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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.
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:
- Mains Exam with a descriptive test
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:
|Components||IBPS PO||SBI PO|
|Allowance||HRA, DA, Special Allowance, City compensatory allowance||HRA, DA, Special Allowance, City compensatory allowance|
|Additional Benefits||Accommodation & 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
Mode of Exam
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:
IBPS PO Main Exam:
SBI PO Preliminary Exam:
SBI PO Main Exam:
Selection Process/ Steps Involved
Preliminary Exam (Qualifying 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)
Interview and Group Discussion
(Candidates' combined scores in the Mains exam and Interview/ GD round will be used for final selection.)
|Difficulty Level||The 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.|
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
|Exams||IBPS PO||SBI PO|
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.
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.
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