SEBI Grade A Selection Procedure, Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus & Job Profile

SEBI is one of the most prestigious institutions in India.

SEBI is a brand in itself and there is no need to explain how prestigious this post if SEBI Grade A officer is. Being a SEBI Officer is like wearing a medal 24*7.  

With that being said, it’s not a cakewalk to become a SEBI Officer. It’s difficult, exhausting and tiring.  

Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to put your hopes down, but if my words bring your morale down, you have no idea what’s going to hit you when you start preparing.  

SEBI has updated a lot of aspects in its Criteria this time, I’ll be discussing all the updates in this blog.

In this blog, you’ll find information on all these topics: 

  1. SEBI Grade A Selection Procedure
  2. SEBI Grade A Eligibility Criteria
  3. SEBI Grade A Syllabus
  4. SEBI Grade A Job Profile 

If you’ve been reading my other blogs as well, you’d know my blogs are a mixture of bad Puns and unexpected TED talks.

So let’s get into it, shall we?  

    SEBI Grade A Selection Procedure 

    As I said earlier, as of 2020 a lot of criteria are changed for the SEBI Grade A Exam, so I’d recommend you to stop doing anything else and utterly pay attention to what I’m about to say next (don’t I sound like an abductor calling for ransom money?). 

    SEBI Grade A Selection procedure is based on the 3 stage process:

    • Phase 1- On-line screening examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each 
    • Phase 2- On-line examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each 
    • Phase 3 Interview 

    SEBI Grade A Selection Process- Phase 1

    Now, earlier for Phase 1 only one online examination was conducted over the duration of two hours consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. 

    According to the new set of guidelines, as of 2020, instead of one, 2 papers are held in phase 1 of the selection process of SEBI Grade A Exam.

    Each exam holds 100 marks each. 

    This is the division of marks and subjects for the two exams under Phase 1:  

    PaperStreams / SubjectsMaximum MarksDurationCut Off
    Paper 1All Streams: Multiple choice questions on the subjects viz. General Awareness, English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Test of Reasoning.10060 minutes30%
    Paper 2General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act and Economics10040 minutes40%
    Aggregate Cut Off40%

    SEBI Grade A Selection Process- Phase 1 – Important Points 

    1. SAD NEWS: There shall be negative marking (1/4th of marks assigned to the question) for Paper 1 and Paper 2 in Phase I.

    2. There shall be a cut-off of minimum 30% for Paper 1 (no sectional cut-off shall be there) and a cut-off of minimum 40% for Paper 2 in Phase I.

    3. You would need to secure separate cut-off in each paper as well as aggregate cut-off marks of 40% in the Phase I exam to be shortlisted for Phase II.

    Marks obtained in Phase I  shall be used only for shortlisting applicants for the Phase-II examination process and will not be counted for the final selection of the candidates.

    4. Subject to the criteria mentioned above, all of you who clear Phase I shall be shortlisted for Phase II. A list of those of you who are shortlisted for Phase II will be made available on the SEBI website. 

    SEBI Grade A Selection Process- Phase 2 

    Now according to the new set of guidelines, Phase 2 will have 2 papers in total unlike earlier, when a total of 3 papers were conducted under Phase 2 of the examination.

    Both the papers are of 100 marks each with the following criteria and subjects:  

    PaperStreams / SubjectsMaximum MarksDurationCut OffWeightage
    Paper 1All Streams: English (Descriptive Test) to test the drafting skills10060 minutes30%1/3rd
    Paper 2General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act and Economics.10040 minutes40%2/3rd
    Aggregate Cut Off40%

    SEBI Grade A Selection Process- Phase 2 – Important Points 

    1. If you’re shortlisted for Phase II, you will be issued new Hall Tickets. 

    2. If you have applied in multiple streams, Paper-II will be conducted in various shifts, the timings of which will be intimated in your Hall Ticket. 

    3. SAD NEWS: There will be negative marking  (1/4th  of marks assigned to the question)  for Paper 2 in  Phase  II (except IT stream for which details are yet to be announced). 

    4. There shall be a  cut-off of a minimum of 30%  for  Paper 1 and a cut-off of a minimum of 40%  for Paper  2  in Phase II.  

    5. You would need to secure separate cut-off in each paper as well as aggregate cut-off marks of 40% in the Phase II exam (weightage of 1/3rd for Paper 1 and 2/3rdfor Paper 2) to be shortlisted for Phase III. 

    6. Subject to the criteria mentioned above, those of you equals 3 times the number of vacancies shall be shortlisted, in order of merit, for Phase III i.e. the Interview. A list of all those shortlisted for Interviews will be made available on the SEBI website. 

