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

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Majid Hussain
  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

Name Manojkumar.E
Age 24 years
Hometown Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu
  • % in 10th: 91.45%
  • % in 12th: 95.75% (200/200 in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology)
  • % in U.G: 85.6%
College Qualification: 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:

Section Source
General awareness The Hindu, daytodaygk.com monthly PDFs ,mrunal.org
English The Hindu
Quants TIME CAT materials
Logical reasoning TIME 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:

Topic Source
Growth and Development, Measurement of growth 12th NCERT, Shankar Ganesh, Sanjeev Verma
Poverty alleviation and employment generation in India Ramesh singh, Sanjeev verma, 11th NCERT
Economic reforms, Industrial and labour policy, Privitization, Globalization Sanjeev Verma, Wikipedia
BoP, Exim policy, IMF, WB, Regional economic cooperation Most of them are dynamic. Wikipedia would help getting how these institutions were formed
Multicultarism, Demographic trends, Urbanization and migration 11th Geography old NCERT Land and people, Latest census data
Positive discrimination, Indian political system Articles 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:

Topic Source
Financial system Mrunal, Shankar Ganesh
Financial Markets, Derivatives NCFM materials(by Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE))
Recent developments in Banking,Public sector reforms,Disinvestments Economic survey, Current affairs from Vision IAS
FRBMA Ramesh Singh
Finance commission recommendations, Inflation trends Mrunal.org, Rbi official site, Shankar Ganesh
Management Questions 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


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:

Section Marks/Total marks Cut off pertaining to my category
General awareness 54.75/80 16
English 20.75/30 6
Quants 13/30 6
Logical Reasoning 15.75/60 12
Total 104/200 78.5

Phase 2 and Interview:

Paper Marks/Total marks Cut off pertaining to my category
Economic and Social issues 78/100
English 73/100
Finance and Management 71.25/100
Phase 2 total 222.25/300 182
Interview 40/50
Total 262.25/350 234.50


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!

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

  1. Manoj ! I have attempted 97 with 95% accuracy. Is there any chance of getting selected for phase 2?

    1. I think, if you are in General Category, and your marks are above 90 after deductions, you can make it. Based on last years cut-off analysis, OBS cut off is 10 marks less than General, SC,ST,OH etc are 14 marks less. Going by this it is safe to say that the cut off will be in the 89-95 range for General. (since Maths was a little easier this time, compared to last time) All the best to you! I have done 101 questions with reasonable accuracy of 90-95%


  3. Dear manoj, thanks for your information. Only out of curiosity I wish to ask you that with respect to the cuttoffs provided by you for phase-I, do you belong to open category or any other reserved category? I wish to know the same since I am expecting +3/+5 or similar to your scores as got by you in the exam appeared yesterday on 04.09.2016. Awaiting your response.

  4. Hi manoj i have attempted 105 questions do i hav any chance of getting selected for phase 2??????

  5. manoj bro,,
    i want to know about rbi assistant,,,
    previous year aug month exam nadanthathu,, this year innum notification eh varala,,now its september,, for rbi assistant , nan yentha section ku neraya importance kudukanum,,? past one year i have been attending all bank exams,, 2014-15 rbi assistant la i have written 130 with accuracy,,but naan shorlist agala,, so rbi assistant exam ku nan yentha section la adhigama concentrate pananum? please guide me bro,,, awaiting fr u reply,, thank you

    1. Sorry for the late reply.. RBI assistant exam is getting way too tougher as years pass by.. U would be knowing that there wont be any interview as well.. SO the cut offs will shoot up… U shud attempt at least 185 and try scoring 170 if u belong to General Category.. So apdi vechu paakaila, neenga ella sectionum concentrate panni daan aaganum!!

  6. What are the important/expected topics for phase 2 exam… And how to prepare Economics& social issues from now onwards? I am confused with both paper 1 & 3 . Help me please.

    1. Hi Girish.. This exam doesnt have a clear road map as the pattern is relatively very new.. Just stick to the syllabus and make sure that u give the best of ur attempts.. What I have just written is a starting guide.. Explore ur own way as u start preparing full fledged

  7. sir, i didn’t find sanjeev verma’s economy book pls provide me link or pdf of this book

    1. I dont think so that PDF is available… Search in flipkart or amazon

  8. Hello Manoj Sir, Congratzz!! how is your life as an officer going on? please can you provide detailed salary, allowances and facilities you are getting? And MOST importantly, for interview purpose, what is your exact work as an officer? what kind of business you handle on a day-to-day basis? exact job description! please reply it’ll be very much appreciable!!

