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How To Prepare for SEBI Grade A Officer

Topics Covered: SEBI Grade A Phase 1 & Phase 2 Exams Preparation Strategy, Study Sequence, and Day-wise Study Plan

The SEBI is the apex regulatory body of the security market of India. It was constituted by the Indian Government to handle the task of protecting the interest of investors and furthering the development of the securities market of India.

Now, given the gravity of responsibilities vested on the shoulders of the organization, it is only understandable that the people working at SEBI be the absolute Crème de la crème from amongst the young population of our nation.

Therefore, needless to say, these extremely able-minded men and women working for SEBI are selected through one of the most stringent multi-stage selection processes in the nation today.

This selection process called the SEBI Grade A exam, is taken by thousands of hopeful candidates every year, and as mentioned before, only a select few manage to clear all the stages unscathed to finally be recruited as a SEBI Grade A officer.

In this article, I have talked in detail about the SEBI Grade A Preparation strategy that you should adopt for a successful SEBI Grade A exam preparation.

I have made this SEBI Grade A preparation strategy after taking into account the experience of thousands of students that I have had the privilege to teach and also to learn from.

I have carefully considered the reasons as to why someone fails to crack the exam, even after having slogged so hard in their SEBI Grade A exam preparation.

You can say that the SEBI Grade A preparation strategy that I am sharing with you here in this article is the final cog that you’d need for a successful SEBI Grade A exam preparation.

So, without wasting any more of your time, let us dive right in.

Table of Content – SEBI Grade A Preparation Strategy

Preparation Strategy: SEBI Grade A Phase 1 & 2

In this section, you’ll notice that I have divided the SEBI Grade A preparation strategy into several topics. If you go through each of them thoroughly, read carefully all the points stated in them, and act exactly according to what I have mentioned in them, you’ll be able to ace your SEBI Grade A exam with flying colours.

Along with the topics, I have also included a time-bound, detailed, and subject-wise study plan in the sections down below that you can use to schedule your SEBI Grade A exam preparation.

The greatest feature of this study plan is that it is very easy to grasp and is in a tabulated format.

Anyway, let us start with the most important topics related to the SEBI Grade A exam preparation:

Study Sequence

  1. When you start with your preparation, take at least 3 mocks of both Phase 1 and 2 to identify your strong and weak areas. Scores < 50% shall be considered weak.
  2. Categorize subjects falling under strong and weak categories, after carefully evaluating which of them you are strong in and which of them you are weak in. Be honest.
  3. Create a Study Timeline: Divide the preparation time into week-wise phases. Select 2 subjects at a time, one that you are strong in, and the other you are weak in. You can also use the timetable given by me below. It is divided into morning and afternoon shifts.
  4. Brush up on Current Affairs: You can make use of ‘Spotlight’, and ‘Finance Current Affairs’ to study current affairs. If you have limited time, start with current affairs when you are done with at-least 50% of your syllabus. Do not begin your preparation with current affairs.
  5. Practice Writing: Attempt a test of Essay every week to improve your writing skills.

Important Techniques

  1. Schedule your day before leaving the bed in the morning and stick to this as far as possible.
  2. Revise either daily or weekly, depending on your timetable. Working aspirants can follow weekly revision schedule and students can follow a daily revision schedule.
  3. Analyze previous year’s paper: It would help in listing the important static part of Subjects and indicate the Shifting trends/Changing patterns.
  4. Self-Assessment: Always observe yourself, you are the best guide of yourself. You must know where you lack and how much time you need to devote to a topic.
  5. Don’t devote too much time to reading the newspaper. Current affairs magazines are more helpful before interviews. Argumentation and opinions help in the interview stage more. You can rely on monthly magazines for Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Approach to mocks

  1. Writing mocks every week is very important. Mocks can be sectional or comprehensive, depending on the stage of your preparation. You can start with sectional tests of SEBI Phase 1 and Phase 2. When the examination is 1 month away, you can begin comprehensive mocks.
  2. Sectional as well as comprehensive tests help by improving time management skills of the aspirant.
  3. Mock analysis is as important as mocks itself. You can analyse mocks by dividing your answers into 3 parts- correct, incorrect and not answered. You need to work on questions that got correct by fluke and the answers that got wrong due to silly mistakes. Try to minimize these two.

Here’s a couple of Free Mock Tests, covering both Phase-1 and Phase-2 of SEBI Grade A. These Mock Tests are personally designed by me.

