NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria, Syllabus, Cut Off, Mock Tests, Preparation Strategy and Books

Getting selected for a government job is a very huge thing in the world and especially in India. Millions of people give government exams every year and a few thousand get selected.

I don’t think that it is any kid’s dream to be a government officer. It becomes your dream as you become an adult.

When my parents used to ask me about my dream at the age of 5, it was either an astronaut or an artist. Who knew that I will be helping millions of people around the country to fulfill their dream.

NABARD Grade A officer post is one such post which is a dream of a lot of people. You get to make policies for the backbone of the country “agriculture”.

You can look at the job profile of a NABARD Grade A Officer. It is really interesting.

The salary of a NABARD Grade A officer is good and its syllabus is similar to that of RBI & SEBI.

You can go through NABARD Grade A salary here.

NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria, Syllabus, Cut Off, Mock Tests, Preparation Strategy and Books

Let us start with the first thing and the most important part of the blog, the selection criteria of the NABARD Grade A Exam.

This will help you to know different levels, the number of questions asked and many more things.

NABARD Grade A (3 Stages)

NABARD Grade A is one of the most renowned jobs in the country and it is equally difficult to get in.

I don’t want to scare you but it is not like any other exam in the country. Most of the exams in the country have 2 stages to clear the exam with a similar syllabus in both stages.

Well, guess what?

This is not the case with the NABARD Grade A exam. NABARD Grade A has three different stages with the different syllabus in every stage. Here are the stages:

1. Preliminary Exam: Online Objective Test – Phase I

2. Mains Exam: Online Objective & Descriptive Test – Phase II

3. Interview – Phase III

Let us talk about each and every stage individually. This will let you know the amount of effort and time you need to give to each and every stage.

NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria – Preliminary Examination (Phase 1)

Both Phase 1 and 2 are online exams so you do not get the satisfaction of scribbling on paper.

You will be assigned a center near your house. You will get a computer at that center and everything will stay online.

The important thing to know about the phase 1 exam is that it’s qualifying in nature and is meant to serve as a screening test.

This is good news as you shouldn’t focus on scoring very high marks. You should only be focused on clearing this exam.

But why?

This is because you have limited time and you don’t want to over-prepare a qualifying paper and give less time to Phase 2 which is more important.

Candidates who clear the cut off in the Preliminary Exam get a chance to give the phase 2 exam.

So, the marks secured in Phase I – Online preliminary examination will not be counted for final selection. This is one of the main reasons why you should be focusing more on just clearing this stage and not scoring very high.

Before moving to the Phase 2 exam, we should understand the number of questions asked in the NABARD Grade A Phase 1 exam.

2 hours will be given to you to complete the exam so distribute your time accordingly between different sections. This will help you to understand the structure of the exam.

Let’s jump in.

NABARD Grade A Exam Pattern (Phase I) is as follows –

S.No.Name of the TestNumber of QuestionsMaximum Marks
1.Reasoning Ability2020
2.English Language4040
3.Computer Knowledge2020
4.General Awareness2020
5.Quantitative Aptitude2020
6.Economics & Social Issues (with focus on Rural India)4040
7.Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India)4040

NABARD Grade A Selection Process (Phase II) is as follows –

What are we waiting for?

Let’s move to the most important part of the whole exam.

Yes, you heard it right. It is the most important and difficult part of the examination.

If you will qualify and rank sufficiently high in Mains Exam, well above the cutoff, you will be called for appearing in the Interview.

The important thing to remember here is that the marks secured in Phase 2 – Online Mains examination will be counted for final selection. So Prepare very hard for this exam.

This is one of the main reasons why students focus on scoring high marks in this stage as this is taken into consideration while making the final list after the interview stage.

Before moving to the final phase of the exam, let’s understand the number of questions asked in different sections.

This will help you to understand the amount of time that should be given to each question of every section.

ExamPostName of the TestMaximum MarksTotal Time
Paper 1 (Descriptive Test)Common to allGeneral English Essay writing: 40 Marks Precis: 20 Marks Questions on the Precis Para: 20 Marks Report/ Letter Writing: 20 Marks10090 Minutes
Paper 2For 'General' PostEconomic & Social Issues and Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India)10090 Minutes

NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria: (Interviews) is as follows –

You are at the final stage of the selection and I am so excited to tell you about this stage. This is a very interesting stage.

