How to Prepare for SBI PO Prelims Reasoning Section

Main Chapters in Reasoning For SBI PO

These are the most important chapters in the Reasoning section from the SBI PO exam point of view. These have appeared time and again. You must be very comfortable with these questions as these questions hold the best chance of you clearing the exam.

1) Coding & Decoding

2) Inequalities

3) Syllogisms

4) Puzzles (Esp Seating Arrangement and Double Line up)

Strategy to score in Main Topic

Coding & Decoding:

This will likely appear as a comprehension of 5 questions in the exam. As you need to solve the comprehension only once and answer all questions on the basis of that, this is an easy and scoring topic. Besides, once you understand the fundamentals of Coding & Decoding, it is an easy enough topic to follow. You may find questions based on

  1. Coding in Fictitious Language (most likely to appear) OR
  2. Coding by Letter Shifting.

You may attempt 15 sets on Coding in Fictitious Language and try at least 50 questions on Coding by Letter Shifting (in all different varieties).

Practice Coding-Decoding Sets here

Mathematical Operations

5 questions on Inequalities will surely appear in this exam. It most likey will be

  1. Direct Mathematical Inequalities OR
  2. Coded inequalities (Less chances of appearing, but do practice at least 100 Qs)

Mathematical inequalities are simpler so practice at least 150-200 different types of Qs from this topics. But do prepare for Coded Inequalities too as it can help you score 5 to 7 marks, if asked. Make sure to practice at least 5 sets (of 5 questions each) of both topics in the week leading up to the exam.

Practice MOT Sets here


Up to 5 questions on Syllogisms could appear in the exam. This could be a tricky topic and requires clarity of the concepts involved in Syllogisms. Questions with 2-3 Statements and 2-3 Conclusions with possibility case are most likely to appear. So practice at least 200 questions on Syllogisms.

Don’t forget to focus on the more difficult concepts in Syllogisms like questions with Negative Conclusions, questions with Possibility cases and new type of syllogisms (asked in IBPS PO Mains 2016). Solving these will make you perfect even in the basics as it will shape how you approach these questions.

Use Venn diagrams, the simplest method, to solve the questions and get the correct answer.

Seating Arrangement:

You will likely get at least two comprehension of 5-6 questions. This is a topic that you MUST attempt but be careful while doing so. It is a tricky topic and you could easily lose marks if you miss out even a single case. Problems can be either of:

  1. Circular Arrangement type OR
  2. Linear Arrangement type.

Along with seating arrangement of people there will be some other information unique to them, making it tougher. It may be Blood Relations, Ages, Occupations, Companies, Habits, etc. of different people. Mostly negative information will be given making the problem even more difficult. So practice different arrangements. Try at least 40-50 sets of Circular and Linear Arrangements each.

Practice Seating Arrangement Sets here


Most people get intimidated by the length of these problem and don’t attempt them. These are relatively easy, so don’t be afraid of tackling them. Try at least 40-50 different sets of each type of Puzzle.

Practice Puzzles Sets here

Data Sufficiency:

There will be 0 to 2 questions on Data Sufficiency. Try these problems from a wide range of chapters including Blood Relations, Directions & Distances, Ordering & Ranking, Coding & Decoding in Fictitious Language etc. These are generally simple and scoring but Blood Relation problems may be tricky.

Input Output:

Although this is usually asked in Mains exams, it might be asked this time in SBI PO Prelims. There may be a comprehension of 0 to 5 questions on Machine Input & Output These are generally easy but time consuming. Focus is required while solving these type of questions as you may miss a word or number which may lead you towards wrong output. You can easily make this your quickest and easiest topic by using this shortcut method to Solve Input Output.

Practice SOT Sets here

General Tips & Exam Strategy for Reasoning for SBI PO

As general guidelines, following are a few do’s and dont’s –

  1. Try to score at least 15 marks while practicing mock tests, so that you can at least clear the cut offs.
  2. Always be sure to solve the easier questions first as they are sure to fetch you marks. Spending time on the more difficult ones initially makes no sense.
  3. First attempt all the Coding-Decoding, Inequalities, Arrangement & Pattern, Analogies, Ordering & Ranking, Data sufficiency questions you can find. Attempt these questions in a maximum of 5-7 minutes.
  4. Next attempt the problems based on Input Output, Syllogisms, Blood Relations and Directions & Distances.
  5. Attempt the Puzzles and Seating Arrangement next, dedicating a maximum of 10 minutes to these problems.
  6. Do not spend more than 25 minutes on the Reasoning section. Leave out the questions you can’t solve.

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