What is strategy to qualify RBI GRADE B Exam : Career Tips & Tricks
Updated: Aug 3
All About RBI GRADE -B preparation :
some small/basic tips may be found below which is summarise on the basis of one my RBI selected friend .Success story in his own word.( Courtsey)
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Phase - I
Quant: The first step is to learn how to form equations based on the data given in the questions and then proceed with the calculation. So having conceptual clarity is a must. As mentioned earlier, any good book with chapter-wise problems and solutions would suffice. One can also practise questions directly from mock tests in a non-timed manner. Once you are comfortable with concepts, formulas, etc, the next step is to speed up mental arithmetic. For that, learn multiplication tables. Learn fraction to decimal conversions and vice-versa. Learn perfect squares up to 50 and cubes up to 20. Learn as many tricks as you can for faster mental arithmetic, because this phase is all about speed.
Reasoning: My personal strategy was to leave the puzzles for the end and finish all other questions before that so that I secure a certain number of marks prior to delving in to the puzzles. Learn through mock tests which types of puzzles are your fortes and which ones should be left immediately on spotting them in the examination. This section is more about leaving the wrong ones than attempting the right ones. For better clarity on how to approach puzzles, refer to Meritshine’s channel on YouTube.
English: Proficiency in English is very crucial to score well not just in this section, but also other sections of Phase I. Think of it this way, the faster you read and comprehend the questions, faster you are going to solve the questions. You can save valuable minutes by just quickly going through the questions. English is the toughest to prepare for because there are no shortcuts. Develop the habit of reading newspaper everyday without fail. The Hindu is still the most widely read newspaper by aspirants. Focus more on the editorials and columns, because they will also prove helpful while drafting an essay for Phase II. Read books, novels, magazines, just about everything you can lay your hands on. Keep a diary to note down new words that you learn every day. Read grammar from Wren & Martin.
GA: 40% of Phase I is GA so needless to say this section has to be done well. Most of the people who are already preparing for banking examinations have an easier time scoring well in this section. One should not target anything less than 50 in this section. A lot of the questions in this section are based on current affairs and recent events, along with some basic questions on macroeconomic concepts. Nowadays there are a lot current affairs websites that provide daily, weekly, monthly PDFs for current affairs. Studying these PDFs for the four months just before the phase I examination would be enough to score well. I would suggest either Affairs Cloud or GK Today for this. Gradeup comes out with a Static GK PDF and one can have a quick look through that as well. Make sure to keep track of the countries that are in news because our President or Prime Minister visited that particular country, and learn their capitals, currencies, famous stadiums, etc. A good score in this section would ensure that you qualify for phase II even by scoring average marks in the other three sections.
This phase tests the basic understanding of an aspirant, as well as one’s general awareness. So it is necessary to have a good mix of both. Standard textbooks have to be coupled with notes drawn from current affairs. Revision is highly necessary, and that too multiple times. I would advise everyone to stick to a very few selected sources, but revise them again and again. While a lot of online portals provide mock tests of this phase, I personally did not find any of them very useful for the actual examination. However, it never hurts to practise a few tests before the D-day. I went with the same mock tests as for Phase I, i.e. Oliveboard and Practicemock. For current affairs, I studied monthly PDFs of Affairs Cloud and Vision IAS. The monthly PDFs of GK Today are also quite good. While not necessary, you may also start reading a business newspaper to get a better perspective of the ongoing activities in the economic space. I would suggest reading The Hindu group’s Business Line, especially their op-ed pieces and columns.
ESI: Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh is the most suitable book for this section. In fact, this book will also cover some of the theoretical concepts of the Finance section as well. Almost all the chapters in this book (barring a few) are relevant for the examination. Focus should be on getting the basic concepts right. Mrunal’s Economy video series can also prove fruitful for this. I will reiterate the importance of revision here. Make sure to go through this book at least 4-5 times before the phase II examination. The Budget, Economic Survey of India and recent government schemes need to be prepared thoroughly. But one need not go through the entire official documents. Condensed forms of the same are made available by Affairs Cloud, Vision IAS, etc and they shall prove more than enough. Vision IAS comes up with a consolidation of government schemes which is quite helpful. RBI publishes two annual reports viz. the Annual Report and Trends & Progress of Banking in India. Most of the newspapers will cover the vital statistics/observations made in these reports, so you need not go in to them in detail.