NABARD tests your IQ and knowledge in the first two stages but they will test your personality in this stage.

They will try to analyze your decision making power throughout the interview round.

After Clearing the Mains Examination and securing a sufficiently high rank in the exam, you will be short-listed for an interview.

The final selection for the post of NABARD Grade A Officer will be based on their performance in the Mains Examination and Interview, taken together and this is the most important aspect of the Selection procedure for the NABARD Grade A Exam.

Just imagine that you clear the Phase 2 exam and enter the interview level. Let’s understand different scenarios.

  1. If you and some other students have equal marks in total (Phase 2 examination + interview taken together), the candidate with higher marks in the Phase 2 Examination will be ranked higher and be selected as a NABARD Grade A officer. That is why Phase 2 is said to be the most important phase.
  2. In case you and the other candidate are having equal marks in the Mains Examination. Then the candidate with higher qualifications will be selected. Let’s imagine that both of you have a similar qualification, the candidate with higher marks in graduation will be ranked higher and be selected as a NABARD Grade A officer. In case of a further tie-up, the candidate senior in age will be ranked higher.

NABARD Grade A Syllabus

I hope that this blog helped you a lot to understand the selection criteria but it’s not enough.

We have to understand the NABARD Grade A 2020 Syllabus of the exam too. Knowing about the subjects, time and marks is not enough.


Follow #anujjindalupdates to know NABARD Syllabus

You can also go through the NABARD Grade A syllabus from the notification but it’s very confusing. They use difficult words and it’s all messy.

I have sorted it out and lined up the topics to make it easier to read.

Before jumping into the syllabus of the NABARD Grade A exam directly, let’s go back in time a little bit.

Do you remember the time when we didn’t have a lot of tuitions during our school time?

Well, I am not talking to those people who had rich parents. I am talking to people like me.

My mother used to teach me till 7-8th class. She used to sit me with hours. It was her task to find the syllabus for me. Go through that syllabus first and help me out with my studies.

Well, whom am I kidding here?

My mother not just helped me, she did all the work.

Well, I am not saying that I can take your mother’s place to help you analyze the syllabus and study. But I will definitely try to help you in every way possible.

So let’s start with the NABARD Grade A 2020 syllabus and we will talk about other topics after that.

NABARD Grade A Syllabus: Phase 1

Ratio and Proportion
Averages, Mixtures and Alligations
Profit and Loss
Time, Speed and Distance
Time and Work
Pipes and Cisterns
Simple Interest and Compound Interest
Data interpretation
Number Series
Blood Relations
Venn Diagram - Syllogism
Number Series (can also be covered in quant)
Input Output
Coding Decoding
Data Sufficiency
Statement and Assumptions
Statement and Conclusions
Decision Making
Arrangements and Puzzles
Clocks and Calendars
Reading Comprehension
Sentence Correction
Cloze Test
Combining Sentences
Sentence Rearrangement
Fill in the Blanks
Phrase Replacement
Common Errors

The NABARD Grade A 2020 Syllabus of Phase 1 & 2 Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) is exactly the same.

The only difference between these two areas is the level of difficulty.

It is better that you attempt NABARD Grade A mock tests on a daily basis to see the difference in the level and prepare in a better way.

I will be covering the Phase 1 & 2 syllabi of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Phase 2 part.

