RBI Grade B 2021 Syllabus & Exam Pattern (Phase 1, Phase 2 & Interview Round)
Topics Covered: RBI Grade B Exam Pattern for 2021 – Phase 1 and Phase 2 – Subjects, Questions & Marks, RBI Grade B Interview Round & Final Selection, RBI Grade B Officer Syllabus including Phase 1 (Prelims) & Phase 2 (Mains)
Are you wondering why the RBI Grade B syllabus is so different than all the government exams out there?
Well, I say that because not only the RBI Grade B Syllabus but the Exam Pattern is also a complicated one. With both descriptive and objective papers and a mixture of both, RBI Grade B Exam Pattern becomes a unique one.
Now to remind you, it is not a public bank. It is the central bank of the country and studying more by adhering to the syllabus, for a job like this shouldn’t be the problem.
That said, if you make it into the RBI, you will be able to handle the whole banking system of the country. Make different policies to help the country grow exponentially and whatnot.
So without further ado, let us start with the exam pattern and after that, we will move to the RBI Grade B Syllabus.
Table of Content – RBI Grade B Exam Pattern & Syllabus (Phase 1 & Phase 2)
RBI Grade B Exam Pattern (Phase-Wise)
In this section of the exam pattern, you will get an idea about the various aspects of the different Phases of the RBI Grade B Exam.
Various aspects such as the time you get for the exam, the number of questions you get from each section, and whether there is negative marking or not. This is an important thing to analyse while looking at the exam pattern.
Many students who are strong in one section tend to skip that section and focus more on the other sections.
But this is not a good strategy as the RBI Grade B examination has a sectional cut off too. That is why you should also analyse past years’ papers as well.
The whole exam is divided into 3 Phases. I have mentioned the phases below:
Before moving forward, I would like to tell all my students that studying hard is important but there is one thing even more important than that and that is studying smart. This can also be seen from the way they structured the exam.
The initial two phases – Prelims (Phase 1) and Mains Exam (Phase 2) are computer-based written exams.
Prelims is a qualifying phase so don’t give a lot of time to this phase. You don’t want to score the highest in this phase as it doesn’t matter.
Start preparing more for Mains. Scoring high in Mains will make sure that you clear the final cut off easily.
Both Mains and Interview marks are counted in the final selection.
RBI Grade B Exam Pattern Phase 1 (Subjects, Questions & Marks)
Let us start by discussing the exam pattern of the RBI Grade B exam with the division of each phase. Prelims also called Phase 1 has 4 subjects mentioned below:
|Sr. No.||Name of the Tests (Objective)||No. of Questions||Maximum Marks||Total Duration|
|1.||English Language||30||30||25 minutes|
|2.||Numerical Ability||30||30||25 minutes|
|3.||Reasoning Ability||60||60||45 minutes|
|4.||General Awareness||80||80||25 minutes|
RBI Grade B Exam Pattern Phase 2 (Subjects, Questions & Marks)
According to the RBI Grade B exam pattern, the Mains exam is divided into 3 subjects. 2 of these subjects are objective & subjective in nature but one of them is completely subjective in nature.
Economics & Social Issues (ESI) and Finance & Management (FM) are the two objective & subjective papers in RBI Grade B Phase 2 examination.
On the other hand, the complete descriptive paper is of English in which you are asked an Essay, Precis and Reading Comprehension.
|Paper||No. of Questions||Time Duration||Marks|
|Paper 1: Economic and Social Issues||Objective - 30 Questions||30 minutes||50|
|Descriptive - 6 Questions (to be attempted - 4)||90 minutes||50|
|Paper 2: English (Writing Skills)||Descriptive - 3 Questions (Precis, RCs, & Essay)||90 minutes||100|
|Paper 3: Finance and Management
(Objective Type Questions)
|Objective - 30 Questions||30 minutes||50|
|Descriptive - 6 Questions (to be attempted - 4)||90 minutes||50|
Note: For both Economic & Social Issues and Finance & Management, the RBI Grade B exam pattern states that there will be 30 questions and 50 marks for Objective questions (some questions carrying 2 marks each and some carrying 1 mark each). In the case of Descriptive questions, candidates will be required to attempt only 4 questions (2 of 15 marks each and 2 of 10 marks each). In case, candidate answers more than 4 questions in descriptive, the first 4 shall be evaluated.
RBI Grade B 2021 Interview
RBI Grade B Interview is the third and last phase of the Exam. The interview round will be held after you clear the first and subsequently the second phase of the Exam.
That said, only applicants who will clear the minimum sectional cut off and the overall cut off will be called for the interview round.
Also, to show up for the RBI Grade B Interviews, candidates need to download the call letter which will be sent on the individual email of the applicants who have cleared the Phase 2 Exam.
