates can provide their preferences of placement during the registration process. However, SBI holds the right to post the candidates anywhere across India.

SBI Clerk Selection Process – Stage-wise Recruitment Process 

The final recruitment of candidates depends upon their qualification status in all the three stages of SBI Clerk selection process – Prelims, Mains and Local Language Test. Get a clear insight of all the three stages with the help of the below given analysis:

Phase I: SBI Clerk Prelims

SBI Clerk Preliminary Exam is an objective-type test which is held online. Candidates are tested on their capabilities to solve questions based on Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude and English language. Major points about SBI Clerk Prelims exam layout are mentioned below:

Sections – The Prelims paper comprises three sections – Reasoning Ability, Numerical Ability and English Language.

Mode of Test – Online 

Type of Questions – Objective-type

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: Candidates must qualify the Prelims exam to get selected for the Mains exam. However, the marks acquired in Prelims are not considered during the preparation of the SBI Clerk final merit list. 

preparation of the SBI Clerk final merit list

Phase II: SBI Clerk Mains

This is the most crucial stage in the SBI Clerk selection process. Candidates’ aggregate score in the Mains exam is considered as the ONLY parameter for final selection. Major points about SBI Clerk Mains exam layout are mentioned below:

Sections – The Mains paper consists of four sections – Quantitative Aptitude, General Reasoning & Computer Aptitude, Finance & General Awareness, and General English

Mode of Test – Online 

Type of Questions – Objective-type

Number of Questions –  190 

Time Allotted – 160 minutes 

Negative Marking – 1/4th of the total marks is deducted for every incorrect answer

SBI Clerk Mains exam layout are mentioned below

Phase III: Local Language Test

Candidates, who qualify the Mains exam, have to either:

  1. Furnish their proof of regional language proficiency (class 10th certificate testifying that they have studied their local language at secondary level i.e, Class 9 and 10), or
  2. Appear for the ‘Local Language Test’

Important Note – Those who fail to clear this phase are disqualified from the recruitment process.

SBI has not defined any paper layout for Local Language Test. However, candidates can expect the questions (in their respective regional language) from below-given topics: 

  1. Antonyms & Synonyms
  2. Fill in the blanks
  3. Find the error
  4. Correct the spellings
  5. Match the pairs
  6. Translate some of the passage into the opted language
  7. Write numericals in the opted language

SBI Clerk Selection Process – Shortlisting of Candidates

Candidates are shortlisted on the grounds of their performance in SBI Clerk Prelims and Mains exam. The SBI Clerk selection criteria, after both the stages, depend upon various factors, as mentioned below:

Phase I of SBI Clerk Selection 

Candidates who qualify SBI Clerk Prelims as per the prescribed cut off get the opportunity to take part in the Mains examination. As per the previous years’ trends, the number of candidates who are shortlisted for SBI Clerk Mains exam is 10 times more than the total available vacancies. 

Phase II of SBI Clerk Selection 

Selection after Phase II entirely depends upon candidates’ aggregate score in the Mains examination. Those who obtain the marks as per the SBI Clerk Mains cut off qualify for next stage. The exam conducting authority decides the state-wise and category-wise minimum qualifying marks. 

Final SBI Clerk Selection

In the final selection process of SBI Clerk, the eligible candidates appear for the Local Language Test. It is mandatory to qualify this test to be selected for final recruitment at any of the SBI branches across India.  

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SBI Clerk Selection Process – Final Merit List

The exam conducting authority prepares the final merit list on the basis of the candidates’ aggregate marks in SBI Clerk Mains exam and their Local Language Test qualification status. Candidates can download the final merit list from the official website of SBI (sbi.co.in/careers) in PDF format. Both state and category-wise merit lists are released online and the roll numbers of finally selected candidates are mentioned in it. 

