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SBI PO Prelims time management tips

The State bank of India conducts the SBI PO examination for the recruitment of Probationary Officers. It is one of the most sought after banking jobs in India and with the lakhs of aspirants applying for this examination every year; it is definitely a tough nut to crack. The candidates must thus be fully prepared to tackle this level of competition. Time plays a crucial role in our lives and this examination is no exception to this fact.

The SBI PO Examination is just round the corner and time management is the best weapon that you can use in the arena of this entrance examination. Time is a limited resource and we need to make the best use of it. Time management implies management of an individual’s time effectively so that right amount of time is allocated to the right activity and no time is wasted in futile activities. It can be achieved by allotting time slots to various activities according to their importance.

Time management is the key to succeed in any competitive examination. Utilization of the time in hand is the most essential aspect of preparation. If you manage time effectively, you can devote enough time to all the sections and practice well. Especially in the case of SBI PO Prelims Examination, wherein you have to solve a 100 mark question paper within 60 minutes; time management is the best skill that you can acquire. This article will provide the candidates appearing for this examination with SBI PO Prelims time management tips.

The SBI PO examination is being conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1 : Preliminary Exam
  • Phase 2 : Mains Exam
  • Phase 3 : GD and interview

The Preliminary Examination is approaching and the candidates must have practiced enough. All that is required now is brushing up of concepts and time management skills. Read this article to gather time utilization tips and tricks so as to increase your chances of cracking this entrance test.

Examination Pattern

The Preliminary Examination consists of three sections including English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, and Reasoning Ability with a total of 100 marks. The duration of examination is 1 hour (60 minutes). The detailed pattern is shown as follows:


No. of questions

Maximum Marks

Time duration

English Language



1 hour

Quantitative Aptitude



Reasoning Ability






Time management tips

The candidates need to qualify all three sections in the preliminary examination to be able to move to the next level. It is thus essential to have a good strategy for attempting the paper. The candidates are advised to start with the section they are most confident about. Start with the English Section if you are confident of your English Language Skills or start with reasoning if you think you can score well in it. When you begin with the questions you are confident of solving correctly, it boosts your confidence further and gives you a good start. Solve the toughest section at the last. Banking entrances are all about speed and accuracy and with efficient time utilization; you can attempt maximum number of questions correctly.

Time management is not only essential during the exam but also while preparing for it. Devoting essential time to your weak areas and regular and sincere practice helps you prepare efficiently. It is also essential to keep in touch with all topics and revise them daily. All this can be achieved only by proper division of time. Some important points to be kept in mind while dividing your time for preparation are as follows:

  • The Reasoning section requires a lot of practice and with enough practice; one can score well in this section.
  • Grammar cannot be learnt in one day. You need to revise and practice daily to tackle questions related to Grammar in the English language section.
  • Vocabulary can be improved by making a list of the frequently used words and phrases.
  • Do not waste time deriving formulae in the exam hall. Instead, memorize them beforehand.

The details of tackling each section effectively are as follows:

English Language

Suggested time to be spent on this section: 15 minutes

This section will test the basic understanding and language skills of the candidate. Questions will be asked from Vocabulary, Synonyms, Antonyms, Idioms and phrases, Word formation, Sentence Completion, Error Detection, Passage completion, Passage Correction, Comprehension, Deriving Conclusions, Sentence correction, Identification of errors, Fill in the blanks, jumbled Sentences, Faulty sentence construction, Reading Comprehension etc.

The candidates who are comfortable with the English language can begin with this section since it is comparatively simpler than the others.

Logical Reasoning

Suggested time be spent on this section: 20 minutes

In this section, Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning type of questions will be asked. The important topics are: Syllogism, Analogies (Meaning Based & Logical), Critical Reasoning, Directions & Arrangements, Sequential Output Tracing, Visual Reasoning, Coding and Decoding, Blood Relations, Sitting Arrangements, Series Completion, Decision Making, Statement Reasoning, classification etc.

This section can be tackled easily if you have practiced enough. Start with the simpler questions to get a head start in this section and to be able to attempt the maximum number of questions.

Quantitative Aptitude

Suggested time to be spent on this section: 25 minutes

Important Tips

This paper is worth 100 marks but the time duration is only 1 hour. So, you have 0.6 minutes, i.e. 36 seconds to solve each question. Keep in mind the following points while preparing you strategy for this examination:

  • Since the question to time ratio is less than 1, it becomes essential to solve the questions that you are comfortable with first. Don’t waste time sticking on a question which is lengthy, and skip all the time consuming questions. Leave all such difficult questions for the last.

  • Divide your time according to your capability. If you are good in any section, say English, then, try to complete it faster, taking less time. Devote this extra time to your weaker sections. Also, keep in mind the time that you are devoting to each question. If any question is exceeding your planned time per question, leave it and move ahead.

  • Remember that there are sectional cut offs for each section as well. So, attempt sufficient number of questions in each section to increase your chances of succeeding in this examination.

  • Do not experiment in the exam hall. It is better to know your strengths and weaknesses beforehand so that you can identify the questions you can solve comfortably.

  • Do not try to be adventurous and take pride in solving the difficult questions. All kinds of questions, be it difficult or easy will fetch you the same marks. So, it is wise to invest your time in simpler questions to increase your attempts and thereby your total score.

  • Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude questions can be time consuming. It is thus essential to identify the easier questions and comprehension questions without many calculations and attempt them first.

  • Attempt as many questions as you can since, more the number of questions you attempt, more are the chances of a higher score in the examination.

  • Reach you examination centre within due time to avoid any hassles. It is advised to reach the centre at least one hour prior to the exam timings.

  • The prelims exam is only of 60 minutes. Do not get distracted within this period. Do not lose hope if you are not able to solve some questions. Stay positive and keep your cool throughout the examination.

Time management is the best technique that you can learn before the examination which will enhance your chances of success. It alleviates last minute stresses and makes you more confident. Along with efficient time management and the right problem solving approach, you are sure to go a long way.

Use the tips listed in this article to your advantage and increase your chances of clearing the SBI PO Prelims Examination with flying colours.

All the best!

Chakravarthi 1 Months ago
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amardeep singh 1 Months ago

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