All India Topper Rank #2: Shivang Bhanvadia shares strategy, booklist, marksheet & cutoffDEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
- Bio Introduction and Biodata of RBI Topper
- Strategy for RBI Officer Exam
- Phase-I online Examination (Objective Type)
- Phase-II online Examination:
- Paper-1(Economic and Social Issues)
- Paper-3 (Finance and Management)
- Paper-2 English (Writing Skills)
- Phase 3 Interview
- Cutoff and Mark sheets of RBI Grade “B” Office exam
- Timeline of my preparation
- Role played by mrunal.org in my preparation
- Thoughts I would like to share
Introduction and Biodata
I am Shivang Bhanvadia born and brought up in Gujarat. I have completed my B Tech in Computer Engineering in 2014 and have been working with an IT firm since then. After spending some time in the industry I decided to pursue something outside corporate job. I researched about jobs in government sector and stumbled upon this job with RBI. I felt this suits me more than civils and decided to give it a serious attempt. While preparing for this I also appeared for exams for NABARD, SBI etc. but just to get myself in the exam mode as it was more than 2 years since my last exam. Initial period was hard as I had nobody to guide me but used information available on internet and things started looking clearer. After lots of struggle in managing job, study etc. it paid off in the end and I got selected as a Manager in the Reserve Bank of India with highest marks (got AIR 2 because marks being equal but age lesser than AIR 1).
|Education Details||B Tech in Computer Engineering from Nirma University Year 2014|
|Work Experience||Working with Indian IT firm (June 2014 – Present)|
|Attempts & Result||First Attempt for the exam cleared with AIR 2|
|Any other exams||Prepared with only RBI in focus. Cleared RBI Assistant as well|
Strategy for RBI Officer Exam
RBI Grade B officer exam is conducted in 3 Phases. I would be sharing my insights for each phase. Please note that I used internet extensively for my preparation so source of my preparation mentioned here are not exhaustive.
Phase-I online Examination (Objective Type)
This Paper is for 200 marks with 4 sections. General awareness and Verbal reasoning have more weightage with 80 and 60 marks respectively. English and Quantitative Aptitude have weightage of 30 marks each. To score maximum marks I focused on my strengths which are GA & English and worked on my weaknesses which are VR & QA. Below are the sources of my preparation.
|General Awareness||Used to read The Hindu (for preparation), Business Standard (out of interest). Glanced through current affair capsules available online.|
|English||Did not prepare specifically. The Hindu helped as well.|
|Verbal Reasoning||Reasoning lessons from various sources on internet. (Went through videos on YouTube for the topics I found hard). Appearing for online mock tests benefitted a lot.|
|Quantitative Aptitude||Used YouTube and other websites to practice where I was lagging.|
I would recommend that one need not stick with a single source for preparation and use internet to work on weak areas & at the same time not be a collector of sources. I would strongly recommend reading at least one newspaper (The Hindu, Indian Express etc.). This would help you indirectly in all the sections except QA of Phase 1 and Phase 2 and interview as well.
Online mock tests proved extremely useful to me. I attempted 20 mock tests in total for Phase 1. To take full advantage of mock tests make sure you analyze your mistakes, work on it and not make it again in the next test. Time plays an important role in scoring high marks so make sure you are properly managing your time in mocks and do the same in the exam. This phase has sectional cut offs so make sure you attempt enough questions in each section to clear cutoff. These mock tests are the only paid sources I used for my preparation of Phase-1. They are cheap (costs around 500 rupees) and very effective. Don’t get dishearten by seeing low marks compared to last year cutoffs these mocks are to improve upon your weaknesses and not to aim for a specific rank in mock tests.
Phase-II online Examination:
Phase–II online examination consists of three papers.
- Paper 1 (Economic and Social Issues): Objective type
- Paper 3 (Finance and Management): Objective type
- Paper 2(English (Writing Skills): Descriptive type
Paper-1(Economic and Social Issues)
- Being an engineer and with non-economics & non-finance background I started my preparation with NCERTs of 11th and 12th standard. After that I read Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh and watched Mrunal Patel’s Videos on Economics for Civil Services.
- Other most important sources for this paper are Economic Survey of India and Budget of the respective year. I read Economic Survey cover-to-cover, it helped in gaining a perspective of economic situation of our country. Do not rely on any ready made summaries. This covers static part.
