[Study-plan] SBI PO General Awareness (GA), Computer, Marketing, Economy Topicwise preparation strategy, free studymaterial

SBI PO GA Analysis

[Study-plan] SBI PO General Awareness (GA), Computer, Marketing, Economy Topicwise preparation strategy, free studymaterial

  1. General Awareness: SSC-CGL vs SBI-PO
  2. SBI Priority order: ECM approach
  3. Economy for SBI PO
  4. Economy: Theory
  5. Economy: Current
    • #1: India Yearbook
    • #2: Economic  Survey 2012-13
    • #3: Magazines
    • #4: Newspapers
  6. Computers
  7. Marketing
  8. Misc.GK
  9. Data interpretation
  10. English
  11. Appendix #1: download links
  12. Appendix #2: List of questions from previous exams
    • Q. Economy: Theory
    • Q. Economy: Government related
    • Q. Economy: RBI related
    • Q. Economy: World Economy
    • Q. Computer: Database related
    • Q. Computer: Internet Related
    • Q. Computer MS Office/softwares
    • Q. Computer OS, Software, Basic
    • Q. Marketing
    • Q. Yearbook
    • Q. Misc.GK, Sports, books, PIN

In the earlier article, we saw the approach for SBI PO: Reasoning (High level) click me.
Now the next topic: General Awareness + computer + marketing. + truckload of free study material.
Since many of you, are simultaneously giving SSC + SBI, so first let’s check the difference between

General Awareness: SSC-CGL vs SBI-PO



History, science, polity, geography essential. Not asked.
Marketing not asked Avg.11 questions.
Computer barely 2-3 questions Avg.13 questions
Economy : mostly based on theory. Avg 14 Qs.(including current affairs). Difficulty level bit of economy Qs. higher than SSC’s.

SBI Priority order: ECM approach

  1. In the SSC-CGL studyplan, we saw that priority order was “SSC” (Static > Science > Crap) click me
  2. Similarly for SBI PO, the priority order is “ECM” =Economy > Computer > Marketing. Following table should clear the doubt
TOPIC 2010A* 2010N 2011A
Economy 14 16 13
Computer 13 14 13
Marketing 12 11 12
International 4 3 5
Misc.GK(persons in news, books, sports, awards etc.) 4 5 4
Yearbook 3 1 3
50 50 50

*A means associated banks. N = normal regular PO exam. As you can see, out of total 50 questions, more than 30 are coming from ECM only.  And in 2010 and 2011’s exams, the sectional cutoff for General Awareness was at max 11 marks.

SBI PO GA Analysis

Even in older papers, questions revolve around more or less ^these same topics. Although Internal marks breakup may differ per year. Now let’s check approach for individual topics:

Economy for SBI PO

Internal breakup looks like this:

Economy 2010A 2010N 2011A
Theory 4 7 5
Government related 4 4 5
RBI related 4 3 2
world economy/ International 2 2 1
Subtotal: Economy 14 16 13

To get better idea on “nature” of questions, go to the appendix of this article.

For exam-oriented preparation of SBI PO, I classify Economy into following two subtopics

  1. Theory
  2. Current Affairs
    1. Government related (GDP, fiscal policy, taxation, planning Commission etc.)
    2. RBI related (repo, reverse repo, priority sector, NBFC, etc. and the banking and finance concepts) + other “regulators” like SEBI, IRDA
    3. World Economy (EU, USA, recession reasons etc.)

From outside, and to a new player, Economy looks very boring and vast subject for competitive exams.  But that’s because you’re reading the wrong material and preparing in wrong direction. Know that 1) you don’t have to mug up all numbers 2) you don’t have to tick all questions. What you’ve to prepare for Economy-MCQs is:

  1. Understanding the Terms (not the “verbatim” definitions but working understanding of what does Repo/Reverse repo, fiscal policy, monetary policy etc. do?)
  2. Understanding the cause and effect between terms (for example what will happen to inflation if repo rate is increased or decreased? if IIP is low then what is the cause behind it? If WPI is high then what is the cause behind it?)
  3. Salient features/functions of some organization / scheme (like RBI, NABARD, Banking Ombudsman, QFI, granting new Bank licences etc.)
  4. Only the important numbers. like What is the latest FDI limit in insurance, aviation, multi-brand retail, single-brand retail etc. Tax to GDP, targets of 12th Five year plan, Highest WPI, lowest IIP last year etc. (you’ll find most of them in Economic Survey.)

Economy: Theory

Without getting grip over theory, you cannot digest current affairs. So preparation must start with theory.

  1. NCERT Class 11
  2. NIOS Economy Material.
  3. NIOS Marketing Material.

All them them available for free, download links given in appendix of this article.

  • “NIOS_Marketing” file also includes some important content on banking-finance. Refer Chap.9 “Banking services
    it’ll give you the idea on types of bank accounts, discounting bills, types of advances etc. terms. So you’d be able to handle MCQs associated with them.
  • NCERT Class 12 (Micro-Macro economy) would be boring and not much useful for the purpose of SBI. So you may ignore it.
  • Also read the economy articles on mrunal.org/economy

Economy: Current

The “Current affairs” on economy, rests on four pillars

#1: India Yearbook

  1. if you’re preparing for UPSC as well, you’d have India 2013 or India 2012 Yearbook. Do selective study of economy related Chapters from it. (List of topics, chapters and page numbers already given in separate article click me)
  2. if you’re not preparing for UPSC, then there is absolutely no need to specifically get India yearbook for the written exam of SBI. However use the India 2011 (free PDF given in Appendix). From that, prepare the specific topics as per above link (page numbers will be different, some topics may not be there.) Note: some information may be outdated in India 2011 but the basics of finance ministry, functions of its departments, functions of RBI, SEBI etc. remains one and same).

