Tips to choose Optional Paper RBI Grade B Phase II

How to choose RBI Grade B Optional Subjects Phase II

RBI Grade B online application is open now. Many candidates are confused among the three choices for the optional paper (Paper III) to be attempted in Phase II. These are :

  • Finance & Management
  • Economics
  • Statistics

Also read :  Complete Syllabus & books to read RBI Grade B Phase I & II

The reason behind this confusion is surprisingly very simple. A single mistake (by choosing the wrong subject) can cost you the recruitment in one of the best central banks in the world and not to forget the highest paying government bank in India. This confusion gets aggravated i.e. gets even worse as you have to fill the optional choice for Phase II while filling out the application form for RBI Grade B. So as a candidate you are faced with a double dilemma. You can’t fill up the form until you enter that choice and you can’t research the choice in the amount of time left, since you have to prepare for Phase I, but if you choose the wrong choice for Phase II you may not be able to clear it and as a result loose the golden opportunity of working with RBI.

To help RBI Grade B candidates make an informed choice we have come with detailed comparison and suggestions on which subject to opt for optional subject in RBI Grade B Phase II. We will take each of the three subject one by one. We hope after reading this post you will be able to identify which subject among the three will suit your strengths and fill up the choice accordingly.

1. Finance and Management


This choice for the third paper of RBI Grade B Phase II is divided into two categories:

a) Finance

b) Management

Finance is further divided into three sections

(a) Financial System: The questions in this this section would deal with functioning & regulators of banks/financial Institutions in India like SIDBI, EXIM, NABARD  and Reserve Bank of India. (special reference to monetary policy).

(b) Financial Markets: Financial Markets are markets where people trade financial securities and commodities like Forex, Money, Bonds, Equity etc. This section of RBI Grade B phase II will deal with functions, instruments and recent developments of primary and secondary markets.

(c) General Topics : The general topics covered in finance are risk management in banking sector, basics of derivatives, use of technology in  financial inclusion, corporate governance in banking sector, the union budget and inflation related terms.

Management section deals with general management terms like Planning, organisation, staffing, leadership. It also checks the nature and scope of management, the role of manager in organisation, various leadership styles & theories, Human resource development, career planning, motivational theories, modes of communication and corporate governance.

Why to choose

  • If you come from finance and management background : BCom(Bachelor of commerce) or BBA(Bachelor of Business Administration) or any other course related to financial markets and management(either single or both).
  • You would be familiar with most of the sections covered in this paper. Revising the concept again would be sufficient to successfully attempt paper III.
  • If you love theory and remembering bits of information.
  • You would have to read a maximum of 2-3 books to cover all the sections, making it easier for absorbing all the knowledge.
  • Even if you come from non commerce backgrounds (engineering to be very precise), you can finish this section quite easily. You dont have to get into deeper concepts like in the case of economics and statistics. Choose your books, mug up the theory, memorize the information and answer the questions in the exam. Simple and Easy.

2. Economics


Economics for third paper of RBI Grade B Phase II is divided into five sections:

(a) Microeconomics : It deals with the behavior of consumers and firms in decision making concerned with the allocation of resources like land, labour and capital. Typically it deals with markets where goods or services are bought and sold. i.e. it is concerned with market monopolies, competition and general equilibrium of price and activity.

(b) Macroeconomics  : It deals with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets, including national, regional, and global economies. Typical areas covered are measurement of national income, equilibrium of goods and market, Studying major economic schools of thought , consumption and demand of money and its policies.

(c) International Economics: It deals with advantages of international trade and its effect on resource allocation. It also includes studying international finance and exchange rates in open economies and benefit cost analysis of inter-connected financial markets and their evolution.

(d) Public Economics: It deals with public goods, instruments of financing, taxation and government expenditure policy.

(e) India’s Economy and Development Issues : This section is concerned with planned development models and their outcomes, demographics, poverty, urbanization, reforms in banking, insurance, fiscal policy. Besides these it also covers policy and developments of agricultural and other sectors of economy like trade, tourism, services etc.

