SBI Clerk Prelims 2019: Tips to prepare for Reasoning section

SBI Clerk Prelims 2019: The reasoning section is one of the determining factors in the final selection of the candidate. Here are the tips to prepare the reasoning section of the SBI Clerk.

Jun 14, 2019 10:45 IST
How to prepare Reasoning for SBI Clerk?

The State Bank of India (SBI) will organise the SBI Clerk Prelims 2019 exam on June 22 & 23 to recruit Junior Associates to fill in 8653 vacancies for Clerical Cadre in its various branches across the country. The Reasoning Ability section is essential part of SBI Clerk examination. It is one of the most scoring sections in bank recruitment examination. All you need to do for this section is practice, practice and practice.  

In this article, we shall discuss about one of the most important sections of the SBI Clerk 2019 – Reasoning Ability. It will help you understand the pattern of questions in this section along with the strategy to face them successfully.

SBI Clerk 2019 examination will be conducted in three phases – preliminary, mains followed by the language proficiency test.

Prelims examination will be a 100-marks affair whereas for mains the total allotted marks will be 200. The language proficiency test will be qualifying in nature in order to test the local language skills of the candidate.

Importance of Reasoning Ability Section in SBI Clerk 2019

If the weightage of marks is considered, this section will be at the top with the marks allotted to this section in prelims and mains combined.

The prelims examination will have 35 questions from this section of 1 mark each and the mains examination will have 45 questions from reasoning and computer knowledge with 60 marks allotted to it. It says all about the importance of this section in the SBI Clerk examination.

What all make up the Reasoning Section in SBI Clerk Exam 2019?

Going by the latest pattern of reasoning questions in banking examinations, we can divide the topics into the most common types and not-so-common ones.

Among the common types of questions, we may have the following topics:

  • Syllogism
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Ranking and Order
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Puzzles
  • Inequality
  • Blood relations
  • Series

The not-so-common ones contain the following:

  • Data sufficiency
  • Input-output questions

SBI Clerk 2019: Topic wise preparation strategy for Quantitative Aptitude

How to face the Reasoning Section effectively?

The reasoning section demands a lot of practice in order to devote as less time as possible in the exam to solve a question. Another advantage is that once you solve a puzzle or seating arrangement, you will get the answers of more than one question.

However, on the other hand, you lose the same in case you are not able to attempt those questions or attempt them wrongly.

Now, let us look at the chapter-wise strategy in this section:


Puzzles seem difficult most of the time because of the length of these questions but generally, they are easy to solve once you collect all the pieces of information at one place.

  • Start with the definite information given but not with the possible information given since it will not lead you to anything concrete.
  • Similar to the seating arrangement questions, you have to take into account all the possibilities in case of any given situation. Constant practice will hold you in good stead in case of puzzles.


It is another important chapter in the syllabus of reasoning ability in SBI Clerk examination. It consists of questions in which there are mathematics equations given followed by conclusions. You have to choose the right conclusion in order to solve the questions. Here are the tips to prepare well for this chapter:

  • Be aware of the basic rules of inequality. Since it is based on mathematical equations, basic knowledge of elementary mathematics will be very useful to score in this area.
  • There will be at least 5 questions from this chapter out of which 3 questions will be direct and easy to solve. It is crucial to identify them and get done with them first. However, do not waste time on the rest of the questions if you are not able to solve them within one minute.
  • In case of two equations, a relation can be established only if there is a common term in both of them Such as

                             I.  X>Y       

                            II.   Y>Z, it will lead to X>Y>Z

  • ‘Either….or’ will only be applicable in case of questions involving complementary pairs. The concept of which is similar to the ones in syllogism questions. For example,

X>Y<Z and the given conclusions are X>Z or X<Z, in that case the answer will only be either of the two given conclusions.

  • Try to jot down the possible connections from the given statements before going through the conclusions since in inequality; it is very difficult to use the options as clues for correct options.

Seating Arrangement

Seating arrangement questions can be linear and circular seating arrangements. In any case, you should start with the statements in which something certain is given so that you can take that as a base and use the given information to rule out the possible combinations in order to find the right one means correct result at the end.

