When we say that the RBI Grade B examination is tough, it means a selection ratio of mere 0.1% to 0.2%. Cracking such competitive examination which attracts talent from all over this country is an achievement in itself. In our Demystifying series this interview is second in the series of interviews we had published so far.
Today we had a discussion with Ms. Riya Garg, who is a resident of Haridwar and a post-graduate in commerce from Deen Dayal Updhyaya College, DU. She is a serving officers in Public Sector Bank since last 2.5 years, her achievement is a real inspiration for all career aspiring working women.
We had an online discussion with her and based on that an interview transcript is published below:
Ma’am, congratulations for your grand success in the RBI Grade B 2019 examination. You have cracked one of the toughest fought examination in the recent times. What was your first reaction when you got the news?
Riya: Though I was positive about my results for the long time when result was on hold, but as result came, I started getting thoughts like what if not, and in that moment when I saw my roll no. in the Pdf I was very happy, I cannot put that feeling in words.
What was the reaction of your family and friends?
Riya: They were happier than me.
When did you realize that this is the right career for you? How you came to know about this examination?
Riya: It is in 2017 I came to know about this examination when I cleared my IBPS mains as many people around me were preparing for this exam. As I always liked economics as a subject, I believed it to be the best career choice for me and then in 2018 my journey started for this exam.
The first impression about this examination is confusion. Not enough of guidance and quality study material is available. How you started? This question is very important from the point of view of newcomers, because they miss the track from day 1?
Riya: I started with cramming the syllabus reading about people experiences and watching interviews on YouTube, I picked points and made my own strategy which suits me and my schedule. It will be a trial and error approach. As you practice daily, you become better.
How important is preparation for phase 1? Mostly, it is a tendency that aspirants ignore phase 1 of the examination. What was your strategy? (you can freely mention all books and sources)
Riya: In 2018, I could not clear pre so I will say it is equally important as other phases. Because you cannot write mains until pre is cleared so be thorough with your preparation for prelims as well.
There is a common perception that RBI Grade B is only for IIM guys or people with strong finance and quantitative skills. Do you agree with this?
Riya: Definitely no, It is self-explanatory in the fact that RBI itself is allowing people from different streams to write this exam. In fact, there are many different streams candidates who are applying for this exam and coming in final list.
What you did for preparation of Finance? What was your strategy? Can you throw some light on this, as many aspirants are just too scared of this section.
Riya: Here again, I started my preparation topic-wise and as I am from commerce background and I had studied finance so basic parts was little easier for me. I focused on current affairs. And as many will be scared about numerical portion, I would like to tell them that from past two years numerical are not been asked, but still do not leave this portion so just practice basic ones. Question asked may not be very technical.
What you did for preparation of English? What was your strategy for this often-ignored section?
Riya: I wrote few essays and precise in the time between pre to mains to bring it in to practice. Newspaper reading helps to some extent. This section is very important as it is subjective, and it can make or break your chances. So, it is never a good idea to ignore this section by assuming economics and finance are more important.
What you did for preparation of Management? What was your strategy? Any books you would like to recommend?
Riya: Choose any of two books from the syllabus and go topic wise and if much is not available about the topic in book, Google it and try to gather more understanding of terms and concepts.
What you did for preparation of ESI? How you tackled ever confusing schemes?
Riya: Until notification came, I concentrated more on static part and newspaper reading (MB Commen-Aspirants please not this!), then I started with current affairs related to syllabus. I preferred PIB and Vision IAS booklet. Coming to Schemes – Schemes asked in exam will be generally based on issues (not directly, sometimes) appearing in newspaper. Try to make your own notes. It is easy to remember. And for basic schemes I referred pdf of Maggu bhai.
How much Economics (subject knowledge) is actually in ESI? Toppers over the year suggest that it is more of current affairs than core economics.
Yes, it is not core economics, but I believe basics are necessary in the sense that if question comes and you don’t have idea about that you can use elimination method in options if you know something related to those options. Overall, exam pattern is very inclusive, so inclusive approach is required.
What you did for preparation of Current Affairs? What was your strategy? Any source you referred.
Riya: Current affairs – Bankers Adda monthly compilation and Affairs Cloud.
How you prepared yourself to face the interview? Can you share some details?
Riya: I could not go for any mock as such because of job, but I will not undermine importance of mocks by saying if I did without mocks anybody can do, I asked my friends to prepare questions from my biodata and I tried to answer them confidently and promptly.
Please share your brief interview experience? Questions asked.
Riya: It was more about banking and current affairs again, as I am working in PSB and they even asked about the city I am currently residing in.
Can you suggest, top 5 websites which are essential for RBI Grade B preparation
Riya: Rather than sites I will suggest telegram groups where abundant material is available but be cautious while choosing what you are going to read. Stick to syllabus.
During the long course of preparation any set-back you faced and how you tackled that?
Riya: In 2018 when I failed in Pre, I was very disappointed and hurt, but then I restarted my journey with more enthusiasm and better experience and it yielded the desired result. We should always be ready to get up again and fight back.
How you managed your studies with work?
Riya: This is the most important ques as per my view. And it holds much more importance for the people who are working and stressed about it. See, 8-10 hours is not required instead be consistent, do not rush for end moment. Make habit and have faith. (MB comment- This advice is for aspirants who look for short cuts!)
What was your study routine? How many hours and months you devoted to this examination?
Riya: I was in habit of reading newspaper and I finished my basics before notification. All current affair part I started from the day notification came. But it is always better to start early to land safe.
In case of current affairs, how many months you need to cover for phase 1 and phase 2?
Riya: For phase 1 six month is good enough. For Pre 4-6 months. For mains I did almost 8-9 months
The final selection ratio is less than 0.2%, so there is always uncertainty. What was your back-up plan? Do you really think we need a backup plan?
Riya: That depends on person to person and their priority but yea the fact which cannot be ignored is that If backup plan is there you will be more relaxed and able to focus. And for me as I was already working, I had something to fall upon. And it also worked as a motivation for me.
Any personality you admire and follow?
Riya: In reference to this exam, I admire all the seniors who have taken efforts to share their strategy directly or indirectly.
How you kept yourself motivated, it is a grilling process?
Riya: I used to read about the job profile, working culture and experience of people working in RBI, because ultimate goal is working there, for the prestigious organisation. So, it always used to inspire me and it was enough of motivation.
Any advice to new aspirants based on your experience? Things which we shall not do and things we must do.
Riya: Stay calm. Have faith. Be positive.
Riya Garg Brief Education Profile
|Any Other||JAIIB & CAIIB||Cleared|
Your message to women candidates.
Riya: Women can manage multiple things at once. This is just one exam. Stay focused . Stay Motivated
Anything you like to say to the aspirant community.
Riya: One advice- do not forget yourself in this process. Pursue your hobby, be it anything travelling, listening music. It will help you to keep going, without getting tired.
Congratulation to Ms. Riya Garg on her achievement. This is not a small feet given the amount of preparation needed. Plus, she was working in a public sector bank which reduces her free time to a greater extent. We wish a very best of luck for her future endeavors as a Central Banker.
Riya also do charity work to help street and stray dogs. On her behalf, we request the community to participate in such societal activities.