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Economics graduates are those who possess a bachelor’s degree in economics. These graduates have a major advantage when it comes to the RBI Grade B exam since the RBI exam is mainly for economists and tests their knowledge on economics.

The phase 1 of the RBI exam tests students on 4 different sections – Math, Reasoning, English and General Awareness. The phase 2 of the exam has three papers – Descriptive English, Economics and Social Issues and an optional subject paper. This article will focus on the strong and weak points of economics graduates in both phase 1 and phase 2 and provide a study plan to ace the exam.

RBI Grade B Preparation strategy

RBI Grade B Phase 1


English section tests the candidates on their English skills through various tests like sentence completion, cloze passages, reading comprehension, jumbled paragraphs, etc. Economics graduates have to focus on this section since they may not have a grip on it.

Some past students recommend the following resources to help with the preparation:

  • BSC magazine
  • English is Easy – Chetananand Singh
  • Word Power Made Easy – Norman Lewis
  • Objective General English – R.S.Agarwal

Following these books will help with scoring well in the English section. Also, candidates must develop a reading habit to cope with grammar and vocabulary. Reading junk will not help; the best way is to read one newspaper every day. Endnote: English section comes under weakness of economics graduates.


Reasoning aims to test the candidates’ problem-solving abilities by posing different patterns, riddles, series etc as questions. Going through past papers gives a firm idea on the type of questions asked. Reasoning too requires rigorous study since economics graduates may not be familiar with it.

Some books recommended for preparation of reasoning section are:

  • Verbal Reasoning – K Kundan
  • Analytical Reasoning – M K Pandey

The reasoning section can be cracked only by constant practice. The trick is to understand the pattern of a question to arrive at the answer. The best way to score high is to exploit this section and score the maximum in it.
Endnote: Reasoning section comes under weakness of economics graduates.

Math/Quantitative Aptitude

This section tests the mathematic abilities of the candidate. It comprises of questions like percentages, profit and loss, averages, ratios, etc. Though it is elementary math, it is not as easy as it seems. Candidates often lose marks in this section if there is no proper practice.

Recommended resources to crack this section are:

  • Quicker Maths – M. Tyra

Apart from books, candidates can also go through online resources and websites to get targeted learning. There are various YouTube channels which help in clarifying concepts and improve on overall study. This section can be considered to be the toughest to crack in the prelims.
Endnote: The quant section comes under weakness of economics graduates

General Awareness

General Awareness is the widest section that can cover almost any topic nationally as well as internationally. The questions asked in this section generally are from the current affairs of that particular year. Though this section might seem vast, proper preparation yields good results. Moreover, questions asked are related with economics, which is an advantage for economics graduates.

Successful candidates of the exam recommend reading The Hindu or The Economist to be up-to-date with the current affairs. Also, only that information which is required for the exam must be read by the candidate; unnecessary information can be ignored. Candidates must be updated with at least previous 6 months current affairs to be able to answer the questions in this section.
Endnote: General awareness section comes under strength of economics graduates.

Study Plan for phase 1

Section Resource Minimum Time
General Awareness Newspaper, Current Affairs websites 1.5 hours/day
English Books for exams, magazines 1.5 hours/day
Reasoning Books prescribed, tests on websites 2.5 hours/day
Quantitative Aptitude Books prescribed 2.5 hours/day


Strict following of this timetable up until a month before the exam will yield good results.

Preparation strategy for Phase 2

Descriptive English

Descriptive English paper tests the fluency and writing skills of the candidate in the English language. This is an easy paper for economics graduates as topics asked are general economics subjects and from the current affairs section.

Suggested materials include the editorial pages of the newspapers mentioned above. Also the book “Descriptive English” by K Kundan provides good insights on how to write good English articles and essays.

Previous students share that this paper does not require knowledge-based preparation. Basic awareness of economics related topics is enough to score well. The only requirements to score well is correct grammar, good vocabulary and presentation.
Endnote: English paper comes under strengths of economic graduates

Economics and Social Issues

This paper is the biggest advantage for economics graduates since it is their forte. Their course serves as the best material for the preparation of this paper.

This paper can be divided very broadly into 4 topics:

  1. Growth and Development
  2. Economic Reforms in India
  3. Globalization
  4. Social Structure in India

Growth and Development includes topics like NI, Per Capita Income, Poverty alleviation, employment generation, sustainable development and environmental issues.

Class XI and Class XI NCERT books serves well to cover the 1st topic.

Economic Reforms in India includes industrial, labour, monetary and fiscal policies, privatisation and role of economic planning.

Semester 3, semester 4 and semester 6 of the bachelor’s course in economics covers these topics in detail. Candidates must go through their course book, guides, notes and/or any other reference materials they had to revise these concepts.

Globalization includes import-export, BoP and International institutions.

These topics are covered in the Class XI and XII NCERT books as well as in the economics course. A thorough reading of these materials will suffice.

Social Structure includes topics like demographic trends, gender issues, social justice, social movements and human development.

The NCERT Class XI book again comes to the rescue for these topics. Also, semester 3 and 4 of the undergraduate course covers these topics in exhaustive detail.
Endnote: This paper is the biggest strength for economics graduates.

Study Plan for RBI Grade B

While studying for the General Awareness part, students come across other economics and social issues. So, preparation for this paper does not require extra effort. English writing skills must be improved. Candidates can refer to various websites and can take up courses to improve their writing. They should spend two hours minimum in this activity as constant practice helps better their writing. Adding up, candidates must spend around 5-6 hours per day for phase 2.

End Note

We have created this article solely based on need of Economics graduate who are appearing for RBI Grade B exams.

If you are looking for online courses, please do visit our online coaching for RBI Grade B page.

Do post on our discussion board for RBI Grade B, if you have exam or subject related questions.

All the best.