NABARD Grade A Syllabus: Phase 2

Introduction: Agriculture
Meaning, Scope and Importance
Revolutions in Agriculture
Branches of Agriculture
History and Milestones of events in Agriculture
Agronomy - Meaning and Definition
Scope of Agronomy
Relation of Agronomy to other Sciences
Role of Agronomist
Important points on Agronomy
Classification of Field Crops
Factors affecting Crop production:
Biotic factors
Abiotic factors
Agro-climatic zones
Cropping Systems: Definition, Objectives and types of cropping systems
Problems of dry land agriculture
Seed Production
Seed Germination
Processing of Seed
Seed Production Organizations
Seed Village
Precision Farming
Organic Farming
Advantage and disadvantage of Organic Farming
System of Crop intensification
Soil and Water Conservation
Types of Soil; major types of Indian Soil
Soil Fertility And Soil Productivity
Problematic soils
Fertilizers; classification of Fertilizers
Soil Erosion: Factors affecting soil erosion; Types soil erosion
Soil conservation
Watershed Management
Dryland Farming-Introduction and Definition & Importance
Dryland vs. Rain Fed Farming
Plantation and Horticulture: definition, meaning and its branches
Importance of Horticulture
Agronomic and production technology of horticulture and plantation crops
Scenario of Horticulture; post-harvest technology
Value and supply chain management
Important points
Animal Husbandry:
Farm animals and their role in Indian economy
Animal husbandry methods in India
Common terms pertaining to different species of livestock
Utility classification of breeds of cattle
Common feeds and fodders: classification and utility
Complimentary and obligatory nature of livestock and poultry production
Introduction to poultry industry in India (past, present and future status)
Concept of mixed farming:
Relevance to socio-economic conditions of farmers in India
Fisheries resources
Management and exploitation - freshwater, brackish water and marine
Aquaculture - Inland and marine; biotechnology
Post-harvest technology
Importance of fisheries in India
Important points and terminologies in fisheries
Basic concepts of Forest and Forestry
Principles of silviculture, forest mensuration, forest management and forest economics
Concepts of social forestry, agroforestry, joint forest management
Forest policy and legislation in India
Recent developments under Ministry of Environment
Forest and Climate Change
Farm and Agri Engineering:
Farm Power and Machinery
Sources of power on the farm
Water harvesting structures
Watershed management
Agro Processing : Basic concepts; organisations and industries of Agro processing
Controlled and modified storage
Storage structures
Water Resource:
Irrigation Management: types of irrigation, sources of irrigation
Crop-water requirement, command area development
Water conservation techniques
Micro-irrigation, irrigation pumps, major, medium and minor irrigation
Ecology and Climate Change
Ecology and its relevance
Natural resource conservation and management
Climate change
Climate change impact to Agriculture and Rural livelihood; carbon credit
Different Organisations and initiatives by Government of India
Agricultural Meterology: Basic concepts and scope
Weather parameters; crop-weather advisory
Agriculture Extension:
Importance and Role
Methods of evaluation of extension programmes
Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra's (KVK)
Present Scenario of Indian Agriculture:
Recent trends, major challenges in agriculture
Measures to enhance viability of agriculture
Factors of Production in agriculture
Agricultural Finance and Marketing; Concept; Sources and Its Importance
Agriculture Marketing
Differences between Financing of Agricultural and Other Sectors
Impact of Globalization on Indian Agriculture and issues of Food Security
Indian Government programmes and Initiatives
Concept and Types of Farm Management
Agriculture census
National Research Institutes in India and Headquarter
International Research Institutes in India and Headquarter

Now you know the time you will get during your exam, the pattern of the exam, and the syllabus too.

Let’s talk about how much you need to score to clear this exam.

NABARD Grade A Cut off

I know you are thinking, “Anuj is covering everything here”. Yes, I’m covering the important things. I am here to help you guys and I will provide you with each and every part.

Check the Cut Off for NABARD Grade A

I will even cover the books you need to cover the NABARD Grade A 2020 syllabus that I mentioned above.

So let’s start the last year cut off and the marks you need in the future exam to clear the exam.

Before starting, let me continue my mom’s story.

She used to sit with me all night and help me cover my syllabus. She was the one who made sure that I get the highest marks in the class in my exam. I bet that your mom was the same.

She never prepared me to just pass the exam. She never told me that I need to get 40% marks. In fact, she always taught me so that I can get 100% marks in my exams.

I will say the same thing to you. Even if we have a cut-off. Never aim to score near that cut-off. Aim to score the highest marks. That is the best tactic to clear the exam.

Targeting cut-offs will only let you score less than cut off. Targeting the maximum will help you score above cut off.

So let’s dive in.

I will cover the last 2 years’ cut off. It is not very smart to cover older cut-offs.

