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How to Prepare for RBI DEPR Phase-II Examination

So, the Phase-I is over! We know that even after trying hard to deviate your brain from the Phase-I related issues (for Eg., where you could have done better, expected cut-off, how much competitive edge you might get in Phase-I, etc.), your brain must be going towards those topics. This is natural, but you have to consciously tell yourself to shift your attention to Phase-II of the examination. Speculating Phase-I cut-off and, whether & by what margin you will clear it, is unlikely to bring significant benefit to you at this stage. Further, if your brain remains excessively occupied with Phase-I thoughts, you may be unable to do your best at Phase-II.

At this stage, your priority should only be to score highest possible marks in Phase-II. You should spend your time accordingly.

Now, let’s look briefly at Phase-II of the examination.

About RBI DEPR Phase-II Examination

The official RBI notification mentions the following about DEPR Phase-II Examination:

Name of PaperDurationMaximum Marks
Paper-II Descriptive Type (on Economics) (Question paper displayed on computer, answers to be written on paper)180 minutes100
Paper-III English – Descriptive (To be typed with help of keyboard)90 minutes100

Click here to read the pattern of DEPR examination, as described in official RBI DEPR 2022 notification.

Click here to view the Information Handout for RBI DEPR Phase-II 2021 Examination.

Type of Questions to expect at DEPR Phase-II Examination

You already know that the official RBI notification mentions that the ‘Standard of papers on Economics would be that of Master’s Degree examination in Economics of any Central University in India’. So, the questions at Phase-II can be of any form based on this syllabus.

If we go by the pattern followed in recent years, we can divide the type of questions asked under following categories:

  1. Phase-I Subjects: Questions from Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are asked every year. Have a look at the topics/questions asked in recent years, that will give you some idea about important topics (IS-LM Model, Mundell-Fleming Model, Growth Models, Money Multiplier, Tax Rate and Deadweight Loss etc.). Please note that although questions from Econometrics are usually not asked in Phase-I, there is nothing that stops RBI/IBPS from asking such questions in the upcoming examination.
  2. Indian Economy: This can be further sub-divided under the following heads:
  • Static: This includes topics such as jobless growth, green revolution, capital account convertibility, infrastructure, economic reforms in 1990s,etc. Have a look at IES Indian Economics papers of previous few years and that should give a comprehensive list of topics under ‘Static’ category.
  • Current Affairs (including Union Budget + Economic Survey): In recent years, the DEPR Phase-II questions have focused on this topic. For preparing this portion, you can pick-up a monthly current affairs magazine of any reliable coaching institute for UPSC CSE Exam. From the Economy/Social Issues section of these magazines, you can grasp the important topics.
  • Government Schemes: Schemes rolled-out by the Union Government is an important topic for such exams.Even if a direct question is not asked on the government schemes, having good knowledge of schemes will help you write ‘what the government is already doing to address a particular issue or situation’. Most institutes provide a compilation of government schemes; maybe you can have a look at one of them and pick-up ONLY THE IMPORTANT SCHEMES.
  • Important Reports: In the official notification, RBI mentions this reading material, RBI publications viz., Annual Report, Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India, Monetary Policy Report and the Financial Stability Report and the Economic Survey published by the Government of India over the previous two years’. So, you should have a look at them.

While preparing these topics, please keep in mind the following:

  • From these topics, it is best to make a list of expected questions and just plan of how you would write answer to that question. You should try to cover all important topics (inflation, yield curve and rising yield of bonds, global slowdown, currency depreciation (and its impact on different sectors), current account deficit, forex reserves, $5 trillion economy, unemployment, financial inclusion, role of technology in improving the state of agri (or any other) sector, reforms required to accelerate Indian economic growth or reduce employment, etc.)
  • When preparing any topic, be sure of cover all dimensions. For example, in the case of ‘inflation’, you should remember the WPI/CPI figures for last 2 releases, the components of WPI/CPI, the reasons for rising inflation, impact of rising inflation on specific sectors (For eg, exports), ways to control the rising inflation, etc.

3. Paper-III (English Descriptive): English Descriptive: At times, candidates ignore this portion thinking ‘we’ll think on-the-spot and write’. Trust me, not giving adequate attention to this paper is very risky. A well-prepared candidate will prepare ‘fodder’ for 10-15 essays (Do a bit of google search and pick-up important topics for IBPS exams). And plan your approach to attempt the other questions: Reading Comprehension, Precis, etc.

Word Limit: Traditionally, the word limit for essays in such exams tended to be 200-350 words. However, please note that this is NOT sacrosanct. In RBI (General) 2022 paper, the essay word limit was 600 words. This was a surprise and hence you should be prepared for surprises in these exams.

Some Links: Link1 Link2

4. Writing Practice: Writing practice is a must before descriptive exams. However, the extent of practice required may differ for different candidates. You have to determine your requirement and practice accordingly.A second-best method is to pick-up questions and just sit down & think for 2-3 minutes the content required to answer it. If you experience a deficit of content for answering the question, you should use google/ textbooks to prepare content for answering the question.

Click here to read our opinion on how to develop remarkaable writing skills for any RBI-DEPR Phase-II Examination.

Finally, please note that RBI/IBPS is under no compulsion to meet your expectation of the pattern of the exam OR continue with the pattern followed in previous years. They are bound to abide by only the stuff they have written in the official notification or information handout released before the exam. Everything else, is at discretion of RBI/IBPS. So, although you should acquaint yourself with the pattern followed in previous years but be prepared to tackle a change to any of its components.

All the best !


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