4. Work on elimination technique to score higher and also enhance your accuracy. Under elimination, you eliminate all options before finalizing your answer choice. It is certainly more time consuming but more accurate as well. (Elimination is not always successful in quant and reasoning. If you have arrived at the right answer by solving a question, no need to apply elimination)

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Cramming Wisely: Question papers have become a mix of concepts and facts – this needs a holistic approach wherein you are cramming and understanding concepts together.
  2. Limited Sources: The source is like an old trusted friend, which will always help you in your time of need. There is no time for reading new books, which our brain usually forced us to do, decide on a few and stick with them.
  3. Aptitude tests: Don’t forget to practice the Aptitude mock test as it has emerged as a villain. Cover aspects like comprehension, mental ability, and logical reasoning while taking aptitude tests.
  4. Time Management: Do not spend your energy by talking and discussing unusually. Avoid stressful people and follow Eat, Sleep, Study & Meditate strategy for better results.
  5. Say no to Facebook, Instagram, Web series or any other social media platform which can easily distract you.
  6. Do not use your phone while studying. If you don’t have a laptop, get an old laptop or desktop. Phones aren’t meant to study. Keep your phone in another room or in a drawer while studying. This is rule 101.

These are all the important points that you’d need to be mindful of while preparing for the SEBI Grade A exam.

Now it is time for me to share with you the Day-wise study plan that I have designed for you all in the form of tables, but before we go over to that, let me just list out some salient points that will help you understand the study plan better.

Day-Wise Study Plan

  1. The plan has been divided into- Phase 1 Quant, Reasoning and English; Phase 2 Finance Theory & Numerical; Phase 2 Management; Phase 2 Companies Act & Costing; Phase 2 Accounts & Economics. Based on your priority, you can pick up any one of it.
  2. If you have more than 4 months in hand for your prep, it is advisable to start with Phase 2 F&M plan, followed by Phase 2 Companies Act & Costing, then Phase 2 Accounts & Economics and finally Phase 1 QRE. However, there is no hard and fast rule for the same. You can also start with Phase 1 QRE, if you feel that you are very weak in the same.
  3. Pick up a maximum of 2 subjects in one day, as described in the study plan. Do not pick up more than 2 subjects at one point.
  4. If you are a working aspirant, you need to divide your studies into 2 slots- morning and night. Get up before other aspirants and start your day with the morning targets provided in the below study plan. Try to leave your office by 6 PM, come back home and sleep for 1 hour straight. Start studying by 8 PM and give only 3 hours. There’s no need to burn the midnight oil.
  5. Repeat the cycle after you have completed your syllabus once. In the second reading, start with current affairs too. You need to cover Phase 1 and Phase 2 current affairs together. You can use Daily Current affairs by Neha Ma’am and Finance current affairs by Tanvi ma’am to cover current affairs daily. (Available on YouTube).

Phase 1 (Paper 1) – STUDY PLAN (Quant & Reasoning)

Quantitative Aptitude Reasoning
Morning Afternoon
Chapters Days Chapters Days
Profit & Loss Day 1 - Easy & Moderate
Day 2 - Difficult
Blood Relations Day 1 & 2 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Time & Work Day 3 - Easy & Moderate
Day 4 - Difficult
Directions Day 3 & 4 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Ratio & Proportion Day 5 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult Syllogism Day 5 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Variation Day 6 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult Number Series Day 6 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Average, Mixtures & Alligations Day 7 - Easy & Moderate
Day 8 - Difficult
Input Output Day 7 - Easy & Moderate
Day 8 - Difficult
Time Speed Distance Day 9 - Easy & Moderate
Day 10 - Difficult
Ranking Day 9 & 10 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Quadratic Equation Day 11 - Easy
Day 12 - Moderate
Day 13 - Difficult
Coding Decoding Day 11 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Numbers, HCF, LCM Day 14 - Easy
Day 15 - Moderate
Day 16 - Difficult
Data Sufficiency Day 12 - Easy & Moderate
Day 13 & 14 - Difficult
Simple Interest & Compound Interest Day 17 - Easy
Day 18 - Moderate
Day 19 - Difficult
Statement & Conclusion Day 15 & 16 - Easy & Moderate
Day 17 - Difficult
Data Interpretation Day 20-25 - Easy & Moderate & Difficult Cause and Effect Day 18 & 19 - Easy, Moderate
Day 20 - Difficult
Partnership Day 26 - Easy
Day 27 - Moderate
Day 28 - Difficult
Statement and Assumption Day 21 - Easy & Moderate
Day 22 & 23 - Difficult
Probability Day 29 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult Strong & Weak Arguments Day 24 - Easy & Moderate
Day 25 - Difficult
Geometry Formulaes Day 30 & 31 - Easy & Moderate
Day 32 - Difficult
Decision Making Day 26 - Easy & Moderate
Day 27 - Difficult
Inequality Day 28 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Arrangement Day 29 & 30 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Puzzles Day 31 - Easy & Moderate
Day 32 - Difficult