Furthermore, it should be noted that from this year onwards, i.e., from the RBI Grade B 2021 exam, the interview will be of 75 marks, prior to 2021 it used to be of 50 marks.
The weightage of interview for the final selection is 20%.
Now, you have an option to choose the interview language, i.e., either Hindi or English, before the RBI Grade B interview round as per your convenience. All you have to do while appearing for it is be confident and stay calm.
You will get a panel of 5 people who will mostly ask questions from your background.
Having said that, the RBI Grade B 2021 Interview dates for General, DSIM, and DEPR posts will be shared soon by the RBI on their official website.
Lastly, If you clear all three phases including the RBI Grade B Interview and GD round, you will at that point be called to show up for the medical trial which will be the final hindrance between you and your dream of being an “RBI Grade B Officer”.
Toppers’ Interview Round Strategy
To help you in your RBI Grade B Interview preparation, I have aligned a few past year toppers’ interviews who were my students. They are the ones who actually made it to the final selection.
So, you can watch their interviews and gain some valuable experiences here. For your convenience, we have also shared videos with their strategies below.
The first one on the list is Muhammad Ali who worked full time in PNB while preparing for RBI Grade B 2018 Examination and secured All India Rank 3.
The second one is RBI Grade B 2018 All India Rank 6, Aditya Sood who was a working professional in an IT Company and managed to clear the ‘Grade B’ Exam in his 4th Attempt.
Next on the list is Abhishek Prasad, an Ex-Rimcollian, who fought against cancer and cleared RBI Grade B 2018, with All India Rank 11.
People talk can a non-IIT, non-IIM, non-Finance, non-Economic, people from not so affluent educational background clear the RBI Grade B Examination? Well, the next topper here, Rashmi Ranjan Sahoo, is the answer to that question.
RBI Grade B 2021 Final Selection
As far as the final selection/merit list of the candidates for the RBI Grade B 2021 Exam is concerned, it will be made by cumulating the marks secured by the candidate in the Phase II exam and the Interview.
So the more you score in the RBI Grade B Mains Exam as well as the Interview round, the higher will be your chances of getting selected to become a Grade B Officer.
The list of final selected candidates will be made available on the official RBI website within 2-3 weeks after the RBI Grade B 2021 Interviews get over.
RBI Grade B Syllabus (Officer Exam)
The vast RBI Grade B syllabus contributes to the toughness of the exam.
As you already know by now the RBI Grade B Exam is conducted in 3 Phases (Prelims, Mains & Interview), which comprise 4 written papers (1 in Phase 1 & 3 in Phase 2).
The paper-wise syllabus for all 4 papers has been provided below, but before I discuss that let me tell a bit about the three streams that are available for your choice for the RBI Grade B Exam as I have also listed below the syllabus for different streams.
The available streams are the General stream, the DEPR or the “Department of Economic & Policy Research” stream, and the DSIM or the “Department of Statistics and Information Management” stream.
Now the General stream is what the majority of the RBI grade B aspirants opt for. As for the DEPR and DSIM streams, they are opted for by students mostly specializing in Economics and Statistics, respectively.
Coming back to the updated syllabus for 2021, they have been a few changes in the Phase 2 syllabi of ESI (Economic & Social Issues) and FM (Finance & Management).
In the sections below, I have mentioned the latest syllabus for the RBI Grade B exams of all the 3 streams. The source for the syllabus of all the phases of all 3 streams is the official notification from RBI for 2021: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Content/PDFs/ADVTGBDRB092851E3E1C4D219C54676FA642772E.PDF#page=21
RBI Grade B Officer Syllabus Phase 1 (Prelims)
Now, the RBI Grade B Phase 1 Syllabus is composed of 4 sections: General Awareness, English Language, Quantitative Aptitude & Reasoning Ability.
All four sections are equally important as we not only have the final cut off but a sectional cut off too. So you should be able to score good marks in all four sections.
Let’s talk about each section one by one. It should be your first priority to cover these topics:
|English Syllabus||Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus||Reasoning Syllabus||General Awareness Syllabus|
|Grammar||Mensuration||Puzzles||Banking & Financial Awareness|
|Vocabulary||Time and Work||Seating Arrangement||Monetary Policies|
|Error Spotting||Average, Ratio, Percentages||Directions and Distance||Economic Terms|
|Comprehension||Speed, Distance and Time||Data Sufficiency||Current Affairs|
|Passage Making||Mixture and Allegations||Blood Relations||Financial & Economics News|
|Jumble Words||Permutation and Combination||Syllogism||Static GK|
|Fill in the Blanks||Data Interpretation||Coding Decoding||Government Schemes, Agreement & Deals|
|Sentence Framing||Probability||Inequality||Banking terms, rates, processes|
RBI Grade B Officer Syllabus Phase 2 (Mains)
Talking about the second phase, the RBI Grade B Phase 2 Syllabus is divided into 3 Papers according to how the exam is conducted. All 3 Papers carry equal importance because there are sectional cut offs in addition to the overall cut off.