Never ever start with the negative information in any case such as X is not sitting to the left of Y or Y is not at the immediate end of the line since it will not leave you with anything definite.

If you are confused with the left or right in case of circular arrangement questions, try to understand by keeping yourself at the position and with the position of your hands, you can determine the left and the right.

However, never start the reasoning section with seating arrangement questions because these are quite time-consuming and you may end up losing your valuable time in the beginning itself.


It is the most important topic of reasoning in any banking examination these days. Please read the statements carefully before attempting the questions.

 Now, let us delve deeper into this topic. These questions are mainly about having statements followed by conclusions of which you have to find the ones that can be drawn from the statements given.

  • Use the Venn diagrams in order to solve the questions since it is the shortest and the easiest method. However, you need to have proper understanding the diagrams that need to be drawn in case of a given statement.
  •  ‘Either….or’ will be applicable only in case of complementary pairs since only one of them can be true. For example, if we say that

    I. All A are B    

    II. Some A are not B

It cannot be true in both the cases but only in one case. Complementary pairs can be formed by the following combinations:

       I. All and Some Not        

       II. Some and No        

       III. Some and Some Not

  • The statement and the conclusion can never be the same. In case both are the same, that conclusion will never follow from the given statements. Please keep these things in mind while solving the questions in order to save time.

Coding –Decoding

Coding-decoding questions can be based on numbers of mixed coding with sentences. Coding questions with numbers are easy to solve whereas in case of sentences, you have to analyze the sentences given to find out the code for a particular word.

In this case, first find out the sentences with the common word so that you can tally the codes and find out the desired code for that particular word.

In any case, the key is to find out the statements with common words to analyze the codes for given words.

Ranking and Order

These are easy and direct questions and you can easily attempt them if you are conversant with the topic. Practice will help you to solve this type of questions.

Blood relations

The blood relation questions can be solved easily once you draw the family tree. But you need to be very sure about the various relations in a family.

Once you are clear about these relations, the next step is to learn to draw them in a family tree. Constant practice after learning the basics will be useful for you in this case.


These are the oldest type of the questions that are asked in the banking examination. Try to find out the logic behind the given series and then solve the series.

Some questions will be easy to pick up whereas the rest may include logic that is not common. One way to prepare is to practice and understand the various logic used for such series questions so that you can apply them in the examination. Do not waste much time in case you are not able to find out the logic within one minute.

Data Sufficiency

Data sufficiency questions generally require time to solve as you have to check whether the data given in the two or more statements is sufficient to answer the question asked or not. So, you need not to find the exact answer.

In bank recruitment exams generally 5 questions are asked from this topic. Don’t follow guess work to solve data sufficiency questions.

Data sufficiency questions are not new topics in themselves. They may be based on topics you already covered such as coding-decoding, ranking, seating arrangement, puzzle etc.

Read the directions of a particular Data Sufficiency question very carefully and follow a systematic approach while attempting question. This will save your time.

Input-Output Questions

Input-output questions can be there or in some cases, such questions have now fallen out of favor with the question setters. However, you can practice this chapter towards the end of your preparation.

In these questions, the logic may be based on position of numbers and words, mathematical orders or simply ordering of words.

Never write all the words in all the steps since it will take a lot of your time and you can use a number or the first letter of a word in each step to save your time.

Your key to solve these questions is to understand the logic and remember, once you solve one input-output equation, you will be able to solve more than one question.

Apart from the chapter-wise strategy, you need to keep in mind some general tips in order to score well in reasoning section:

1)      Please do not waste much time on seating arrangement and puzzle questions because once you are stuck with a question, you will not get enough time for the rest of the questions.

2)      The main thing in case of reasoning is to identify the questions that can be solved without wasting much time so that you can attempt as many questions as possible.

3)      Try to understand your strong areas/topics in reasoning so that you can attempt questions from those chapters first.

4)      You must remember that it is not only about speed but also accuracy while solving the questions as there is negative marking for each wrong answer.

SBI Clerk 2019 is a good opportunity for those who are looking to grab a job in the public sector bank. Candidate's approach should be based on proper strategy. Give your best and success will definitely beckon you at the end.

All the best!!

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