SEBI Grade A VS PFRDA Grade A: Which one to choose?

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SEBI (Securities & Exchange Board of India) is a regulator of the capital market in India whereas PFRDA or Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority regulates provident funds. They are counted as one of the important organizations in India. Both SEBI and PFRDA release notifications for Grade A posts almost every year to recruit eligible candidates as Assistant Managers in their organizations. To be a part of such reputed organizations is a dream come true for any government job aspirant. In today’s article, we will compare SEBI Grade A with PFRDA Grade A exam. It is you who has to decide which one is better and what should you choose between the two.

Both are Grade A jobs which is an entry-level job in both the organizations. In both SEBI and PFRDA, you will be appointed as an Assistant Manager. Let’s check the rest of the parameters. 

Eligibility

The eligibility for both exams is similar. In order to apply to the SEBI Grade A exam, you need to possess a Master’s Degree in any discipline or Bachelor’s Degree in Law or Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from a recognized University, CA, CFA, CS, CWA. To apply to the PFRDA Grade A exam, you will need the exact same qualification (for the general stream). Let’s check for other streams as well.

S. NoStreamsSEBI Grade APFRDA Grade A
1General (Same)Master’s Degree in any discipline, Bachelor’s Degree in Law, Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from a recognized University, CA, CFA, CS, CWA.Master’s Degree in any discipline, Bachelor’s Degree in Law, Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from a recognized University, CA, CFA, CS, CWA.
2IT Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Electrical / Electronics / Electronics And Communication / Information Technology / Computer Science) OR Masters in Computers Application OR Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline with a post graduate qualification (minimum 2 years duration) in Computers / Information Technology.Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (electrical / Electronics and Communication / Information Technology / Computer Science) / Masters in Computer Application / Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline with a postgraduate qualification (minimum 2 years duration) in Computers / Information Technology.Minimum Experience: Post Qualification experience of two (02) years in the field of Information Technology.
3Research  (same)Master’s Degree in Statistics / Economics / Commerce / Business Administration (Finance) / Econometrics from a recognized University / Institute;Master’s Degree in Economics / Econometrics/ Statistics
5Official Language (Same)Master’s Degree in Hindi with English as one of the subjects at Bachelor’s Degree level or Master’s Degree in Sanskrit / English / Economics / Commerce with Hindi as a subject at Bachelor’s Degree level from a recognized University / InstituteMaster’s Degree in Hindi with English as one of the subjects at Bachelor’s Degree level or Master’s Degree in Sanskrit/ English/ Economics/ Commerce with Hindi as a subject at Bachelor’s Degree level from a recognized University / Institute.
6Finance and AccountsGraduation from a recognized university Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) or Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) from ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).Associate Cost and Management Accountant (ACMA) [while Associate of Institute of Cost & Works Accountant of India (AICWA)] or Fellow Cost and Management Accountant (FCMA) [ erstwhile Fellow of Institute of Cost & Works Accountant of India (FICWA)] from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) [while Institute of Cost & Works.Accountants of India (ICWAI)] / Associate Company Secretary (ACS) or Fellow Company Secretary (FCS) from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) / Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from CFA Institute. 

Age limit (Same)

In both the exams, you must not exceed the age of 30 years. Age relaxation is also applicable as per the government norms in both exams.

Exam Pattern (Same)

SEBI Grade A and PFRDA Grade A have almost similar exam patterns. In both the exams, you have to undergo three stages i.e.

Phase 1Online screening examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each
Phase 2Online examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each
Phase 3Interview

Phase 1 of both exams is qualifying in nature. Merit will be prepared on the basis of the performance in Mains and Interview. Now let’s check the exam pattern of both exams.