#2: Economic  Survey 2012-13

  • Economic survey is a document released by Government, just before budget.
  • It gives you overall idea on how economy performed last year and what should be done for future.
  • it is goldmine for current affairs related questions of Economy.
  • Whatever (jholaachhap) magazines/books/material comes in the market during March-April flood period, they’re basically copypaste job from Economic survey data + Yearbook + Newspapers. So better use the original, unpolluted version.
  • Besides, if you’re only preparing for SBI (meaning you don’t have India 2013/12) then you must to go through Economic Survey to fillup the “gaps”.
  • Economic Survey was released today (February-27-2013). Free download links given in the appendix of this article.
  • While it looks very bulky and boring, but you don’t have to prepare every-line and word from it
  • I’ll soon release a specific reading plan for Economic survey. Then you prepare the survey accordingly. But first, I gotta read the whole survey myself so it’d take some time hahaha.

#3: Magazines

  • By magazines, I mean competitive magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan, Civil Service times, Chronicle, Wizard etc. Any one is fine.
  • Basically you’ve to do is following
  1. Go to local library (if you’re already buying these magazines for last 6-8-12 months, then no need to go to local library). Pratiyogita Darpan also gives free access to online magazine. But it doesn’t work well on slow speed internet, + they don’t allow you to save PDF = not very convenient.
  2. Concentrate on the only first 20-25 pages of every month’s issue. Here they give you brief on national, international, science-tech, economy, +person in news/book/awards misc.GK. so you note down any important information that is worthy for MCQs. (without getting into minor details.) Remaining pages are filler pages: toppers’ interviews, recycled articles on polity, IR etc. not very important for SBI. (+time is less, so you can’t afford to read the whole magazine.)
  3. For SBI PO, you need to concentrate on Economy, International, Misc GK from Magazines only. You may ignore the science-tech part. (if you’re not preparing for UPSC / State PSC or SSC simultaneously.)
  4. You can also refer the Perons-in-News (PIN) series given under Mrunal.org/Current

#4: Newspapers

  • If you are already reading English newspapers that is very good.
  • If you’re not reading English newspapers, then start reading them from tomorrow itself. (either @home, office, library or internet).
  • Why ? because SBI also has 1) descriptive English paper, 2) Group discussion (GD) and 3) Personal Interview (PI): and for all three of them you need fodder material to cite. Newspaper-columns provide you plenty of fodder material on any topic: pros cons of FDI, women empowerment, lokpal, inflation, freedom of speech, social networking sites.…and so on.
  • But the novice players live in a myth that “Just 10-15 days before GDPI, I will buy some readymade book and become “expert” in all topics”. Sorry that’s not gonna happen. If you want to perform decently in GDPI, you’ve to read English newspaper  on daily basis. (same rule for CAT/MBA/IIM.)
  • + Newspaper also helps you improve vocabulary.
  • Even in newspaper, not everything is important for exams. So how to read newspaper from exam point of view, already explained: click me.

This pretty much concludes economy portion. Now moving to next item.


The internal breakup for Computers is given in following table

Computer subtopic 2010A 2010N 2011A
Database  Management 3 7 2
Hardware 1 1 4
Internet/Networking 6 4 4
Ms-Office 0 1 1
OS/Software Basics 3 1 2
Subtotal:Computer 13 14 13
  • If you already have some book for Computer (from Kiran, Arihant, BSC, GKP etc), that’s well and good. Read, revise it multiple times.
  • If you don’t have any book on computer then no need to specifically purchase a book because….
  • NIOS (National open school) runs various courses on Computer/IT/Web-design/Software programming and provides free PDF files.
  • However many of those PDFs deal with advanced use of C++ commands, Foxpro, HTML or javascript codes etc. such things are useless from exam point of view.
  • So, I’ve compiled the important and exam-relevant chapters from various courses of  NIOS. Free download links in appendix of this article.  (please note: some chapters would overlap but content and coverage is still quite good.)
  • After that use any mock papers/ old papers.



  • Last topic in the ECM trinity (Economy, Computer and Marketing).
  • Here you have to know the definition of certain important terms and concepts (call, lead, convert, 7p, 4p, segmentation, channels, personal selling, marketing mix etc).
  • Most of the MCQs are directly asked from those terms, in some cases you’ve to combine the definition with common sense and you’re done.
  • I’ve included the NIOS_Marketing material at the bottom of article. While it is a good read, but it doesn’t cover all the important marketing terms for the exam, so it has to be supplemented by some book.
  • For marketing, there are plenty of books in the market: Arihant, Kiran, BSC. If you already have one, well and good, use it.
  • If you don’t have any, I would suggest go for Arihant’s Book on Marketing
  • Read all the theory and solve all the mock questions.


Internal breakup looks like this

subtopic 2010A 2010N 2011A
book-author 2 0 0
PIN 1 4 3
Sports 1 1 1
Subtotal: Misc.GK 4 5 4

Just go through this list for 2012-13

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