How Tough is RBI Grade B Exam?

It is common knowledge that the RBI Grade B examination is one of the toughest examinations to crack in India. However, the good news is that it is not impossible. With the right competitive exam preparation, you can pass this exam successfully despite the immense competition. Read on to know more about how you can achieve this goal.

How Tough is RBI Grade B Exam?

The answer to the question: How tough is the RBI Grade B exam, can be thought out from the fact that around 2 Lakh aspirants fill the form every year and more or less 1.5 Lakhs write the Phase-1 Paper.

Out of these 1.5 lakhs aspirants, only around 150 get to become RBI Grade B officers, which is around 0.1%.

One has to be quite passionate about becoming a Grade B officer in the Reserve Bank of India and prepare with all heart and soul. 

I. RBI Grade B Exam Pattern

1. RBI Grade B Exam Pattern: Phase-I (Online Examination – Objective Type)

The Paper will consist of tests of:

  1. General Awareness
  2. English Language
  3. Quantitative Aptitude 
  4. Reasoning

A total time of 120 minutes will be given for answering.

However, separate time will be allotted for each test.

Other detailed information regarding the examination will be given in an Information Handout, which will be made available for the candidates to download along with the Admission letter for examination from the RBI website.

Candidates, who secure minimum marks separately for each Test, as prescribed, will be shortlisted for Phase 2 of the examination based on the aggregate marks obtained in Phase-I.

Take RBI Grade B Phase-1 Free Mock Test Here & check your preparation level.

2. RBI Grade B Exam PatternPhase-II – Online Examination

Name of PaperType of PaperProposed
Time (Minutes)
Economic and Social Issues
50% Objective Type + 50% Descriptive, answers to be
typed with the help of the keyboard
30 + 90
Total-120 Minutes
50 + 50
English (Writing Skills)
Descriptive, answers to be typed with the help of the keyboard90 Minutes100
Finance and Management
50% Objective Type + 50% Descriptive, answers to be typed. with the help of the keyboard30 + 90
Total-120 Minutes
50 + 50

For both Paper I and III, there will be 30 questions and 50 marks for Objective questions (some questions carrying 2 marks each and some carrying 1 mark each).


  • In the case of Descriptive questions, 6 questions will be asked, of which candidates will be required to attempt 4 questions (2 of 15 marks each (with difficulty level) and 2 of 10 marks each). In case, the candidate answers more than 4 questions in descriptive, the first 4 shall be evaluated.
  • All question papers (in both Phases, except the test of English) will be set bilingually in Hindi and English.

Have a look at the RBI Grade B Crash Course covering all the Changes introduced in Exam Pattern 2021.

Having a good idea about the RBI Grade B examination exam pattern is half the battle won. Knowing the pattern will give you the confidence of navigating through the question paper easily, hence helping you answer all the questions correctly. The RBI Grade B exam pattern is as follows-

  • When you are sitting for the examination, take one section at a time. In Phase-I, the Quantitative Aptitude section can be a tough nut to crack as compared to the other sections. One of the reasons is that you will have to answer the questions very fast within the given You must be prompt and careful while answering each question.
  • When you come to the Reasoning section, remember that you will have to score at least 24 marks out of 60 marks in order to pass. You will be given just 40 minutes to finish this section. This is one of the toughest sections in the question paper but also a high scoring one. With the right study material and preparation, you will be able to score easily 30-35 marks.
  • The English Language and General Awareness sections are a bit easier as compared to the other two sections. You can easily high marks on these. Therefore, prepare well and focus on all the questions, and double-check the answers.
  • In Phase II, the major sections are Finance and Management, Social and Economic Issues, and English. As far as social and economic issues are concerned, you will need to have a very sound knowledge of what is going on in and around the world. Just studying books is not enough; your general knowledge should also be strong. Lastly, in order to have a stronghold in the sections of management and finance, study as much as you can about the concepts and terminologies. As long as your concept is clear, you will be able to answer all the questions properly.

II. RBI Grade B Syllabus

In order to ensure that you score good marks in the exam, you must have a clear knowledge and understanding of the syllabus. If you do not, then you will not be able to answer all the questions properly and efficiently. The Phase-I and Phase-II syllabus is as follows-

1. Phase-1 Syllabus

1.1. General Awareness

This section has the highest weightage in the RBI Grade B Phase-I Exam, accounting for 40% of the total marks. Given the nature of the topic, this can be one of the most scoring sections in the exam. And the only key to scoring high here is: daily preparation, reading newspapers, and staying abreast with all the important current affairs especially those concerned with the world of Banking, Finance, and the Economy. Based on the last few years’ papers, some important topics in this section are:-

i. RBI (RBI related Current Affairs & Basic Functions & Responsibilities of RBI)

ii. Cabinet ministers and their constituencies (Read constituencies of all popular MPs of opposition)

iii. Government welfare schemes (Mudra, Ujala, etc)

iv. Banking terms

v. Countries and their currencies

vi. Current affairs for the last 6 months (Read events related to financial institutions carefully)

vii. States of India – CM, Governor, and latest events related to the state

viii. Dams, National parks, Thermal power plants, Nuclear power plant

General awareness is a vast and highly factual section. The factual nature of current affairs makes them very confusing, so make sure you revise them 2 to 3 times before the exam.

