Read the Success story of Tej Kankaria, a commerce graduate, who secured AIR 25 in RBI Grade B 2017.
This blog post is meant to help aspirants understand the RBI Grade B Examination process better. Here I will be sharing the strategy I had followed to clear the examination, along with my recommendations. Of course, needless to say, the strategy may differ from person to person; so if your strategy is different from mine, I am sure it will be better than mine. 😉
Word of caution: This post is prescriptive and not really a “success story”.
To start off, let me give you a brief about my background. I was born in 1994 and graduated from Christ University as Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) in 2014. Ever since I had been preparing for the Civil Services Examination with Commerce and Accountancy as my optional subject. Now that I have secured myself a job with this great institution, RBI, my CSE chapter has permanently closed.
The exam consists of three parts (Phase I, Phase II & Interview) with the first and last one being the most important. Phase 1 because this is where >99% of the crowd is chucked out and Interview because this is where the final 150 odd candidates are chosen.
Phase 1 consists of four parts – General Awareness (80 marks), English (30 marks), Quants (30 marks) and Reasoning (60 marks).
- The most important part, which can make it or break it for you, is General Awareness. Ironically, the input to output ratio for this part is the highest. To maximise your score, I would recommend, mugging up last four months of current affairs (up to the day before the examination). One may refer to BA Hindu Monthly Capsule for the same. Other than this, general/basic banking awareness, latest FAQs on RBI’s page and important facts from budget and survey would suffice. Allocate 10-12 minutes for this section. Maximize your attempts in this part. If you are confused between three options, the probability of you getting +1 is 33%. Thus on your attempt of three Qs with such probability, mathematically, you will be getting +1, -0.25 and -0.25. Thus net positive 0.5. Thus, worth the attempt.
- English too can be high scoring section, if one practices well. Without practice, even a grammar nazi would end up scoring less than 10. Allocate 20-25 minutes for this section.
- For Quants, nothing can help you better than practising as many sums as possible. You need to be good at least half the topics in the syllabus. One can refer to any standard book such as Rakesh Yadav or Arihant or free videos available on YouTube. Allocate 40 minutes for this section.
- Reasoning, I would say strategize your attempt. Leave seating arrangement questions, which are time-consuming, for the last. Attempt ‘Odd one out’, ‘input-output’, ‘inequalities’, ‘missing number or figure’, ‘syllogism’, etc for the initial few minutes. This is because the sunk cost fallacy comes into play for time-consuming Qs which may prove to be disastrous. Here, you need at least 40 – 50 minutes to make a fair attempt.
It is highly important to consolidate what one learns, and hence it is recommended to regularly give tests (full tests as well as topic ones). Subscribe to any good mock test series and track your progress. Oliveboard is good for Quants and Reasoning. Don’t be disheartened with low scores in mocks. Most of the time low scores are attributed to low GA scores. Pay the least attention to that part and continue your preparation religiously. Attempt maximum number of GA and English questions. Always keep sectional cut off in mind while answering Quants and Reasoning; hence don’t bank too much upon GA & English.
Phase II is comparatively easy for candidates who prepared well for Phase I’s GA. This is because half the work for ESI is already done. So for ESI, just revise your GA material once again. Other than that, Vision IAS’s Economy current affairs for last one year can help you to cross the threshold. Make sure you are well versed with the summary of the budget (including key initiatives) and summary of the economic survey. Basic banking understanding, HDI meaning & data and some important global rankings (of recent relevance) are important too. Don’t forget to remember important facts and figures from Census 2011, SECC and CSO website. Mrunal videos can really come in handy to people who have zero to low banking/economy awareness.
English should not be a problem for anyone, including the ones who consider themselves to be awful at it. A decent attempt can get you 80 out of 100 marks. To make the best attempt, keep the following things in mind – Essay should have a minimum of three paragraph with an introduction and conclusion, and backed by a few legitimate facts; Heading is a must for precis, and the content should be written in one’s own words and must cover all the major points; Comprehension questions must be answered in one’s own words and should be at least two-three sentences long with an introduction and conclusion wherever possible.
Aspirants of non-commerce background usually say that their biggest fear is F&M. However, let me assure you that the syllabus is not at all challenging. As calculators are not allowed, the examiner is forced to ask easy Finance numericals. Rule of 72 can really come in handy. For the Management part, one can refer to websites such as managementstudyguide.com, 12manage.com, managementstudy.com, etc or Google every topic. I have been told that EduTap’s material for F&M is good too, however, it is really expensive.
Interview, the final stage, is again really important. Ensure you give at least 3 mock interviews before you face the D day.
Focus on HR questions such as “Tell me about yourself”, “Why RBI”, “Which department would you like to work for”, “Your strengths and weaknesses”, etc. It is okay if you are not able to answer knowledge-based questions, but not being able to answer questions on oneself shows lack of self-awareness which is not recommended.
It is a myth that the interview panel gives low scores to people who have been preparing for the CSE or people having zero work experience. So desist from lying about your past. They would never employ a candidate who is low on integrity.
Ensure you portray your personality well. Be confident (even when you say I do not know), always dawn a smile, greet all members individually and be truthful to the maximum possible extent.
It is completely alright to say you do not know the answer to a question. Tip – Learn to say I do not know in different ways. For example – I cannot recollect, I am not aware, I am not sure, etc
My detailed transcript can be found here – https://nahipehchana.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/rbi-interview/
On an ending note, I would say that RBI’s Grade B exam is such that even 2 weeks are enough to prepare for it. Strategy, dedication, optimism and a positive personality type is all that is required to clear the exam. So be confident, and ace it!
All the best!”
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