AIR 1 – Hardik Mehta’s strategy to ace RBI Grade B exam

The Reserve Bank of India has
released notification for the RBI Grade B 2017 exam earlier
than expected. The registrations have begun and are ending on 23rd May
2017.The exam is scheduled to be held on 17th June (Phase 1), and 7th
July (Phase 2).
Here, let’s get more insights on RBI Grade B by the
2016 AIR 1 Hardik Mehta himself:
Hello everyone,
Before I provide the details on how I went about my
preparation, here is some information about my background before joining the
RBI – I have done my MBA (Banking Management) from Symbiosis School of Banking
& Finance, Pune. I was the topper of Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
conducted by AIMA. Apart from this, I have also cleared UGC-NET (Management) in
my first attempt, pursued CAIIB (Treasury Management, 1st Class), and scored
over 90% in various NCFM Certifications pertaining to Capital Markets, Options,
Commodity Markets, Banking, etc.
My Strategy
for RBI Grade B 2016 Phase 1
I attempted 70 questions of GK in
flat 10 minutes. 25 questions in English took another 10
minutes. The remaining time was used to shuttle between the Quant & Reasoning sections.
For Phase 1, I was dependent solely on Oliveboard’s Mock Tests. I found the
level of tests very difficult and hence every time there was a lot of learning
and scope for improvement. For GK, I used to read newspapers like The
, Economic TimesMint Business
The maximum time of your preparation should be
dedicated to General Awareness topic and you should try to
maximize your score here because it covers a major portion of the Phase 1 exam.
Your next focus should be on the English section. The remaining
time should be dedicated to Quant and Reasoning.
If you attempt 20-25 standard mock tests, you will be able to clear
this part of the exam.

Since Phase 1 is just an eliminator exam, the marks
you score here do not hold much importance later. Hence, I would recommend you
to focus more on Phase 2 and the Interview than on Phase 1.
You can refer to the following study material for
Phase 1:

Quant – How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for
the CAT
 & also soon to be released “Teach Yourself Quantitative
” by Shri Arun Sharma.

English – How to prepare for Verbal Ability and
Reading Comprehension for CAT
 by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi

Reasoning – Oliveboard

General Knowledge – The Telegraph(Calcutta), Economic
Times, Mint Business Newspaper.

Mock Tests – Oliveboard
My Strategy
for RBI Grade B 2016 Phase 2
For Phase 2, I had appeared for mock tests of
Oliveboard. Oliveboard mock tests for phase 2 also were very informative,
descriptive and they did provide an edge in preparation as score
 was done on the spot.
Kudos to the Oliveboard’s technical team for providing in-depth
 of candidate’s performance. I also remember that RBI made a
last-minute pattern change to Phase 2 just 10 days before the exam. I was
really glad that Oliveboard in the first week of September 2016 had redesigned
the mock tests as per the new pattern for RBI Grade B Exam (Phase 2). It showed
that their think tank was very much keen to ensure that their students should
get the knack of as many different types of questions as
I would recommend that candidates first learn the basics
of finance, economics & management
 and then appear for a few
quality mock tests to determine where they stand as compared to others.
Candidate should not approach one topic at a time.
After building a strong foundation, they should appear for sectional
Mock tests
 and once the entire syllabus is covered, only then they
should go for the complete mock test.
For example, if you are reading a newspaper, do not
read it just for the sake of it. Instead, try and understand each word to build
your base.
Taking Mock tests is a very important part for phase 2
exams. Again, just taking too many mock tests is not going to help. You should
be analyzing each test as and when you take it up and accordingly work on your
weaknesses and sharpen your skills.
ESI section should be read in bits and parts because you
need to understand the nitty gritties and every term used in the content.
Candidates can refer the following materials for Phase
2 preparation
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Indian Economy by Mishra & Puri
  • Newspapers are a good source for current
     but the static concepts are not covered. Hence, you must read
    and the books thoroughly.

News Channels – Business News Channels; Listen to experts’
views and analyze the news yourself. Try and think what could be tomorrow’s

  • Financial Management by Prasanna Chandra
  • Financial Management by I M Pandey
  • Finance for Non-Finance by Vishal Thakker
  • Ratios Made Simple by Robert Leach
  • Beginners can refer to Day to Day Economics by
    Satish Deodhar (IIM-A Publication).

Books by McGraw Hill Publication:
  • How to Read Balance Sheet
  • How to Read Cash Flow
  • How to Analyze Financial Statements

There is a UGC Net Management book by
Arihant Publication which is extremely useful for MCQs (Finance and
While reading the books, make sure you’re aware of all
the technical terms. If you are not aware of something, do google it or find
another source to know what it exactly means and then move ahead.
RBI Grade B
Interview Strategy
As far as interview was concerned, my MBA course had
helped me to some extent. Besides that, I followed the RBI website closely.
Other things I did were:
  • Read a lot of books on Finance,
    and Banking.
  • Read newspapers to stay
    updated with current affairs.
  • Followed various websites
    like ICRA, CRISIL and multiple rating agencies
  • Watched Business news
    channels and also read Business magazines.
  • Read newspapers like Economic
    Times, Business Standard, Business Line, Mint

All aspiring candidates must also listen to speeches
given by the Governor in the last couple of years on major economic
. You should also have a knack of RBI reports (Quarterly,
Half Yearly and Annual)
RBI Grade B preparation is not about the
number of hours you put in, it’s more about how strong your fundamentals are.
You can also clear the exam if you spare two hours every day meticulously.
Sometimes, even five hours won’t be enough if you’re not concentrating.
So just forget about the past and make optimum use of
the chance that you have got. Never over/underestimate yourself. Take a
lot of Mock tests
 which will help you have a good grip on the exam and
you won’t feel the pressure on the main day which is very important. One thing
can be judged in various ways, so be prepared for all possibilities.
For aspirants who have exposure to the Banking and Finance sector,
it will be comparatively easier for them than people who do not have it.
Analyze yourself, keep calm and hold your nerves. This
will help you to efficiently capitalize on your knowledge.
All the best!
Click here to take a FREE RBI Grade B Mock Test.

The Article is provided by Oliveboard Team and it was previously posted in Oliveboard Blog.

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