- For the current affair related part of this paper reading newspapers helped me. I did not refer to any current affair magazine but used RBI website for reading speeches, bulletin, annual report etc. to be in touch of latest happenings.
- For Social Issues part I read NCERT social science book [free download] and read topic wise from internet. This does not need heavy reading.
Paper-3 (Finance and Management)
- This paper is where we non-economics candidates face most problems. I allotted more time for preparation of this after Phase 1 was over and it paid off handsomely.
- for theoretical part of Finance, I used the book on Indian Financial system Prof. Bharati V. Pathak (Pearson Publication).
- Numerical asked in the exam caused a lot of pain to most of the candidates. I used only internet to prepare for numerical part. I knew basics of Balance Sheets etc due to my interest in stock market. For other things I used websites to learn on how to find Internal rate of return, Bond Yield, Coupon rate etc. If you can find any book where numerical problems are explained properly you can use that.
- For management part I used various website by searching for each topic of management. Though it is mentioned in the notification from RBI that only basic questions will be asked from Management but I would say prepare in detail as paper did not have direct questions. You can use any of the books referred by RBI in the notification if you are not comfortable with online reading.
Paper-2 English (Writing Skills)
- Please note that this paper is to check your writing skills and not just your knowledge. This year 3 questions were asked 1 essay (40 marks), 1 precis writing (30 marks), 1 reading comprehension (30 marks). Reading comprehension did not have direct questions which can be answered directly from the given paragraph but they were easy. I did not prepare anything specifically for this paper. What I did was that before a day of exam I went through tips to writing a good essay, good precis writing.
- This helped in a way that I do not commit any silly mistakes while writing. One should aim at scoring high in this section as it does not involve much knowledge based preparation. Subjects for essays were also simple (like GST, E-banking etc.).
- If you keep your content crisp and to the point, avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes it is easy to score marks here.
Phase-3: Interview of RBI Officers
- This is the most exciting part of the examination. It is normal to be nervous but try to enjoy this phase as you would be sitting along with people who has excelled in their field and who are highly respected. I went through basics before the date of my interview and did not read too much, it helped in keeping myself away from undue pressure. Be relaxed and try to control your interview flow. Do not hesitate in admitting if you do not know the answer. The panel which interviewed this year was extremely cordial and did not try to put interviewee in stressful situation. I planned my interview in my mind beforehand and it went in the flow as I expected. It was more of a discussion than question-answer.
- If you still have any problem, you can perform mock interviews with your peers or someone else who can help you out.I have hobby of reading books and it helped me a lot in interview while making my point. Please mention only relevant books in the interview (Harry Potter, Love stories etc. are not relevant, Poor Economics, Fault Lines, Outliers etc. are relevant.)
Cutoff and Mark sheets of RBI Grade “B” Office exam
|Section Name||Marks Obtained||Cut off Marks|
|Section Name||Marks Obtained||Cut-off Marks|
|Economic and Social Issues||72.5/100|
|Finance and Management||66.75/100|
|Phase 2 Total||213.25/300||176.75|
Timeline of my preparation
In mid of December 2015, I came to know about this exam and started my preparation seriously around March 2016. I started preparing for both Phases together and focused solely on Phase 1 from the start of August. From the day after Phase 1 exam I started preparing for Phase 2, do not waste your time in waiting for result as you only have 15 days.
Role played by mrunal.org in my preparation
Mrunal.org helped me in many ways. While starting preparation it gave me initial confidence to go ahead without any coaching. For Phase 1 aptitude section of mrunal.org helped in understanding basics. Most importantly 2015 and 2016 videos for Economy subject on YouTube by Mrunal sir helped in understanding complex economic issues with ease. I highly recommend these videos to aspirants especially non-economic background ones.
Thoughts I would like to share
Except for standard sources like Budget, Economic Survey it is not important which sources you are referring to but make sure you are comfortable with it and do not try to collect multiple sources and create pressure on yourself to read all of them. With no economics-banking experience and a full time job I cleared this exam. Once you decide that you want to take this exam do not worry about your percentages in past or your background or you have to prepare with a full time job etc. Do not leave room for excuses. This exam is worth the time and effort you would give.
All the best ! – Shivang