SBI Clerk 2021 – Strategy and Last minute tips for Reasoning Section

We bring this article for your benefit, with a few handy inputs on how to prepare for, and succeed in, the Reasoning section of the upcoming SBI Clerk 2021 Prelim and Main examinations.

SBI Clerk Prelim – Reasoning:

The Reasoning section of this exam comprises 35 Qs which carry one mark each, and they need to be worked out in just 20 mins. There is a negative marking scheme, where 1/4th of the marks assigned for a question are deducted for each wrongly marked response. There are NO minimum qualifying marks for individual tests OR for the aggregate score.

The following data presents the topic wise break-up and analysis of the Prelim exam across the years [Feedback as given by T.I.M.E. students who have appeared for such exam in the past]

SBI Clerk 2020 Prelim:

S.No Topic Number of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Puzzles 15 – 21 Easy-Moderate
2 Direction Sense 2 – 3 Easy
3 Coding and Decoding 1 – 5 Easy
4 Sequence (letter/digit/symbol) 0 – 5 Easy
5 Symbol and notation (inequalities) 3 – 5 Easy
6 Blood Relation 0 – 3 Easy
7 Deduction 0 – 5 Easy
8 Set of numbers/words 3 – 5 Easy
9 Miscellaneous 2 – 4 Easy

SBI Clerk 2019 Prelim:

S.No Topic Number of questions given Level of Difficulty
1 Linear arrangement (all are facing north) 5 Easy
2 Comparisons 3 Easy
3 Circular arrangement 5 Easy
4 Box arrangement 4 Easy
5 Blood Relations 3 Easy
6 Set of words 5 Easy
7 Symbols and notations (in equalities) 3 Easy
8 Deductions / Syllogisms (only a few) 4 Easy to moderate
9 Miscellaneous 3 Easy

The following areas are considered important for the Prelim exam:

1. Symbols and notations
2. Blood relations
3. Direction sense
4. Coding-decoding
5. Syllogisms
6. Set of numbers /words
7. Sequence
8. Puzzles - Linear arrangements / Box arrangements / Floor arrangements / Circular arrangements / Distribution (days and months based) / Comparisons / Quant-based Reasoning

Though questions on Data Sufficiency are usually posed in the Mains exam, candidates are advised not to get complacent and be on their guard, as clear by the precedent set with their appearance in the 2018 Prelim (in the first slot on 30/6/2018, as reported by our students).

SBI Clerk Mains – Reasoning:

The Reasoning section of the exam consists of 50 Qs with a total of 60 marks, and the time allotted is 45 mins. The negative marking scheme put in place for this exam mandates the deduction of 1/4th of the marks assigned for a question, for every incorrect response.

A variable marking scheme MAY BE applicable in the Reasoning section of this exam.

The following data presents the topic wise break-up and analysis of the Main exam [Feedback as given by T.I.M.E. students who have appeared for such exam in the past]

SBI Clerk 2020 Mains Level of Difficulty
1 9 Letter arrangement (3 arrangements) [new model] 4 Moderate
2 Square (In and Out) (8P) [3arrangements] [new model] 4 Moderate
3 Set of words and numbers 1 Easy
4 Blood Relation (With symbols) 2 Moderate
5 Linear + Blood Relation (6P) 4 Moderate
6 10P + 10months 3 Moderate
7 7P + 7 years + QBR 4 Difficult
8 Certain Number of Floors in 2 buildings X and Y [new model] 4 Difficult
9 Two rows + vacant 4 Moderate
10 Meaningful Word Cannot be formed using 4th letter of the word 1 Easy
11 Alpha-numeric Sequence (2 steps) 1 Easy
12 Input Output (Vowel replaced with symbols) [new model] 4 Moderate
13 7P + 3 Departments + 7 Colours 4 Moderate
14 Data Sufficiency 3 Moderate
15 Direction Sense 1 Moderate
16 Coding and Decoding (condition based) 3 Moderate
17 Critical Reasoning 3 Difficult
SBI Clerk 2019 Mains (1st shift) Level of Difficulty
1 Designations (7 Persons) + Experience (Years) +Income 5 Moderate - difficult
2 Coding and Decoding (Condition based) 5 Difficult
3 8 persons + 3 years +3 months 5 Difficult
4 9 boxes + Quant Based Reasoning (multiples of immediately above box number) 5 Moderate - difficult
5 7 persons - linear arrangement - some south and some north facing + Quant Based Reasoning (ages) 5 Difficult
6 Input and output (Sequence type) 5 Difficult
7 Word formation 1 Easy
8 Word Arrangement (How many such pairs) 1 Easy
9 Inequalities (with symbols) 5 Moderate
10 Directions 5 Moderate
11 Critical Reasoning 8 Difficult
SBI Clerk 2019 Mains (2nd shift) Level of Difficulty
1 Circular + ages (8 persons) 5 Moderate -difficult
2 Linear arrangement + distance (7 cars) 5 Difficult
3 Three lines (Row 1 - 4 persons, Row 2 - 8 persons, Row 3 - 4 persons) 5 Moderate -difficult
4 Input output (odd -5, even +5, letters-alphabetical order) 5 Moderate
5 Direction sense (with symbols) 1 Moderate
6 Blood relations (with symbols) 3 Moderate
7 Inequalities (with symbols) 4 Moderate
8 Syllogism (only a few) 2 Moderate
9 4 boxes + colours 1 Moderate
10 Meaningful word formation 1 Moderate
11 7 persons linear 1 Easy
12 Hexagonal (6 persons - some inside and some outside) 1 Easy
13 Coding and decoding (three conditions) 4 Moderate
14 6 persons + 6 months (place, days) 5 Moderate
15 Critical Reasoning 7 Difficult

Though the section has been named the Reasoning and Computers part, no questions related to Computers have been asked during the last few years. The focus is more on Puzzles, Input-output, Data Sufficiency, Coding-decoding and Critical Reasoning in the main exam. While Critical Reasoning sounds intimidating, questions here are not time-consuming, as elimination of incorrect choices can easily be achieved. However, the likelihood of getting stuck with two close options cannot be ruled out.

The following areas are considered important for the Mains exam:

1. Symbols and notations
2. Blood relations
3. Direction sense
4. Coding-decoding
5. Syllogisms
6. Puzzles - Linear arrangements / Box arrangements / Floor arrangements / Circular arrangements / Distribution (day and month-based) / Comparisons / Quant based Reasoning
7. Data sufficiency
8. Input and output
9. Critical Reasoning

Strategy:

Though everything in an exam seems important, it is essential to prioritise the order in which you handle questions. In order to maximise the score, we recommend the below mentioned plan for attempting questions.

It is advisable to attempt questions on sequence, set of numbers / words, deductions, blood relations, directions, symbols and notations, word and number arrangements and input and output before moving on to others.

Solving puzzles must come next in this process. Among puzzles too, it is more time-saving to focus on comparisons before working out seating arrangements and distributions, which must be considered only at the end.

It is only very rarely that a few clues are given in a jumbled manner. Usually, from what we hear from our students, clues meant for solving puzzles are presented such that they help solve the given puzzle in the order in which the clues are given, thus obviating the need to move back and forth.

For the sake of time management, questions on Data Sufficiency and Critical Reasoning should be worked out at the end.

Work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen!

All the best.