SBI CBO Preparation-Complete Preparation Guide for SBI CBO

SBI has announced the recruitment of Circle-Based Officers (CBO). More than 3,800 vacancies of CBO have been announced in the recently released SBI CBO notification for the same.Here, we will be discussing about a one stop solution or SBI CBO preparation guide while briefly touching upon notification, vacancies and eligibility criteria for SBI CBO examination.

SBI CBO Recruitment 2020 – Eligibility Criteria

Educational Criteria

Graduation in any discipline from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government.

Age Limit for SBI Circle Based Officer 2020

Not above 30 years as on 01.08.2020 i.e. candidates must have been born not earlier than 02.08.1990.

Relaxation in Upper age limit:

  1. Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe – 5 Years
    2. Other Backward Classes (Non-Creamy Layer) –3 Years
    3. Persons With Disabilities (PWD) – PWD (SC/ ST) – 15 Years
    – PWD (OBC) –13 Years
    – PWD (Gen/ EWS) – 10 Years

Relevant Work Experience

Minimum 2 years’ experience (as on 01.08.2020) as an officer in any Scheduled Commercial Bank (SCB) or any Regional Rural Bank (RRB).

Note: Please note the relevant work experience is a mandatory component of eligibility criterion for SBI CBO, so, any fresh candidates or candidates with work experience in different areas, as stated above or candidates with less relevant work experience won’t be eligible for taking this exam.

SBI CBO Preparation: Test Pattern

SBI has come up with a newly introduced exam pattern for SBI CBO exam 2020. Earlier they used to directly call candidates for interview (without the conduct of any online examination). Let’s look at the pattern of the exam, before diving deep into SBI CBO preparation.

The online exam is divided into two parts:

Part 1: Objective Test (2 hours)

Part 2: Descriptive Test (30 minutes)

The examination pattern for the same is as follows.

Part 1: Objective Test

Name of the Section Number of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
General Awareness (General, Banking, KYC-AML, Preventive Vigilance, Legal Issues, Economy) 30 60 30 min
Data Analysis & Interpretation 20 40 30 min
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 30 60 30 min
English Language 20 40 30 min
Total 100 200 2 Hours


Part 2: Descriptive Test

Name of the Section Number of Questions Maximum Marks Duration
Letter Writing 1 25 30 min
Essay (250 words) [on banking related topics] 1 25
Total 2 50 30 min


SBI CBO: Topic-wise Syllabus

Please find below, topic-wise syllabus for the SBI Circle Based Officers examination.

General Awareness

Appointments, Important Dates, Currencies, Headquarters, KYC-AML, Preventive Vigilance, Legal Issues, Government and Non-Government Schemes, Global Indices, Prize and Awards, Military Exercises, Science and Technology, Books and Authors, Miscellaneous Topics: Name of cyclones, storms, natural calamity/emergency, obituary of prominent personalities etc.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Number Series, Data Interpretation, Simplification/ Approximation, Quadratic Equation, Data Sufficiency, Mensuration, Average, Profit and Loss, Ratio and Proportion, Work, Time and Energy, Time and Distance, Probability, Relations, Simple and Compound Interest, Permutation and Combination

 Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude

Seating Arrangements, Puzzles, Inequalities, Syllogism, Input-Output, Data Sufficiency, Blood Relations, Order and Ranking, Alphanumeric Series, Distance and Direction, Verbal Reasoning

English Language

Cloze Test, Reading Comprehension, Spotting Errors, Sentence Improvement, Sentence Correction, Para Jumbles, Fill in the Blanks, Para/Sentence Completion

Read Complete SBI CBO Syllabus here

SBI CBO Preparation Guide: Tips/Tricks/Hacks

  • First things first. Please keep in mind that the difficulty level of the paper would be moderate to difficult (most probably, towards the difficult side) as this is a single exam (unlike other banking exams, where there is Prelims and Mains). So, this test will be at par with the Mains level examination of SBI PO/IBPS PO et al. So, the preparations should be done accordingly.


  • Last 6 months to 1 year of current affairs needs to be prepared thoroughly. This can be done by preparing notes out of newspaper, referring to GK capsule (monthly BOLT series) and revising them regularly, so that they are fresh in our memory and can be recalled in the examination, when required.


  • For Data Analysis and Interpretation section, one can expect caselets based on concepts studied in Quantitative Aptitude and fewer number of direct questions (one-on-one, singleton questions). The key to ace this section is to keep revising the concepts of Quantitative Aptitude, along with practicing caselets based on these concepts.


  • Coming to Reasoning Ability section, the most important thing to crack this section is practice, practice and more practice. Get yourself familiar with different types of puzzles (floor-based, queue-based, circular-based, and so on and so forth) and keep on practicing them on a daily basis (a minimum of two puzzles in a day is a must). Also, do practise critical reasoning as it too forms a substantial part of this section.


  • In English section, the focus should be on RCs and grammar concepts. These two, if mastered, will help you sail through this section quite smoothly since almost all the topics are directly or indirectly based on these two. So, keep practicing RCs, revising grammar concepts, and solving different types of questions asked.
  • Descriptive Test: It forms a prominent part (weightage-wise) of the entire test, overall. The section is definitely scoring if prepared well. Time management is the key in this section since you will get cumulative of 30 minutes for essay and letter. In those 30 minutes, you need to comprehend the question, think/jot the relevant points, structure the essay/letter accordingly and type it out too, so, you need to manage your time quite well in order to complete the descriptive test on time.

Know SBI CBO Salary here

For essays, since the topic will be related to banking, so, all the banking relevant news, topics need to prepared well. You can prepare short notes out of it (pointers) and can elaborate on those points in the essay. Please stick to the word limit and follow IBC (Introduction-Body-Conclusion) structure, while writing the essay.

For letters, get yourself abreast with the format of formal and informal letters. This is of paramount importance, as far as letters are concerned. Proper salutation and body of the letter need to be kept in mind, while attempting this question.

Keep practicing and all the best for the examination!


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