FM: This portion is more static than ESI. Finance numerical questions have proven to be the toughest challenge for aspirants over the last few years, especially for people with no background in finance. Although there were no numerical questions asked in 2018, one cannot skip them. Just basic understanding of such problems can bring you easy 15-20 marks. These concepts can be done from the book Financial Management – Theory & Practice by Prasanna Chandra. Please note that this book does not have to be read in entirety. Compare the contents of the book with the syllabus and go through only the relevant chapters, both theoretical and numerical concepts. I even found Meritshine’s videos on YouTube quite helpful with regard to understanding finance numerical. For current affairs, the same sources may be followed as for ESI section. For Management section, I almost entirely relied on Edutap notes. In fact, the entire FM module of Edutap if done well can fetch decent marks in a very limited period of time. However, just reliance on these notes will not be enough and they have to be complemented with self-made notes from other sources as mentioned above.
English: This section is the most “selection-defining” section of phase II examination, mostly because in my opinion it is neglected by a lot of the aspirants. A lot of focus is directed towards just ensuring that there are no typing or grammatical errors, at the cost of providing good content. The English section, in general, contains essay, précis writing, and a passage. Essay topics are usually drawn from recent issues in banking and finance. So it is essential to be abreast with all recent happenings around the globe. The fodder for your essay is going to come from newspaper editorials. Editorials and columns are so designed that they cover all aspects of a particular issue and provide clear arguments for and against such issues, along with hard facts. Hence, read editorials daily and save articles that you think might be important for the examination. Revise these articles at regular intervals, and update them as you go along. Selection of essay topic may also influence your score, so make sure you choose a topic that you have ample content to write on. In précis writing and passage reading, the key point to remember is to use one’s own words as much as possible. Be brief and be to the point. Overall, while it may seem like 90 minutes is sufficient to answer this section, I can’t emphasize enough the need for speed in typing. So make sure you cover that base too before you go to attempt the examination
The interview is the make-or-break round of this examination. It’s more a personality test than just a regular interview. All your lead/lag in phase II examination can be washed away in just 15-20 minutes time in the presence of the interview panelists. Since I had not fared that well in phase II, I had made sure to leave no stone unturned for the interview. I read 4-5 newspapers (only editorial section) everyday, most of them business newspapers like The Hindu Business Line, Mint, Business Standard, and Economic Times. I checked the RBI website regularly for updates, press releases, notifications, policy decisions, speeches, etc and made my own notes on them. I thoroughly went through the functions of RBI and their various departments. It is very important to know about RBI as an organization, in and out. A book called “RBI Functions & Working” published by the Reserve Bank Staff College proved to be very helpful in this regard. I went through that book at least thrice. Make sure to prepare answers for questions that can be drawn straight from your bio, like your family background, hometown, current work experience, etc. Remember that you can be faced with any kind of question in the interview. So in case you are not sure of an answer, just politely say you do not know, instead of venturing a guess out of the blue. Above all, remember to stay cool and composed, and answer everything with confidence. While I understand it is easier said than done, some practice before the actual interview can help in achieving this. Try speaking to yourself in front of the mirror. Ask your friends to study your body language and mannerisms while you speak. Try to attend as many mock interviews as you can, online or otherwise. I attended just one mock interview by Edutap over the phone, but that was enough to give me a direction. Ultimately, the interview is supposed to be a stress test, and the ones who manage to hold their nerves better are the ones who finally make it to the list.
I have tried to cover all aspects of my preparation in this piece. Please remember that this is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. You may take suggestions from my experience, but it is always advisable to chart your own course towards the dream of getting selected to work for RBI. It may all seem intimidating initially, but with proper time management, it will not be as tough as one might think. The important thing is to just get started. Be very honest with your efforts. Always remember that there could be a thousand reasons why you fail, but there should be no excuses.
Thank you and all the best!
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