Ready for Reasoning Ability in SBI PO Prelims Exam?

Reasoning Ability in SBI PO Prelims

If you are looking for job opportunities in banking sector, you will surely be preparing for the Reasoning Ability section. Over 17 lakh aspirants will be competing for 2200+ PO vacancies in SBI. Such a scenario will engender a high competition.

Now a question arises, what should be my approach while preparing for the Reasoning Ability section – perhaps, the most crucial part of the exam.

You could prepare blindly for the exam, roll the dice and test your luck. You may succeed but chances of that happening are bleak. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to be thoroughly prepared with the topics and have a sound strategy. Here are the steps you need to follow to succeed in the Reasoning Ability Section of the SBI PO Prelims 2016. 

Strategy to prepare for the Reasoning Ability – SBI PO Prelims

As per the exam pattern, there are 35 questions in the Reasoning Ability section. Some of the important topics are:

  • Blood Relations
  • Syllogism
  • Statement and Conclusions
  • Missing Character
  • Directions
  • Seating Arrangements- Liner/Circular
  • Ranking
  • Data sufficiency
  • Puzzles
  • Coding – Decoding and Analogy
  • Classification

    Know previous year cut off:

    In order to be eligible for the Main exam, you must clear sectional as well as the overall cut off.


Let’s have a look at previous year’s cut off.

S.No. Section Maximum Marks SC/ST/OBC General
1 English Language 30 3.25 5.75
2 Quantitative Aptitude 35 3.50 5.75
3 Reasoning Ability 35 5.75 9.25
4 Overall cut off 100 SC- 37.25

ST- 19.75

OBC- 42.25


It is evident from the cut-off pattern that the Reasoning Ability section had the highest sectional cut-off. Friends, you really need to gear up for this section in order to score well.

Practice is the key to success:

The best and probably, the only strategy here is smart practice along with time management and question selection. The assumption, conclusion, inference type of questions and puzzles properly are quite important and require a lot of practice. These questions may constitute a large part of this section in the SBI PO Prelims exam. If you properly attempt these questions you can add at least 10-15 marks to your score card. To build a good command over these topics, you can enroll for Career Launcher’s FREE Reasoning Ability Sectional Tests. These tests help you work on your weak areas to maximize your score.

Prioritizing questions:

Categorization will help you prioritize questions based on your skills and will help you save time when solving each category.

Reasoning ability questions in SBI PO Prelims can be divided into three categories:

  • Easy or less time-consuming question:

    These questions should be your first target. They take less time and can help you get easy marks. The topics are:

    • Classification/ Odd pair
    • Series Completion/ Analogy
    • Direction based questions
    • Ranking & Sequence questions
  • Medium difficulty level questions:

    The time taken and the number of questions attempted depends on your practice and speed. The aim is to get higher accuracy in lesser time. The topics include:

    • Syllogisms
    • Inequalities
    • Blood Relations
    • Coding Decoding
    • Data Sufficiency
    • Analytical Reasoning (Assumption-inference-conclusion, Course of Action, Strong/weak argument)

For candidates who are average in reasoning ability, the above two categories combined are enough to clear sectional as well as overall cut-off in the SBI PO Prelims exam.

  • Time-consuming questions:

    SBI PO Prelims features about 2 sets of these questions with 4-5 questions in each set. They should be attempted in the end depending on how much time you have left. Apart from practice, you also need to develop good judgement and understanding of questions. The topics are:

    • Seating Arrangement – Liner/Circular
    • Floor Puzzle
    • Input Output Machine

While attempting the SBI PO Prelims exam, don’t waste time on questions which you are doubtful of as this may reduce the number of questions you attempt and you may lose valuable time. Ideally, you should devote atleast 20 minutes to this section.

Remember, the SBI PO Prelims marks will not be considered in the final selection. Stay calm and give your best performance to clear the exam.

To complete your preparation you should take up Career Launcher’s Mock test Series, starting at just Rs. 499. Surely, you will be best prepared for the exam.

Wishing you all the best,

Team CL