The pattern is as follows:
Reasoning- 60 marks
English- 30 marks
Quants- 30 marks
General Awareness- 80 marks
Also, from this year sectional timing is introduced.
Those who are preparing for various banking or insurance exams will not find phase 1 that difficult.
The cut-off for 2015 was 89, and in 2016 it shoots to 99, 78 in 2017 and 106 in 2018 and a huge jump in 2019 to 122. Due to the increase in competition, it is better to assume that next year might be around 130. So it’s better to aim for 130+, seems difficult but not impossible.
Another reason for this huge cut-off is that the RBI selected fewer candidates for phase 2 in comparison to the previous year.
Reasoning: Practice is the only way to score well in this section, aim for 35+ in reasoning. Solve mocks on a regular basis. No standard textbook is on par. Solve bankersadda daily quizzes regularly and give mocks to analyze your strength and weakness.
Quants: Work here smartly. You do not need to top in the section.
If you consider quants tough, then just aim for 10+ marks in this section, if this paper is difficult.
In 2019, Quants was way easier than the previous years. Many candidates scored full 30 marks in this section. If you are from banking background, you do not need to work too much here. But if you are from some other background you have to practice regularly.
DI consist of 10/15 marks, even if you solve this, you will be able to clear the sectional cut-off.
Number series(Missing or Wrong) consists of 5 marks, out of which 3 is doable easily.
Rest is miscellaneous like profit loss, average, percentage, speed time distance, trains, boats, etc. Master those topics which you find easy and you will be able to clear the cut-off.
Follow Fast Track Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma or R.S Agarwal for this.
Again regular practice and mocks are needed.
English: First clear your basic grammatical concepts, for that, you can refer Wren and Martin.
Read newspaper editorials on a daily basis as this will help in enriching your vocabulary and also help you understand the passage easily during the exam.
Rest depends on your practice as this section does not require any special knowledge.
Out of 80 questions around 70 questions were from last 4 months current affairs, and remaining 10 marks to the static awareness related to the current events only.
If you are a regular newspaper reader, revising current affairs will not be a huge task, you just need to look at banking awareness and static gk.
Those who don’t want to follow newspaper for this section just read monthly gk today capsule or Affairs Cloud capsule. Do not go for a 20-page monthly compilation.
If you follow this, you will be able to score 65+ easily.
Mock Tests are very important before the exam because it tells where you stand and helps in time management during the actual exam.
Economic & Social Issues:
First, go through any basic economy book like Ramesh Singh or Sanjeev Verma.
For social issues, no book is required. The questions here will be from Current happenings only.
Reading a newspaper daily is a must. Preferably The Hindu or The Indian Express.
Union Budget and Economic Survey of that respective year is a must.
I am from engineering background; I just read the books mentioned above along with recent government schemes and Mrunal Videos (Must do if you are comfortable with Hindi).
Many 1 markers were current affairs only, so if you do GA for phase 1 well, it will help you in this section also.
Suggested Study Material:
1. Ramesh Singh(selected)
2. Vision Ias monthly(Economy, Social Issues and related Environmental Portion)
3. Union Budget
4. Economic Survey(Full-not summary)
5. Marvel Academy’s notes
Finance & Management:
If you are from the non-commerce non-eco background then go through Indian Financial System by Bharti V Pathak or M Y Khan (only selected chapters given in the syllabus only)
NSE’s NCFM financial awareness material can also help in basics
Reading 1 finance newspaper daily is a must. ET or BS or Mint.
Regularly follow RBI, SEBI website for any new policies and updates.
Suggested Study Material:
1. Bharti V Pathak/ M. Y Khan (Selected)
2. For numerical just do a google search.
3. RBI FAQs + Regular updates
4. Marvel Academy’s notes
1. L. M Prasad/ Any standard textbook
2. Marvel Academy’s notes
3. Google for management mcqs
Read editorials daily and make precis on any editorial at least once a week.
Also, read Yojana magazine regularly, it will help in ESI as well as for content for the essay, you can also make precis on the articles.
Revision is must because it’s not possible to remember all the data in one go.
Look out for every new government scheme related to social issues and the economy. Before the exam, read all the latest rankings of India in various reports. Read the latest inflation data, GDP data, Repo rate etc
Complete management part first as it is static and keep revising it regularly till the exam.
Practice essay and precis writing regularly as English will be a tiebreaker.
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