The RBI Grade B notification for the recruitment of grade ‘B’ officers to the apex bank of India was released recently. The phase-I exam will be conducted on 16 August and the phase-II exam will be conducted on 7 September.We are going to present RBI Grade B Exam Strategy.
With just about a month and a half to go for this prestigious exam, we are sure that you must be deep into your preparation. Just in case you haven’t begun yet or want to make your preparation more structured, you can follow this detailed RBI Grade B Study Plan. In this article, we bring you the detailed preparation strategies by previous year’s RBI Grade ‘B’ Toppers.
So, read along!
HARDIK MEHTA (AIR 1, RBI Grade B 2016) | RBI Grade B Exam Strategy
How I attempted the phase-I paper?
- 70 questions of general awareness in 10 minutes
- 25 questions of English in 10 minutes
- remaining time was used to shuttle between the Quant & Reasoning sections
What should be the focus in phase-I preparation?
The maximum time of your preparation should be dedicated to General Awareness topic and you should try to maximize your score here because it forms a big chunk of the phase-I exam. Your next focus should be the English section. The remaining time should be dedicated to Quant and Reasoning. Along with the above-mentioned points, attempting 20-25 standard mock tests will be enough to make your preparation strong.
What study material or reference books I referred to?
For phase-I preparation, I was dependent solely on Oliveboard’s Mock Tests. I found the level of tests more difficult than the actual exam and hence every time there was a lot of learning and improvement. For GK, I used to read newspapers like The Telegraph(Calcutta), Economic Times, Mint Business Newspaper, etc.
Since Phase 1 is just an eliminator exam, the marks you score here do not hold much importance later. Hence, I would recommend you to focus more on Phase 2 and the Interview than on Phase 1.
- Quant – How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for the CAT & also soon to be released “Teach Yourself Quantitative Aptitude” by Shri Arun Sharma.
- English – How to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
- Reasoning – Oliveboard
- General Knowledge – The Telegraph(Calcutta), Economic Times, Mint Business Newspaper.
- Mock Tests – Oliveboard
My Preparation Strategy For RBI Grade B Phase-II
First learn the basics of finance, economics & management and then appear for a few quality mock tests to determine where you stand. Approaching one topic at a time, in my opinion, is not a good learning method. After building a strong foundation, start appearing for sectional mock tests and once the entire syllabus is covered, go for the complete mock tests. For example, if you are reading a newspaper, do not read it just for the sake of it. Instead, try and understand each word to build your base.
Taking Mock tests is a very important part of phase-II preparation. But then again, just attempting mock tests is not enough. Analyze each mock test diligently and work towards improving in the next mock test. ESI section should be read in bits and parts because you need to understand the nitty-gritty and every term used in the content. Candidates can refer the following materials for Phase 2 preparation:
- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
- Indian Economy by Mishra & Puri
Newspapers are a good source for current affairs but the static concepts are not covered. Hence, you must read and the books thoroughly. News Channels – Business News Channels; Listen to experts’ views and analyze the news yourself. Try and think what could be tomorrow’s headline.
- Financial Management by Prasanna Chandra
- Financial Management by I M Pandey
- Finance for Non-Finance by Vishal Thakkar
- Ratios Made Simple by Robert Leach
- Beginners can refer to Day to Day Economics by Satish Deodhar (IIM-A Publication).
- How to Read Balance Sheet
- How to Read Cash Flow
- How to Analyze Financial Statements
- There is a UGC Net Management book by Arihant Publication which is extremely useful for MCQs (Finance and Management).
While reading the books, make sure you’re aware of all the technical terms. If you are not aware of something, google it or find another source to know what it exactly means and only then move ahead.
PUSHKAR PAHWA (AIR 1, RBI Grade B 2016) | Preparation Strategy
First, go through the syllabus and your previous marks sheet (if you have it) and figure out what your strong and weak sections are. If you are attempting the RBI Grade B exam for the first time, do take a diagnostic mock test before you actually start preparing to get an idea of your strong and weak topics. Secondly, by looking at the previous years’ cutoffs, you will get a rough idea of how much you need to score in each section. From these inputs, you decide the following three things:
- The order in which you will be attempting the different sections of the exam
- The time you will be spending on each section
- The number of questions you will be attempting in each section
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | General Awareness
This section is highly factual and questions/ topic related to banking sector must be covered. Keep in mind that scoring high in the general awareness section assures that you clear the overall cutoff even if you are marginally above cutoff in comparatively tougher sections of Quant and Reasoning.
I recommend going through at least previous 6 months current affairs notes/capsules available on banking examination related websites. The factual nature of current affairs makes them very confusing, so make sure you revise them plenty of times.
RBI Grade B Preparation Strategy | English
Scores in this section will depend more on how much you practice as the options given are quite confusing. Simultaneously keep working on your vocabulary and learn new words daily. Again, keep in mind that this is the section which will help you clear the overall cut-off. So, your aim should be to maximize your score in this section.
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | The Most Crucial Step
Note: A very important factor which decides your marks in Phase I is your decision to leave a question if it takes a long time to solve. Many a times the question will be very simple but involve long calculations. It is better to skip such question at the first instance and come back to them if time permits rather than clinging onto it thinking ‘how can I not attempt such a simple question’. Remember that apart from the subject knowledge, your time management skills play a key role in Phase I paper.
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | Phase-II Strategy By Pushkar Pahwa
Phase II demands an entirely different strategy from Phase-I. In phase-II here you are practically competing with the best minds of the country. Some points to note:
- Papers in Phase-II are allocated sufficient time
- Thus, the speed per se is not of the essence.
- You will have enough time to think and recall.
So your preparation should be focussed on a wide as well as in-depth coverage of topics. Keep revising them as many times as you can.
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | Phase-II | Economic & Social Issues
Preparing for the static part: The preparation will depend on your background. If you are a category 1 candidate, i.e. either you have an academic background in finance/economics or you are a civil services aspirant, this part won’t be much of a problem for you. Just revise your old notes or economics books which you have already studied a couple of times and that will do. Some books that I would recommend to people with no background in Economics:
- Economics NCERT textbooks of Class 10, 11, 12 for basic concepts
- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh or by Uma Kapila
- General Studies notes of Economics by Sriram IAS coaching institute
- FAQ section of RBI website which covers various topics such as banking, currency, foreign exchange, government securities market etc.
Note: Please ensure that you pay enough attention to the minute details and facts as the questions asked are sometimes very factual in nature. For illustration, a question related to the voting percentage in Brexit referendum was asked in 2016 examination with options varying closely.
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | Phase-II | English
Keep in mind the following three important points while attempting this paper:-
- Ensure correct usage of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Stick to the word limit (+/- 5 words).
- Use simple English and make sure your point is clearly conveyed. Avoid using fancy words.
Precis Writing – Practice a few questions before the exam. Follow the rules of precis writing – word limit is 1/3rd words of the original text, use your own words, give a suitable title, don’t change the tone of the passage.
RBI Grade B Exam Strategy | Phase-II | Finance & Management
Often aspirants find this the most difficult section to prepare for owing to its technical nature. Most people do not have a background in finance and management, so this is the paper that needs to be prepared for the most. Make sure you prepare the topics in depth and also practice numericals.
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Hope this helps. All the Best!