State Bank of India (SBI) Clerical Grade Exam

This examination is generally held annually to recruit in the clerical cadre in State Bank of India and its associate banks. The SBI (State Bank of India) generally recruits young graduates as assistants of the clerical cadre. These assistants are offered great growth opportunities as they’re eligible for promotion after 3 years of service. Generally following posts are filled on the basis of this examination:

Age: Should be between 20 – 28 years (as on 1 May, 2016.) Relaxation in upper age limit: as per rules for specified categories including SC/ST/OBC etc.

 A candidate must be either a citizen of India or one holding eligibility certificates issued by the Government of India.

Minimum Educational Qualification: Bachelor’s degree of a recognized University in any discipline or its equivalent recognized as such by the Central Government/Institution.

Exam dates

Online application form will be available

June 2017

Last date to apply

June 2017

Admit Card will be available

July 2017

SBI Clerk 2017 Exam (Preliminary)

August 2017

Preliminary Exam Result

September 2017

SBI Clerk 2017 Main Exam

1st of week October 2017

Main Exam Result

November-December 2017

Issues Admit Card for Interview

January 2018


To be declared soon

Final Result

To be declared soon

Exam Pattern

SBI Clerical Grade examination involves two basic parts – Online test and interview.

Online Test:
The online (computer based) test will be for 2 hours, 15 minutes and will have objective type questions and the following five sections:
i) General awareness
ii) General English
iii) Quantitative Aptitude
iv) Reasoning Ability
v) Marketing aptitude/ computer knowledge

Each of these 5 sections will be for 40 marks (i.e. 200 marks total.) There will be negative marking (one-fourth marks) for wrong answers

Candidates qualifying in written examination would be called for an interview.


The total initial salary of a Clerical Cadre employee in SBI in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai will be around Rs.17,500 per month inclusive of D.A. and other allowances at the current rate. These allowances may differ depending upon the location of posting.

Pay scale: 7200-400/3-8400-500/3-9900-600/4-12300-700/7-17200-1300/1-18500-800/1-19300

Application Fee

Category - General and OBC

Rs. 450 /-

Category - SC/ ST/ PWD/ XS

Rs. 100 /-


Test of Reasoning: This test would include questions of both verbal and non-verbal type. The test may include questions on analogies, similarities, differences, space visualization, problem-solving, analysis, judgment, decision-making, visual memory, discrimination, observation, relationship concepts, arithmetical reasoning, verbal and figure classification, arithmetical number series, etc.

The test will also include questions designed to test the candidate’s abilities to deal with abstract ideas and symbols and their relationships, arithmetical computation and other analytical functions.

Test of English Language:
 This is a test to see how well you know English. English language ability would be tested through questions on grammar, vocabulary, sentence completion, synonyms, antonyms, comprehension of a passage, etc.

Test of Numerical Ability: 
Questions will be designed to test the ability of arithmetical computation of whole numbers, decimals and fractions and relationship between numbers. The questions would be based on arithmetical concepts and relationship between numbers and not on complicated arithmetical computations.

Test of Clerical Aptitude: 
The questions in Clerical Aptitude will be set to test the candidate’s perceptual accuracy and aptitude. This is the ability to notice similarities and differences between the pairs of names and numbers. Questions in Clerical Aptitude will also assess in addition to perceptual accuracy and aptitude, ability to handle office routine work like filing, abbreviating, indexing, etc.

Application Procedure: Notifications for the Clerical Grade examinations appear in all leading National newspapers and Employment News. Neatly typed or legibly handwritten applications should be submitted in the specified format to the Board as is mentioned in the notification.

Exam Pattern

Preliminary Exam Pattern

English Language

No. of Questions - 30
Marks - 30
Duration - 1 Hour

Numerical Ability

No. of Questions - 35
Marks - 35
Duration - 1 Hour

Reasoning Ability

No. of Questions - 35
Marks - 35
Duration - 1 Hour


No. of Questions - 100
Marks - 100
Duration - 1 Hour

Main Exam Pattern

General/Financial Awareness

No. of Questions - 50
Marks - 50
Duration - 35 Minutes

General English

No. of Questions - 40
Marks - 40
Duration - 35 Minutes

Quantitative Aptitude

No. of Questions - 50
Marks - 50
Duration - 45 Minutes

Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude

No. of Questions - 50
Marks - 60
Duration - 45 Minutes


No. of Questions - 190
Marks - 200
Duration - 2 Hours 40 Minutes

Details of the SBI Clerk Interview will be released soon after the Main Exam.

Negative Marking:

  • The candidate should remember that there is a negative marking for the wrong answer..
  • 1/4th mark will be deducted for each wrong answer.

Read: Corporate bank PO exam

How to prepare?

Every year, a multitude of candidates appear for the banking service examinations and naturally, there is an intense competition for the jobs that are a handful in number. Therefore, a thorough preparation is required in order to get through.

To be successful, regular practice in all the five tests viz. Test of Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness, Descriptive Test and English Language, is essential. Various competition magazines adequately cover all the sections. To supplement their efforts, candidates may refer to standard books on General Knowledge.

The basics can be done by using tenth standard books and then start doing section tests, from Reasoning, Maths, English, etc. Try to get a good score in each section. After that, do some full-length tests that contain all the sections, within the stipulated time. For the descriptive paper, refer to the model paragraphs and descriptive questions published in the Competition Magazines. The candidate must have a good expression and the sentences must be grammatically correct. Efforts must be made to improve your handwriting as well, as this could be a major shortcoming in the written paper. Apart from this, the candidate must be aware of current issues and recent incidents of importance.

There are a number of books and correspondence courses available for bank preparatory examinations. There is, however, no substitute for self-study and self-preparation. Regular studies, systematic preparations, self-confidence and regular practice, is all that is required to pass this exam.

After the written examination, the short-listed candidates are called for an interview. General questions are asked to check the candidate’s General Awareness and relevant issues related to Economics. The interview is also conducted to gauge the candidate’s personality and aptitude. Therefore, Candidates should prepare for the interview simultaneously and take care to develop their personality and confidence.

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