Phase 1 (Paper 1) – STUDY PLAN (English)

English
Morning Afternoon
Chapters Days Chapters Days
Phrase Replacement Day 33 - Easy & Moderate
Day 34 - Difficult
Reading Comprehension Day 33 & 34 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult
Sentence Correction Day 35 & 36 - Easy, Moderate & Difficult Combining Sentences Day 35 - Easy & Moderate
Day 36 - Difficult

Phase 1 & Phase 2 (Paper 2) – STUDY PLAN (F&M)

Finance Theory Management
Morning Afternoon
Chapters Pages Days Chapters Pages Days
Important terms (SEBI Interview Book) 195 pages Day 1 to Day 6 Organization theory 75 pages Day 1 to Day 3
Intro to financial system 12 pages Day 7 Miscellaneous theories 14 pages Day 4
Reforms in Indian financial system 17 pages Day 7 Mooney and Reiley 4 pages Day 4
Money and capital market 21 pages Day 8 Contingency approach 12 pages Day 4
Stock indices 14 pages Day 7 Graicunas 5 pages Day 4
Depository receipts 6 pages Day 9 Introduction to OB 15 pages Day 5
Mutual funds 17 pages Day 9 Values, attitudes, Johari, TA 18 pages Day 5
RBI- intro, structure, CAMELS 9 pages Day 9 Generational and International values 6 pages Day 5
RBI subsidiaries, monetary policy tools 19 pages Day 10 Emotions, emotional intelligence 6 pages Day 6
Monetary policy meets- different stances 8 pages Day 10 Personality- 3 parts 40 pages Day 6
RBI currency mgt, debt management 19 pages Day 11 Perception and decision making 23 pages Day 7
SEBI history, functioning, responsibilities 12 pages Day 11 Motivation 61 pages Day 8 to Day 10
NABARD 6 pages Day 11 Leadership 50 pages Day 11 to Day 12
NHB 10 pages Day 12 Conflict 14 pages Day 13
SIDBI 9 pages Day 12 Conflict and negotiation 9 pages Day 13
RRBs 4 pages Day 12 Authority, power, stress, learning, OB-Mod 16 pages Day 13
Credit rating agencies 10 pages Day 12 Classical conditioning 5 pages Day 14
Negotiated dealing system 8 pages Day 12 Organization culture 24 pages Day 14
RBI subsidiaries, monetary policy tools 19 pages Day 10 Emotions, emotional intelligence 6 pages Day 6
EXIM and ECGC 7 pages Day 13 OCTAPACE, org climate 5 pages Day 14
Bi monthly monetary policy basics 8 pages Day 13 Group dynamics, change, change models 15 pages Day 15
Foreign exchange market basics 20 pages Day 13 Organisational change, theories of change- Lewin’s change model, Action research model, Positive model Day 15
History of forex market 3 pages Day 13 Change management 30 pages Day 15
Special drawing rights 19 pages Day 14 Theories of group formation, quality circle 3 pages Day 15
FEMA 8 pages Day 14 Intro to HRM, models 17 pages Day 16
Foreign currency accounts 2 pages Day 14 Strategic HRM 7 pages Day 16
RBI subsidiaries, monetary policy tools 19 pages Day 10 Emotions, emotional intelligence 6 pages Day 6
Currency convertibility 2 pages Day 14 Best practice vs best fit approach 3 pages Day 16
Forex risk 2 pages Day 14 intro to HRD 3 pages Day 16
Fx-retail 2 pages Day 14 Evolution and goals of HRD 3 pages Day 16
History of banking system 10 pages Day 15 Emerging dimensions in HRM 3 pages Day 16
Classification of banks 17 pages Day 15 HRM vs HRD 3 pages Day 16
Priority sector lending 8 pages Day 15 HR planning 10 pages Day 16
PSL for RRBs 1 page Day 15 Recruitment and selection 5 pages Day 17
MCLR video Day 15 Induction and orientation 2 pages Day 17
FEOA 2 pages Day 15 Movement of personnel 2 pages Day 17
Measures of money supply, money multiplier 8 pages Day 15 Employee turnover 5 pages Day 17
SARFAESI act, CERSAI 4 pages Day 16 Realistic job preview 5 pages Day 17
Universal vs niche banking 4 pages Day 16 Psychometric tests 2 pages Day 17
Balance sheet of RBI and commercial banks 4 pages Day 16 Delayering 3 pages Day 17
BPSS, electronic payment systems 10 pages Day 16 Job analysis 10 pages Day 17
Payment and settlement system act 10 pages Day 16 Job design, job evaluation 22 pages Day 17
Prepaid payment instruments 14 pages Day 16 Potential appraisal 7 pages Day 18
Foreign exchange transactions by commercial banks- concepts and laws 5 pages Day 17 Fringe benefits 7 pages Day 18
Inflation 9 pages Day 17 Incentives 6 pages Day 18
Stagflation 7 pages Day 17 Theories of compensation 6 pages Day 18
Theories of inflation 4 pages Day 17 TQM, kaizen 12 pages Day 18
Imported inflation, deflator, misery index 3 pages Day 17 Lean systems 23 pages Day 19
Debt market and types of bonds 8 pages Day 18 Quality of worklife, collective bargaining 8 pages Day 19
Bonds concepts 7 pages Day 18 Employee welfare 3 pages Day 19
Yield curve 4 pages Day 18 Morale 5 pages Day 19
Masala bonds video Day 18 Employee counselling 9 pages Day 20
FCCB, FCEB 3 pages Day 18 Industrial relations 11 pages Day 20
Derivatives 19 pages Day 18 Grievance handling, disciplinary action 13 pages Day 20
FPI 6 pages Day 19 Communication 34 pages Day 21
FDI 4 pages Day 19 Organization control 18 pages Day 22
Disinvestment 20 pages Day 19 Communication, steps in communication, channels of communication, barriers to communication, role of IT 30 pages Day 23
Participatory notes 3 pages Day 19
IBC 15 pages Day 19
NPA 12 pages Day 19
BASEL 16 pages Day 20
PCA 13 pages Day 20
basics of GST 3 pages Day 20
Finance commission 4 pages Day 20
FRBM 5 pages Day 20
15th Finance commission 8 pages Day 20
Financial inclusion 16 pages Day 21
Alternate source of finance 9 pages Day 21
Public private partnership 9 pages Day 21
Private and social cost benefit 4 pages Day 21
Fiscal policy 13 pages Day 21
Revenue and capital receipts 4 pages Day 21
Risk management in Banking 12 pages Day 22
RBI FAQs relevant for SEBI Day 23 to Day 25

