NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy & Study Plan 2021 – For Phase 1 & Phase 2

As they say, “Start early, stay ahead.” The same can be applied to exam preparation when it comes to an exam like NABARD Grade A. Given the vast syllabus for phase-1 & phase-2, not to mention the cut-throat competition, it is imperative to complete one’s preparation before the official notification is announced. Only then can one focus on taking up mock tests and revision as the exam date draws closer. NABARD Grade A 2021 notification is out now on the official NABARD website. This calls for strategized and planned preparation to be able to clear an exam of the stature of NABARD Grade A. One would also need a clearly tabulated list of preparation resources and important topics. Here in this blog of NABARD Grade A preparation strategy, we have done exactly this for your ease of preparation. Read on to know all about it. 

NABARD Grade A 2021 Course

NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy 2021

Before we discuss the NABARD Grade A preparation strategy for Phase-1 & Phase-2, let us have a thorough look at the scheme of the examination and exam pattern for Phase-1 & Phase-2. 

NABARD Grade-A Exam is for recruitment for the post of Assistant Managers is conducted in three phases.

1. Phase-1 – Preliminary Examination (Online Exam) – 200 Marks

2. Phase-2 – Main Examination will be online and will be a mix of MCQ and descriptive patterns. – 200 Marks

3. Phase-3 – Interview – 50 marks

I. NABARD Grade-A Exam Pattern

It is an objective online exam comprising of eight sections The total marks for this phase of the examination is 200.

» NABARD Grade A 2021 Phase 1 Exam Pattern

Name of the Test   

No. of Qs.

Max. Marks
Test of Reasoning   
English Language   
Computer Knowledge   
Quantitative Aptitude   
Decision Making   
General Awareness   

Economic & Social Issues (with focus on Rural India)

Agriculture & Rural Development (with emphasis on Rural India)

Time: Composite time of 120 Minutes for all the tests together

Important pointers to note for the phase 1 exam.

  1. Qualifying Section – Test of Reasoning, English Language, Computer Knowledge, Quantitative Aptitude, Decision Making.
  2. Merit Section – General Awareness, Eco & Soc. Issues (with focus on Rural India), Agriculture & Rural Development with Emphasis on Rural India.
  3. Shortlisting of the candidates for the Main exam will be based on marks scored in the merit section only.

Take NABARD Grade A 2021 Phase 1 Free Mock Tests Here

» NABARD Grade A 2021 Phase 2 Exam Pattern

NABARD Grade A Main Examination will be online and will be a mix of MCQ and Descriptive questions.

Main Examination for the post of Generalist

Important Note: Negative Marking & Cutoffs

For every wrong answer marked, 1/4th of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as a penalty in Phase 1 and Phase 2, both.

Cut-offs in Phase 1 and Phase 2 may be applied in two stages: (i) On scores in individual tests, (ii) On Total Score

Take up ESI & ARD Topic Tests Here

III. NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy for Phase-1 & Phase-2

» NABARD Grade-A Exam Myths Busted

Most of the candidates take SEBI Gr. A and RBI Gr. B but are hesitant about taking up the NABARD Gr. A exam. There is not much of a difference when we talk about RBI, SEBI & NABARD exams. These are the exams conducted by regulatory bodies. The position, status, perks, salary, everything is almost the same.

If we talk about the syllabus, we have a very good overlap. Do not restrict yourself from appearing for the NABARD exam.

When you hear about NABARD, you would associate it with agriculture. But this does not mean that you should have complete knowledge of agriculture as a subject. Learning the basics and revising it multiple times would work in your favour.

» NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy – Phase-1 

Important Pointers to Note:

  • Preparation of ESI and ARD Section is common for both Phase 1 & Phase 2.
  • 100/200 Marks in Phase 1 is considered for Merit List (For clearing Ph 1).
  • The type of Questions – Ph 1 (ESI & ARD) & Ph 2 (Objective Type of Questions) would be the same.

Section-wise Preparation Strategy & Important Topics

1. Preparation for Qualifying Sections
  • Quants, Reasoning & English – The questions asked here are of medium difficulty level. Do not give away too much of your precious time in preparing for these subjects. Revise the basics, practice a few questions of each type, and then gradually move on to taking topic & sectional tests and then finally to take up mock tests.
  • Mock tests would help you cover questions of varying difficulty levels from the syllabus of these subjects. Solve as many questions as possible. Analyse the questions and the solutions and assess where you lack and what else needs to be done to get most of these questions right in the stipulated time.
Quantitative AptitudeData Interpretation, Quantity Based, Data Sufficiency, Simplification, Approximation, Quadratic Inequalities, Number Series both missing and wrong no. series
Important arithmetic topics: Partnership, Average, Ages, Profit & Loss, Time & Work, Speed Time Distance, Boat & Stream, Trains, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion
EnglishCloze test, Fillers, Spotting the errors, Para Jumbles, New pattern questions, Idioms and phrases, Word Rearrangement, Column Based questions, Sentence improvement, Paragraph Completion, Grammar, Reading Comprehension
ReasoningAlphanumeric Series, Order and Ranking, Direction Sense, Alphabet Test, Data Sufficiency, Inequalities, Seating Arrangement, Puzzle, Syllogism, Blood Relations, Input-Output, Coding-Decoding, Logical Reasoning
Computer Knowledge1.Computer Fundamentals and Terminologies
2. Computer Hardware and Software
3. History – Generations of Computer
4. Operating System
5. Internet and Networking
7. MS Office – MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, etc.
8. Keyboard Shortcuts
9. Basic Security Concepts
10. Computer Abbreviations

