NABARD 2017 Exam: ARD Paper Preparation Strategy


The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Grade ‘A’ and ‘B’ Phase 1 exams are slated to be conducted in August 2017. The notification was released by NABARD recently and there has been a slight change in the Phase 1 exam pattern.

The weightage of the Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) and Economic & Social Issues (ESI) sections have been increased from 25 marks to 40 marks. Whereas the weightage of Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning sections have been reduced from 30 marks to 20 marks and 40 marks to 20 marks, respectively. The overall pattern and type of questions in NABARD exam syllabus however remain the same.

In the following article we are providing you a strategy to prepare for your ARD section in Phase 1 and 2 of the upcoming NABARD exams:

Since your work at NABARD will be related to Agriculture and Rural Development primarily, knowledge about the current happenings in this sector is crucial. We suggest you follow the various government policies, schemes, sub-schemes, statistical data related to this. Because, the questions in this section are broadly based on policies and schemes implemented by the Central Government for Agriculture and Rural development.


NABARD Exam ARD Syllabus

The NABARD Exam syllabus has been provided in the official NABARD Exam Notification available on the their website. However, based on the analysis of the NABARD Exam 2016, we have divided the topics into categories to make it easier for you to do selective studying:


Topics to study for ARD in Phase 1 of NABARD Exams

NABARD 2017 Exam Syllabus, Preparation, Guide, AnalysisIn ARD section of Phase 1 in NABARD Exam 2016, more marks were allotted to the Agriculture part (18 marks) and less marks to the Rural Development part (7 marks).

Out of 25 marks, a whopping 16 marks were allotted to questions on current affairs, while only 9 marks were allotted to the static or theoretical part in the ARD section of Phase 1 NABARD Exam.



Following are broadly the topics covered in the Agriculture part of Phase 1:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Ecology & Climate
  • Water Resource
  • Farm and Agriculture engineering
  • Plantation and Horticulture
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture extension
  • Soil and water
  • Miscellaneous


Out of the 18 marks allotted to Agriculture, 9 marks were static questions, 9 marks were allotted to current affairs questions. The questions were from almost every unit of the Phase 2 Agriculture syllabus. The static section was easier compared to the current affairs one.

Following are broadly the topics covered in the Rural Development part of Phase 1:

  • Rural Development Programs
  • Rural Housing
  • Swachh Bharat
  • Tribes – Rural Development
  • Rural Occupation Structure

There were a total of 7 questions from Rural Development part of ARD in Phase 1, out of which no question was static and all 7 were based on current affairs.


Topics to study for ARD Phase 2 of NABARD Exams

The ARD Phase 2 syllabus can be divide into 12 categories as follows:

  • Present scenario of Indian Agriculture, Present scenario of allied activities, Factors of production in agriculture, Agriculture finance and marketing, Impact of globalization on agriculture, Issues of food security, Concept and types of farm management.
  • Branches of agriculture, Agronomy – definition, meaning and scope, Classification of crops, Factors affecting crop production and Agricultural climatic zones, Cropping systems, Crops and weather, Seeds, Precision farming, Organic farming.
  • Types of soil, Soil fertility, Soil erosion and conservation, watershed management.
  • Sources of irrigation, Types of irrigation, Crops water requirement, Command area development, Water conservation techniques.
  • Sources of power on farm, Water harvesting structures, Agro processing. Storage – godowns, bins, silos, etc.
  • Plantation & Horticulture – Definition, meaning and branches, Post-harvest management, supply chain management of P & H crops.
  • Role of animals in Indian economy, Animal Husbandry methods, Classification of breeds of cattle, Feeds and fodder classification, Poultry industry in India, Mixed farming, Linkages between livestock/poultry and farming.
  • Importance of fisheries in India, Aquaculture, Post-harvest technology, Freshwater, brackish water and marine fisheries.
  • Silviculture, Social forestry, Agro forestry, Join forest management, Forest policy and legislation in India, State of Forest Report, Recent Development under MOEFCC.
  • Agricultural extension- importance, role and methods, Role of KVKs – Krishi Vigyan Kendra
  • Ecology & Environment, GHGs – concept & countries, Adaptation vs Mitigation, Impact of climate change on agriculture and rural livelihood, Carbon credit, IPCC, UNFCCC, COP meetings. Funding mechanisms, Initiatives by GOI-NAPCC, SAPCC, INDC.
  • Rural areas – concept and importance for India, Rural population – composition and trends, Problems of rural labor, Issues in handlooms, PRIs – functions and working, MGNREGA, NRLM, Ajeevika, Rural Drinking Water Programs, Swatch Bharat, Rural housing, PURA, Other programs, Rural Credit System – Evolution and growth, Role and functions of RBI, NABARD, SIDBI, etc.