Phase 1 & Phase 2 (Paper 2) – STUDY PLAN (Finance Numericals)

Finance Numericals
Chapters Pages Days
Financial Management - TVM, PV and FV, NPV, IRR, COC 70 pages Day 24 to Day 26
Bond Valuation 14 pages Day 27
Leverage analysis 10 pages Day 28

Phase 1 & Phase 2 (Paper 2) – STUDY PLAN (Companies Act & Costing)

Companies Act Costing
Morning Afternoon
Chapters Pages Days Chapters Pages Days
Intro to companies act 3 pages Day 31 Overview of management accounting 6 pages Day 31
Prospectus 11 pages Day 31 Budget and budgetary control 14 pages Day 31
Share capital and debentures 17 pages Day 31 Standard and variance costing 16 pages Day 31
Declaration and payment of dividend 4 pages Day 32 Absorption and marginal costing 6 pages Day 32
Audit and auditors 7 pages Day 32 CVP analysis 15 pages Day 33
Appointment and qualification of directors 11 pages Day 32 Overview of cost accounting 8 pages Day 33
Meetings of board 12 pages Day 33 Overhead costing 10 pages Day 33
NCLT and appellate tribunal/td> 7 pages Day 33 Unit / output costing 6 pages Day 34
Companies Amendment Act 2019, 2020, 2021 9 pages Day 33 Activity based costing 5 pages Day 34
Sections list 5 pages Day 33 Job and batch costing 5 pages Day 34
Contract Costing 9 pages Day 35
Process costing 6 pages Day 35
Service costing 9 pages Day 35
Decision making Videos
Lean systems 23 pages Day 35

Phase 1 & Phase 2 (Paper 2) – STUDY PLAN (Accounts & Economics)

