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IBPS PO Vs SBI PO - Which Exam to Choose and Why?

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiUpdated On: June 28, 2022 02:46 pm IST | IBPS PO

If you are preparing for Bank PO Exams, SBI PO and IBPS PO are the two exams that you must apply for. Both the exams offer you the chances of contesting for jobs offered by some of the most reputed banks in India.


One of the best ways for banking enthusiasts to get high paying entry-level bank jobs is to clear the Bank Probationary Officers’ (PO) entrance exam. Conducted every year, these are some of the reputed exam forums to get an officer-level job in banks after completing graduation.

Most of the reputed banks in India, including public sector banks, corporate banks and private banks, hire POs through Bank PO exams. The two major Bank PO exams are IBPS PO and SBI PO. While both exams may be conducted for the position of Probationary Officer, there are a lot of differences in the exams. In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of these two exams and draw a comparison so that you can decide which one is the best for you.

Selection Procedure

The IBPS PO exam and the SBI PO exam have essentially identical selection processes. A three- or four-stage method is used by both schools. A preliminary test is required for both the IBPS and SBI Probationary Officer recruitment exams.


In comparison to IBPS PO, the level of examination for SBI PO is higher. The stages of SBI PO Recruitment are as follows:

  • Exam for the preliminary mains with a descriptive test
  • Interview and group exercise
  • The examination pattern for the Prelims and Mains is objective.


For the selection of Probationary Officers in participating banks, IBPS holds an online examination. The stages of IBPS PO recruiting are as follows:

  • Preliminary
  • Mains Exam with a descriptive test
  • Interview

After final selection, shortlisted individuals will be placed in one of the IBPS recruitment drive's participating banks.

Both the SBI PO and IBPS PO prelims exams are qualifying exams, but candidates must pass the cut-off to be eligible to take the Mains Exam. After that, qualified candidates go through a standard interview and selection procedure.

  Job profile of a Probationary Officer

Both the IBPS PO exam and the SBI PO test have comparable job profiles. In addition to administrative labour, a bank's probationary officer must do the following duties:

  • Customer service is a Probationary Officer's most crucial job. It is a broad term that covers answering questions from clients that visit a bank branch for a variety of services such as loans, new account openings, deposits, chequebooks, credit cards, ATM services, and online banking, among others.
  • Because POs are directly involved in customer care, they are also tasked with bringing in new business by selling existing and new clients various products and services such as fixed deposits, recurring deposits, insurance policies, DMAT accounts, and so on.
  • A PO is also responsible for managing customer accounts, cash handling tasks such as cash disbursal and cash collection from cashiers, and payment clearance.
  • During peak hours, APO may be required to fulfil the duties of a clerk.
  • Payment clearances, report maintenance, and official correspondence with other departments are some of the other tasks.

IBPS PO Vs SBI PO – Salary Package

The salary offered for a post is also one major factor that can help candidates decide which post they wish to go after. The table below overviews the comparison between salary for IBPS PO Vs SBI PO:

Basic Salary23700/-27620/-.
Gross Pay38703/-42,620/-
AllowanceHRA, DA, Special Allowance, City compensatory allowanceHRA, DA, Special Allowance, City compensatory allowance
Additional BenefitsAccommodation & Medical Aid (Upto 8,000)Accommodation & Medical Aid (Upto 8,000)

IBPS PO Vs SBI PO – Which is the Right Exam for You?

Both IBPS PO and SBI PO are national-level examinations conducted to recruiter candidates for Probationary Officers' positions. Both the exams are conducted every year in three different stages: Prelim, Main and Interview/ GD.




Number of Papers

  • IBPS PO Preliminary Exam

  • IBPS PO Main Exam

  • SBI PO Preliminary Exam – 1 hour

  • SBI PO Main Exam – 2 hours 40 minutes

Exam Duration
  • Prelim - 60 Minutes

  • Mains - 3 hours 30 minutes

  • Preliminary Exam – 60 Minutes

  • Main Exam – 2 hours 40 minutes

Mode of Exam



Exam Schedule

IBPS PO is conducted every year. The Prelim Exam is conducted in the month of October, whereas, Main Exam is conducted in November.