So don’t compare your mock test marks with 2015 cut off. Compare it with 2019 cut off.

NABARD Grade A Pre Cut Off 2019

Table showing test-wise & category-wise NABARD Grade A Cut Off 2019 applied for all disciplines:

SubjectsMarksSC, ST, OBC, PWBDEWS, Unreserved
Computer Awareness202.54
General Awareness2012.5
Economics & Social Issues4013
Quantitative Aptitude201.254.25

Table showing NABARD Grade A Cut Off 2019 for General Discipline:


Keep in mind that these marks are the lowest you need to get. You should be aiming for the highest but this subject is just qualifying.

So don’t give too much time to this phase. Start preparing more and more for Phase 2 as the of that phase will be counted in the final selection.

NABARD Grade A Phase 2 2019 paper has been postponed due to COVID-19. Let’s talk about the 2018 Phase 1 and 2 cut off.

NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 Preliminary Examination

Table showing test-wise & category-wise NABARD Grade A Cut Off 2018 applied for all disciplines:

SubjectsMarksSC, ST, OBC, PWBDEWS, Unreserved
Computer Awareness202.54
General Awareness201.253
Economics & Social Issues402.55.75
Quantitative Aptitude201.754

Table showing NABARD Grade A Cut Off 2018 for General Discipline:


NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 Mains Examination

Table showing NABARD Grade A Mains Cut Off 2018 for General Discipline:


It’s great to see that you are still sticking around. I know that this is a huge blog but keep on reading it.

It will help you to understand each and every part of the exam.

Now it’s time to find out a way to cover this huge syllabus and clear the cut off too.

I will be helping you out with the various books out there that you can use to cover the NABARD Grade A 2020 syllabus.

There are hundreds of books out there but I have handpicked some for you to cover the syllabus. There is no single book to cover the NABARD Grade A syllabus.

Each subject has different books and it is most likely that you need to read 2-3 books for each subject. I know it is a lot but you get to clear the exam.


Before going forward, I would like to tell another story about my mom.

After clearing each class in school, we used to get new books. My mom used to get stickers to put my name on those books.

Do you remember those stickers?

What was your sticker about?

My sticker used to have cars on them. My whole summer vacation used to go by covering those books with the paper cover and putting a name sticker over it.

Now, you don’t need to put your name on your books but I just wanted to share this little story.

So let’s talk about NABARD Grade A Books.

Best Books for NABARD Grade A – Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language

There are no specific NABARD Grade A Exam Books for Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language.

Follow #anujjindalupdates to know Best Books for Exams

So, I used to recommend Arun Sharma, Banking Services Chronicles (BSC) books, and TIME or Career Launcher material for CAT as NABARD Grade A Phase 1 Preparation Books.

But the level of NABARD Grade A Examination is different from CAT and other examinations.

So, I myself wrote a book. This Book caters to the needs of the candidates aspiring for NABARD Grade A Examination & helps them for Phase 1 Preparation.

The book involves 850 Pages containing 2000+ MCQs covering a far-reaching and comprehensive inclusion of the complete syllabus of Phase 1 and Past Year Papers.

Answers with an explanation of every question have been given toward the finish of each question to help you understand the topic simultaneously.

Another advancement in the book is that every chapter is partitioned into 3 portions, for example, Simple, Medium, and Difficult to invigorate movement in the learning.

Best Books for NABARD Grade A – General Awareness

  • Spotlight
  • Financial Express or Livemint
  • Monthly Magazines like Banking Services Chronicles

NABARD Grade A Preparation Books – Computer Knowledge

  • Computer Awareness – Arihant Publication
  • Objective Computer Knowledge and Literacy – Kiran Publication

Best NABARD Grade A Books – Economic and Social Issues (ESI)

  • Indian Economy NCERT 11th
  • Macroeconomics NCERT 12th
  • Ramesh Singh- Indian economy
  • Indian Economy- Uma Kapila (Performance and policies)
  • Social problems in India- Ram Ahuja
  • Indian Polity- Laxmikanth
  • Economic survey for the year
  • Union Budget
  • Pratiyogita Darpan Indian Economy yearly version discharged after Union Budget
  • NITI Aayog recent reports – selective

The NABARD Grade A Preparation Books I have mentioned above for ESI comprise of sources for both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2.

