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Which Bank Exam Is Easy?

Banking sector is one of the most prominent and attracting sector for the young and bright candidates who wants to make a career as a PO or Clerk. One of the question that is asked by candidates is- Which bank exam is easy? In this article, we will discuss this question and will try to give you an answer and will also discuss the parameters which helps in deciding the difficulty level of the exam. There are currently six exams whose recuritment notification comes every year and we will be discussing them.

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Different Banking Exams

They are SBI PO, SBI Clerk, IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, IBPS RRB PO & IBPS RRB Clerk. It is very important to understand the difference between all these exams. SBI is a bank that recruits candidates for the post of PO & Clerk while IBPS is an exam conducting body in which all the nationalised banks participate and releases vacancies instead of releasing recruitment notice individually. IBPS RRB is conducted to recruit candidates in the Regional Rural Banks which comes under NABARD. So this is the basic difference between these exams.

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SBI is a single bank which releases notification to recruit candidates on different posts like PO, Clerk & SO for its different branches. The number of vacancies are less in SBI in comparison to IBPS because in SBI only one bank is participating that is SBI itself but the vacancies released for SBI Clerk are at par with IBPS Clerk vacancies. That is why the difficulty level of SBI exam increases as the number of vacancies are indirectly proportional to the cut-off which means if the vacancies are more the cut-off will be low and vice-versa.

SBI PO 2019 2000
IBPS PO 4000+
IBPS RRB Clerk 3688
SBI Clerk Vacancy  8000+
IBPS Clerk Vacancy 7000+

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Exam Pattern

The exam pattern of all banking exam is almost same especially of SBI & IBPS except the mark allocation of certain section and also the fact that there is no sectional cut-off in SBI while there is sectional cut-off in IBPS. Most of the candidates fail to qualify IBPS because they miss one or the other sectional cut-off which is not there is SBI. So this makes SBI much more candidates friendly than IBPS exams.Given below some of the points which plays an important role in determining the difficulty level of the examination:

  • In IBPS RRB PO & Clerk there is no English language section in prelims also there is no sectional timing.
  • The interview marks for SBI is 50 while for IBPS PO & RRB is 100. There is no interview for clerical level exam in any of the three exams.
  • Final merit list is prepared on the basis of mains marks obtain in clerical level exam.
  • The difference in ratio of marks which are taken into consideration is different for SBI PO & 1BPS PO & RRB PO. In SBI PO the ratio of mains marks is 75:25 while for IBPS PO & RRB PO it is 80:20.
Recruitment Process IBPS  SBI 
The pattern of Selection Procedure PO-  Prelims + Mains+ Interview

Clerk- Prelims+ Mains

PO- Prelims + Mains+ Interview

Clerk- Prelims+ Mains

Exam Pattern (Prelims) PO- One hour with 20 minutes sectional timing

Clerk- One hour with 20 minutes sectional timing

RRB PO & Clerk- 45 minutes with no sectional timings

PO- One hour with 20 minutes sectional timing

Clerk- One hour with 20 minutes sectional timing

 Exam Pattern (Mains) PO- (Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, GK & English)+ Descriptive

Clerk- (Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, GK & English)

RRB PO& Clerk- Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, General Awareness, English or Hindi Language, Computer Aptitude

PO- (Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, GK & English)+ Descriptive

Clerk- (Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, GK & English)

 Eligibility  Same  Same
 Application Process  Similar  Similar
 Cut-off trends Low in comparison to SBI PO & Clerk based on the past trend Higher in comparison to IBPS PO, Clerk based on past trend


From the above factors we can conclude that the difficulty level of IBPS & SBI is almost similar. It is the number of vacancies which makes all the difference in the final merit list but considering the toughest exam of banking sector we can clearly say that RBI Grade-B is the toughest as it is has different exam pattern and syllabus from any standard banking exam.

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