[RBI] Strategy for Grade B Officer exam phase-1 & phase-2 by RBI-Topper Manojkumar with his marksheet & cutoff

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  1. About the author
  2. My clamour for RBI Grade B officer:
  3. General thoughts:
  4. Ice breaker and general approach:
  5. Newspaper and how to read it:
  6. Mrunal.org’s role in preparation:
  7. Topic wise approach:
  8. Phase I
  9. Phase II
  10.  Economic and Social Issues:
  11. English(Writing skills):
  12. Finance and Management:
  13. Other sources to be read:
  14. Interview:
  15. My Marksheet for RBI Grade “B” exam
  16. Conclusion:

About the author

NameManojkumar.E
Age24 years
HometownPudukkottai, Tamil Nadu
Education
  • % in 10th: 91.45%
  • % in 12th: 95.75% (200/200 in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology)
  • % in U.G: 85.6%
CollegeQualification: Electronics & Communication engineering
College: College of Engineering Guindy(CEG), Chennai (Anna university’s main campus)
Work experience
  • Senior Business analyst in Mu Sigma Business Solutions Bangalore (Oct 2012- May 2014)
  • Assistant in RBI Chennai (Jan 2016-Present)
Previous attempts
  • This was my first attempt in RBI  officer’s exam.
Tamil Movies
  • Cricket, cooking and watching tamil movies

My clamour for RBI Grade B officer:

Friends, RBI has released notification for Grade “B” Officers exam Batch 2016. Click me to apply. In this regard, I wish to share some insights from my experience.

RBI Grade B officer Manoj Kumar strategy tips
Myself Manojkumar- like many of you, I’m a small town boy  aspiring for bigger things in life. Like most of the aspirants do, I entered into the fray of competitive examinations by starting preparation for UPSC civil services examination. Economics as an important and contemporary subject was very new to me as I did not have even a little of exposure about the subject in school/college. Everything was new and interesting and more importantly it made me think more as the subject is more dynamic and mathematical. Two months into the preparation and I came to know about RBI’s Grade B officer examination. One of my friend told me at that point of time that his sister had appeared for the exam an year back and was awarded a very low score in the interview (probably single digit mark). From there on, I made up my mind that this post is something that is almost unreachable and might not even suit me as I am a minnow in this subject. Very limited number of seats(around 100 every year) added assault to injury. I continued with my preparation for CSE but there was still a great craving about this exam and post. I used to take a look at previous year question papers of Grade B post which did no good to me but only aggravated my fears. I could not even get the simplest of doubts cleared and this exam seemed to be a nightmare. That is where I came across mrunal.org which is almost a game changer for economics and its basics. A friend of mine gave several PDFs from mrunal.org which explained things in a very simple manner that I not only got clarity of basics but also developed a liking and love towards the subject. The fear that crept into my mind had also subsided. After knowing the role of RBI in nation building, I got a feeling that it can give me strength, satisfaction and respect that a civil servant gets. The scope of service is also very high as the central bank has become a major player in a world of volatile economy. That is when I decided that I would jump into Grade B exam preparation

General thoughts:

Preparation has to be two pronged: one for phase 1 and other one for phase 2. It is wise to approach the exam topic by topic rather than going book by book. Reading precise and staying up to the point is essential as the exam is objective. At the same time, it is also required to get the conceptual clarity (if not in depth, at least a basic clarity) as some questions did test the concept clarity. Moreover, English writing skills and interview requires a fair understanding of concepts. Books suggested and reference books given by RBI board are too big to cover. It is only by sticking to the syllabus that we can try conquering it to the best of our satisfaction. It is better to start the preparation with phase 2 and then move on to phase 1 with one or 1.5 months before the exam.