Best NABARD Grade A Books 2020 – Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)

  • Objective Agriculture – S.R. Kantwa – New Vishal Publications
  • For Agricultural Field Officer IBPS-SO Book – Jain Brothers
  • Agriculture Current Affairs – New Vishal Publications
  • General Agriculture – Muniraj Singh Rathore – Jain Brothers
  • A Competitive Book of Agriculture – Nem Raj Sundra

These were the Best NABARD Grade A Books 2020 for ARD Preparation (Both Phase 1 and Phase 2). Apart from these NABARD Grade A Exam Books for ARD, there are few other sources as well which students must cover in order to score maximum in the ARD Section.

  • Agricultural Census provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • PIB Releases, i.e., Press Releases by Agriculture and Rural Department.
  • Geographical knowledge of States and Soils present in those areas.
  • Cover the Report provided by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.
  • Kurukshetra and Yojana Magazines with a focus on the Agriculture part in these Magazines.
  • Cover the basics of ARD from the book by R.K. Sharma – Agriculture at a Glance.
  • Go through the Reports provided by
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • NABARD Website
  • State of Forest Report which is provided Bi-annually by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The NABARD Grade A Preparation Books I have mentioned above for agriculture & rural development comprise of sources for both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2.

These books will definitely help you out and you can easily find all of them on amazon.

I didn’t mention the links here as sellers keep on changing. So it’s today’s task. Go online and find these books. I can’t spoon-feed you everything.

NABARD Grade A Mock Tests

Let’s move to the final part of the preparation. Practice. I know everyone says that you should practice daily to accomplish anything in life.

Want to cook? Practice daily.

Want to ride a bike? Practice daily.

Similarly, want to clear NABARD Grade A Exam? Practice Daily.

Regular tests are conducted on my telegram channel of NABARD Grade A.

I have also made some free comprehensive mocks that you should take before starting your preparation to analyze where you stand right now.

These NABARD Grade A mock tests not only help you practice but they will give you an experience of the real exam.

The panel of these mocks is made exactly like the real exam.

You have the access to view all questions at once, see color difference of the questions you skipped, questions you haven’t opened, and the questions you have attempted.

But I don’t want to just give you the exact panel. I want to give you more. So my technical team has made a specialized analysis page for you. You will get that after you complete each mock test.

You will be able to see your rank, marks, solutions, time spent on each section compared to the topper, heat graph, etc.

There are so many things that I can’t even list all of them here. So let’s not wait anymore.

Here is the link to the free comprehensive NABARD Grade A mock tests.


So this was all about the Selection Procedure, Syllabus, Cut off and Books of NABARD Grade A Examination. I hope this blog has cleared all your doubts related to the above topics.

All the Best!!
Keep Learning!!

CEO of


About Anuj Jindal

Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 4 years of experience in the field of Education.

FAQs: NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria, Syllabus, Cut Off, Mock Tests and Books

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Is the NABARD Grade A exam tough?

    The NABARD Grade A exam is quite straightforward but seats being so less ( Seats in Generalist UR category was a mere 23 in 2018) makes the exam one of the toughest in India. Read more…

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What should I study for the NABARD Grade A?

    You can go through the preparation strategy mentioned above in the blog. Also view my video HERE.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the syllabus of NABARD Grade A?

    You can go through the detailed syllabus mentioned above in this blog. The syllabus comprises the topics that candidates need to cover in prelims and mains exams.

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    Is there any negative marking in the exam?

    Yes, there is negative marking in the exam.

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    What type of questions are asked in the mains exam?

    Paper I of the mains exam is descriptive type. General English comprises questions from essay writing, comprehension, report writing, paragraph writing & letter writing.

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    What is the salary of the NABARD Grade A Officer?

    Selected candidates through NABARD Grade A 2020 will get a starting basic pay of Rs 28,150. The pay scale for this post is Rs 28150-1550(4)-34350-1750(7)- 46600-EB-1750(4) – 53600-2000(1) – 55600.


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