SBI PO Prelims 2016 Exam – Paper Pattern and Expected Cutoff

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

SBI PO Prelims Exam 2016 - Paper Pattern and Expected Cutoff
Hello everyone!

Some of our students just came back from the exam and this is the information that we have managed. Please do correct it / suggest changes if you feel we have missed something out.

First of all, overall the paper can be said that it was easy to moderate in all sections. Compared to last year, most students found it slightly harder – the main reason for that being the more than usual number of puzzles / arrangement questions in the Reasoning section. We expect the overall cutoff to be around the same as last year. One reason to push it slightly lower could be because of harder reasoning section. One reason to push it higher could be that aspirants are better prepared for a prelims exam this time around. Last year was the first time the exam was conducted. Also, the number of people writing the exam is expected to be higher than last time. Considering all this, we believe the expected cutoff for prelims should be anywhere between 43-48 marks.

Given below is the paper pattern and expected sectional cutoffs.

Exam Paper pattern for SBI PO Prelims 2016

Section 1 – English Language

Given below is the break up of the English Language section in the SBI PO Prelims 2016 Exam.

1. The section began with a Reading Comprehension passage that had 10 questions. The passage was moderate in reading level. It was based on women empowerment and a survey conducted about female equality across various countries. 5 questions were direct from the passage whereas the other 5 were synonym / antonym based questions. Overall, attempting this passage should have been easy and high scoring.

2. The RC passage was followed by Cloze test that had 5 questions. It was a passage based on how the modern day technologies have changed communication and impact. The word choices were easy.

3. Parajumbles had 5 questions, and as usual it was slightly harder than the other parts. If you are good in English, you should have attempted it. Otherwise you could have skipped it.

4. Spotting Error had 5 questions out of which 3 could be called easy whereas the others were moderate.

5. Fill in the blanks had 5 questions which were easy. This became specially easy if you used the options.

Overall Level – Easy
Good number of attempts – 20-25
Expected Sectional Cutoff – 10-12

Section 2 – Reasoning Ability

Given below is the break up of the Reasoning Ability section in SBI PO 2016 Prelims Exam.

1. The first puzzle had 5 questions based on grid / matrix arrangement. It was really difficult when compared to everything else in the paper. Since it was the first puzzle, it is safe to assume that a lot of people would have attempted it and wasted precious time on it. For those of you who are giving the exam later, I would like to emphasize – please do not get stuck on a question or set of questions . This particular puzzle dealt with different employees in different departments going to different cities. Once you have so many variables to match, the questions become a lot harder. These type of questions should be skipped.

2. The second puzzle was on the easier side. It also had 5 questions but it dealt with boxes and matching colors. It could be done quickly and every student should have attempted it.

3. The third puzzle was a standard linear arrangement set with 5 questions. In this puzzle people were supposed to stand in a line facing north or south. If you are comfortable with these type of questions, you should have attempted it. If not, this could have been skipped. But let me add, this was of moderate difficulty level. It wasn’t as hard as the first puzzle.

4. The fourth puzzle also had 5 questions which was of moderate difficulty.

5. There were 5 questions on inequalities which were pretty direct and easy to solve. These were the scoring questions in the Reasoning Ability section.

6. In the end, there were 2 questions on Direction Sense. Both these questions were based on the same passage. So ideally, you had to solve one question and get two answers for it. This should have been attempted. All those students who were wise enough to skip the puzzles in the beginning reaped the benefit of scanning the entire paper and attempting the easy questions.

7. In the end, there were 3 questions on Blood Relations. These were also of easy to moderate difficulty level.

Overall, it could be said that Reasoning Ability was the hardest section in the SBI PO 2016 Prelims Exam. The main reason for that being the surprise factor of 4 puzzles. There were no questions in syllogism. There were no questions on coding-decoding. This type of change sometimes throws off a few students. But the students who had given a large number of mocks would have definitely done well in this section because they would have known what to attempt and what to skip.

Overall Level – Difficult
Good number of attempts – 15-18
Expected Sectional Cutoff – 5-6

Section 3 – Quantitative Aptitude

1. There were 5 questions on Number Series. Most of them were on the easier side. Good students should have attempted at least 4 out of the 5 questions.

2. There were two sets of 5 questions each on Data Interpretation. The set that was based on Bar Grpah was definitely easier than the other set that was based on Tables. In the Bar Graph based set, 2-3 questions had really simple calculations and should have been attempted in the exam.

3. There were 5 easy sitters on simplification / approximation. I cannot think of any reason for a student to skip these questions. These type of questions have been consistently asked in the exam over the years and students have practiced these as well.

4. There were 5 questions Quadratic Equations. These were also in the easy to moderate category. Once again, this is something that students would have practiced over their prep and should have done well in.

5. In the end there were 10 miscellaneous questions on a variety of topics. Most of these were also on easy to moderate category. They included questions on profit and loss, Probability (Balls), Compound Interest, Partnership. These are once again a pretty standard feature of not just the SBI PO Prelims Exam but of all Bank PO exams.

This section was pretty much on expected lines and there were almost no surprises here. However, since this was the last section in the exam, and after the Reasoning Ability section, not many students would have been able to do exceedingly well in this. The primary reason for that being the pressure of the end of the exam and time running out. The cutoff and scores would have been lot higher if everyone attempted this in the beginning of the paper. However, very few would have done that.

Overall Level – Moderate
Good number of attempts – 15-18
Expected Sectional Cutoff – 6-7

So, for those of you who have taken the SBI PO Prelims Exam already – start preparing for mains.
For those of you who are yet to take the test – Best of luck!

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