Ice breaker and general approach:

As this exam is a blend of banking, finance and economics, it is better to build the base before jumping into the syllabus. Complex issues like those in the economic survey can be easier with a good understanding of concepts. To start with, “Indian economy key concepts by Shankar Ganesh” is a very good book as it explains things in a simple (simpler than NCERT) and lucid manner that anyone can understand. 10 chapters and a very small book, so it always keeps you in the groove so that you feel confident once you complete the book. Chapters involving capital markets might look slightly complex but repeated readings can make it look easy. Crux here is to get a feel of what economics is and how it is very much important in the current context of nation building. And moreover, it covers basics of many topics in our syllabus such as WTO, Banking, National income, Budget, etc. It is better to institutionalise the terms by taking up discussions or taking mock vivas among friends. NCERT reading from 9th to 12th is advisable depending upon the availability of time. One can ignore theorotical economic sections like money multiplier and all the complex graphs which would automatically fall under Economics optional in Paper-III. Glancing enough can do a world of good. Our base can be further strengthened by reading PDFs in mrunal.org which is in a dialogue format (funny as well as understandable). Doing all this will make you a person who is no longer a beginner in economics. It would provide oil for your mind engine when you jump on to contemporary issues

Newspaper and how to read it:

As this exam is a test of banking/economic knowledge, there is a common misperception that one needs to study newspapers like Mint, Financial express, Economic Times, etc. But this is not the case here. I am not discouraging you to follow the above mentioned newspapers. But it is always better to channelize the resources available to get the best utility out of it. It is more than enough to stick with “THE HINDU”. The first paper of the syllabus reads Economic and Social issues. Issues is the key word here signaling that the contemporary part needs to be given more importance than the static basic parts. Also hardcore financial and economic dailies cover topic in a way that might not connect the dots between economic issues and the underlying socio economic factors for the same. Questions were even asked from Polity in Paper-I of phase 2. Further General awareness section in Paper-1 requires a general newspaper to be read rather than an economic newspaper. So, be choosy in reading newspapers that you can afford to as time is not a luxury. You could be a regular newspaper reader or a new comer. But make sure that you follow newspaper regularly as it would provide you the following things:

  • Good understanding and correlation of topics in the current socio economic scenario
  • Fodder for essay in Paper-1 of phase 2
  • The confidence to face the interview
  • General awareness section of phase 1
  • English section of phase 1
  • Current affairs in paper 1 of phase 1

It is good to keep the syllabus by heart while reading the newspaper. That will tell us what is to be covered and what is to be ignored. I am providing you here with examples of what to read and what not to

To be read:
1) GDP growth accelerates to 7.9% in the final quarter
2) World Bank announces a new criteria for calculating poverty line
3) 1.44 lakh crores of Education cess collected remains unutilized
4) 25% of children below 5 years of year underweight
5) Jats demand reservation

Not to be read:
1)L&T plans to invest Rs. 6000 crore in the coming quarter
2)Modi govt. not pro poor: Rahul
3)Egypt flight shot down

Mrunal.org’s role in preparation:

I am not writing this to praise mrunal.org but truth has to be said. IF there could be any resource that in this world can help you for preparing RBI Grade B, it could be none other than mrunal.org’s videos on “how to approach economics for UPSC”. It perfectly suits for Grade B preparation also and in fact looks tailor made for the same. In 2015, there were about 70 videos under 7 topics. I saw all the videos once and institutionalized them by utilizing the PPTs provided. I almost read it around 5 to 6 times and made sure that nothing is missed from Economic Survey/Budget. The videos are a nice craftwork of Economic survey, Budget and current affairs intertwined for the current socio economic scenario. Best thing is that it is available for free to everyone. People who are from non-hindi states might face slight issues in following the lecture but the pictures and graphics in PPTs would make it easier. Completing this and repeated revisions of the same will definitely provide an edge in paper 1 and paper 3 of phase 2

Topic wise approach:

Phase I:

SectionSource
General awarenessThe Hindu, daytodaygk.com monthly PDFs ,mrunal.org
EnglishThe Hindu
QuantsTIME CAT materials
Logical reasoningTIME CAT materials

Test series: www.careerpower.in  I also got good reviews about oliveboard test series. Decide the section wise order even while taking up mocks and stick on to this. My order is as follows: General awareness, English, Quants, Logical reasoning. First two sections would take only 30-40 minutes and you would have covered 110 questions. Scoring high in General awareness is very important as Quants and Logical reasoning sections are really tough to get through where clearing the sectional cut offs should be the aim.