Why to choose

  • If you come from economics background (BA Economics), this section is for you.
  • If you like reading about economy and have gathered insights into the functioning of the economy. Basically you are comfortable discussing the fiscal policy and follow RBI announcements religiously.
  • You are a keen observer of international economies and how they interact with each other.
  • You like medium level calculations, as this paper will involve graphs, charts and computations.
  • People form non economics background, you will have to study about economics and social issues for first paper of RBI Grade B Phase II. So if you arent comfortable studying finance and statistics you can opt for this paper.
  • Paper would be very specific and predictability of questions would be high.

3. Statistics 


This section deals with various practices of gathering and analyzing vast troves of data for arriving at meaningful results. The various sections covered are Probability, Statistical methods, linear models, statistical inference , Multivariate Analysis, optimization, sample surveys, applied economic statistics, vital statistics, numerical analysis and basic computer applications. 

Why to choose

  • If you love playing with numbers, you should opt for this paper.
  • If you studied these concepts in detail in your undergraduation and schooling.
  • If you are comfortable doing large calculations and love using data to arrive at decisions.
  • If you hate reading and remembering theory.
  • If you are from technical background, this section can turn out to be a boon for you.
  • Questions will be numerical so increases the accuracy. Solve the question and select the correct answer. No room for error.This completes are overall Analysis of choices in Paper III of RBI Grade B Phase II. Below is the summary:
  • Choose Finance & Management if you want absolutely no numerical solutions and you like reading and memorizing. The coursework will be consisting of 2-3 books. Refer them and you are good to go.
  • Choose economics if you dont like solving high level problems as in statistics and enjoy reading and commenting about various factors of economy.
  • Choose Statistics if, and only if you are very comfortable with solving lengthy numerical data and have no love for reading theory.

Please choose your option very carefully and think twice before finalizing it. Please ask us any questions or doubts you may have in the comments section below and we will be glad to answer them. Thank you for reading patiently and All the best for your exam. God bless you.

RBI Grade B Courses Mock Tests


  • academic ajar

    when do we have to choose optional , i filled the form didnt encounter optional choice ??????

  • dheemahitha Chebolu

    When should we choose the optional subject in rbi grade b in phase 2 paper is it at the time of applying or after phase 1?

  • Free Study Material Of Rbi Gr B Ph 1 & 2 Search Dedicated Facebook Group Of RBI Gr B 2016 Exam “Target RBI Grade B Ph 1 Prelims & Ph 2 Mains Exam Preparation” & Join There.

  • Athreya

    Hi Vaibhav,
    I heard there were problems in RBI grade B phase 2 finance and management paper. How to approach these? Do you suggest any materials?

    • To Get Details Of Mcq & Descriptive Notes of Ph 2 Email tamal253@ yahoo. com

  • ravikant

    HI Vaibhav,

    Could you u pls suggest me what kind of Questions appeared in Phase 2 optional subject (MCQ/Description kind of)

    And could u please suggest me the topics for statistics which we needed to be prepared. and also want to know their selection process from optional subject.

  • Pankaj

    Sir i m postgraduate in economic.. Sugest me some particular books which are according to my syallbus..

  • pavani

    sir i was belongs to BTECH EEE when i was read above comments i chosen finance and manage ment which type of questions they will asked please tell guide me i dont know ABCD of finance and management

    • Vaibhav

      Finance and Mgmt preparation is all about how much can you study. Start with completing topics mentioned in the syllabus for Finance and Mgmt. We would recommend you take NCERT 11-12th standard book and proceed from there.

  • sushi

    i only economics of upsc general paper syllabus and have covered all the economics ncerts.
    shall i take economics as my optional ? finance was also fine but there is also management portion which i don’t think now i have enough time to prepare.

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  • sukanya

    Is there neg mark for phase II as in phase I

    • Vaibhav

      Yes Sukanya there is negative marking in phase II as well

  • nimisha

    Dear Sir, Although i am from science background i am working bank as a PO. i would like to start preparing for next years Grade B exam as this time around i wasn’t prepared and wasn’t willing to give a half heart shot. Can you please guide me how to go about it as i have time in my kitty and suggestions required specially for social and economic awareness and finance and management subject of phase II. thanx 🙂

    • Vaibhav

      First thing is to stop worrying about phase II and concentrate on clearing phase I. RBI Grade B is one of the toughest bank recruitment exams as the competition has already cleared IBPS PO (as you have), so first focus on phase I. Keep following Mockbank Bulletin to know how to prepare for RBI GRADE B .

