SBI PO Mains 2017 Exam Strategy. How to crack SBI PO Mains 2017 exam in first attempt?

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By Smartkeeda
24 Nov 2023

Experience shared by Vipin K. Shakya, Co-founder, Smartkeeda & Testzone.


Though this answer of mine was written with a purpose to help IBPS PO 2017 exam aspirants yet the strategy or preparation tips I shared here remain valid for SBI PO Mains 2017 exam preparation as well.

I would like to present a few steps here which are important for you to understand if you are preparing for SBI PO Mains 2017 exam. Go, read the complete answer and device your own exam strategy based on the learning you pick out of it. 

1st Step: Get to know everything about the exam you are going to take. It’s crucial.

Keep yourself abreast of the trend of questions, exam pattern, past year cut-offs of SBI PO exams, etc. Below are the key points that you must be aware of before you actually start your preparation.


If you are able to score 50% marks with 90% accuracy, you will surely be through.

Sectional cut off marks on an average fall between the brackets of 4–12 marks per section which clearly suggests that one need not be a master of all the sections while preparing for this prestigious exam.

Accuracy is the key. I repeat, ‘Accuracy’ is the key to success in IBPS PO exam. IBPS marking system works on the basis of ‘Percentile’ so it’s always better to attempt only those questions which you are confident of.

You must take the exam as it is. What students generally do is that they first fix a target based on past year’s cut offs and then they try achieving this target with their attempts, no matter their attempt go right or wrong. Mark my words, to crack a Bank PO exam you need not score 80–90% marks, you simply need to be better than the rest. So in any case, you must not try and attempt the questions which you aren’t sure of solving within a time limit. When the difficulty level of an exam rises, it rises for every candidate and the souls that are smart enough to pick the sitters are the top gainers.

You must be highly observant during the exam. As you go through a section, you must be able to segregate easy, moderate and difficult questions. Always pick the easiest of all first, attempt the moderate ones next and go to the difficult ones in the end if at all times allows you to. In Main exam I attempted only 76 out of 200 questions. Though I acknowledge the fact that to reach the final level of selection you must attempt a bit more number of questions and had I been really serious towards this exam, I would have prepared well and scored more in GA which has been a scoring subject as it fetches you more marks in less time. Section wise I could attempt only 10 question in Reasoning (100% accuracy), 18 in English language (100% accuracy), 16 in GA (81% accuracy), 14 in Computers (92% accuracy) and 18 in Quantitative Aptitude section (88% accuracy).


Below is the screen-shot of my Main exam result.


2nd Step:

Take a mock test to become aware of your current level of preparation. See how many marks you are able to score, get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Try to measure the gap you need to fill in. Make a list of topics which have high probability of getting featured in the next IBPS PO exam. You can refer to visit the link for this purpose. Click on the topic analysis tab to get to know the topics, their respective weight-age and trend related to SBI PO Mains 2017 exam.



3rd Step:

Make a habit of practising high value topics such as Data Interpretation, Inequalities, Data Sufficiency, etc. in Quantitative Aptitude, then Syllogism, Inequalities, Puzzle Test, Seating Arrangement Puzzles, Statement-Inferences, Statement-Courses of Action, etc. in Reasoning and Comprehension Test, Connect the sentences, Pick the odd sentence out, Paragraph Completion, etc in English language section. I egg you on not to be a jack of all trades but master of some. And when I state the word ‘master’ here, I really mean you to be one.



4th Step:

Keep enhancing your level of awareness. It will further help you increase your speed. Whenever you attempt a question or set of questions while practising at home, try finding the shortest possible ways to reach the correct answers.

For instance, in my case I was sure of my attempts of Syllogism in the Reasoning section in the Main exam because I followed the method we explain at Smartkeeda. I didn’t even use a pen and was able to mark the correct answers just by observing the given statements and conclusions. 

Similarly, there are numerous shortcuts (though not all are worth following) and intuitive methods which would really help you attempt maximum number of questions in a given time limit.

Lastly, I would like to state that “Cracking a competitive exam is more about strategy and planning than sheer hard-work.”


I hope it helps. All the best!


Smartkeeda (author)

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