Phase II

I am mentioning here the static areas to be covered under these topics. It is very essential to update the same with contemporary areas in these topics from newspapers, Budget, Economic Survey, Yojana, Vision IAS current affairs etc

 Economic and Social Issues:

TopicSource
Growth and Development, Measurement of growth12th NCERT, Shankar Ganesh, Sanjeev Verma
Poverty alleviation and employment generation in IndiaRamesh singh, Sanjeev verma, 11th NCERT
Economic reforms, Industrial and labour policy, Privitization, GlobalizationSanjeev Verma, Wikipedia
BoP, Exim policy, IMF, WB, Regional economic cooperationMost of them are dynamic. Wikipedia would help getting how these institutions were formed
Multicultarism, Demographic trends, Urbanization and migration11th Geography old NCERT Land and people, Latest census data
Positive discrimination, Indian political systemArticles and special provisions in favor of backward and scheduled classes

English(Writing skills):

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away
An essay a week keeps the mark intact”

Essay and Precise writing were the two questions asked in this paper with 50 marks each in both the questions. The name is self-explanatory where in writing skills play a major role for scoring high in this paper. This is something that comes with practice in writing. In order to improve writing in subsequent iterations, it is always important to read quality content. And Essay topics would be mostly from current socio economic issues. So there need not be a separate content that has to be read for this paper. It is all about putting the content in the right format and structure. Practicing essays and getting it reviewed from a peer who is really good at content pertaining to the topic and English language should be the key. Editorials in The Hindu which are very relevant to current economic scenario can be flagged, noted and revised for some good fodder and key stats. Economic survey, Budget, Yojana articles can spice up your essay when mixed in right proportion. It is also important not to take precise writing lightly. Taking help from online resources and practicing is a must. All these small things will definitely pave way for a bigger thing-i.e. success

Finance and Management:

TopicSource
Financial systemMrunal, Shankar Ganesh
Financial Markets, DerivativesNCFM materials(by Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE))
Recent developments in Banking,Public sector reforms,DisinvestmentsEconomic survey, Current affairs from Vision IAS
FRBMARamesh Singh
Finance commission recommendations, Inflation trendsMrunal.org, Rbi official site, Shankar Ganesh
ManagementQuestions were very basic and hence a basic understanding of all management terms in the syllabus is more than enough. Online resources and Wikipedia would help

Other sources to be read:

Yojana- This would provide an analytical understanding of current schemes and hence facts would become a matter of simplicity once analytical thoughts are developed
Vision IAS current affairs- Contemporary affairs are the most sought in any competitive exam. This would provide a monthly break up of current affairs and hence note making need not be done by us which would save a lot of time
Daytodaygk.com- Monthly PDFs of current affairs (factual). This is mainly useful for General awareness section of phase 1

Interview:

Not getting shortlisted in the final stage after crossing phase 2 doesn’t mean that you have solely lost it because of a poor show in the interview. Most of them fall behind in phase 2 and even a better score in interview won’t help. So it is always better that phase 2 marks are sufficiently above the cut off marks so that it would provide the cushion even if something drastic happens in the interview. However it is best to approach the interview with an open mind without speculating what we would get for the interview. The panel would be very friendly and tries to bring the best in you. So it is very important not to panic to express what you try to convey. One has to really make sure that one is 100% sure about the things mentioned in the bio data which was sought by RBI services board before the interview. It is even ok to have a simple resume but overstating and not able to justify your stand will bring curtains. It is even ok to say “Don’t know” but making sure that the previous question’s poor impact doesn’t get reflected in the next one is very essential. This would put a test on your resilience and ability to perform under adverse conditions. Mock interviews are a matter of discretion and even self-talks are enough if you are confident. Create own questions and answer it as many times as you can. Throw up all the weird questions with respect to your resume and get it answered before you step into the interview hall

My Marksheet for RBI Grade “B” exam

Phase 1:

