Preparation has to be in two phases: For phase 1 and other 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.
- Now, a lot of us spend more time in searching for books and looking for strategies than actually reading those books or implementing those strategies. With just a couple of months in hand, stop scouring strategies and get on with serious studying. There is no single perfect strategy to succeed in such exams. All of us who had cleared the exam had our own strategy that suited us best. So have your own strategy and follow them. Set targets – both short term and long term and follow them.
- Do not pile up books. Don’t end up buying, and trying to finish every book that has been told to you for the exam by anyone you came across. One or two standard books per subject are enough.
- When on the internet go through the FAQ section of the website or . These two sites are treasure trove of knowledge about whatever you need for RBI Grade B exam.
- For phase I, don’t try to master all sections or focus only on one. You just need to be good enough in each of them. Your target should be 50+ in GA, 10–15 in Quant, 15-20 in English, 25–30 in Reasoning.
- Read one standard newspaper daily. Preferably, Indian Express or The Hindu. That would help you in GA, Essay, English as well as Interview. Read business newspapers (ET, Mint, etc) only if you have time. They are not absolutely necessary as such.
Phase 1 strategy:
Phase 1 is a 2 hours screening test of 200 marks. You are supposed to attempt 200 questions in just 120 minutes. TIME MANAMGEMENT & CHOICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED, are deciding factors. There are four different sections, and apart from overall cut off, you have to clear individual section wise cut off also.
How to attempt paper: I prefer to first attempt English Section, as this is the easiest section and least time consuming. It helped psychologically and brought down the anxiety. English section should took around 15 minutes.After completing English and GK in first 40 minutes, Move on to Quant part. Here attempt around 15 questions in 20 minutes. But hit rate must be 100%. Next 50 minutes must be devoted to reasoning section and attempt around 50 questions. In last 10 minutes attempted few more questions in Quant section. In total attempts were 170+. One should attempt DI question early, final minutes should be devoted to single questions.
There are 30 questions of English. Although English is quite simple but you need to be perfect here to identify the errors in one go. You must target at least 25 correct hits in this section in not more than 15-18 minutes. So you have roughly 30 seconds time to read a question, identify the correct option, mark it and move on to next question. Prepare to the level that you don’t feel any need to re-read the statements. Also there is requirement for very high accuracy. As most aspirants came across are from good academic background and have basic competence in English, I don’t recommend that you focus on any text books.
Some tips for English improvement – (Though it will not help in short term, but beginners can use it in long term. Good English is essential in Phase-2 and interview phase of the process.)
- While reading newspapers read it consciously and notice the nuances of English language. This way you will learn the use of articles, models, and all other grammatical things.
- If you don’t have good vocabulary, then you can make a diary for it and when you come across any new phrase or idiom or word in newspaper, note it down along with the meaning and the use. Also write down its similar word in your mother tongue. Our memory works best when we memorize the things in our mother tongue.Make your self-talk work for you– try to have your internal conversations in English. We hesitate to talk with people (especially well wishers) in English, because of judgment factor. But you can make all the mistakes in your self-talk without any fear of being judged. One month of conscious self-talk will show tremendous impact on your English grammar.
- Still if you feel that your English is not up-to the mark, then you can practice (just reading will not help) these two books – Word Power Made Easy for vocabulary and, Wren & Martin for English Grammar.
Performance in this section will decide your overall performance. You have to score well in this section to clear overall cutoff. There are 80 questions of GK, which u should target to attempt in 20 minutes. So you have to finish one question in less than 15 seconds. 50 marks in this section can be assumed as decent score.
Source for preparing GK:
1. GK Today website– this website covers news in detail on daily basis. Also there is sector vise compilation of news. Follow it and make your personal notes for revision in last days. Give special attention to “Banking current Affair” section.
2. PIB website – this is the best source for reading government happening. News is published ministry vise.
3. Newspaper – any decent national newspaper will be enough. Make notes.
4. Speeches of RBI governor and Dy. Governor provide deep insight into current issues of economic field, especially banking sector and financial inclusion. This will boost up your analytical knowledge and prove very helpful at interview stage.
5. Economic survey
7. Macroeconomics NCERT.
8. If you lack in understanding and have enough time, then follow RSTV youtube channel, and AIR news analysis. It will not help you directly but will improve your understanding of issues and will be useful in phase 2 and interview stage.
There are total 60 questions. It is a challenging task to attempt all the questions in given time. So you have to be very clear about your strengths and weaknesses, and have a clear plan of which type of questions you are going to attempt and which you will leave. If you attempt above 40 questions with good hit rate, in around 45 minutes then you are safe. Aspirants from mathematics background should capitalize their strength by scoring well in quant and reasoning section.
- If you closely analyze the pattern of the exam, then you will realize that there are only 10-15 types of questions.
- There is always a proper logical method to solve questions. Only after mastering proper methods, go for shortcuts and tricks. Otherwise your speed and efficiency will not increase beyond a limit.
- Read the theory part (especially of coding-decoding, syllogism etc).
- Theory → practice questions → analyze performance → back to Theory →
- Some types of questions are time consuming and sometimes few questions are specifically framed to trap you. DON’T even touch these questions, even if you are champion of mathematics. You are not supposed to score full marks. There are many examples where aspirants when aspirants take it on ego and waste 4-5 minutes on such questions. BE clever.
- I can solve syllogism, coding-decoding, Venn diagram, and arrangement questions very quickly. Find out your strengths and first focus on them.
- Sometimes group questions like building questions, sitting arrangements are quite tough.If you get a sense after 1 minute that it is tough nut to crack, then instantly leave it here and move on.
- Although there are online test series for this exam, but they can’t match the level of questions asked in Paper. They are inadequate, and you must prepare at least 2 levels above the level in test series.
- If there is any good test series you know, then join that. Mock tests help a lot.
This section is the toughest section, and the questions are of CAT level. You have to be damn good in this section. There are many candidates who had way above cutoff marks, but failed to clear QA cutoff. So don’t be overconfident and prepare and practice well. Allot roughly 30 minutes for this section and target at least 15 correct answers. But if you are finding it too difficult, than attempt 11-12 questions with good efficiency and, move to reasoning section. After ensuring that you clear overall cutoff and also that of reasoning, come back to this section in the end and try to attempt as many as you can. The idea is that efforts of scoring high here, must not risk your overall score.
- It requires that your calculating speed is quite good, and have high accuracy. Improve your memory of tables, squares, cubes, roots etc.
- Learn the art of approximations. If you start multiplication and division of fractions then it will eat up all your time. You will have to make approximations.
- Minimize errors of computations, because if you calculate one step wrongly, then all subsequent answers in DI may go wrong.
- Again here also, there are limited types of questions. If you are not from mathematics background, first understand the theory and derive the formulas by yourself. This will improve your understanding and speed.
- Get a decent book and understand the problem. And then practice as many questions as you can.
- Stick to any one source for theory, and practice more.