So, now let’s talk about each paper one by one.
Paper-I: Economic and Social Issues (ESI) Syllabus
- Growth and Development, Measurement of growth: National Income and per capita income
- Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation in India
- Sustainable Development and Environmental issues
- Economic Reforms in India, Industrial and Labour Policy, Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Privatization, Role of Economic Planning
- Globalization, Opening up of the Indian Economy, Balance of Payments, Export-Import Policy
- International Economic Institutions, IMF and World Bank, WTO, Regional Economic Co-operation
- Social Structure in India, Multiculturalism, Demographic Trends, Urbanization and Migration, Gender Issues
- Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in favor of the underprivileged, Social Movements
- Indian Political System, Human Development, Social Sectors in India, Health, and Education.
Paper-II: English Descriptive (Writing Skills) Syllabus
The English Descriptive paper will be designed to test the writing skills of candidates including expression and understanding of the topic.
You are asked to write an Essay and Precis in this paper and also solve a few questions based on a given comprehension.
To quote some examples of the kind of essays that are asked in the English paper, here are some of the topics that were asked in the 2021 RBI Grade B phase 2 English paper:
- Future of BPO industries in India
- Importance of Creative thinking in business.
- An ounce of prevention is a pound worth of cure.
- Pros & Cons of teaching Computer Language/Coding to school Students.
Paper-III: Finance Syllabus
RBI Grade B Phase 2 Paper 3 is the Finance & Management (FM) paper. For the purpose of simplicity, we have provided the Finance and Management Details separately. The key topics from the Finance syllabus are listed below:
(a) Financial System
- Regulators of Banks and Financial Institutions
- Reserve Bank of India- functions, and conduct of monetary policy
- Banking System in India – Structure and concerns, Financial Institutions – SIDBI, EXIM Bank, NABARD, NHB, etc, Changing landscape of banking sector.
- Financial Institutions – SIDBI, EXIM, NABARD, NHB, etc.
- Impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08 and the Indian response.
(b) Financial Markets
Primary and Secondary Markets (Forex, Money, Bond, Equity, etc.)- functions, instruments, recent developments.
(c) General Topics Syllabus
- Risk Management in Banking Sector
- Basics of Derivatives
- Global financial markets and International Banking – broad trends and latest developments.
- Financial Inclusion
- Alternate source of finance, private and social cost-benefit, Public-Private Partnership
- Corporate Governance in Banking Sector, the role of e-governance in addressing issues of corruption and inefficiency in the government sector.
- The Union Budget – Concepts, approach, and broad trends
- Inflation: Definition, trends, estimates, consequences, and remedies (control): WPI, CPI – components and trends; striking a balance between inflation and growth through monetary and fiscal policies.
Paper-III: Management Syllabus
(a) Fundamentals of Management & Organizational Behaviour
- Introduction to management: Evolution of management thought: Scientific, Administrative, Human Relations and Systems approach to management; Management functions and Managerial roles; Nudge theory
- Meaning & concept of organizational behaviour: Personality: meaning, factors affecting personality, Big five model of personality; concept of reinforcement; Perception: concept, perceptual errors. Motivation: Concept, importance, Content theories (Maslow’s need theory, Alderfers’ ERG theory, McCllelands’ theory of needs, Herzberg’s two factor theory) & Process theories (Adams equity theory, Vrooms expectancy theory).
- Leadership: Concept, Theories (Trait, Behavioural, Contingency, Charismatic, Transactional and Transformational Leadership; Emotional Intelligence: Concept, Importance, Dimensions. Analysis of Interpersonal Relationship: Transactional Analysis, Johari Window; Conflict: Concept, Sources,Types, Management of Conflict; Organizational Change: Concept, Kurt Lewin Theory of Change; Organizational Development (OD): Organisational Change, Strategies for Change, Theories of Planned Change (Lewin’s change model, Action research model, Positive model).
(b) Ethics at the Workplace & Corporate Governance
- Ethics: Meaning of ethics, why ethical problems occur in business. Theories of ethics: Utilitarianism: weighing social cost and benefits, Rights and duties, Justice and fairness, ethics of care, integrating utility, rights, justice and caring, An alternative to moral principles: virtue ethics, teleological theories, egoism theory, relativism theory, Moral issues in business: Ethics in Compliance, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, etc. Ethical Principles in Business: introduction, Organization Structure and Ethics, Role of Board of Directors, Best Practices in Ethics Programme, Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, etc.
