How can I successfully crack the RBI Grade B exam in my very first attempt? by Utkarsh Awasthi
Answer by Utkarsh Awasthi:
Prerequisite: You are well off to clear Prelims.
Assuming you aren’t from commerce background as the case of most of the aspirants.
Statutory warning: This answer is strictly my opinion. if you disagree, please downvote and move. Don’t keep sitting in the comments thread with hate speeches and all. This is just for poor and lazy kids like me.
Before I Gyanofy you, (or in other words, before I try to make you feel that my widom teeth are out and I am eligible to quite guide you) let’s talk about my last year’s preparation and performance. Wait! you’ll get a bonus too, review of the examination. I’ll just talk about Phase 2.
Lets bust myths first:
- You can’t clear Grade B, without reading newspaper daily.
- Reading all Yojna magazines, all Pratiyogita darpans and all the magazines under the sun is a must. If some magazines are released in Mars(the planet), order from Marskart.com/Marszon.com and read that too.
- Visit all the official websites of various ministries and read despite the fact that you’ll take around a month to prepare a list of website of ministries to visit and thereafter going to their respective career opportunities section and ending up joining one of those ministries.
- All the RBI speeches should be learnt by heart.
- All the RBI FAQs should be on your fingertips.
- Read gazillions of novels even if you are a non reader. Whatever they say, just keep reading Chetan Bhagat over and over.
Now why I say that?
I attempted Grade B last year, started my preparation precisely on August 16, 2016. Prepared for both the phases simultaneously till September 3, 2016 and then after September 8, 2016, I prepared for Phase 2 till September 18, 2016.
Do you think I can read all the aforementioned heap of books in the said time frame? Nope.
My Score: 175.75
What needs to be done?
- Start with ESI and FM static portion, just read and understand the basic things. You’ll seldom find questions directly from your books as RBI Grade B focuses on current events based on economy and finance but in order to understand those basic affairs, you’ll need to be thorough with the basics of Economics and Finance.
- Read Economic survey thoroughly. It doesn’t matter how many pages you have to read, because apart from English, you will find half of your ESI and FM questions directly from Eco Survey. Most of the people read summaries from various blogs quoting Eco Survey is too big. I don’t understand why for the first half you can read gazillions of books, but for the other half you can’t read some hundred pages? Also it provides fodder points for your essay. Economic survey can be heard singing,” Why oh why, tell me why not me?”.
- You need to be thorough with current affairs for the last 6 months with special focus on banking and economy. This will cover your preparation of Phase 1 too. It obviously doesn’t matter if you read from newspapers or use any online free PDFs. All you need is smart preparation as per the time constraint. I have found GKtoday, Affairscloud and Gradestack on par with the RBI standards.
- Don’t underestimate the numericals sections. As I didn’t have time last year, I didn’t prepare numericals as such. The marks I scored are without solving a single numerical correctly. I still imagine if I had prepared for the same, some odd 20 easy marks would have placed me into the final list. There are many websites offering tutorials regarding the same. Follow any one.
- The most underestimated section is English. I scored close to 50% of my final score in English only. Please take it seriously and try to write an essay without extra special, CAT like vocabulary. They just want you express your views unambiguously and there should be minimal grammatical errors. Precis should be written in your own words, and comprehension must have short and precise answers.
- Please appear for as many mock tests as you can. More the number of questions you solve, more you learn problem solving. Also, more ground is covered. Sometimes when you don’t even know the correct answer and if you have practiced a lot, you’ll still get the correct answers by elimination of options and sometimes just experience helps.
- Analysis of the mock tests is must. Whenever you get a question wrong, google the same and read everything about it. Make a notes copy for that particular test series and note down fodder points of the topics you made mistakes in.
- (Edit) Don’t forget management which almost everyone ignores. 30–40 easy marks can be scored with minimal efforts.
Now as there are gazillions of coaching and tutors available with their personally designed courses, the question of the hour is which one to follow?
I will suggest not to follow any if you have around 5–6 months for preparation. However, If you are starting your preparation now, and I quote, It’s not at all impossible to crack Grade B within 2–3 months of preparation, do join any one institute, and not a single person. In my opinion, I have found Edutap good and I am currently following the same for my preparation this year apart from books and all.
These courses will cover all the Yojnas, RBI speeches, Pratiyogita darpans and current affairs in the form of MCQs only which is better from the exam point of view. I know this ain’t the right way of preparation, but yes, it is the smart way.
Review: As per the last 2 year’s papers, it is quite evident that they need you to understand economics and finance at basic level and be thorough with the current affairs. Almost 70–80% of your ESI + FM marks will depend on Economic Survey+ Current affairs. Utilize maximum resources for these two things.
Hope this helps.
All the best and let’s crack this baby!