    1. Hi Swarup.. Life is good.. Very comfortable in fact.. Now that demonetisation era is over, RBI is back to business.. I cant really disclose the salary and other details as our policy doesnt allow to do so.. Work profile depends on the department u r posted to.. ranging from ISSUE to Forex to Banking to HR , u have lots of department.. Most probably u will be heading a section and wil be responsible for getting the work done in the particular section

  9. very nice website to study

  10. What is the difficulty level of numerical in finance paper?

    1. 2016 paper was very tough as per the inputs by my friends who took it

  11. Hello Manoj Sir
    Many congratulations on your success
    I am working as asst manager in central bank of india I am preparing for rbi grade b
    If u can send any soft material regarding exam please send me on my mail id [email protected] com
    Pls help

    1. Manoj bhai rbi assistant ke liye kon si book pduu best book batana pls

    2. Please Do send me the material for grade b officer on my mailid: [email protected] if the materials are available with u.

    3. Satish,

      All the materials will be irrelevant by now as they are outdated!! Update with current materials.. Do the static part from the sources mentioned in the blog

  12. Hello.. congrats! One small curiosity hope you will not mind me asking. Why are you working as Assistant after having cleared Grade B?

    1. I was an assistant by the time I wrote the blog.. Now am working as an officer

  13. Hai Manoj sir,
    1st of all I solely congrats u.as I’m being a RBI GRADE B aspirant ths preparation strategy made me a great tonic for doing a greats of great sir.now I’m feeling whimsical.im ki d of adulating u sir.thank you so much.plz plz send me soft material for paper 3 finance and management Sir.plz send notes to my mail id [email protected]

    1. Sreegayathri,

      Thank you.. ur words make me feel satisfied that the blog has influenced ppl to take up grade b…

      All the materials will be irrelevant by now as they are outdated!! Update with current materials.. Do the static part from the sources mentioned in the blog

  14. Hello Manoj sir,
    Hearty congratulations on ur success , am preparing for rbi grade b, if u could send me de study material it would be a great help to me, my email id [email protected]

    1. Sindhoori,

      All the materials will be irrelevant by now as they are outdated!! Update with current materials.. Do the static part from the sources mentioned in the blog

  15. Hello manoj sir, congrats for your result. I am working at canara bank as an agriculture officer. I have been preparing for RBI GRADE B since last year. But i was not confident enough so i did not appear this year. Please tell me what should be the preparation strategy for a 9am to 7.pm working professional. I feel there is some loop holes in my strategy. As i was going book by book rather topic by topic.plz guide

  16. Is it easy to crack rbi grade b officer post?how to prepare and what r the materials needed to clear this?

    1. Hii sir,

      Congratulations alott!!!

      I have just started aspiring for RBI Grade B exam and i am a working professional having lack of time. Please guide me for the preparation strategy just from the scratch and do share if any notes available at [email protected].

      Looking forward for your guidance…

  17. sir from this year 2016 the rbi grade b pattern has been changed and paper of esi and finance and management has become multiple choice rather than descriptive one …..then what should be strategy now regarding that.

  18. Sir
    I belongs to SC category.In my 12th exam I have had less than 50% marks but after 12th I have done diploma in electronics and secured 75%.In notification it was mentioned that in 12 or diploma above 50%marks has to be secured by candidate.Is I’m eligible to apply.Plz guide me


  19. Hi Manoj,
    Congrats on the tremendous success in the exam.

    If u can send any soft material regarding exam please send me on my mail id [email protected] com
    Pls help.

  20. Hi Manoj anna,
    Hearty congratulations on ur success ,i am preparing for rbi grade b, if u could send me the study material it would be a great help to me, my email id [email protected]

  21. Congrats Monoj sir. As I am working as a SBI CLERK. I am also preparing for RBI Grade B .Please send me material which you have prepared for this. Really I am very much interested to follow your way of preparation .Please send material to this email : [email protected]
    Thank you

  22. Congrats Monoj sir. As I am working as a SBI CLERK. I am also preparing for RBI Grade B .Please send me material which you have prepared for this. Really I am very much interested to follow your way of preparation .Please send material to this email : [email protected]
    Thank you.

  23. Hi Manoj Sir,
    Congratulations on ur success ,i am preparing for rbi grade b, if u could send me the study material it would be a great help to me, my email id is
    [email protected]

  24. Hiiii manoj sir

    My name is Sinde.Bhagvan i am completed graduation in B.com (2016) . I want prepare for RBI B grade and assistant exam. Please send me how to prepare and what stratage i have to follw and wich books i have choose for this exam. I have appeared for ibps po exam but i have not cleares preliminary exam. Sir Please replay as soon as possible.

  25. Sir please send some study material for rbi grade b to my mail id.i would be very thankful to you. My id is [email protected]

  26. Hi Manoj Sir,
    Congratulations on ur success. Sir plz send some study material for RBI Grade B to my Mail id.i would be very thankful to you.
    [email protected]

  27. Can i leave my job and prepare for rbi exam. What is difference between rbi grade b and assistant posts? I am working as a mechanical engineer.

  28. Hi Sir,
    My name is Simran.I wanted to appear for this RBI grade B exam 2017.Can you please mail study materials and guidelines to crack this exam.My Id is [email protected] be very thankful to you.

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