SBI Clerk Selection Process – Waitlist 

As per the official advertisement of SBI Clerk recruitment 2020, “A wait list of up to 50% of vacancies (State-category wise) will be maintained. Candidates will be released from this waitlist on quarterly basis against non-joining and resignation out of the current batch only, subject to the candidates securing minimum qualifying marks as may be stipulated by the Bank for selection. This wait list will be valid for a period of one year from the date of declaration of final result.”

SBI Clerk Selection Process – Cutoff 

SBI decides the cut off marks for both Preliminary and Mains examination separately. Candidates must mandatorily secure the minimum qualifying marks (in Prelims & Mains) to find their place in the final merit list. The table given below comprises the previous year’s cutoff list for reference of candidates:  

State-wise SBI Clerk Cutoff 2019 For General Category

State SBI Clerk Prelims Cut-Off (Out of 100) SBI Clerk Mains Cut-Off (Out of 200)
Uttar Pradesh 72.25 97.5
Uttarakhand 75.25 96.5
Chhattisgarh 57.5 87.75
Bihar 76.25 98
Jharkhand 75 97.5
Assam 57 85
Maharashtra 62.5 89.75
Madhya Pradesh 73.5 94.75
J&K 81.75 – 
Karnataka 48.5 85.75
Kerala 78 96.25
Odisha 73.5 94.75
Delhi 71.25 99.75
Chandigarh 77.25 – 
West Bengal 73.25 97.25
Rajasthan 71 97
Telangana 68.5 – 
Punjab 76.25 102.75
Haryana 75.25 103.25
Gujarat 65.5 91.25
Andhra Pradesh 74.75 99.75
Tamil Nadu 61.25 98
Himachal Pradesh 71.75 101.25


SBI Clerk Recruitment – Period of Probation

A probation period of 6 months is mandatory for every appointed Junior Associate/ Clerk, anywhere across India. During this probation time, SBI Clerks have to undergo various mandatory processes as recommended by the authority.

  1. There are 15 e-learning modules that candidates must complete within the probation period.
  2. The performance of Junior Associates is under radar during the probation period. 
  3. Those who fail to complete the e-modules on time or cannot perform up-to-the mark will not be considered as confirmed employees of the bank and their probation period shall be extended.

SBI Clerk Selection Process  – Number of Vacancies 

As per the official notification of SBI Clerk 2020, the number of total vacancies (regular & backlogs) for various categories is as follows:

Category Regular Vacancies 
General  3447
Economically Weaker Section  790
Scheduled Castes  1214
Scheduled Tribes  746
Other Backward Castes   1803
Total  8000


Click here to know more about state-wise breakup of vacancies and recruitments under backlogs. 

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SBI Clerk Selection Process – FAQs

✔️ What are the phases involved in the SBI Clerk 2020 selection process?

SBI Clerk selection process includes three stages - Preliminary test, Mains examination and Local Language Test (optional). The final selection of candidates is based on SBI Clerk Mains score and their Local Language Test qualification status (if applicable).

✔️ Is the Local Language Test mandatory for all the candidates in the SBI Clerk recruitment process?

No. This test is organized for those who fail to provide proof of local language proficiency (candidates have to present the certificate of class 10th stating that they have studied their regional level at secondary level) Candidates who succeed in the SBI Clerk Mains exam take this test.

✔️ What is the concept of waitlist in the SBI Clerk recruitment process?

SBI prepares a waitlist consisting of the names of the candidates who fail to make place in the final merit list. However, candidates from the waitlist are considered for joining (as per waitlist merit) if any of the selected candidates (from the same batch) refuse to join or put their resignation(s).

✔️ What if I fail to complete e-learning modules during the probation period after selection as SBI Clerk?

SBI extends the probation period of those candidates who find it difficult to complete a total of 15 e-learning modules within the given time of 6 months.

✔️ Do I need to face any interview during the SBI Clerk selection process?

No interview round is conducted under the SBI Clerk recruitment process. SBI Clerk final selection depends on the aggregate marks of the candidates in the Mains exam and their Local Language Test qualification status.

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