This will make sure that you score above average in this section.

Everyone prepares well for Quant, English & Reasoning sections but this section, if you prepare well, can catapult you to that top 3.5 percentile of selected aspirants!

Lectures for RBI Grade B Current Affairs

1.2. Reasoning

To be comfortable with this section, one needs to practice various question types daily. Some important topics for the reasoning section are:-

i. Critical Reasoning

ii. Statements and Conclusions

iii. Puzzle test

iv. Coding and decoding

v. Input-output

vi. Classification

vii. Analogy

viii. Series test

ix. Seating arrangement

x. Statements and Assumptions

Test your Reasoning Capabilities by taking a Sectional Test Here

1.3. English Language

The success mantra for this section is undoubted, reading! If you are a regular reader of the newspaper, your knowledge of English will be sufficient for this section. Work on your vocabulary and learn new words daily to increase your confidence level and thus the chances of scoring high in this section. Important topics for this section are:-

i. Reading Comprehension

ii. Cloze Test

iii. Spotting Error

iv. Fill in the blanks

v. Para-jumbles

vi. Sentence Improvement

vii. Vocabulary

3 simple steps to ace this section are:-

i. Understand Grammar Rules and bring them into daily use.

ii. Read a newspaper or any book (for speed reading and making reading long paragraphs comfortable).

iii. Practice all types of questions.

Take a Free English Langauge Sectional Test for RBI Grade B Exam

1.4. Quantitative Aptitude

Practice. That’s the only thing that will help you achieve the speed and accuracy levels required for acing this section. Prepare a topic-wise quick problem-solving tips and tricks notebook and practice a lot of questions of each type. Make short notes of things that you think you might forget. Some important topics for this section are:-

i. Data Interpretation

ii. Time and work

iii. and distance

iv. Age problems

v.  Percentage

vi. Ratios proportions

vii. Quadratic equations

viii. Profit and Loss

ix. Partnership

x. and streams

xi. Probability

xii. Permutation and Combinations

Test your Quantitative Ability by taking a sectional test.

2. RBI Grade B Phase-II Syllabus 

2.1. Economic and Social Issues

Going through the sample paper released by RBI will give you a good idea of the kind of questions asked in the examination. This will also help you understand how deep you need to go into the topics while preparing. The type of questions asked in the ESI section can be broadly classified as

i. Static: Conceptual questions that test basic knowledge of different concepts of macroeconomics like national income, the repo rate, bank rate, fiscal deficit, revenue deficit, budget, inflation, banking sector in India, etc.

ii. Dynamic: Questions based on current affairs related to Economic & Social issues.

The topics to be prepared for ESI are listed below.

  • Growth and Development
  • Measurement of growth: National Income and per capita income
  • Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation in India
  • Sustainable Development and Environmental issues
  • Economic Reforms in India
  • Industrial and Labour Policy
  • Monetary and Fiscal Policy
  • Privatization
  • Role of Economic Planning
  • Globalization
  • Opening up of the Indian Economy
  • Balance of Payments
  • Export-Import Policy
  • International Economic Institutions
  • IMF and World Bank
  • WTO
  • Regional Economic Cooperation
  • Social Structure in India
  • Multiculturalism
  • Demographic Trends
  • Urbanization and Migration
  • Gender Issues
  • Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in favour of the underprivileged
  • Social Movements
  • Indian Political System
  • Human Development
  • Social Sectors in India, Health, and Education

Explore ESI Notes & Video Lessons Here

2.2. Finance and Management

This is one of the toughest parts of the exam owing to its technical nature. Most people do not have a background in finance and management, so this is the paper you need to prepare for the most. The difficulty level of the 2017 paper was very high. The topics to be prepared for F&M are listed below.

2.2.1. Financial System

  • Regulators of Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Reserve Bank of India- functions, and conducts monetary policy
  • Banking System in India – Structure and concerns, Financial Institutions – SIDBI, EXIM Bank, NABARD, NHB, etc, Changing landscape of banking
  • Impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08 and the Indian response

2.2.2. Financial Markets

  • Primary and Secondary Markets (Forex, Money, Bond, Equity, etc.), functions, instruments, and recent developments.

2.2.3. General Topics

  • Risk Management in Banking Sector
  • Basics of Derivatives
  • Global financial markets and International Banking – broad trends and the latest also
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Alternate source of finance, private and social cost-benefit, Public-Private Partnership
  • Corporate Governance in the Banking Sector, the role of e-governance in addressing issues of corruption and inefficiency in the government
  • The Union Budget – Concepts, approach, and broad trends
  • Inflation: Definition, trends, estimates, consequences, and remedies (control): WPI, CPI – components and trends; striking a balance between inflation and growth through monetary and fiscal policies.
  • FinTech

2.2.4. Management

Fundamentals of Management & Organizational Behaviour: Introduction to management; Evolution of management thought: Scientific, Administrative, Human Relations, and Systems approach to management; Management functions and Managerial roles; Nudge theory

Meaning & concept of organizational behaviour; Personality: meaning, factors affecting personality, Big five model of personality; the concept of reinforcement; Perception: concept, perceptual errors. Motivation: Concept, importance, Content theories (Maslow’s need theory, Alderfer’s ERG theory, McCllelands’ theory of needs, Herzberg’s two-factor theory) & Process theories (Adams equity theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory).

