Cracking the Nabard Grade A Exam: Understanding the Pattern

May 12, 2024

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an apex development financial institution in India that focuses on uplifting rural India by providing credit and other facilities for the promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts, and other rural crafts. NABARD conducts the Grade A exam as part of its recruitment process to select suitable candidates for various managerial positions within the organization. If you are aspiring to crack the Nabard Grade A exam, it is crucial to understand the exam pattern, syllabus, and preparation strategies.

Exam Pattern

The NABARD Grade A exam is conducted in three phases:

1. Preliminary Exam:

  • Objective Type: The preliminary exam is an objective type paper comprising multiple-choice questions.
  • Subjects: The preliminary exam typically includes sections on English Language, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness, Computer Knowledge, Economic & Social Issues, Agriculture & Rural Development.

2. Mains Exam:

  • Subjective & Objective Type: The mains exam consists of both subjective and objective type questions.
  • Descriptive Paper: This paper assesses writing skills and includes questions on essay writing, comprehension, report writing, and more.
  • Objective Paper: The objective paper covers topics related to various subjects including Agriculture & Rural Development, Environmental Issues, Agriculture Economics, etc.

3. Interview:

  • Candidates who qualify the mains exam are called for an interview round where their knowledge, skills, and suitability for the post are evaluated.


Understanding the syllabus is the key to cracking any exam. Here is a brief overview of the NABARD Grade A exam syllabus:

  • Quantitative Aptitude: Number System, Decimal & Fractions, Ratio & Proportions, Percentages, Simplification, Time & Work, Profit & Loss, Data Interpretation, etc.
  • Reasoning: Coding-Decoding, Blood Relations, Seating Arrangements, Syllogism, Puzzles, Input-Output, etc.
  • English Language: Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, Verbal Ability, etc.
  • Computer Knowledge: Basics of Computer, Internet, MS Office, Operating Systems, etc.
  • General Awareness: Current Affairs, Banking Awareness, Static GK, etc.
  • Economic & Social Issues: Agriculture, Rural Development, Poverty Alleviation, Population Trends, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • Agriculture & Rural Development: Agriculture Sector, Rural Development, Rural Economy, Agricultural Marketing, etc.

Preparation Strategies

To excel in the NABARD Grade A exam, it is essential to have a strategic preparation plan. Here are some tips to help you crack the exam:

  1. Understand the Syllabus: Begin by thoroughly understanding the syllabus and exam pattern.

  2. Create a Study Plan: Develop a study plan that allocates sufficient time to each subject based on your strengths and weaknesses.

  3. Practice Regularly: Regular practice is crucial to improving speed and accuracy in solving questions.

  4. Mock Tests: Take mock tests to simulate exam conditions and assess your preparation level.

  5. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated with current affairs, especially in the areas of agriculture, rural development, and the economy.

  6. Revision: Regular revision of concepts is important to retain information and recall it during the exam.

  7. Seek Guidance: Consider joining coaching classes or online platforms for guidance and expert assistance.

  8. Stay Confident: Believe in yourself and stay confident throughout your preparation journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Is the NABARD Grade A exam conducted every year?

A1: Yes, NABARD conducts the Grade A exam annually to recruit eligible candidates for various managerial positions.

Q2: How many attempts are allowed for the NABARD Grade A exam?

A2: The number of attempts allowed for the NABARD Grade A exam varies based on the category of the candidate. General category candidates have a limited number of attempts, while there are relaxations for reserved categories.

Q3: What is the eligibility criteria for the NABARD Grade A exam?

A3: The eligibility criteria include age limits, educational qualifications, and often experience in the relevant field. Candidates must meet all the criteria to be eligible for the exam.

Q4: How can I improve my writing skills for the descriptive paper in the mains exam?

A4: To enhance your writing skills, practice regularly on various topics, read newspapers and articles to improve vocabulary, and seek feedback on your writing from mentors or peers.

Q5: Are there any sectional cut-offs in the NABARD Grade A exam?

A5: Yes, NABARD Grade A exam typically has sectional cut-offs along with an overall cut-off. Candidates must clear both to qualify for the next stage of the exam.

Q6: Is there any negative marking in the NABARD Grade A exam?

A6: Yes, there is a negative marking scheme where a certain mark is deducted for each wrong answer. It is advisable to answer only those questions you are sure about to avoid losing marks.

Q7: How can I stay updated with current affairs for the General Awareness section?

A7: Regularly read newspapers, follow news websites, watch news channels, and consider subscribing to current affairs magazines for comprehensive coverage of current events.

Q8: Are there any specific books or study materials recommended for the NABARD Grade A exam?

A8: While there are many books available for each subject, it is advisable to choose standard reference books and study materials recommended by experts or coaching institutes for better preparation.

Q9: Can candidates from any educational background apply for the NABARD Grade A exam?

A9: Yes, candidates from various educational backgrounds can apply for the NABARD Grade A exam. However, they must meet the eligibility criteria specified by NABARD for the respective positions.

Q10: How important is practicing previous year’s question papers for the NABARD Grade A exam?

A10: Practicing previous year’s question papers helps in understanding the exam pattern, syllabus coverage, and types of questions asked. It also aids in time management and improving accuracy.

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