    SEBI Grade A Selection Process-  Interview   

    Only those of you who are shortlisted will be called for an interview (obviously).

    The sad part for the ones who didn’t get shortlisted (apart from not getting shortlisted) is that your application fee will not be refunded.   

    The ones that are shortlisted may opt for an interview either in Hindi or English.

    Weightage of marks obtained in Phase II will be 85%, while marks obtained in the interview shall be given a weight of 15%.  

    On fulfilling the criteria of the minimum Cut Off Marks in each subject, you will be shortlisted based on Group Performance as decided by SEBI. 

    SEBI Grade A Eligibility Criteria  

    In hindsight, I think I should have talked about the eligibility criteria before talking about the selection criteria because well, it’s not enough that we’re willing to give the exam, they need to make sure we’re eligible for it too.

    I mean, so unreasonable, right? (no, it’s not)  

    This section will provide you all the information about the SEBI Grade A Eligibility Criteria which includes: 

    1. Education Qualification
    2. Age Limit
    3. Nationality
    4. Number of Attempts.  

    Now only when you fill all the criteria will you be able to fill the form, obviously. Let’s dive into it then. 

    Educational Qualification: SEBI Grade A Exam Eligibility 

    Now, as you all might know the guidelines for the SEBI Grade A Exam have been changed as of 2020.

    It’s better to be updated than regret about it later, so let’s see the educational qualifications needed whilst talking about the reservation too.  

    StreamEducational Qualification
    GeneralYou should have Master’s Degree in any discipline or Bachelors’ Degree in Law, Bachelors’ Degree in Engineering from a recognized university or CA / CFA / CS / Cost Accountant.

    Educational Qualification: Things to Remember  

    Life is nothing without a little small asterisk at the end of the page which says “terms and conditions” applied in the smallest of font sizes available.

    Well, this part of the blog generally has all the terms and conditions but in the same font size. Let’s dive into it:  

    1. A Post Graduate Diploma in any discipline will be accepted too as the educational requirement for the General stream.

    2. You will be permitted to apply for a maximum of 2 streams only for which you’re eligible to apply, as per your educational qualifications. Separate on-line applications for each stream will have to be submitted and requisite fees to be paid for each application.

    In case you apply for more than once in a Single Stream and/or apply for more than 2 Streams, only the latest applications shall be considered valid and the other applications shall be rejected.

    Those of you recruited in any stream might get posted to any department of SEBI, irrespective of your streams. 

    3. Those of you who appeared for the final examinations and are waiting for the results are eligible to appear for Phase  I,  Phase  II, and  Phase  III  of the selection process. 

    Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD): SEBI Grade A Exam Eligibility  

    > The specified disabilities are: 

    • Blindness and Low Vision, 
    • Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 
    • Locomotor Disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy, 
    • Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, and mental illness,
    • Multiple disabilities and
    • Other disabilities (as per the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016) 

    > The PwBD candidates may belong to any category (i.e., GEN/ SC/ ST/ OBC). They will be eligible for age relaxations. Reservation for PwBD is horizontal and within the overall vacancies for the posts. 

    >PwBD candidates will be eligible for concession in the application fee. 

    Age Limit: SEBI Grade A Exam Eligibility Criteria (as on 29/02/2020) 

    1. You must not have exceeded the age of 30 years as on February 29, 2020, i.e., you must have been born on or after March 01, 1990 (I can feel the pain of all those born on Feb 28, 1990).  

    2. Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe candidates are given an age relaxation of 5 years if the posts are reserved for them.

    3. Other Backward Classes candidates are given an age relaxation of 3 years  if the posts are reserved for them 

    4. Relaxation of  5  (five)  years for  Ex-servicemen. Ex-servicemen include  Emergency  Commissioned Officers/Short  Service  Commissioned  Officers,  who have rendered at least five years continuous Military  Service and have been released 

    a) on completion of assignment  (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from February 29, 2020) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency or

    b) on account of physical disability attributable to  Military  Service or

    c) on invalidment.  

    5. Emergency  Commissioned Officers/Short Service Commissioned Officers who have completed their initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service but whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues certificates that they would be released on the selection within three months from the date of receipt of an offer of appointment. 

    6. All those of you belonging to the  Scheduled  Castes and the  Scheduled  Tribes And the  Other  Backward Classes who are also covered under the category of Persons with  Benchmark Disabilities and Ex-servicemen will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation. 

