SBI Asso PO Exam 2010(March 2010)

This analysis is based on feedback given by students. The actual break-up of questions can be different from what has been presented here.


Number of Questions (Objective) 200
Marking Scheme 1 mark per question
Negative Marking 0.25 marks per question
Number of sections 4
Number of Choices 5
Duration (Objective Paper) 120 minutes
Duration (Descriptive Paper) 60 minutes

Section Number of questions Good Time Allocation
Reasoning 50 30-35 min
Data Analysis and Interpretation 50 30-35 min
General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers 50 15-20 min
English Language 50 25-30 min

The critical reasoning questions increased the difficulty level of this section.The time required to be spent on this section is 30-35 minutes. An attempt of about 40 questions with an accuracy of 85-90% is possible. This can yield an excellent score. The average number of attempts would be 30 questions with 90% accuracy.

No of questions
Total Individual
Set based Easy Moderate Difficult
Coding & Decoding 3 3

Letter series 1 1

Sequences 3 3
2 1
Symbols & Notations 6 1 5 1
Direction sense 1 1

Word Formation 1 1

Critical Reasoning

Inferences 5

Strong & weak arguments 5 5

Assumption 5 5

Deductions 5 5
1 4
Analytical puzzles (Circular arrangement) 5
5 5

Decision making 5
5 5

Missing figure
5 5

Total 50 30 20 23 12 15
Data Analysis and Interpretation

This section had 50 questions overall, of which 3 questions were on probability, 2 on permutations and combinations and the remaining on Data Interpretation. There were no questions from Arithmetic. There were four sets of 5 questions each on tabular representation of data, a set based on a combination of bar graph and line graph, and a set based on two pie charts.

A line graph of profit percentages and a table with marks of some students are question types common to such exams.

Type of graph/ question Description No. of questions Level of difficulty
Table Price and number for six products 5 Moderate to difficult
Caselet Number of employees, depts, males and females 5 Moderate to difficult
Bar+ line Number of children – percentage of girls 5 Easy
Quant Probability 3 Easy to moderate
Quant Permutation and combinations 2 Easy to moderate
Two Tables Number of students passing or failing 5 Easy – 2q
Moderate – 2q
Difficult – 1q
Line graph Profit percentage 5 Easy to moderate
Table Percentage of marks of 6 students 5 1 easy, 4 moderate
Bar graph Number of people – mobile services 5 Easy
Table Distance traveled by 6 trucks 5 1 time consuming, 4 easy
Two – Pie charts Number of students attending interview and getting selected 5 3 moderate, 2 easy

A time span of 30 minutes should be spent in this section. The case-let can be avoided. A careful internal selection of questions in each set helps a student in answering more questions within the stipulated time.In most of the sets, we find mix of difficulty levels. However, all the 5 questions on bar graph were easy. The line graph based on profit percentage too was easy to solve.

28 questions with an accuracy of 90% can be considered to be a good attempt. Attempting 32 questions with 90% accuracy can be considered a very good score.

General Awareness, Marketing Aptitude & Computers

This paper had 25 questions on General Awareness, 12 questions on Marketing and 13 questions on Computers.

Questions on General Awareness were mainly related to current affairs, with an emphasis on banking and Indian economy. There were a few pertaining to international current affairs and only very few were stock G.K. questions.

Candidates who have kept themselves abreast with current affairs of the past six months would have answered about 15 out of the 25 questions on General Awareness.

Questions on marketing were general in nature. A candidate with a general understanding of marketing would easily have answered 6 to 8 questions out of the 12 on marketing. A majority of the questions were those discussed in the classroom or present in our coaching material.

English Language

The English segment of the exam was quite challenging, and candidates would have found it moderately difficult unless they were well-prepared and careful.

There were 20 RC questions - 2 comprehension passages each followed by 5 questions of detail and context, and 5 on meanings, opposites and usage of words and phrases. The first was a 300-word passage on the Indian Banking system, while the second was a 400-word passage on Bio-technology in agriculture. While the passages were not difficult to read, the choices were quite close and required careful examination.

There were 5 vocabulary questions - identification of pairs of synonyms and antonyms. Though the words were large (such as appalling, excruciating, superfluous, construe, and so on) they are in regular use and frequent readers would have come across most of them.

There were 5 Paragraph Formation Questions, of 5 sentences each. These were difficult, requiring identification of the theme sentence and grasp of idea-flow.

There was a Close test passage on the recession, with 10 blanks to be filled with appropriate words picked from the choices. 3 were easy picks, 5 were of moderate difficulty, while 2 were difficult because of the closeness of the options.

There were 10 sentence correction questions, comprising of long sentences with multiple errors. Various aspects of grammar were tested. These questions were difficult and time-consuming, requiring familiarity with and application of the rules of grammar.

Descriptive Writing:

There were five different types of questions in Descriptive Writing. The topics given indicate that the candidates were expected to display not only effective expression but also general awareness and mature thinking. The candidates who had developed their skills through frequent writing practice would have been able to deal with these tasks adequately.

The first was a letter of 150 words, out of 3 choices given. They were not as simple as they seemed at first sight (the benefits of trekking, a college student seeking the parent's permission to join a college excursion, an employee seeking paternity leave of 10 days).

The next task was a paragraph of 150 words on a topic out of 3 given. All were matters of general awareness for a young adult (pertaining to the environment and society). The candidates needed to present essential information and detail as reasons in support of a viewpoint.

The third task was an essay of 250 words on a topic out of the 3 given. Here the candidates would have had to display a balanced perspective apart from awareness (of social, economic and business issues).

There was 1 precis task - a passage of about 450 words to be summarized in 150 - requiring candidates to display the ability to identify key ideas and theme and present these in brief, while retaining the idea-flow.

Apart from the above,a small passage on Reading Comprehension was given.This was followed by five questions.The questions had no choices.Students were asked to answer each of these questions in a line or two.