Mock Tests-Taking Schedule

WeekNo. of Mock Tests to be Taken
Week 11
Week 22
Week 32
Week 42
Week 52
Week 61
2. Preparation for Merit Sections
  • General Awareness – Cover the current affairs of the last 3-4 months prior to the date of the examination. As of now, you can start covering the current affairs starting January 2021. For General Awareness – Refer BOLT + Monthly Capsules for Phase 2. Static GK has very less weightage, so do not give away much time for its preparation.
  • ESI & ARDESI & ARD preparation would be common for both Phase-1 & Phase-2 exams. You will have to do a simultaneous prep for Phase-1 & Phase-2. In Phase-1, 80 out of 200 marks are from ESI & ARD, when you study for ARD & ESI, you study for both the Phases.

Start practising for Quants, Reasoning, English & GA using Sectional Tests

» NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy – Phase-2

For Phase-2 you need to individually clear the cut off for the papers of Descriptive English and ESI & ARD.

1. NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy – Phase-2 – Descriptive English Preparation

The following question types can be asked:

  • Essay writing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Precis’ writing
  • Report writing
  • Letter writing
  • Paragraph writing

Here you need to focus on two aspects: One is the format and the other is content. Each of the question types is given above has a unique writing format and you need to be thorough with the same. 

Coming to the content part, as you prepare for ESI, ARD and GA, you would have enough fodder material for writing about any topic that is asked in the exam.

It is recommended practising (typing) each of these questions type on a weekly basis or say every ten days using your desktop/laptop.

2. NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy – Phase-2 – ESI & ARD

You will have two parts: Static & Current Affairs

Usually, equal weightage is given to ESI (50 Marks) & ARD (50 Marks).

A total of 65 questions of 100 marks are asked. 35 questions of 2 marks each (70 marks). 30 questions of 1 mark each (30 marks).

As per the past years’ trends, it is observed that in some years, the paper was tilted more towards static questions, while in other years, the paper was tilted more towards current affairs questions.

To be able to clear the sectional cut off, you need to be good in both static portions as well current affairs related to ESI & ARD.

Have a look at the video lessons, study notes & topic tests for ESI & ARD

Important Chapters for ESI & ARD

If you have not started your preparations yet, we would suggest picking up these chapters in the first place and cover the basics of them.

Economic & Social Issues (ESI) Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD)
Measurement of Growth & National Income Agronomy
Monetary Policy Soil Science
Fiscal Policy Agricultural Engineering
Balance of Payments Irrigation Management
Industrial & Labour Policy Animal Husbandry & Poultry
Role of Economic Planning Horticulture

After you cover the basics, start solving previous years questions or topic tests to understand and assess your knowledge.

Take up ESI & ARD Topic Tests Here

Preparation for the Phase 2 Descriptive Paper
For the first few weeks, make sure your ESI & ARD concepts are clear and you have covered all the basic chapters.

As you start feeling confident enough, start taking up Descriptive Mock tests for ESI & ARD.

ARD Preparation

How to study?

Firstly, understand – the preparation required for Ph 1 & Ph 2 is the same. More weightage will be given to current affairs.

How to cover each chapter?

  1. Go through the Notes – while doing so, keep an eye on Concepts + Factual Information, Examples.
  2. Move to the Video – to understand the concepts.
  3. Solve the topic wise and sub-topic wise tests.

ARD Chapter-wise Timeline/Study Plan

August 2nd & 3rd WeekAgronomy & Crops
Soil Science & Water Conservation
Irrigation & Water Management
Animal Husbandry
Agricultural Engineering
August 4th Week Fisheries
Agricultural Extensions
Ecology & Climate Change
Rural Development

ESI Preparation

The following types of questions can be asked in the ESI section:

Concept-based, Factual & Current Affairs Questions.

ESI Section – How to study?

Firstly, understand – the preparation required for Ph 1 & Ph 2 is the same. More weightage will be given to current affairs.

How to cover each chapter?

  1. Go through the Notes – while doing so, keep an eye on Concepts + Factual Information, Examples.
  2. Move to the Video – to understand the concepts.
  3. Solve the topic wise and sub-topic wise tests.

