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
  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

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


Take ^it as your “foundation” for your Misc.GK. Then use whatever magazines/ competitionmaster.com to fill-up more data as per your time and mood.

Now Last two topics: International affairs + Yearbook

  1. International affairs
Use the pillar #3 (magazines +/- competitionmaster.com) and #4 (newspaper) for this.
No need to cover it in detail, just pay attention to organizations, their full forms, places where summits were held, any keyterms/ leaders associated etc. Most of the MCQs are not very deep or difficult. So cost:benefit =quite good.
  1. Yearbook (Government schemes etc.)
Economic Survey + magazines. Just need to know basic.

So far covered: Reasoning (High level) + General Awareness (+Marketing + computer)
Article on remaining topics (DI + English) will be published soon. (but not before the studyplan for Economy survey).

In the mean time, here is brief overview

Data interpretation


  • NCERT class 11 Statistics Chapter #3, 4 and 5. Click me for free download
  • Technique to do Long division and ugly percentages quickly: click me to learn
  • Trachtenberg system for quick multiplication (especially for 5 and 9). Lot of articles on internet. Start with wiki
  • DI doesn’t have much theory (except a few things in pie chart, averages etc.) so practice is what matters.
  • For practice, If you’ve old papers or some mock paperset, use it. Otherwise, go for Kiran Prakashan’s Practice Workbook for SBI PO
  • Kiran’s Practice Workbook also has mock papersets On all topics of SBI :DI,GA,computer,marketing,Englist objective, English Descriptive too) + previous 14 solved papers of previous SBI  exams= tonnes of practice.


  1. Grammar book. If you don’t have one, use SP Bakshi (Arihant).
  2. For descriptive, same Kiran Prakashan’s Practice Workbook for SBI PO, for getting writing practice for the descriptive papers.

Anyways, ^this is just overview, detailed article on English + DI later.

Appendix #1: download link for SBI PO Free Study material

Just go to following link, click on file names and downloads will start.


Above link contains zip files for

  1. NCERT Economy class 11
  2. NIOS Economy basics
  3. Economic Survey 2012-13
  4. India 2011 Yearbook
  5. NIOS Computer material for SBI PO
  6. NIOS Marketing material for SBI PO

Please note: some files are in .7z format because .zip format was not compressing them enough. For example zip of Economic survey was around 19MB bu 7z file is only 13 MB. So use this free program called 7-Zip to open such .7z files:  Click me to download 7-Zip by the way 7zip can also open normal .zip and .RAR files.

To enjoy the PDF files inside, use Foxit PDF reader. It is free, allows many features like copying text, highlighting lines etc. Click me to download Foxit PDF reader.

Appendix #2: List of questions from previous exams

List of questions from last three exams, to give you an idea on what type of information you should be looking / skipping while studying.

Q. Economy: Theory

Topping texts: meaning 2010A
FCRA 2010A
NPA 2010A
Terms associated with spanking 2010A
Special Drawing rights 2010N
NBFC full form 2010N
Preferred foreign currency 2010N
Disinvestment meaning 2010N
Supply-side bottlenecks in inflation 2010N
Indexes for measuring inflation 2010N
NBFC example 2010N
Measuring food inflation 2011A
Full form of FINO 2011A
items on which subsidy is given 2011A
LAF full form 2011A
SLR meaning 2011A

Q. Economy: Government related

challenges to Indian economy 2010A
Tendulkar poverty line 2010A
11th five year plan targets 2010A
industrial policy 2010A
highlights of budget 2010N
3G auction Ministry 2010N
fiscal consolidation 2010N
pricing of fertilisers 2010N
inflation and petroleum 2011A
Bhagyam oilfields 2011A
land acquisition 2011A
Bamboo as liberated item 2011A
GDP set by planning commission 2011A

Q. Economy: RBI related

electronic cheque 2010A
local area banks 2010A
financial inclusion target 2010A
priority sector lending certificate 2010A
RBI capital account convertibility 2010N
QIB 2010N
physical settlement of derivatives 2010N
base lending rate increase 2011A
review of bad debts in priority sector 2011A

Q. Economy: World Economy

World Bank report on rural development 2010A
Indo US financial partnership 2010A
yuan policy 2010N
European Union deficit reduction 2010N
BPPIC company 2011A

Q. Computer: Database/Programming related

compiler or converter 2010A
database 2010A
DBMS 2010A
database administrator 2010N
field text 2010N
information system 2010N
design control 2010N
data mining 2010N
storing data in many places 2010N
processing cycle 2010N
system unit function 2011A
system software function 2011A

Q. Computer: Hardware related

WebCam 2010A
network adapter 2010N
chip system 2011A
notebook 2011A
circuit board 2011A
billionth of a second 2011A

Q. Computer: Internet Related

HTTP 2010A
server 2010A
firewall 2010A
TCP/IP 2010A
HTML 2010A
LAN 2010A
Internet 2010N
server 2010N
client/server 2010N
IP address 2010N
chat group 2011A
antispam 2011A
hyperlink 2011A
FTP 2011A

Q. Computer MS Office/softwares

presentation slights 2010N
Microsoft messenger function 2011A

Q. Computer OS, Software, Basic

start menu 2010A
fragmentation 2010A
batch files 2010N
embedded operating system 2011A
Java applets 2011A

Q. Marketing

aim of marketing 2010A
aggressive marketing 2010A
efficient marketing requirements 2010A
modern marketing style 2010A
call 2010A
lead generation 2010A
conversion 2010A
salesperson performance 2010A
marketing research 2010A
value-added services 2010A
customisation 2010A
e-marketing 2010A
7P 2010N
home loan canvassing 2010N
CRM 2010N
growth strategy 2010N
SME 2010N
blue Ocean strategy 2010N
Bancassurance 2010N
monopoly company and  marketing 2010N
Cross selling: functions of 2010N
Cross selling: does not help in 2010N
SME loan target group 2010N
online marketing 2011A
customisation 2011A
market-driven strategy: challange 2011A
effective selling skills 2011A
generation of Leeds 2011A
market plant function 2011A
marketing channel 2011A
social marketing 2011A
service marketing 2011A
Market driven strategy includes 2011A
innovation 2011A
canvassing of personal loans 2011A

Q. Yearbook

government initiatives for agriculture 2010A
NREGA’s new name 2010A
cryogenic engine 2010A
rural infrastructure scheme 2010N
satellite launch 2011A
River cleanup project 2011A
scheme of rural ministry 2011A

Q. Misc.GK, Sports, books, PIN

EU President 2010A
Asia cup hockey (female) champion 2010A
book: the discovery of India 2010A
name of book written by VS Naipaul 2010A
CK Naidu 2010N
IBN Indian of the year 2010N
Miss world 2009 2010N
Davis cup winner nation 2010N
Chairman of 13th Finance commission 2010N
Coach of Indian cricket team 2011A
Kanistha Dhankhar 2011A
K Balachar 2011A
Goodluck Jonathan 2011A