Preparation Strategy

How the change in exam pattern impact your strategy?

The GK, Computers, ESI & ARD sections together constitute 120 marks and Reasoning, Quant and English constitute 80 marks. While the former is theoretical in nature and requires less time, the latter is based on mental ability and is practical and requires more time to solve. Therefore, you should aim to score maximum marks in the theoretical section in lesser time (around 40 minutes) and use the remaining time for the practical sections (80-90 minutes).


Strategy for Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) section Phase 1 of NABARD Exams
  • Schemes and sub-schemes on Agricultural & Rural Development are important. There were a whopping 8 questions based on schemes alone; 4 from Agriculture and 4 in Rural Development. Therefore focus on Schemes & sub-schemes during your preparation.
  • It’s important that you know the full-forms of schemes, as the questions in the exam will have the abbreviations like PMFBY, PMKSY, PMKKKY, etc. 
  • Though ARD section of both Phase 1 and 2 include questions based on facts & figures, they’re more in number and more important for the ARD section of Phase 2 exam.
  • Static questions are mainly asked in the Agriculture part of ARD and not much in the Rural Development This does not mean that you should completely ignore the static (theoretical) part of the Rural Development syllabus. But rather, don’t spend too much time on theory for Rural Development. While Agriculture topics are specific, Rural Development topics tend to be more generic.
  • The number of questions based on current affairs (16 marks) were more compared to the number of questions based on static or theory based questions (9 marks).
  • We suggest you focus more on the current affairs part of ARD. The questions are simple & straight forward and based on facts & figures of schemes & programs.
  • The questions (both current affairs based and theory based) were asked from the topics from Phase 2 NABARD Exam syllabus of ARD. Therefore, one must cover the syllabus of Phase 2 for the Phase 1 of the NABARD Exam.


Strategy for Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) section Phase 2 of NABARD Exams

In phase 2, there were very few questions based on core agriculture in ARD section. The maximum questions were from current affairs. Therefore, we suggest you cover current affairs on topics in ARD from the following sources:

  • Kurukshetra
  • The Hindu Newspaper
  • The Economic Survey
  • The Union Budget
  • News on Schemes & Sub-schemes

Annual Reports of:

  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Cover all current affairs related to ARD of 1 year. If your NABARD Exam is in August 2017, cover ARD current affairs from August 2016 to July 2017. While you should focus more on the current affairs, do not ignore the static part.


Mock Tests


We understand that the NABARD 2017 Exam date is nearing and there’s not much time left to study NABARD Exam preparation books cover to cover. To prepare for the exam in lesser time, we recommend you refer to theNABARD Exam preparation material prepared by expertsand top rankers after thorough research and analysis.

Mock tests are created by experts & top rankers keeping in mind the latest NABARD Exam syllabus and pattern. Mock tests help you:

  • Analyze your performance
  • Determine your speed and accuracy
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Know your all-India ranking

Take a free trial: NABARD Exam Agriculture and Rural Development Mock Tests.


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We hope the above helps you kick-start your Agriculture & Rural Development section preparation for the upcoming NABARD 2017 Exam. Save this guide as a pdf to refer whenever required.

We wish you all the very best for your exam.


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