SBI Clerk vs SBI PO: Check the Differences and Prepare Accordingly

SBI Clerk vs SBI PO: Check the Differences and Prepare Accordingly

Among all public sector bank exams, SBI Clerk and SBI PO are the most anticipated ones. Every year, aspirants in huge numbers take these tests. You get to start your banking career with the top-rated public sector bank in the country. An SBI Clerk or PO earns high respect in society and enjoys added benefits with a handsome salary.

The conducting authority of both the exams is SBI itself. Entry-level post of SBI PO is that of an officer rank, whereas an SBI Clerk / Junior Associate is more of a clerical post. This article will compare SBI Clerk and SBI PO jobs to understand how the two are similar or different. We will discuss the exam pattern, perks and benefits, and career growth after cracking either two exams.

SBI Clerk vs. SBI PO: Exam pattern

For both SBI Clerk and SBI PO, candidates have to appear for two consecutive online CBT tests, namely –

  • Preliminary test
  • Mains exam

After that, qualified candidates are further called for subsequent rounds for final selection.

SBI Clerk vs SBI PO: Prelims Exam Pattern

The preliminary round of SBI Clerk and SBI PO is of the same pattern, only the type of questions and level of difficulty differs. SBI PO Prelims is considerably more challenging than SBI Clerk.

Sections No. of questions Marks Time
English language 30 30 20 mins
Quantitative aptitude 35 35 20 mins
Reasoning ability 35 35 20 mins
Total 100 100 60 mins
  • Candidates get an hour for the test with a time limit of 20 minutes for each section.
  • 100 MCQs are asked each of 1 mark.
  • A wrong attempt results in a negative marking of 0.25.


SBI PO Main Exam Pattern vs Clerk Main Exam Pattern

Mains Exam Pattern

There are considerable differences between SBI Clerk and SBI PO main exams with respect to marks distribution, time allotment and subject matter.

SBI Clerk Mains

Sections Questions Marks Time
English language 40 40 35 mins
Quantitative aptitude 50 50 45 mins
Reasoning ability 50 60 45 mins
General awareness 50 50 35 mins
Total 190 200 160 mins

After qualifying the SBI Clerk mains exam, candidates are hailed for the interview round. This may include a language proficiency test of the vernacular languages taken up in 10+2. Subsequently, a final merit list is published of the selected candidates.

SBI PO Mains

Sections Questions Marks Time
English language 35 40 40 mins
Data analysis & interpretation 35 60 45 mins
Reasoning ability 45 60 60 mins
General awareness 40 40 35 mins
Total 155 200 180 mins
Descriptive test 1 50 30 mins

The descriptive test is conducted separately on the same day as the main exam. It is an English proficiency test of 30 minutes, of 50 marks.

SBI Clerk vs. SBI PO: Perks and Benefits

For both SBI Clerk or SBI PO, there are several benefits which they can enjoy.

Perks SBI Clerk SBI PO
Eligibility (Age limit) 20 – 28 years 21 – 30 years
Salary Basic pay of INR 19900 (2 advance increments included)

In-hand salary = INR 30000 (approx.)

Basic pay of INR 27620 (4 advance increments included)

In-hand salary = INR 40000 (approx.)

Probation period Minimum 6 months Up to 2 years
Additional benefits ●     Dearness allowance,

●     PF,

●     Pension,

●     Medical allowance,

●     Leave fare,

●     Miscellaneous

●     Dearness allowance,

●     House rent allowance or rental lease,

●     City Compensatory Allowance,

●     Medical allowance,

●     Miscellaneous

Working hours 10 am – 5 pm 10 am – 6 pm
Promotion By internal exams After 2 – 3 years

SBI Clerk vs. SBI PO: Responsibilities

After the appointment, an SBI PO official will be under probation for a year or two. During this period, he/she will be under training to understand different aspects of the banking domain. Initially, they will take care of the public relations, handle customer service-related issues, look after cards, DD, cheque book issuance, etc.

After completing the probation period, a PO will be posted as the Assistant Bank Manager in the junior management. Work will now include document verification, cash management, and leading a team of junior associates. With increasing time in service, the officers might also have to look into loan processing and approvals, budgeting, marketing, planning and managing investments.

An SBI Clerk, on the other hand, will undergo a training period of 6 months minimum. Their job responsibilities will include account opening of visiting customers, pass-book updation and assistance, KYC verification, cash deposit, cheque receipts and cheque book delivery, customer service, etc. During the six months, they will be trained rigorously to be efficient in their work after the appointment. An SBI PO is a level ahead of the SBI Clerk.

SBI Clerk vs. SBI PO: Career growth

The career growth of an SBI PO is much faster than that of an SBI Clerk. An SBI PO can reach higher management authorities by promotions. After being posted as Assistant Bank Manager, an SBI PO is promoted every 2-3 years based on their efficiency and performance. The promotion ladder is as follows for SBI PO.

  • Deputy manager
  • Manager
  • Chief manager
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • General Manager
  • Chief General manager
  • Deputy Managing Director
  • MD
  • Chairman

On the contrary, SBI Clerk promotion is done in two ways, one, by in-cadre advertisements and the other, promotion to officer level. Thus, the promotions are done thrice in the career of an SBI Clerk.

After 10 years in service Senior Assistant
After 20 years in service Special Assistant
After 30 years in service Senior Special Assistant

SBI Clerk promotion to officer rank can be granted on the basis of a written internal examination. The exam can be given after 3, 6 or 12 years of being in the service.

1. After 3 years in service By Internal examination Trainee Officer
Gradually, a Trainee officer can be promoted to Middle Management Grade-II posts.
2. After 6 years/12 years By Internal examination Junior Management Grade I
Thereafter, they can be appointed to higher ranks as in the case of SBI PO, subject to the age constraint.

No doubt, SBI Clerk and SBI PO are equally reputed. If you want to kickstart your career in the banking sector, you must appear for these exams. It is easier to get through SBI Clerk than SBI PO. But if you are someone looking for constant growth, you must attempt SBI PO. The salary package is higher, and so is the pace and extent of promotion. We hope this article has helped you differentiate between these two exams.

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