  • Ankit Khanna

    Sir I have opted Finance and Management as my optional subject.
    You have mentioned-
    a) Financial Management – Prasanna Chandra
    b) Indian Economy – R. Dutt and KPM Sundaram
    These two books for it.
    My question is “could b) be substituted by Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh”?

  • Raj

    Thanks,vaibhav for reply.please suggest me book for economic and social issue.

  • Raj

    My optional sub is economics for rbi grade b.I wanted to know that ramesh Singh and ncert 11,12 is sufficient or not.

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Raj
      11 12 and ramesh singh are the essential ones. You can tally the syllabus with the topics you covered and supplement the uncovered topics with different authors

  • naveen

    please tell me there is any negative marks in phase 2 rbi grade b.suggest books for paper1

  • Monica bhangi

    sir i want to change my optional paper from eco to finanace and sending request mail to ibps.pso will help.?pls reply

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Monica
      It is specifically mentioned in RBI form that no request for change in optional subject will be entertained. So now prepare well for economics and give your best result instead of contemplating about what may have happened if you could change the optional.

      • Monica bhangi

        thanks for the reply vaibhav.
        then pls tell me which books should i refer?

  • soumya sudhakaran

    please suggest me books for statistics which include all topics.

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Soumya
      I’m afraid there is no ONE book which contains all the topics. You will have to use a combination of good books to cover ALL the topics.

  • manjeet

    sir will u plz guide me that how i start my preparation for rbi grade b
    bcoz i have very less time n syllabus is very wide so plz sir help me n suggest me…..

    • Vaibhav

      Reasoning and GA are the key to clearing RBI GRADE B. Start by reading anything and everything you can to cover GA. Start solving reasoning sections from Arihant. With that focus some attention to english, quant but keep focus on reasoning.

  • swati

    sir will u plz guide me that how i start my preparation for rbi grade b
    bcoz i have very less time n syllabus is very wide so plz sir help me n suggest me…..


    hello please suggest me books for phase 2 all three optional sub is stat

    • soumya sudhakaran

      Sir could you suggest me books for stats which include all topics

    • Vaibhav

      Please check
      Indian Economy: Uma Kapila.(Series of Books)
      Economic Times
      Economic and Political Weekly
      Southern Economist
      Business India
      RBI Bulletins

      This is for Economics and social issues.
      For english there is no particular book.

      • AASTHA

        Thankyou Sir 🙂

  • valarmathi

    I belongs to Engineering.I dont know which one I want to choose.can anyone pls tell?

    • Vaibhav


      If you belong to Engineering background and have no idea whatsoever about any subjects mentioned, go for either finance or eco.
      Among the two of them Eco is more theory albeit with graphs, pie charts and numbers. Also you will have to study eco for paper I phase II. so it makes sense to take it if you have no choice. Finance is about theory and some numerical problems. here the benefit is that management is really easy to understand.
      Based on above data choose your option. If not please reply we will help you out

  • rhea

    I am a BA Economics honors graduate from DU and MBA finance after that. I am confused as to what to opt for since the eco syllabus for RBI is precisely my graduation syllabus of 3 years but I dont really remember all of it as I finished graduation in 2012, finance concepts are fairly recent to me but they are a lot of mugging up topics. May I please know the difficulty level of the two papers for RBI and by past stats is eco easier or fin?

    • Vaibhav

      HI RHEA

      Go for Economics. Atleast you know what is to be done. Dont take any chances..

  • swati

    sir plz help me n suggest me books for financial management n also for eco and social issue
    i m from commerce background

    • Vaibhav

      a) Financial Management – Prasanna Chandra
      b) Indian Economy – R. Dutt and KPM Sundaram

  • nitin singh

    sir please tell me. that of the two subject- (1)finance and management and (2)economics which one would help in the paper 1 of phase II (ie. economic and social issues). help in the sense complementary subjects. time is a commodity we don’t have so for smart work.??