ESI Chapter-wise Timeline/Study Plan

August 2nd & 3rd WeekIntroduction to Economics
Measurement of Growth
Money & Inflation
Monetary & Fiscal Policy
Balance of Payments
Role of Economic Planning
Economic Reforms
Poverty Alleviation & Employment Generation
Industrial PolicyLabour Policy
August 4th weekIssues in Food Security in India
Rural Banking in India and its reforms
August 4th weekDemographic Trends
Urbanization & Migration
International Economic Institutions
Regional Economic Cooperation
Social Justice & Gender Issues
Sustainable Development & Environmental Issues
Social Movements
Indian Political System
Human Development

Have a look at the NABARD CA Capsules Here

3. Current Affairs for Phase-2
  • 8-10 months prior to the exam is of great importance. 
  • As of now, last 5 months CA will be very Important (September, August, July, June, May 2021). After this, Priority needs to be given to the CA of April, March, Feb, Jan 2021.
  • Indices, Important Schemes need to be covered from the month of November 2020, Dec 2020 till the date of the exam.
Components to be Covered for Current Affairs
Daily News (Newspapers/PIB)
Economic Survey
Union Budget
Agri Census
SECC 2011
Census 2011
Government Schemes
NABARD Model Bankable Projects
Livestock Census

Current Affairs Timeline/Study Plan

WeekMonths to be Covered
Week 1 (July 3rd week)May 2021 & June 2021
Week 2 (July 4th week)March 2021 & April 2021
Week 3 (August 1st week)Jan 2021 & Feb 2021
Week 4 (August 2nd week)Revision
Week 5 (August 3rd week)July 2021 & Revision
Week 6 (August 4th week)August 2021 (till 2nd Week)
Week 7 (September 1st week)August 2021(3rd and 4th Week)
Week 8 (September 2nd week)September 2021(1st Week)

IV. How do you manage your time?

We would recommend covering the basic chapters of ESI & ARD during weekdays while reserving the weekends for the coverage & revision of the current affairs, and practising Quants, Reasoning & English Questions.

Get ESI Study Notes, Video Lessons & Topic Tests to Boost your Preparations

V. Preparation Strategy for NABARD Grade-A 2021 – Complete Study Plan by Riti Mam

In this video, Riti Mam explains the complete strategy to crack NABARD Gr A 2021 Exam.

This was all from us in this blog of “NABARD Grade A Preparation Strategy 2021 for Phase-1 & Phase-2. We hope that you like the content of the blog NABARD Grade A preparation strategy and would prove useful to you. We have prepared Free Agriculture & Rural Development Notes for your extensive preparation.

Refer to them below:

  1. Minimum Support Prices (MSP) – 2018/19: Free NABARD ARD Notes Ebook (PDF)
  2. Water Conservation: Methods and Importance | NABARD ARD Notes
  3. Organizations for Rural Development of India | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  4. Institutional Financing Agencies | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  5. Impact of Globalization on Agriculture | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  6. National Income Accounting – GDP Calculation & Per Capita Income
  7. Poverty Alleviation & Employment Generation – RBI Grade B Study Notes
  8. Fisheries in India – Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  9. Animal Husbandry in India – Types, Importance & more | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  10. Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture – Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  11. Farm and Agri Engineering – Importance | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  12. Agricultural Markets: Concept, Classification, and more | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  13. Agricultural Credit System – Types and Sources | Free ARD Notes for NABARD
  14. Types of Agriculture in India – NABARD Agriculture Notes
  15. Food Security in India – Free Ebook for NABARD Exams
  16. Krishi Vigyaan Kendras – NABARD Agriculture Notes
  17. Agricultural Organisations – India and World | Free ARD Notes E-Book (PDF)
  18. Irrigation: Types of Irrigation, Sources
  19. Agricultural Finance: Classification and Sources – NABARD Agriculture Notes

Get ESI Study Notes, Video Lessons & Topic Tests to Boost your Preparations

NABARD Grade A Online Course 2021

» Oliveboard offers the best NABARD Grade A Online Coaching for you all which will help you crack the exam with ease in your first attempt.

» NABARD Grade A Online Course would include Online Video LessonsDetailed Study NotesAll-India Mock Tests, and much more for your exhaustive preparation.

» Oliveboard’s NABARD Grade A Online Course 2021 will be your one-stop destination for all your preparation needs.

Why Join Oliveboard?

» Structured preparation @ one place.

» Strengthen your concepts using Videos & Notes.

» Have a grip on topics through Topic Tests.

» Improve speed and accuracy through Full-length Mock Tests.

Course Details

» Phase 1 & 2 Video Lessons (ESI, ARD & Desc. Eng)

» LIVE Classes & LPS on Imp. Topics

» Phase 2 Study Notes (ESI, ARD & Desc. Eng)

» Complete CA for Phase 1 & 2 (Budget, Survey, Reports, etc)

» Topic Tests for Phase 1 2

» 10 Mock Tests for Phase 1 & 20 Mock Tests (15 Objective + 5 Descriptive tests) for Phase 2 with Solutions & Analysis

As they say, start early and stay ahead!

Start Your Preparation with Cracker Course

NABARD Grade A 2021 Course

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