SectionMarks/Total marksCut off pertaining to my category
General awareness54.75/8016
English20.75/306
Quants13/306
Logical Reasoning15.75/6012
Total104/20078.5

Phase 2 and Interview:

PaperMarks/Total marksCut off pertaining to my category
Economic and Social issues78/100
English73/100
Finance and Management71.25/100
Phase 2 total222.25/300182
Interview40/50
Total262.25/350234.50

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, even after so much preparation there would be questions that looks unanswerable. What we are doing here is to equip ourselves with all the weapons in our armory to make sure we win the battle even if we lose some soldiers. Presence of mind and application on the exam day are also going to be vital as this is an objective exam and hence elimination is the best way to go. Customize yourself by taking a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. You could be a Civil Service aspirant or a Banking aspirant or solely a RBI aspirant. Adjust accordingly and launch your preparation. All the Best!

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 183 Comments posted

  1. Mahesh

    How to download your video lectures sir?

    1. VIVEK

      Download and install 4k video player. It is free and gives you option to choose various quality levels of video i.e 240p ,360 p etc

    2. Prawin

      you can download using tubemate…very easy one…I ve downloaded and revising them offline… 🙂

  2. Renjith R

    All the very best my dear Manoj….you have shown your quality…. your hardwork reeps success…

  3. Ed

    Hi
    Congratulations. Did you attempt numericals of f and m paper? If yes,then please mention the topics from which they came and also how to prepare them.
    Thanks

  4. Ashishkumar

    awesome…..!

  5. Adithya

    May I know how long date of joining can be?? I mean from the date of exam??

  6. SOURADEEP PATHAK

    thnx

  7. sambit

    Hi Manoj,

    Can you please provide your facebook id. Need to discuss about the exam ans some help would be appreciable..

  8. Abdul Aziz

    I got 87 in Phase I, but failed.

    1. Saipavan

      Sir, Could you please tell the cut off for all categories for phase I exam?

      1. aspirant

        @saipavan
        foll are section wise and category wise cutoffs for phase 1

        section open obc sc st
        Gen awareness(Out of 80) 20 16 14.25 14.25
        reasoning (out of 60) 15 12 10.75 10.75
        English(out of 30) 7.5 6.0 5.25 5.25
        Quant(Out of 30) 7.5 6.0 5.25 5.25
        Overall (Out of 200) 88.50 78.50 74.50 74.50

    2. SUMIT KUMAR

      I got 87.5 bro !!

      1. IqbalAbdul

        Passed ? or Failed ??

  9. pawam

    NCFM MODULE are not available free of cost. please help

  10. Vipul Mehta

    I am awaiting result of the final semester of the undergraduate course. Can I apply for RBI Grade B exam?

  11. Arun Vignesh C S

    All the best Manoj 🙂

  12. Jere

    Are you working and studying or left job for preparation?.

  13. Dipanwita

    Can you please share what kind of numerical or analytic questions had come last year in finance portion?

    Thanks and Regards

  14. Nicky

    Thanks a ton!!!

  15. Anjali Tiwari

    Sir I am a chartered accountant preparing for specialist officer conducted by ibps n other banks pls give me study material for professional knowledge section as it’s not available

  16. Anmol Jain

    You have mentioned NCFM Material by Bombay stock exchange. From where can i get it???

  17. PALLAVI WAGHMARE

    This strategy is good but i want mrunal sirs strategy for this years exam…..specially for fianance & management

  18. ankit

    Where are the PDF’s available?

  19. Raman Sharma

    Thanks a lot, Manoj Sir. Your Success story motivates us to do some better. Also, your way of preparation gives us an understanding of how to go with this exam.

  20. Nitish

    Sir, the posting is done according to exam centre or they take preferences after final selection? ( I am from delhi but currently in chennai so i should write the exam from delhi or chennai itself )

  21. Akanksha

    Good info.
    Help needed wid eco survey n budget..pdf?

  22. rahul

    how many months current affairs should we prepare for rbi grade b ?