    • Vaibhav

      You are right. Time is a luxury you can’t afford right now.
      BUT dont let it force you to make unwise decisions. Paper I of phase 2 will get some help from economics paper III but if you perform bad in paper III, it wouldnt be the best choice in retrospect. Go for finance and mgmt. and be very sure you will clear it

  • nitin singh

    sir i am from engineering background. through your post it seems like finance and management
    would be a better option for me, but please tell me. that of the two subject- (1)finance and management and (2)economics , which one is closest to civil services economics. i mean which one would help me if i also appear for civil service exam(both-prelim and mains).

    • Vaibhav


      Please opt for Finance & mgmt. Dont think about Civil services exam right now. focus on RBI GRADE B

  • lavanya

    I have chosen economics and will you guide me books to prepare ……I am from engg background….

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Lavanya

      You can refer Macroeconomics(2011) by Rudiger Dornbusch, Stanley Fisher, Richard Starz
      Indian Economy : Performance and Policies(2015) edited by Uma Kapila
      Microeconomics, Student Value Edition (8th edition) by Robert Pindyck, Daniel Rubinfeld

  • Neha

    Sir, i have done M. Com. and M.A. in Economics also…..but in M.A.(Eco.) i had just passed(39%).
    i found it very difficult, so, now i am confused, that which subject should i choose.. i have a basic knowledge of all three, bcoz they are the subjects in and pls….Tell me, the level of the questions of economics and statistics… i like to do practicals…but if they are tough and time consuming then, i’ll go for finance and management…
    and if i’ll choose finance, then would it be a problem for me, if the interview panel asked me about, that u have done, m.a eco, then u have not choose it here….???
    pls….help me sir…

    • Vaibhav

      Hi neha
      I think if you have same level of basic knowledge of the three, then you should consider statistics. since, it may be the only subject where there is no ambiguity in solutions. So you have to be really precise. This means covering the entire syllabus fairly. The level will be graduate level. If you are still unsure go for economics, since it was your M.A. specialization. You are well versed with the concepts and it may also add weight to your in your interview and ultimately selection as an RBI Grade B officer.

  • Hello,

    I have opted for statistics in phase 2. Could you please tell me which book is good to prepare for the exam. I have been searching and there are too many so I am not able to decide the best one.


    • Vaibhav

      Hi Reshma
      Atkinson, K.E. (1989): An Introduction to Numerical Analysis, Wiley.
      This is the best book for statistics RBI Grade B

      • harika

        sir please would u suggest a good book for economics optional or is any good material avaialble for purchase in ur website thanku

      • harika

        sir is there any good material available for purchase for economy optional from ur mockbank?thanku

        • Vaibhav

          We only provide mock tests and mentorship sessions with expert in our packages. You can check them out here RBI Grade B packages

      • Subbaraman

        Hi Vaibhav sir,
        will this (Atkinson, K.E. (1989): An Introduction to Numerical Analysis, Wiley) book cover every topic from the syllabus of statistics they’ve given in the notification ??

        • Vaibhav

          Yes definitely.

  • harika

    sir wat books should i read for economics optional please suggest ive simply marked it because i didnt c ur comfortable with upsc general economics which i read already for upsc as a part of general studies not as an optional

    • Vaibhav

      Hi harika

      You should give your best for economics section of RBI Grade B.
      Indian Economy : Performance and Policies(2015) edited by Uma Kapila
      International Economics(2011) by Paul Krugman and Maurics Obstfeld
      Principles of Microeconomics 6th edition
      Macroeconomics(2011) by Rudiger Dornbusch, Stanley Fisher, Richard Starz


    Thank you Vaibhav!
    Your inputs and the details are really helpful ! Prevented me from making a mistake , probably !

    • Vaibhav

      HI ankur

      We are glad you found the information helpful and hope you will make a informative choice which helps you clear RBI Grade B

  • nup

    What type of questions will be asked in stat paper? I m planning to op for eco as i will have 2 study eco for paper 1 as well….and stat syllabus isr eally vast. I m a cs graduate and have studied all the three subject not in very dept but yes i m familiar wid the topics… I m good at maths but most of the topics given in d syllabus are new to me… give ur suggestion sir..

    • Vaibhav

      Hi nup

      If you are good at stats you can go for it as questions will be precise in nature. But if you feel you wouldn’t be able to go through the entire syllabus, then opt for economics, because as you said you will to study that for paper I as well.