Accounts Economics
Morning Afternoon
Chapters Pages Days Chapters Pages Days
Introduction to accounting Videos Day 36 Economic terms 137 pages Day 36 and 37
Basic accounting terms Videos Day 36 Intro to business economics 4 pages Day 38
Accounting principles Videos Day 36 Demand 9 pages Day 38
Basics of accounting Videos Day 36 Supply 7 pages Day 38
Accounting principles Videos Day 36 Elasticity of demand 14 pages Day 38
Accounting equation Videos Day 37 Elasticity of supply 5 pages Day 38
Journal Videos Day 37 Relationship between AR and MR 9 pages Day 39
Ledger posting Videos Day 37 Utility analysis 13 pages Day 39
Cash book Videos Day 37 Producer equilibrium 13 pages Day 39
Subsidiary books Videos Day 37 Theory of costs 14 pages Day 40
Trial balance & rectification of errors Videos Day 37 Market structure- perfect competition 6 pages Day 40
Bank reconciliation statement Videos Day 37 Market structure- monopoly 7 pages Day 40
Depreciation Day 38 Market structure- monopolistic 8 pages Day 40
Provision & reserves Day 38 Market structure- oligopoly 5 pages Day 40
Bill of exchange Day 39 Forms of duopoly 12 pages Day 41
Financial statement of sole proprietorship Day 39 Boumols sales maximisation 6 pages Day 41
Adjustments in preparation of financial statements Day 39 Basics of macro economics 12 pages Day 41
Single entry system Day 39 Macro-economic identities 7 pages Day 41
Partnership Day 40 New method of national income calculation 5 pages Day 42
Accounting as financial information system Day 40 Inflation 9 pages Day 42
Accounting standards Day 40 Phillips curve 5 pages Day 42
List of accounting standards and Ind-AS Day 40 Balance of payment part 1 and 2 31 pages Day 42
Preparation and presentation of company final acounts Day 41 Fiscal policy part 1 and 2 17 pages Day 43
Financial statement analysis Day 42 Consumption, investment and saving function 12 pages Day 43
Cash flow statement Day 43 Multiplier theory and accelerator 8 pages Day 44
Fund flow statement Day 44 Business cycle 5 pages Day 44
Issue of share capital Day 45 ISLM 6 pages Day 45
Bonus and rights issue Day 46
Buy back of shares Day 47
ESOP Day 48
Accounting ratios Day 49

Now, I do understand that the tables given above might appear to be a bit handful to you and that you’d prefer to go through them in your own time.

For that reason, I have also made these tables available for you in PDF format. You can download these by clicking on the link below:

Conclusion

With that, we arrive at the end of the article. To conclude, I want to say that this article is extremely important as SEBI Grade A exam preparations are concerned.

What I have mentioned above in this article would be massively beneficial to you, provided you read it with the utmost sincerity and earnestness.

Having said that, I’d like you to know that I have full confidence in your ability to crack the SEBI Grade A Exam, and I wish you all the very best for the preparations that lie ahead.

Have a great day!

CEO of Anujjindal.in

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: How To Prepare for SEBI Grade A Officer

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    Does the SEBI Grade A exam has negative marking? 

    SEBI Grade A exam follows the usual procedure of a banking exam, I.e., Its Phase I exam is divided into 2 papers and 3 sections. The total weightage of the Phase-I test is 100 marks each and there is a negative marking of 1/4 marks for every wrong answer

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    Will SEBI previous year’s papers will be helpful for preparation? 

    Going through the previous year’s paper is one of the initial steps of preparing for SEBI Grade A exam. It is a helpful practice as it will introduce the potential test-taker with the genral structure of the exam and gives a general idea about the topics that are being asked in the exam.  

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    How can I Prepare for SEBI Grade A exam more effectively? 

    Start with the basics, get a deep understanding of the SEBI Grade A syllabus, and then proceed with the topics chronologically or in the order you find suitable. Dedicate considerable time to each topic and in the process recognise your strengths and weaknesses. Once you get hold of the entire syllabus, then try to finish it in the minimum time possible, so that later you can designate time for revision. 

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    Can you share some General Awareness preparation tips? 

    Since the General Awareness section does not specify any boundaries. Start with reading newspapers and look for important news on sports, national affairs, financial schemes, etc. to stay updated. 

    Refer the thoroughly curated current affairs section that I have prepared just for you. Click here to access the current affairs.   

    Moreover, watch the comprehensive current affairs sessions of Neha ma’am on YouTube, as she comes up with the latest happenings every day.  

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