EduTapians speak- Written interview with Mr Abhinav Prakash (RBI Grade B 2017 Batch Officer)

Introduction Questions:

  1. Tell us something about your educational qualification.

I have done my graduation in Chemical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science(BITS), Pilani, Rajasthan .

  1. Do you have any work experience?

After college I dedicated two years for full time UPSC preparation, but thereafter I took a job and currently I am working in a startup in Bangalore.

  1. How did you make up your mind for giving RBI Grade B?

During my UPSC preparation I came in touch with one senior UPSC aspirant who got selected into RBI as Grade B officer. Also I learnt about  the role of RBI in Indian economy as well as the exposure and growth opportunities provided by RBI to its employees. This motivated me to prepare for RBI.

  1. Was this your first attempt?

This was my fourth attempt and first interview . In earlier three attempts I failed in pre twice and appeared for mains once.

Exam Strategy Questions:

Since I was preparing for UPSC exam so my strategy would be more beneficial for candidates who have been into serious UPSC preparation.

  1. Give us a brief about your daily study routine.

Since I had a full time job, I  managed 1 hour of study in the morning and 2-3 hours after office hours.

  1. Tell us about the strategy that you followed for Phase 1.

Quants – Magical book on quicker math by M. Tyra, Arun sharma for D.I

Reasoning – Analytical reasoning by M.K Pandey

GA – Affairs cloud pocket pdf for  3 months prior to phase 1, Budget and Economic survey summary (with focus on facts and numbers), Banking awareness , FAQs section from RBI website.

English – Nothing specific, daily reading of Hindu newspaper can be immensely useful for this section

Most importantly , I joined Practicemock test series and analysed the test papers . This helped me to identify weak areas and work on them from aforementioned books.

  1. What was your strategy for Phase 2, ESI Paper?

Since I had studied both Economics and Social issues during UPSC preparation which helped me grasp the basics of Indian economy as well as society. But ESI paper is mainly focused on current events , important facts and Government Schemes .Hence focus should be on both basics as well as current issues.

Study material and resources for ESI paper which I followed-

  • NCERT (Macroeconomics class 12)
  • Indian economy by Ramesh Singh ,
  • Mrunal video lectures on economy (very informative and freely available )
  • Economics, Social issues and Schemes for last 1 years from Vision IAS Current Affairs monthly or Compilation named as PT 365(freely available  on their website).
  • Edutap test series
  • Census 2011 and SECC summary
  • Economic Survey summary
  • Affairs cloud pocket PDFs of last 6 months (economics and business sections)
  1. What was your strategy for Phase 2, FM Paper?
  • Financial Management by Prasanna Chandra (Chapter 1 to 8),
  • Numericals from Edutap test series and  internet search of topics unknown to me.
  • A brief overview and history of Financial and regulatory institutions like RBI, NABARD, SIDBI, SEBI , NHB etc.

Study material and resources for Management-

  • Selective reading of Public Administration by Laxmikanth (Since I had public administration as one of the optional in UPSC exam)
  • Principles of Management by Stephen P Robbins
  1. What was your strategy for Phase 2, English Paper?

Daily reading of The Hindu

  1. In how many months were you able to complete your preparations for the RBI Grade B exam?

This has been ongoing process for me for last 4 years along with UPSC preparation.

  1. How important were ‘Revisions’ in your preparations?

Revision especially for GA in phase 1 and in the gap between phase 1 and 2 exam is very important as we need to remember lots of factual information. I find tests as the best way of revision.

  1. How important is the role of Current Affairs in the RBI Grade B preparations?

For phase 1 – General Awareness consists of 80 marks  out of which most of the questions are from current affairs. If prepared well , current affairs may single handedly propel one to other side of overall cutoff .

Phase 2 – A lot of  questions pertaining to ESI and Finance basics are asked in the light of current events or application of basics in current context.

Interview – Some questions in interview are based on current economic scenario (India and world).

Interview Related Questions:

  1. How was your interview experience?

Overall experience was very good. I was the second last candidate on my interview day. The interview lasted for around 12 minutes.

  1. How was the board?

Board was very cordial.  They helped me to settle down by asking some general questions from my profile  and then eased into questions relating to Indian Economy. Panel members engaged in discussions with me  through supplementary questions .

  1. Can you tell us what kind of questions were asked by the board members?

Questions related to my job, current economics and bank related news and basics finance (like definition of leverage, reasons for declining exports, weak bank vs. strong banks, NBFCs definition and regulation etc.).

  1. What advice would you give to the other candidates regarding Interview preparations?

While interview preparation following things can be kept in mind-

  • Prepare all questions from your biodata form.
  • Make short notes of RBI functions and FAQs from RBI website.
  • Read at least two newspapers with focus on editorials(I read The Hindu and Mint)
  • Be ready with points and counter points on recent political issues also.

Edu Tap related Questions:

  1. How did Edu Tap help you in your preparations?

The tests were immensely useful for filling up my knowledge gaps and strengthening the weak areas.  Also revision of tests helped in memorizing various facts and numerical data.

  1. Did you find the course comprehensive for your preparations?

I found the tests to be very well structured. The topic wise exhaustive set of questions for practice helped in covering the syllabus comprehensively.

  1. Did you refer any books for your preparations?

Mentioned Above

  1. What was the best part about the course offered by Edu Tap?

I was able to get lots of information in very limited time just by writing the test and doing some online search about them.

Some myths:

  1. Do you think background matters for clearing RBI Grade B exams?

Candidates from diverse background clear RBI.  Questions are basic as recruitment is for genralists . Hence , candidates from any background can easily grasp the basic concepts of syllabus.

Is the course very vast for RBI Grade B Exam?

No. But one needs to plan and stick to limited sources with multiple revisions and also practice as much MCQs as possible.

Advice / Suggestions:

  1. What kept you motivated throughout your preparations? There must be low times, how did you bounce back or come out of it?

Since I was doing RBI preparation along with my job I did not feel much pressure. Whenever I used to feel low, I used to take a break for couple of days and would start again.

  1. Would you like to give any specific advice to the students aspiring to be RBI Grade B officer?

One needs to work very hard and be very persistent. Also please keep giving other exams (Bank recruitments and other Financial regulators recruitment) to maintain continuity in your preparation and helps understand the ongoing trends in questions being asked. Also, clearing other exams will give boost to your confidence where as failure provides with great opportunity to improve. If you are preparing only for RBI then it can be done along with the job.A large proportion of selected candidates have full time jobs.

  1. Would you like to share any of your previous experience that could be helpful for other candidates?

We must keep working hard. I passed out in 2012 from my college after which I gave several exams and failed in almost all of them, at one stage or another.

But I kept going and never lost hope. There could be many distractions, family obligations while preparation but one has to balance everything and keep focus on their goal.

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