Success story of Akash Choubey – Cleared RBI Grade B 2017, AIR 11

Read the Success story of Akash Choubey in his words -:

“Hey, This is Akash. I did my Electrical engineering from NIT Warangal in 2013 and had been preparing for civil services exam ever since. If you are reading this then I assume that you intend to know the RBI exam strategy but before I touch the core issue, let me share two thoughts with you. These are just food for thoughts.

Firstly, Let me ask you – “What do you consider success?” Does clearing exams, be it UPSC, IBPS, SSC, RBI etc, means being successful? I guess we all are so much caught up in this race that we often forget these jobs are just a means & not an end in themselves and definitely not going to define you as a person. You are bigger than just an official post. So don’t let these exams or failure in these exams bury you with negative thoughts. I am not even being modest when I say that there are many people out there who are more hardworking, dedicated and smart than me but couldn’t clear the exam because it wasn’t their day. I hope I have given the gist of what I intended to pass.

Secondly, as a fellow exam aspirant, I know the frustrations one goes through during failures. If I ask you to name any tennis player, you would end up naming Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and at best Andy Murray if you have been following tennis. It’s natural because these couple of players win most of the major tournaments in any year. No one remembers Stan Wawrinka. He had been playing tennis under the shadows of these giants and had no major tournament win. After not so successful career he got a tattoo on his arms – “Ever Tried, Ever Failed, No Matter, Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better”. Finally, after a decade-long career, he won the US open in 2016. Indian Express wrote an article calling him “The people’s champion”.  I believe we all can learn something from Stan.

Without further ado, let me come to the main issue of exam strategy.

RBI Grade B Prelims Preparation

For GS/Current affairs (80 Marks)

  • Be thorough with current affairs of 4 months prior to prelims test.

  • I will emphasize on studying from GKToday (especially the Q&A section available free of cost on their website) and supplementing it with GK tornado weekly PDF’s.

  • I made one-liner notes from these sources for last minute revision. Exercise your discretion in choosing what to mug up and what not to. (Sharing my Evernote link to give the idea – The note called ‘GS’).

  • For the static part, I read the SBI module of Bankersadda to get the basics of banking, sports, important dates etc.

  • Your marks in the mock test would give you the idea whether you are on the right track.

Get Weekly Current Affairs Capsules Here

For English/Quant/Logical reasoning (120 marks)

  • Practice mock tests and check solutions to get the idea of ‘How to approach each type of question in Quant and LR’. I had joined Bankersadda for prelims.

  • Don’t Hesitate to Skip the question. Your aim is to clear the exam and not to solve all questions. Especially in Quant and LR section, skip the question if you don’t get it in 1-2 minutes. It is possible that easier questions await you ahead.

  • Take Risks in English, LR and GS section. If you bet, you lose small (0.25 marks) but you win big (1 marks). Even if you get 4 wrong and 1 correct (effectively 0 marks) then its neutral position.

Time management (Second most critical after GS section)

In Order of Attempt & Time Spent:

  • GS/Current Affairs – (20-25 mins)
  • English – (20-25 mins)
  • Logical reasoning – (40 mins)
  • Quant – 30 mins (Time consuming and difficult to find doable questions despite skipping).

RBI Grade B Mains Preparation


Essay (Wrote like UPSC answer)

Introduction – Building the base for the essay with Defining the concept, talking about present status in opening paragraphs

Body – Discussing different dimensions of the issue and different stakeholders

Concluding paragraph with some suggestions and way ahead

Example- I wrote an essay on NPA in 2017

  • Introduced what is NPA and What is the current status of NPAs
  • Why is it a big problem
  • What are causing these NPAs – Political, Economical, Social reasons
  • Impact on different Stakeholders – banks, Citizens, business community etc
  • Recent steps taken by government and RBI to curtail these
  • Concluding with Way ahead and philosophical line

Remember that it’s just 250-300 words essay, So there is no need to go into details of each aspect.

Manage time as Unseen passage and Precise writing, though easier could not be attempted well by many candidates for lack of time.

Due to the paucity of time, I had to rely on limited sources and it worked for me. I would suggest covering each topic in both ESI and Finance & management papers individually instead of reading any book cover to cover. Stick to your source and if you feel that it’s not covering any topic well enough then use the internet for that. You might have to do it quite frequently in case of Management topics. Go through last year’s papers to get the idea of What to Omit and What to read.

Finance and Management

Here I referred to only 2 sources, Anuj Jindal notes and Oliveboard Mains Test Series cum Study material.

But the following 2 topics were covered from Internet

  • The Union Budget – Direct and Indirect taxes; Non-tax sources of Revenue, GST, Thirteenth Finance Commission and GST, Finance Commission, Fiscal Policy, Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM),
  • Inflation: Definition, trends, estimates, consequences, and remedies (control): WPI, CPI – components and trends.

You can glance through my Evernote link to get the idea and definitely go through the FAQ section of RBI website.

Economic and Social Issues

  • Measurement of growth: National Income and per capita income – NCERT 12th Economics book, first 2 chapters.

  • Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation in India – Read Government schemes, Commissions on BPL – Rangarajan, Tendulkar etc.

  • Sustainable Development and Environmental issues – About SDGs/MDGs and Shankar IAS environment book (only last 4 chapters dealing with practical aspects).

  • Economic Reforms in India: Industrial and Labour Policy, Privatisation – Ramesh Singh or any basic book.

  • Role of Economic Planning – Ramesh Singh, 5-year plans (years and 12th FYP goals, Recent NITI aayog’s long-term plans).

  • Monetary and Fiscal Policy – Basics from any source, Monetary policy committee and its act.

  • Globalization: Opening up of the Indian Economy – Balance of Payments,  EXIM policy, IMF and World Bank – WTO, Demographic Trends – Urbanization and Migration, Human Development – HDI, GII, etc — Have compiled from online sources – Can look into Evernote link.

  • Social Movements and Indian Political System – I had UPSC background so I may not be the right person to suggest on this.

  • Supplemented these with Oliveboard material.

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Apart from the obvious of preparing one’s bio-data, strengthen the basics of RBI, banking sector and Economy especially from RBI FAQ section. I was asked questions about:

  •     Gross and Net NPAs

  •     Inflation and its impact on exchange rates

  •     Continuous decline of India’s exports in recent times

  •     Measuring bank’s performance (RBI had released notification on Prompt Corrective Action framework)

  •     Research background (Had mentioned about publishing research papers during college)

  •      Dogs (Yes, Dogs! As I had mentioned that I like spending time with my dog :D)

PS – When RBI final results were announced, after seeing the result I thought I did not get through the exam due to some confusions. I realized that I have sailed through the exam 3-4 hours later 😀

Views expressed are personal.

All the best.”

Almost forgot – My Evernote link:

Read more success stories.

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