  23. Pushp Rautela

    thanks bro

  24. Madhan

    Thank you very much Manoj.. All the very best with your career..

  25. Stiffy

    Congrats Manoj on your success. I would like to know how did you tackle the numerical portions in finance exam (phase 2) and how to prepare for the same? I kno zero about finance (I’m B. E cse) so with the sources you mentioned (without prasanna Chandra, bv pathak or my khan) can I prepare for finance in such short time or should I buy above mentioned books.

  26. dheephikaa

    sir…..can u say which book we should for quantitative aptitude???pls..as I don’t have TIME cat materials….

  27. dheephikaa

    sir,can u say which book we shud follow for quantitative aptitude??as I don’t have time cat materials…

  28. dasharath

    Please post interview questions also

  29. rajesh

    Sir, I have passed degree with 2nd class and Master degree with 1st class. M I eligible to apply RBI grade B?

  30. Jyoti

    @prawin..can u pls tell me from where to download the videos and how to do it?

  31. Manish

    Im currently promoted as scale 2 in psb. Can anybody tell which is better rbi grade b or manager in psb?

  32. VISHWA CHARAN

    Can i get last year objective phase 2 paper in pdf?

  33. santhosh

    all the pdfs are of 2013 … how will they help now to get through 2016 rbi grade b exam…….. i dont know what it is like….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Sonali arya

    Sir. I want to qualify upsc. And m just the beginner.. So how to start preparation for it.

  35. Nikhil

    is there any negative marking in RBI grade b

  36. Manoj

    @ed i attempted from chennai circle where the exam was postponed by a week and had a different question paper from rest of india for phase 2.. i didnt get numericals in f&m.. anyways from what i have heard from my peers who have cleared grade b is that banking ratios such as profitability, asset liability ratio etc are to be prepared in such a way that u know the conponents in numerator and denominator.. best of luck

    1. shaswat kachhwaha

      manoj broo help me out i have one query
      i passed my graduation in BCOM HONOURS BFE
      HERE BFE MEANS business finance and economics
      soo in my final marksheet only bcom honours paper marks taken n counted n on that only i was granted overall 65%
      its rule of my university they dnt count bcom 1 year paper marks in final marksheet of graduation for those who took honours
      if i consider my bcom 1 year marks too my over all comes to be 58%
      am i elgble for this exam
      as my university say dnt count bcom 1 year marks n i have my clg degree whch say passed wth 1 div too

      1. Manoj

        Shaswat I think you are ok to write your exam as ur final mark sheet reads 65%.. As long as 58% doesnt get reflected in any of ur mark sheet, u should be good to go!!

  37. alok mishra

    sir, it is presumed that candidates with economic background has an edge over the interview. Please, clarify this. I had cleared phase 1. but sue to such doubts, is could not concentrate on the phase 2 and failed. please illuminate me.

  38. Manoj

    @adhithya from the date of results it is about 4 months

  39. Manoj

    @pawam i would try to post it soon and also try ti share my interview experience in the upcoming post

  40. Manoj

    @arun vignesh thank you all india officer

  41. Manoj

    @jere i resigned my job and then started preparing

  42. Manoj

    @dipanwita please refer to the reply given for ED

  43. Manoj

    @anmol jain i will try to upload it in the coming days

  44. Manoj

    @raman thank you

  45. Manoj

    @nitish nothing like that.. u need not worry about those things..can write from anywhere

  46. Manoj

    @akankshka refer to video lectures in mrunal.org which has been updated for current year

  47. Manoj

    @rahul one should at least be thorough with last 3 months of current affairs prior to the exam.. to be on the safer side, one should prepare from jan 2016 to sep 2016 for current year’s exam..

  48. Manoj

    @stiffy please refer to the reply given for ED… u need not worry about the background u come from

  49. Manoj

    @dheephikha i hear from my friends about arun sharma.. anyways the crux here is to understand concepts and practise in such a way tat u can answer questions from any topics irrespective of the complexity level.. books are for one’s own comfort and try to have ur bases covered from what ever source u read from

  50. Manoj

    @dasharath i will try to upload in the coming days

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