How to clear sectional cut-off for the Reasoning Section in RBI Grade B Phase-1

The RBI Grade B examination is vastly different from every other banking recruitment exam in India. Reasoning section could be a game-changer in clearing the overall cut-off as it is neither as ambiguous as the general awareness section, nor as precise as the quantitative aptitude section.

RBI invited application for the Recruitment of Officers in Grade ‘B’ (General) - DR – Batch Year 2016. Selection will be through ON-LINE Examinations and interview. Examinations will be held in two phases.

Phase-I online Examination (Objective Type): This Paper for 200 marks will be held on September 4, 2016. The Paper consist tests of 4 subjects with composite time of 120 minutes. The subjects are

        (i) General Awareness
        (ii) English Language
        (iii) Quantitative Aptitude
        (iv) Reasoning

Candidates have to secure minimum marks separately for each test as well as aggregate, as prescribed by the Board. Candidates, who secure minimum marks separately for each Test, as prescribed, will be shortlisted for Phase-II of the examination based on the aggregate marks obtained in Phase-I.

Career Counseling

Phase-II online Examination: The Phase-II online Examination will be conducted on September 19, 2016, only for the candidates who are shortlisted on the basis of results of Phase-I.

Name of Paper

Type of Paper

Time (Minutes)


Economic and Social Issues

Objective Type



Paper II:
English (Writing Skills)

Descriptive, to be typed with the help of the keyboard



Finance and Management

Objective type



NOTE: All question papers (in both the Phases, except the test of English) will be set bilingually in Hindi and English.

(III) Interview: Candidates will be shortlisted for the interview, based on aggregate of marks obtained in Phase-II (Paper-I +Paper-II +Paper-III). Interview will be of 50 marks. Candidate may opt for interview either in Hindi or English. Final Selection will be through merit list which will be prepared by adding marks secured by candidates in Phase-II examination and interview.

The RBI Grade B examination is vastly different from every other banking recruitment exam in India. The takers of this exam would have already cleared other bank exams such as SBI or IBPS. Along with the huge difference in pattern (with 80 questions on general awareness and 60 on reasoning out of 200 questions in RBI Grade B Phase 1– as compared to questions almost equally divided among different sections in IBPS or SBI,) this shows that RBI puts greater emphasis on GA and reasoning sections something for which banking exams applicants are not habitual. Apart from this, they are also confused regarding the eligibility criteria, opting of optional papers, paper pattern, how to approach the different sections of the paper etc.

The topic being addressed in this article is the reasoning section of Phase 1 examination. There are 60 questions in the reasoning section, with one mark per correct answer, and a negative marking of a quarter marks for each incorrect answer. This section could be a game-changer in clearing the overall cut-off as it is neither as ambiguous as the general awareness section, nor as precise as the quantitative aptitude section. Ideally, a maximum of 50 minutes of 120 minutes must be allotted to the reasoning section. Let us take a look at the break-down of sub-topics within reasoning:

Topics asked in reasoning section

  • Seating Arrangement: 10-12 questions
  • Blood Relations: 8-10 questions
  • Coding Decoding: 6-8 questions
  • Statement & Assumption: 5-7 questions
  • Data Sufficiency : 6 questions
  • Inequality : 4-6 questions
  • Input output: 5 questions
  • Odd word out: 2-3 questions

Here is a topic–wise analysis on how to approach each one of them.

Seating Arrangement

A minimum of 10 questions will be asked from this topic in the exam. This topic is simple enough that one should aim for 100% accuracy here. If one gets the pattern of the passage correct, 5 correct answers will automatically fall into your pocket. Careful reading of the questions is essential to achieve optimal performance. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to prepositions and pronouns while answering these questions. Visualise the given information and make a rough figure in a spare sheet or a notebook. Spend at least 2 minutes in visualising the information accurately and then check the final solution.

Blood Relations

Blood relations are designed to test your comprehension abilities. The first step is to identify what type of problem it is – whether it is single person blood relation, mixed blood relation or coded blood relation. Majority questions will be single blood relation question. These questions take less amount of time and have a high rate of accuracy. Answer the questions from the other two categories with care. They take more time to solve and have lesser accuracy. It is your call to solve it or drop it.

For single person blood relation, the sentence must be broken at is/was/as and resolved from the last point to is/was/as to get the solution for the problem. It is better if a diagrammatic representation is used to solve the problem.

Coding and decoding

In this type of questions, you can achieve high accuracy at the cost of time. This section can be attempted to boost up your marks to 30. A majority (50-60%) of questions are simple. Prioritise these questions and solve them quickly. Solving these questions will provide you the ammunition to clear the sectional cut-off.

Assumption Inference

It is in this type of questions that the ambiguity kicks in. There is no definite right or wrong answer, and everything depends on the thought process of the candidate. Spend no more than 2-3 minutes on this section, and attend to them only if you are sure that the answer is easy to get.

Data Insufficiency

Figure out whether the question can be solved with the given statements. If you find yourself doing long calculations, there is something you aren’t seeing in that case. Take each statement individually and compare it with the main statement, and see if you can get the answer. Then, compare the main question with both the statements combined. If you can’t find the answer, then both statements are insufficient. Give no more than 50 seconds per question out of the 50 minutes you have allotted for reasoning.

Inequality, Input-output and Odd man out

In these topics, aim for solving 80% of the questions, and achieving 80% accuracy. Refrain from attempting questions which are too hard. Don’t waste your time in input output if you cannot understand the pattern at one try.

Here we end the topic-wise discussion of the reasoning section.

The final tips for this section are as follows:

  • The sectional cut-off for reasoning section in RBI GRADE B Phase 1 will be 27-32.
  • Focus on seating arrangement. Spend maximum time and get maximum marks from this topic.
  • After that attempt blood relation question, remember to attempt only Single person blood relation type of questions.
  • In Coding decoding, solve questions whose code can be identified in first 10 seconds.
  • The key to clearing and scoring high in reasoning is identifying simple easy questions and solving them in minimum time.

This article was written by Samhita Atrey, Education Consultant at, a Bangalore–based online test-preparation company for government/PSU jobs.

Jagran Play
खेलें हर किस्म के रोमांच से भरपूर गेम्स सिर्फ़ जागरण प्ले पर
Jagran PlayJagran PlayJagran PlayJagran Play