The State Bank of India is conducting the Preliminary Examination 2015 -2016 for the recruitment of Probationary Officers on 20th, 21st, 27th and 28ThJune, 2015. Some candidates have already taken the test and some are working hard and gearing up for final rounds of revision. The introduction of Prelims exam has made candidates quite concerned and inquisitive about the likely qualifying marks or the cut –off required to clear the examination.

After discussing with you in detail the exam pattern of Slot 1 of SBI-PO Prelims conducted on 20th June, 2015, here is an estimate of the expected cut-offs.


Cut –Offs Trends in the previous years

This year the exam would consist of 100 objective questions worth 100 marks scattered over 3 sections. The 3 sections are English language – 30 questions = 30 marks, Quantitative Aptitude – 35 questions = 35 marks, Reasoning questions – 35 marks = 35 marks.

Let us look at the cut – offs for previous year’s SBI PO phase I examination

In year 2014 the cut – off for General Category was 80/200.

In Year 2013 the cut – off for General Category was 80/200.

In year 2011 the cut –off for General Category was 86/200.

From the above lines we can observe that the cut–off has loitered between 80 and 86 marks out of 200.There has been reduction in the cut–off from year 2011–2014.

What will be the expected Cut –off for SBI Prelims 2015?

The expected Cut off for SBI Prelims 2015 would be between 42 and 52 out of 100 for General Category Candidates. The cut off has been calculated on the basis of:

  • Previous year’s trends
  • Difficulty level of SBI Prelims exam conducted on the first 2 days
  • As per what the experts and tutors coaching Banking exam candidates
  • Careful analysis of past SBI Examination trends.


Experts are justified in saying so as they have carefully researched and analyzed the SBI Past trends and as per the rising difficulty of the exam. However, you should aim to score higher than the expected cut – off .You should aim to score 55-60 marks out of 100 marks to be on a safer side.


A candidate also has to clear individual cut-offs of the 3 sections in the test. The sectional cut-off is expected to be around 10-12 based on the difficulty level of the exam. The biggest challenge of clearing the SBI-PO Prelims is answering 100 questions in 60 minutes.


Case I The cut off is decreasing year by year which means the difficulty level of the examination is going to increase in the coming years. The examination would be difficult to crack this year even with a decreasing cut – off.

Case II The cut – off might rise even though the exam is more difficult than before. This would mean students are better prepared and competition is tougher.

Under any circumstances we can’t expect that the exam is going to be easier to crack than previous years.

The selection process is tougher than before with Prelims added as a filtration standard to gain entry to the Mains examination. Since, SBI has raised the standard of entry to the Bank PO recruitment we can’t expect the questions to be easier next weekend. The difficulty level of the questions would be similar or higher and therefore, aspirants are suggested to work hard and study thoroughly.

Rising Number of Applicants

In 2011, around 5 .1 lakhs of Candidates appeared for SBI Bank PO Examination against 1000 vacancies. In year 2013, 17 lakhs of candidates appeared against 1500 vacancies. In 2015 SBI has reported 2000 vacancies. The candidates applying for SBI PO are increasing and the competition is going to be closer and tougher than ever before.

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All those appearing for SBI-PO Prelims exam next week can attempt a FREE SBI-PO Mock Test on 25th June which will be on the same pattern as the exam conducted on 20th and 21st June.

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