  • rachna

    hello sir,
    i am mca student please suggest me, choose opational paper

    • Vaibhav

      Hi rachna

      Please go for finance or eco. Don’t think about stats. from finance and eco please read the difference between the two in the article above


    what will be the level of toughness for phase I as well as phase II exams.

    • Vaibhav

      The toughness will be graduate level.

  • sumeet mann

    Sir , is there a single book where i can find all topics of management optional for stage 2 optional paper?

    • Vaibhav

      I’m afraid there is no single book. However you will get material in this book:

      Financial Management – Prasanna Chandra


    Hi Vaibhav,
    Current affairs of how many months is needed to be prepared for general awareness of phaseI.

    • Vaibhav

      Past 6 months.

  • RAVI

    Sir i m from Engineering background …i hav filled my optional as ECONOMICS and submitted my form. but after reading ur post i come to conclusion that i need to change my optional from economics to FINANCE & MANAGEMENT…pls help me how i should change my optional..can i apply again or there is any other process to change optional…Pls help ASAP

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Ravi

      You cannot change the option in RBI Grade B. I would recommend you to start preparing for Economics and give your best attempt.

      • RAVI

        Hi Vaibhav
        thanks for reply.

  • Swati


    I am a graduate in statistics and MBA in Finance. I feel more related to Statistics but i dont have enough time to practise. Also i had economics as a subject in grads 1st and 2nd year.

    Can you please advise me which subject to choose.


    • Vaibhav

      Hi Swati

      We would suggest you take statistics, as less number of people will be opting for it. You are a graduate in statistics, so its your forte. Plus questioins from statistics will be precise in nature, so the result will depend only on yuor preparation and on nothing else, unllike in the case of other two subjects where questions will be generic in nature and hence ambiguity in answers may kick in.

  • Raunak

    Vaibhav Sir ,
    Can you tell me, if there will be negative marking in phase 1 and 2 respectively.
    If applicable what will be it ???
    Thank you.

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Raunak

      Yes there will be negative marking of 25% for each incorrect answer in rbi phase 1 and 2 both

      • Raunak

        Thank you Vaibhav sir…

        • Vaibhav

          Your welcome

  • Jyoti

    Please inform us regarding the two-three books for finance and management…

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Jyoti

      You can opt for
      a) Financial Management – Prasanna Chandra
      b) Indian Economy – R. Dutt and KPM Sundaram

      • Jyoti

        For paper I of phase 2 which is the best book for economic and social issues?

  • Anuj

    I have done graduation from Science stream and i have no deep knowledge related to economics and finance. So which paper should i opt?

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Anuj

      since you belong to science background you should opt for finance since it will involve calculations and management is a very easy topic

      • Anuj

        But sir it’s not so easy for me as I don’t know the abcd of finance and management. I am really worried. What type of questions will come?
        What type of calculations and all.

        • Vaibhav

          With the amount of time left for RBI Grade B Phase II you would be able to study in depth about any of the above mentioned subjects. We would suggest you read the syllabus for all three subjects :
          Then find out maximum topics you can relate to and proceed with the one where you can relate to maximum topics.
          You can opt for statistics if you are not comfortable giving eco and finance.

          • Anuj

            But sir statistics needs much practice. There will be solving problems related to that. I can go for economics paper but the problem is that I have no theory related to it. Nor any books and all. Also basics of the topics. If mock Bank is ready to help me I am assured that it will be so easy for me.

          • Vaibhav

            We would help you in every way possible. Eco is a good choice.

          • Anuj

            So sir should I fill the choice for economics. Will It be gud for me.
            I m worried Becoz one single mistake can Cause me a big loss

  • Dimpy

    Can you tell those 2 to 3 books for financial management which can help us to go good…

    • Vaibhav

      HI Dimpy

      Please go through

      a) Financial Management – Prasanna Chandra
      b) Indian Economy – R. Dutt and KPM Sundaram

  • Vinay Rawat

    Will there be any difference in the job profile if I choose any of the optional subject?

    • Vaibhav

      Hi Vinay

      No there has been absolutely no notification about this. The job profile will depend on your interview.