What to expect in RBI Prelims- Cutoff Analysis before the exam

Reserve Bank Services Board has recently declared the sectional timing of the Preliminary exam. This is not a new introduction as sectional timing used to be in RBI Grade B Examination till as late as 2013-14 although at that time the paper was in the offline mode.

Let’s try to understand what could be the impact of the sectional timing.

The sectional timing will be as under –

Sr. No Objective Type Test No. of Questions Marks Time (minutes)
  General Awareness 80 80 25
  Reasoning 60 60 45
  English Language 30 30 25
  Quantitative Aptitude 30 30 25
  Total 200 200 120

Our Analysis

Quants – 50 seconds per question; on an average basis only simple percentage and ratio-proportion questions can be done in 50 seconds, and such questions are rare in this exam. Taking an average of 3 to 5 minute per question ( reading time, solution and answer marking) anywhere between 6 to 10 questions will be a good score. Expected sectional cutoff- 5-7 marks for General Category

English – 50 seconds per question; except reading comprehension the rest of the objective english can be done with this timeline. In case the comprehension part gets a higher weight in the exam, it will be difficult to finish the entire part within this time. In case, you find paper easy then and you finish it before the allotted time you may end up sitting idle in the exam center. Any score above above 15 will be good. The sectional cutoff for General category may remain at 6-7 marks.

Reasoning – 45 second per question; with 60 marks to grab this section holds the key for selection. On an average one set of reasoning with 5 questions takes around 5 minutes to solve. Going by a conservative estimate any score beyond 40 will be safe. Expected sectional cutoff is 12 to 13 marks.

General Awareness – Apart from reasoning this section is the most important section, reason is also obvious, it has 80 marks to offer. Sectional cutoff is likely to stay in the range of 16 to 18 marks , however, in this section just clearing the sectional won’t help but a high score is needed. In GK due to its wider coverage it is easy to get around 40 marks , however, scoring beyond 40 without being hurt by the negative selections is extremely tricky. Anything above 55 marks will place you in a safer zone. And, don’t forget you have only 18.75 seconds for reading, understanding, and marking an answer. This timeline can prove to be very tough in case you find questions with high content of text in them ( long text questions) .

Overall Cutoff-

2017Sum of Sectional Cutoff- 38.25 while the overall cutoff was 78 in UR Cat.
2018 Sum of Sectional Cutoff- 50 while the overall cutoff was 105.75 in UR Cat.

In the year 2017 you needed around 40 marks more to clear the overall cutoff while in the year 2018 you needed almost 56 marks more to clear the overall cutoff. This suggests that you may be great in the quants and English but the key of the selection is How many marks you get in GK and Reasoning. Plus, if you are just okay in quants and has a fair grip over GK and Reasoning you have better chances. So in our opinion, GK is the toughest section where you have to score not quants where even by clearing the sectional cutoff you can get selected.

In case of a moderately tough paper the overall cutoff will hover in the range of 95 to 105 marks for UR category.

What may be an ideal score for a safe landing?

SectionReasoning heavyGK heavy
English1515
Reasoning4535
Quants1010
GK5060
Total120120

Best of luck.

We will be organising one full length GK test in November before the exam. The link will be posted around 5th November. Keep on visiting the website.

The above analysis is based on past experiences and there is always a probability of change in trends. Discretion advised.