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Junior Associate is an entry level position for clerks in banks. These associates are responsible for all the client level interactions and associated operations. Candidates recruited as JAs/Clerks are generally designated as cashiers, depositors and other posts that form the face of a particular branch. Almost every year State Bank of India (SBI) recruits Junior Associates (clerks). It is a good starting option for candidates who want to progress their career in Public Sector Banks.

Please note: The clerical exams are a subset of PO exams (i.e preparation for PO exams will also cover the syllabus of clerical exam) and we recommend that you apply for both the exams.


Presently, the starting Basic Pay is Rs.13075/- (Rs11765/- plus two advance increments admissible to graduates) in the PAY-SCALE of Rs.11765-655/ 3-13730-815/ 3-16175-980/ 4-20095-1145/7-28110-2120/ 1-30230-1310/1-31450. The official will also be eligible for D.A. and other allowances at the current rate and two additional increments for newly recruited graduate junior associates. Allowances may vary depending upon the place of posting. They will be eligible for reimbursement of various perquisites, provident fund, Pension under New Pension scheme (Defined Contribution Benefit), Medical, Leave-Fare and other facilities, as per instructions of the Bank as may be issued from time to time.


The total vacancies in SBI clerk 2020 are 8000+. Out of these vacancies, 3447 vacancies are for General candidates and rest are divided according to government reservation norms. Unlike Probationary Officer (PO) vacancies, clerical vacancies are released State/UT wise. Candidates can apply for vacancies of only one state. The candidates applying for vacancies of a particular state, should be proficient (reading, writing, speaking and understanding) in the specified opted local language of that State. There is no provision for Inter Circle Transfer / Inter State Transfer for Junior Associates to be recruited.

Exam date and registration:

This year, the registration window was from 2nd to 26th January, 2020. The prelims exam happened on 22nd,29th February & 1st, 8th March 2020.
Mains Exam was scheduled for 19th April 2020 but owing to the Corona virus situation, the date has been postponed indefinitely. Keep following this page for more updates on the revised dates.

Essential academic qualifications:

Graduation in any discipline from a recognised university or any equivalent qualification recognised as such by the central government. Those who are in the final year/ semester of their graduation may also apply provisionally subject to the condition that, if called for interview, they will have to produce proof of having passed the graduation examination on or before 1st January 2020.

Age and number of attempts:

General candidates should be aged between 20 years and 28 years. There are provisions for category based age relaxation according to existing government norms. There is no specified limit to the number of attempts as defined by SBI.

Any eligible candidate, who aspires to join State Bank of India (SBI) as a Junior Associate, is required to register online for the recruitment process. The application fee for general candidates is Rs. 750 and for reserved category candidates is NIL.

To know about the procedure in detail, you can click on the link given below.

SBI Clerk 2020 Official Notification

The examination happens in two phases i.e. Preliminary examination and Main examination. There is an optional third phase (Local Language Proficiency Test). The candidates who are shortlisted after Preliminary examination will have to appear for Main examination. The candidates shortlisted after the main examination will be called for Local Language Proficiency Test in the third phase (if they do not have the local language in their 10th or 12th board exams mark sheet). Those who have successfully qualified the local language test in their board exams are exempted from this Phase 3.

Phase-I: Preliminary examination:

Preliminary Examination consisting of Objective Tests is conducted for 100 marks. The test contains 3 sections (with separate timings for each section). The mode of exam is ONLINE. The questions are in Bilingual (English and Hindi both) (except for English Language Section). All questions carry equal marks. There is negative marking for wrong answers (1/4th of total marks allotted for that question).

Preliminary Exam pattern (2020)

Section No. of questions Maximum Marks Duration
English Language 30 30 20 Mins
Numerical Ability 35 35 20 Mins
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 Mins
Total 100 100 60 minutes

State and category wise merit list is drawn on the basis of aggregate marks scored in this exam. From each state, normally, candidates numbering approximately 10 times the number of vacancies in that state are shortlisted for the main examination. No minimum qualifying marks are prescribed for individual test OR for aggregate score.

Phase – II: Main examination:

Main Examination consists of Objective Tests for 200 marks. The Objective Test is ONLINE. The questions in Objective Test are Bilingual (English and Hindi both ) (except English Language). In 2018, most questions were of 1 mark except Reasoning Section where differential marking was employed. There is negative marking for wrong answers in the Objective Test (1/4th of total marks allotted for that question). The objective test of 2 hours 40 mins duration consists of 4 Sections for total 200 marks.

Main Objective Exam pattern (2020)

Section No. of questions Maximum Marks Duration
General/Financial Awareness 50 50 35 Mins
General English 40 40 35 Mins
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 45 Mins
Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude 50 60 45 Mins
Total 190 200 2 hours 40 mins

Candidates are required to score a minimum percentage marks on aggregate. Minimum qualifying marks on aggregate will be decided by the bank. No minimum qualifying marks for individual subject are prescribed. Merit list will be drawn State wise, category wise. Candidates qualified in the test (main examination) will be placed according to their aggregate marks in descending order in respective States and Categories.
Candidates, who are not qualified in local language as per the board exams, are required to go for Phase III.

Phase – III: Test of Specified opted local language

There would be a test for the opted local language. Failing this test would disqualify the candidate.
Those who had successfully passed the opted local language in Class 10th and 12th would be exempted from this test.

Final selection

The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination (Phase-I) are not added for preparing the final merit list for selection. Marks of Phase II are the basis of final selection on condition that Phase III is clear. The final list is released according to the vacancies in each state and each category.

Candidates should realise that to perform in a highly competitive exams like SBI Clerk, they should be good at both concepts and application. Rather than going through concepts from various sources, one should concentrate on regular practice once the concepts are cleared. Practicing regularly is the key to performing in competitive exams like these. Playlists of important concept lectures have been provided below. Candidates can take help of these lectures from Meritshine to strengthen their basic concepts.

Our Free Resources (click on the links below for accessing the relevant content)

Lectures for Objective Paper (Prelims and Mains):-

Our Paid Programs

While we do not conduct a separate program for SBI Clerk, our Paid course SBI PO is designed on very similar lines and is even more comprehensive. We recommend this course to the aspirants. Look out and register for these programs for a more intensive preparation.

Since SBI selects students state-wise for clerk vacancies, the cut-offs of each state are different. The cut-offs for 2019 have been released state-wise, category-wise. The cut-offs differ every year, according to the competition and the paper’s difficulty level. One year's cut-off is in no way predictive of subsequent years' cut-offs.

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