Topper Strategy by Aneesh J: RBI Grade B 2022 Success Story

“Believe in yourself, work hard, work smart and passionately present your best self to the world.” It was the same attitude followed by Aneesh J, who successfully cracked the RBI Grade B 2022 exam. By meticulously planning and judiciously utilizing limited study resources, he successfully cleared all phases of the exam. Aneesh has shared with us all the subject-wise as well as the phase-wise strategies that he had followed during his preparations. Let’s read about his pearls of wisdom here in his success story!

Topper Strategy by Aneesh J – RBI Grade B 2022 Success Story

Education and Work Background

“Aneesh had done an integrated MA in Development Studies from IIT Madras (2021 Graduate).

He also worked in the public policy think tank from June 2021 to April 2022. I had earlier interned with an Agri-fintech startup in the past.

My Strategy for Phase 1

General Awareness

Aneesh depended entirely on the affairs cloud website and Oliveboard Bolt. I did a holistic preparation keeping in the mind the syllabus of ESI for Phase 2. I devoted my maximum amount of time to GA preparation with 4 full revisions of the last 6 months of Current Affairs.

Quantitative Aptitude and English Language

I did no extra preparation. I solely depended only on Oliveboard mock tests and sectional tests.


I focused only on chapters in which I was strong and ignored the chapters which I was not comfortable with.

I used mock tests extensively to develop a strategy for this section.

Also depended on some banking test books selectively to update me with the latest pattern of questions. I was extensively dependent on YouTube lectures and Oliveboard sectional tests. for the Reasoning section.

Mock Strategy

For the subjects of Quant and Reasoning, identified the questions I could complete in the first iteration, for those that needed a second iteration, I kept them for the last.

Phase 1 Pro Tip

The Phase 1 preparation had to be minimal, just enough to clear the sectional and the overall cut-off marks. My focus was still on completely covering the Phase 2 syllabus.

My Strategy for Phase 2


I depended entirely on Oliveboard study notes with some background reading from google.


I did some preliminary reading from Oliveboard study notes. Subsequently went through some selected videos from Mrunal sir’s YouTube channel and gathered some background information from google.

Economic & Social Issues (ESI)

I covered the static part was covered from Oliveboard study notes, Mrunal sir’s Youtube playlists and UPSC notes available online.

Current affairs preparation was integrated with Phase 1 preparation. Didn’t prepare government schemes from end to end but instead noted down all government schemes in the news for the last 6 months and prepared notes covering the scheme details.

Also, tried to read the news item published regarding the scheme on the PIB website.


No separate preparation was done for the descriptive English paper. I had to integrate descriptive answer writing preparation with my note-making strategy as explained below due to a shortage of time.

Note-Making Strategy

I focussed on making digital notes on google docs and used the Grammarly extension to do a grammar check. This made it possible to update my static syllabus notes with current affairs and also improved my typing speed.

These notes were a self-written summary of ideas mentioned in Oliveboard notes and other sources, which greatly improved my writing skills. This I believe was an efficient way for practicing descriptive writing instead of doing daily practice.

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My Interview Preparation

I prepared every line given in my profile very well.

I read about the recent developments in the banking and economy space (I am a regular reader of mint newspaper),

Revised ESI and Finance notes once again, and read RBI annual reports, Governor’s speeches, and other policy notes on the RBI website.

Also attended two mock interviews – including one with Oliveboard.

How did Oliveboard Help in this Journey?

Phase 1: Oliveboard’s mock tests and sectional tests helped me sail through the Phase 1 paper with whatever limited time I had. The quality of the questions was quite good and they prepared me very well for the actual exam. Oliveboard’s bolt magazine, although quite a lengthy magazine by itself, is brilliant for selective reading.

Phase 2: Oliveboard’s ESI & FM study notes were concise and to the point for the most part. These notes helped me stay within the scope of the exam and are more than enough for finance and management preparation. ESI static syllabus is covered very extensively in Oliveboard’s notes which provided me with a solid base for extra reading and provided sufficient material for phase 2 descriptive answers.

Interview: The mock interview session with Raja sir and Gopal sir was very insightful. Although the scheduled mock interview time was for 30 minutes, Gopal sir stayed on for another 15 minutes and explained many functions of RBI in detail. He also nudged me to read the RBI website extensively, which ultimately helped in my interview. I can’t thank both of them enough for their time and guidance 

Last but not the least, all the Oliveboard faculty and staff which whom I came in contact during the last 3 months period were extremely professional and cordial. Thanks to them for their support in this journey.

Some Words of Wisdom for Aspirants

Phase 1 has no impact on the final selection. It is just a round before Phase 2. So always keep Phase 2 in mind when you do GA preparation for Phase 1. 

Complete the Finance and Management syllabus one time before Phase 1, and start preparing for Phase 2 immediately after the Phase 1 exam. Don’t waste valuable time waiting for Phase 1 results.

Even if you are not feeling confident about your preparation, try to give your best with whatever you know. A perfect attempt may never happen.

Get into the habit of making digital notes if you are already not doing it. 200 out of 300 marks in Phase 2  is for descriptive writing and you need good, error-free typing skills to score maximum marks here.

This is all from my side. All the best for your preparation journey!

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