The prelims of SBI PO is conducted in April and May every year. The Main exam is conducted in June every year.

Number of Sections

IBPS PO Preliminary Exam:

  • Reasoning Ability
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Language

IBPS PO Main Exam:

  • Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
  • General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness
  • English Language
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation
  • English Language (Letter Writing & Essay)

SBI PO Preliminary Exam:

  • English Language
  • Quantitative
  • Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability

SBI PO Main Exam:

  • Reasoning &
  • Computer Aptitude
  • Data Analysis
  • & Interpretation
  • General Awareness
  • about Economy/
  • Banking
  • English Language

Total Marks

  • IBPS PO Preliminary Exam – 100
  • IBPS PO Main Exam – 225
  • SBI PO Preliminary Exam – 100
  • SBI PO Main Exam – 200

Selection Process/ Steps Involved

Preliminary Exam (Qualifying Exam)

Main Exam


(Candidates' cumulative scores of Mains and Interview Process in a ratio of 80:20 are used to create merit list for the final selection.)

Preliminary Exam (Qualifying Exam)

Main Exam

Interview and Group Discussion

(Candidates' combined scores in the Mains exam and Interview/ GD round will be used for final selection.)

  • For IBPS PO exam, there is both sectional as well as overall cut-off at Pre and Main level.

  • For SBI PO, there is no sectional cut-off for Pre and Main exam.

  • The final result is concluded in accordance with the overall cut-off only.

Difficulty LevelThe preliminary exam is considered to be of moderate difficulty level, however, the IBPS Main exam is rather difficult as the time provided to complete the paper is limited.SBI PO is considered to be more difficult than the IBPS exam. The questions asked in the quantitative ability section are relatively more difficult and the time is limited.

Bank Options

  • State Bank of Patiala
  • Indian Bank
  • IDBI Bank
  • State Bank of Mysore
  • State Bank of Hyderabad
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • State Bank of Mysore
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Central Bank of India
  • State Bank of Travancore
  • Canara Bank
  • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Vijaya Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Bank of India
  • Dena Bank
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Allahabad Bank
  • Punjab and Sind Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • UCO Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • United Bank of India

State Bank of India

Starting Salary Scope

INR 37,360 - INR 38,700 per month

INR 45,000 per month (Depending on HRA)

Career Growth and Promotion After SBI PO Vs IBPS PO

The career growth in both exams is more or less similar. Following is the promotional pattern that is mostly followed in both.

Junior Management Grade - Scale I - PO

Middle Management Grade - Scale II - Manager

Middle Management Grade - Scale III - Senior Manager

Senior Management Grade - Scale IV - Chief Manager

Senior Management Grade - Scale V - Assistant General Manager

Top Management Grade - Scale VI - Deputy General Manager

Top Management Grade - Scale VII - General Manager

Executive Director (ED)

Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)

IBPS PO Vs SBI PO - Pros and Cons

  • Low work pressure

  • Job security

  • Handsome salary along with entitlements to additional benefits like concessionary loans

  • Frequent promotions

  • Salary higher than public sector banks

  • Foreign posting

  • Various additional perks


  • Rural postings

  • Promotions are not as frequent as in SBI

  • Frequent transfer

  • High work pressure

  • Difficulty in balancing work-life

  • Rural postings

The biggest advantage of IBPS PO is that it acts as the selection process for most of the Indian banks, whereas, SBI PO is considered only for the State Bank of India. However, candidates who crack the SBI PO exam are offered a better starting salary.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Delhi University's B.Com 2020 Admissions

Both SBI PO and IBPS PO have their own advantages, however, a candidate preparing for Bank PO Exams must ideally appear for both the exams to enhance the chances of getting the job. The comparisons must have helped in deciding which one to go for. If you have any doubts, drop us your queries through our Q&A Section.

For more such content, stay tuned with CollegeDekho.

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