Leadership: Concept, Theories (Trait, Behavioural, Contingency, Charismatic, Transactional and Transformational Leadership; Emotional Intelligence: Concept, Importance, Dimensions. Analysis of Interpersonal Relationship: Transactional Analysis, Johari Window; Conflict: Concept, Sources, Types, Management of Conflict; Organizational Change: Concept, Kurt Lewin Theory of Change; Organizational Development (OD): Organisational Change, Strategies for Change, Theories of Planned Change (Lewin’s change model, Action research model, Positive model).

Ethics at the Workplace and Corporate Governance:

Meaning of ethics, why ethical problems occur in business.

Theories of ethics: Utilitarianism: weighing social cost and benefits, rights and duties, Justice and fairness, ethics of care, integrating utility, rights, justice and caring, An alternative to moral principles: virtue ethics, teleological theories, egoism theory, relativism theory, Moral issues in business:

Ethics in Compliance, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, etc. Ethical Principles in Business: introduction, Organization Structure, and Ethics, Role of Board of Directors, Best Practices in Ethics Programme, Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, etc.

Corporate Governance: Factors affecting Corporate Governance; Mechanisms of Corporate Governance

Communication: Steps in the Communication Process; Communication Channels; Oral versus Written Communication; Verbal versus non-verbal Communication; upward, downward and lateral communication; Barriers to Communication, Role of Information Technology.

Explore Finance & Management Notes & Video Lessons Here

III. Strategy for RBI Grade B Preparation

In general, while preparing for the exam, you must decide on the following things:-

  • Order of attempting various sections
  • Time to be spent on each section
  • Number of questions to be attempted

Things to be kept in Mind while Preparing

  1. Understand that all the 3 things mentioned above are dynamic and would vary from person to person, or sometimes even paper to paper, based on the difficulty level. Attempting a substantial number of mock tests (both sectional & full-length) would help you decide on the above-mentioned things. 
  2. Do remember, the mock tests mentioned in the study plan will serve their purpose only if you analyze them and devote sufficient time to that analysis, instead of simply taking a mock test.
  3. Understand, that the goal is to clear the individual sectional cutoffs first and then to maximize your overall score. Clearing sectional cutoffs requires a basic level of proficiency in each of the sections whereas, for maximizing the overall score, one can capitalize on their strengths.
  4. Apart from the subject knowledge, your time management skills play an equally important role in the exam. Taking mock tests will also provide you with a situation where you can practice making such important decisions, and thus be better prepared for the actual exam.


It is no secret that the RBI Grade B examination is tough. However, it is definitely not impossible to crack. The prospect of such a prestigious job makes it one of the most sought-after options when it comes to government jobs for graduates. If you study well, then you will be able to pass successfully and score for this job.

Go through free study materials and take up mock tests online.

Download PDF eBooks Here

Download the Free eBooks PDF for your RBI Grade B preparation.


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RBI Grade B Crash Course 2023 by Oliveboard

If you are someone who is aiming to crack RBI Grade B Exam and are confused about how to go about the preparation, Oliveboard has come up with RBI Grade B Online Complete Plan to help you ace the RBI Grade B exam for sincere aspirants. Read below what is included in the Course.

Oliveboard offers the best RBI Grade B Online Coaching that can help you prepare comprehensively for the exam. Oliveboard’s RBI Grade B Online Complete Plan 2023 will be your one-stop destination for all your preparation needs.

Go through free RBI Grade B study materials PDFs and take up RBI Grade B Free mock tests online.

1. Course Details

RBI Grade B Cracker is designed to cover the complete syllabus for the 3 most important subjects: 1. GA for Phase 1, 2. Objective Paper for Phase 2 + 3. Descriptive Papers for Phase 2 exam. 

Not just that, it also includes Mock Tests & Live Strategy Sessions for English, Quant & Reasoning for Phase 1. The course aims to complete your preparation in time for the release of the official notification.

1.1. Features:

RBI Grade B 2023 Cracker Course Offerings:

  • Foundation LIVE Classes for ESI & FM

  • ESI & FM Videos + Notes + 75+ Topic Tests

  • Phase-I CA Capsules (RBI BOLT)

  • Phase-II CA Capsules + Desc. Eng Prep

  • 40 Objective Mock Tests (Phase 1 & 2)

  • 10 Descriptive Mock Tests with Evaluation

  • Descriptive Model Q&A

  • ESI & FM Revision Sheets

1.2. How to Enroll for the RBI Grade B Online Course 2023?

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