     

    Relaxations: SEBI Grade A Officer Eligibility Criteria 

    1. Only those of you belonging to ‘Non-Creamy Layer’ are eligible to apply under OBC Category. The OBC  applicants who belong to  ‘Creamy  Layer’  are not entitled to apply under  OBC  Category. Any of you belonging to the OBC  category but coming in the  ‘Creamy  Layer’  are not entitled to  OBC reservation.  You should indicate your category as ‘Unreserved’. If you belong to the  OBC (NCL)category should have an OBC (NCL) certificate issued on or after March 01, 2019, but earlier than the due date (closing date) of the application. 

    2. Relaxation of 10 (ten) years for PwBD candidates shall be applicable whether the post is reserved or not. Relaxation of 13 (thirteen)  years for PwBD(OBC) candidates where vacancies are reserved for OBC candidates. Relaxation of 15 (fifteen) years for PwBD (SC/ST) candidates where vacancies are reserved for SC/ST candidates. 

     

    Note: 

    Where there is no vacancy reserved for OBC/SC/ST category candidates, such candidates can still apply. However, they will not be eligible for any relaxation. SC/ ST candidates are exempt from payment of application fee even in such cases but will have to pay specified intimation charges. OBC/ PwBD candidates should possess a latest Certificate to this effect issued by the Competent Authority in the prescribed format (formats are available on the SEBI website). 

    SEBI Grade A Syllabus  

    Going through the syllabus is as tragic as preparing for the exam. Going through the syllabus is like a preview into what your next few months are going to look like.

    Zero social life and days and nights filled with subjects you never thought you’d have to study.  

    Even writing this part gave me terrors, best of luck to all of you preparing for the exams.   

    Here is the syllabus for SEBI Grade A Syllabus: Syllabus SEBI Grade A 

    SEBI Grade A Job Profile 

    You went through the whole blog to be able to read what you were most excited about, Job Profile of a SEBI Grade A Officer.

    It’s better to know what you’re getting into before you start preparing for it. 

    Jobs shouldn’t be just a means of earning money, they should also be something that makes you happy and on your feet all the time.  

    When talking about SEBI Recruitment, it has different streams within SEBI – general, Legal, Civil, Electrical, IT, etc. Each stream has different sets of functions that are within the overall functionalities of SEBI as an organization.  

    Within these Streams as well, those of you who clear the SEBI Grade A Exam would be assigned to different departments, with each department taking care of a special function for SEBI.

    These are the overall responsibilities of SEBI as an organization and all its officer’s duties are aligned with these responsibilities.  

    • Approval of stock exchanges by-laws. 
    • Amendment of by-laws of Stock Exchanges.
    • Inspection of Accounts of Stock Exchanges and various players.
    • Identify and Investigate any malpractices within Securities Markets 
    • Taking steps for increasing Investors knowledge on Securities Markets 
    • Suspension of Security Tradings of a Stock Exchange 
    • Granting and Withdrawing Recognition of a Stock Exchange 

    SEBI Grade A Job Profile – Posting Locations 

    Since SEBI has its headquarters in Mumbai, 90% of the Grade A officers are posted in Mumbai itself. Except for that, being an organization dealing in finances and securities, the organization has most of the operational offices in metro cities only and one can expect to be posted only in the same throughout their career. 

    As you grow in, there are options for foreign postings as well as offering immense exposure and growth opportunities. 

    SEBI Grade A Job Profile – Career Growth 

    The more experienced you get, the more you grow as a person in life.  Every failure and every success comes with an experience no book can teach you.  

    When it comes to the growth in your job in regards to you Job as a SEBI officer, if you wish to be promoted to SEBI Grade B level, you will have to apply for the promotion test and give the examination as well but only after you’ve had 3 years of experience as a SEBI Grade A Officer. 

    However, the time required for the Promotion of Grade A to Grade B is a Dynamic matter. It depends on SEBI’s internal policies and vacancies available at the Grade B level.

    BUT generally, the procedure that is followed for promoting Assistant Managers to Grade B is the one given above.

    Hierarchy In SEBI:  

    1. Executive Director
    2. Grade F
    3. Grade E
    4. Grade D
    5. Grade C
    6. Grade B
    7. Grade A
    8. Junior Assistant

    To read more about the salary of a SEBI Grade A Officer, click HERE.

    Conclusion

    Preparing for competitive exams is not an easy task, it’s an all-consuming process. But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, the light, in this case, is the rank of a SEBI Grade A Officer. Don’t let anything overwhelm you and just keep hustling, you’ll reach your goal in no time.  

    Best of luck!!
    Keep Learning!!

    ______

    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.

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