- Corporate Governance: Factors affecting Corporate Governance; Mechanisms of Corporate Governance
- Communication: Steps in the Communication Process; Communication Channels; Oral versus Written Communication; Verbal versus non-verbal Communication; upward, downward and lateral communication; Barriers to Communication, Role of Information Technology.
As you have read above, we have talked about the syllabus of the RBI Grade B Examination but the important question is how to cover it. I have mentioned some amazing books you can use to cover the syllabus.
However, you should know that there is no one book covering the whole syllabus of the RBI Grade B Exam. You have to use multiple books to cover the complete syllabus. But rest assured, you don’t need to cover all the books front to back.
Therefore, I have mentioned the topics that you need to cover from each book in the linked blog to help you out further. Have a thorough read.
RBI Grade B Officer DEPR Syllabus:
The syllabus for the DEPR stream is set according to the role of the DEPR Cadre officers of RBI, which is to take care of the economic policies and analysis aspect of the RBI.
The RBI Grade B officer DEPR syllabus is as follows:
- Papers on Economics would be of the standard that is concurrent with those of Master’s Degree examination in Economics of any Central University in India.
- The English paper shall be set in a way so as to assess your writing skills including expression and understanding of a topic.
Let me also include the list of suggested study material for the same:
RBI publications like:
- Annual Reports
- Monetary Policy Report.
- Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India.
- Financial Stability Report.
- Economic Survey published by the Government of India of the past 2 years.
RBI Grade B Officer DSIM Syllabus:
The syllabus for the DSIM stream is set according to the role of the DSIM Cadre officers of RBI, which is to take care of the collection, compilation, and Statistical analysis & interpretation of all data related to banking, corporates, and the external sector among a host of other things.
The RBI Grade B officer DSIM syllabus is as follows
- Paper 1: Questions covering Probability: Probability Definition, Large and small sample theory, Analysis of Variance, Estimation, Standard distribution, Testing of Hypotheses, Estimation, Multivariate analysis, Stochastic Processes.
- Paper 2: Questions covering (i) Statistical Inference: Estimation, Testing of hypothesis and Non-parametric Test, (ii) Linear Models and Economic Statistics, (iii) Probability and Sampling, (iv) Stochastic Processes, (v) Multivariate analysis and (vi) Numerical Analysis and Basic Computer Techniques. Sufficient choices will be given for candidates to attempt the required number of questions from any three or more of the above six groups.
- Paper 3: The English paper shall be set in a way so as to assess your writing skills including expression and understanding of a topic.
Papers would be of the standard that is concurrent with those of Master’s Degree examination in any Central University in India.
Paper 1 is conducted online and comprises multiple-choice questions.
Paper 2 is a descriptive type pen/paper-based examination where the questions are displayed on the computer screen and is conducted in one session.
While Paper 3 is a descriptive type where the candidates are expected to type out answers on a computer.
With that, we come to the end of the section of the RBI Grade B syllabus.
That’s all I have for you today. I have mentioned in this blog everything that you’d ever need to know about the RBI Grade B exam pattern and the RBI Grade B syllabus. Hope you find this information useful. Having said that, I now bid you farewell.
All the best!
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 5 years of experience in the field of Education.
FAQs: RBI Grade B Exam Pattern & Syllabus (Phase I & Phase II)
Is the RBI Grade B exam Bilingual?
Affirmative. The people at RBI know very well that you might not be very comfortable writing all of your papers in English. So they have provided the option of writing the paper in the Hindi language as well. Thus, we can say that all papers would be bilingual, except for the English Descriptive Paper that is there to test your English Language skills.
Is there any negative marking in the RBI Grade B Exam?
Yes, unfortunately, there’s negative marking in the RBI Grade B exam. 1/4th marks are deducted for every wrong answer. This applies to both the RBI Grade B Prelims, as well as the Mains exam. I know this somewhat of a letdown. Just make sure you choose your answers after much deliberation, and you’ll sail through unscathed.
Is the RBI Grade B syllabus different from the SBI PO syllabus?
Affirmative. The syllabi for both exams are different. Even though the difference is marginal, but it’s still there. The Syllabus for the mains of both, the SBI PO and RBI Grade B exams, is the same. It’s the prelims where they differ. Apart from the Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude and English Language sections asked in the prelims of both the exams, RBI Grade B adds an extra section of General Awareness which is not a part of the SBI PO prelims. To know more about the RBI Grade B exam syllabus in detail, click here.
How many marks is the RBI Grade B Interview for?
From 2021 onwards, the RBI Grade B interview will be of 75 marks. Earlier it used to be of 50 marks.
What is the weightage of the RBI Grade B Interview?
The weightage of the RBI Grade B Interview is 20%.
Since the final selection of the candidates is based on the cumulative marks obtained in the Phase 2 and the Interview Round. Thus, the total marks considered for the final selection is 375, while the interview is of 75 marks, leading to a 20% weightage for the Interview.