RBI Grade B Topper’s Preparation Strategy for Phase I and II-Subham Goel (AIR 8, 2019)

Updated On -

Mar 18, 2021

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Subham Goel is one such successful candidate who qualified the RBI Grade B with AIR 8 in 2019. According to him, the success came after a number of failures and feels it's important to highlight those as well to give a more realistic picture of the struggle.

Here’s a list of the exams he failed to crack till RBI Grade B in 2019.

  • Rejected from final merit list for SBI PO 2015
  • Disqualified at mains of RBI Grade B 2016
  • Did not qualify RBI Grade B interview round in 2017 and 2018
  • Did not qualify NABARD Grade-A Mains in 2018 and NABARD Grade B interview in 2019
  • Rejected at SEBI Grade A interview in 2018
  • Did not qualify NABARD Grade A final list

For him specifically, English and Interview proved to be the primary reason behind being unable to meet the cut-off and hence he specifically started working on those.

Subham Goel has shared his journey to achieve extraordinary marks with future aspirants as guidance and inspiration so that they can ace the exam and avoid the mistakes he had made.

RBI Grade B Phase I Preparation Tips

According to Goel, the sole emphasis of his advice was on attempting mock tests. At least 5-20 mocks should be completed along with minute analysis is important to assess your preparation. Here are a few pointers according to the topper:

  • While free mock tests are good, consider buying at least two test series and solving it entirely.
  • You can get a comparative understanding through these paid test series when your evaluation is done in comparison to others.
  • Revision is the key to crack prelims and according to Goel, meeting the required cut-off for Phase-I can be even tougher than preparing for Phase-II.
  • Apply your knowledge and improvements in every mock test- that’s how you can truly assess whether your preparation is at par as required at all India levels.
  • Thoroughly studying the budget, Economic Times, Census reports and SECC will be helpful in the long run.
  • There are several telegram groups and channels which are very active regarding sharing the notes and latest updates about the exam.
  • Study apps which have practice papers and previous years papers are also very helpful to find useful resources all in one place.
  • Your aim should be to complete the entire syllabus and preparation even before the exam notification is released. This means, your preparation strategy for Phase-I should ideally begin at least 4 months before the tentative notification dates.

RBI Grade B Phase-II Preparation Tips

Subham Goel shares his preparation strategy for Phase-II with a warning about the fluidity of this paper. There is no specific and sure-shot way to crack the Mains and what is working for someone may not work out for others. It is best to take the inputs from the topers to devise a unique strategy that suits you best.

RBI Grade B Phase-II - Economic and Social Issues

Here are the RBI Grabe B preparation tips that he shared with the future aspirants:

  • Books by Ramesh Singh and lectures on Youtube are highly recommended by him for preparing the ESI section.
  • Especially those candidates who are new to the topic or from a non-economics background will find the video lectures very helpful.
  • A monthly compilation of current affairs provided by many leading government jobs websites is beneficial to stay updated with the latest events. To be on the safer side, at least 8 months of current affairs should be covered.

Preparing Government Policies for RBI Grade B

RBI exam is known to come with surprises every year for the aspirants. Hence, to be on the safer side, try going through PIB (Public Information Book) everyday selectively with reference to the phase-II syllabus.

Subham Goel specifies a few important topics and sub-topics which should be covered for keeping in mind the syllabus of this exam. Here’s his guide to going through PIB:

  • The focus is primarily on government schemes which are considered the most complex and difficult part of the ESI as a subject.
  • To begin with, the pdfs of different government schemes are good sources.
  • The following are some of the points he specifies as important ones to be covered under different government schemes:
    • The ministry or the ministries involved
    • Year of launching the scheme
    • Nodal agency working on the implementation
    • Aims and targets
    • Who will benefit from the scheme
    • Whether it is an up-gradation of existing schemes
    • There are youtube series explaining different government schemes which he recommends for understanding this topic quickly. You can check out the Youtube series here.

Preparing Committee reports for RBI Grade B

Next, focus specifically on reports and different indices prepared by the committees like RBI, NITI Aayog, IMF, World Bank, ILO and UNCTAD.

  • Take notes of the salient points in the reports and the name of the reports released every month.
  • A number of questions revolve around the names of important reports hence, this is an important practice.
  • Look up notes on these reports which often come out as articles in different standard business newspapers.
  • Check through the original reports on the official sites and make a note only from the executive summary.

Importance of Budget in RBI Grade B Mains

Budget is another important topic from which several questions are asked. As it keeps changing every year, this topic is of vital importance and requires some time to prepare.

Only the budget speech will not suffice. Refer to the official website for the budget to get the detailed yearly propositions and reports. A few tips on preparing the budget thoroughly:

  • Go through the budget speech thoroughly as it will help with prelims and Mains both.
  • Selective reading of MACRO ECONOMICS framework statement for 2021 will be useful.
  • Also go through the Medium Term Fiscal Policy / Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement, focusing on the projections for the upcoming year.
  • The allocation of the different schemes is given in the budget speech- making note of these can fetch easy marks.
  • If possible, take notes from the Economic Survey for authentic data. As per Goel, during his year, a passage based on NITI Aayog SDG Index came with 10 marks worth of questions which he could answer correctly because of referring to the Economic Survey.

According to Goel, confidently attempting 95+ marks can ensure you meet the cut-off for the paper.

RBI Grade B Phase-II - English Descriptive

While many choose to pay the least attention to the descriptive paper, Goel warns against it and insists on thorough preparation of the same. Here’s a few tips he shared:

  • Stick to the word limit in Precis and essay which is prioritized in RBI exam format.
  • Minimizing grammatical error and spelling mistakes can fetch another 13-14 marks by default.
  • Through his experience, Goel concluded that the answers are run through computerized grammar and spell check and manually evaluated for content.
  • Keep the sentences short and crisp and practice writing the precis and essay on Grammarly to detect any pattern in your grammatical errors.
  • Work on your typing speed and aim to complete essays in 30-35 minutes, precis in 25 minutes and RC in another 25 minutes at most. Set aside at least 10 minutes for proofreading.
  • Memorize quotes that can be used to substantiate your writing.
  • Do not forget minor details like headings, subtitles and similar formatting which can cost you several marks.
  • In precis writing, try to differ from the original passage without deviating from the meaning to create a completely original write-up.

RBI Grade B Phase- II - Finance and Management

Though the topics are combined in one paper, the approach required is different for both. Let’s start with Finance and how to approach it:

  • For current affairs in Finance, all the sources used for ESI will be sufficient.
  • Covering important reports, monthly notifications, monthly publications, by RBI are also important.
  • For finance static, online video courses, summary sheets are useful resources alongside the internet.
  • Numericals should be practised attentively from this section.
  • Topics like Bond yields, Time Value of Money, and Price of Bonds, Balance Sheet, Break-even point, Accounting Ratios, and Profit and Loss A/c, Derivatives are some of the important ones for numerical.
  • For the management section, he recommends Principles of Management by PC Tripathi as a primary source of offline study.
  • Internet, online notes from different leading coaching centres are recommended by him mostly for management.

For the interview round, he advises on relying heavily on the quora question trails and experiences shared by many successful candidates there. There is no hard and fast rule to succeed in the interview and it is best to strengthen your concept of economics and finance as much as possible before you go for the interview.

RBI Grade B syllabus is vast and can be intimidating to many students who are from a non-financial background. But following a thorough preparation strategy and the best reference books, you can ace it through hard work.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.