Phase 1 of SEBI Grade and PFRDA Grade A

SEBI Grade A

Paper Stream / Subject Maximum Marks Duration(minutes) Cut Off(%)
Paper 1 All Streams: Multiple choice questions on the subjects viz. General Awareness (including some questions related to Financial Sector of easy to moderate difficulty level), English Language, Quantitative Aptitude and Test of Reasoning. 100 60 30
Paper 2 General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act and Economics. 100 40 40
Legal, Information Technology, Engineering Stream (Civil & Electrical), Official Language stream: Multiple choice questions on Specialized subject related to stream.
Research Stream:- Multiple choice questions on subjects Economics, Econometrics, Statistics, Finance and Commerce.
Aggregate Cut off 40

PFRDA Grade A

Paper Stream / Subject Maximum Marks Number of Questions Time Duration
Paper 1
All Stream: Multiple choice questions on the subjects
English Language 25 20 60 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 25 20
Test of Reasoning 25 20
General Awareness (including some questions related to financial sector) 25 20
Total 100 80  
Paper 2 General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act, Economics and Pension Sector. 100 50 40 minutes
Actuarial, Information Technology, Official Language, Finance & Accounts, Research (Economics) and Research (Statistics) Streams: Multiple choice questions on Specialised subject related to stream. 100 50 40 minutes

Difference in both exams

1. In SEBI Grade A, minimum cut off is mentioned for each section whereas in PFRDA no such cut off is there.

2. In, PFRDA Grade A, separate marks are allotted to each section in Paper 1. In SEBI Grade A, no such thing is awarded.   

Phase 2 Exam Pattern

Phase 2 of both the exams is also the same.

SEBI Grade A

Paper Stream / Subject Maximum Marks Duration(minutes) Cut Off(%) Weightage
Paper 1 All streams: English (Descriptive Test) to test the drafting skills 100 60 30 1/3rd
Paper 2 General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act and Economics. 100 40 40 2/3rd
Legal, Information Technology, Engineering Stream (Civil & Electrical) and Official Language stream: Multiple choice questions on Specialized subject related to stream.
Research Stream:- Multiple choice questions on subjects Economics, Econometrics, Statistics, Finance and Commerce.
Aggregate Cut off 40  

PFRDA Grade A

Paper Stream / Subject Maximum Marks Number of Questions Time Duration
Paper 1 All Stream: English (Descriptive Test) to test the drafting skills 100 3 60 minutes
Paper 2 General Stream: Multiple choice questions on subjects Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Companies Act, Economics and Pension Sector 100 50 40 minutes
Actuarial, Information Technology, Official Language, Finance & Accounts, Research (Economics) and Research (Statistics) Streams: Multiple choice questions on Specialised subject related to stream. 100 50 40 minutes

In PFRDA Grade A exam, no. of the questions to be asked is mentioned whereas, in SEBI Grade A, no such information is provided beforehand.SEBI provides information related to no of questions in a separate information handout.

For Phase 2 as well, SEBI has provided a minimum cut off which you have to clear in order to qualify for the interview.  SEBI Written to Interview ratio has a weightage of 85:15 which is the same in the PFRDA Grade A exam as well.

Syllabus

As we can see that the exam pattern of both exams is similar to each other, therefore, the syllabus will also be the same. You can check PFRDA Grade A Syllabus and SEBI Grade A Syllabus on our website.

Salary

One of the prime reasons behind aspirants competing for exams like SEBI and PFRDA every year is due to the lucrative salary and receptible job profile. The pay scale for both exams is exactly the same, the only difference lies in the various allowances awarded by both organizations. Let’s look at the salary structure of both 

ParametersSEBI Grade A (as per 2020)PFRDA Grade A (as per latest notification 2021)
SalaryRs. 28150-1550(4)-34350-1750(7)-46600-EB-1750(4)-53600-2000(1)-55600(17 years)Pay Scale- Rs. 28150-1550(4)-34350-1750(7)-46600- EB1750(4)-53600- 2000(1)-55600 (17 years) 
Benefits and allowancesSEBI not only provides a handsome salary but also entitles its employees to various allowances such as Grade Allowance, Special Allowance, Dearness Allowance, Family Allowance, Local Allowance and many others. PFRDA Assistant Manager is entitled to the benefits like Leave Fare Concession, Medical Expenses (Hospitalisation and Non-Hospitalisation), Personal Accident Insurance, Eye Refraction/ Cost of Spectacles, Education Allowance, Financial Dailies, Book Grant, Briefcase, Conveyance Expenses, House Cleaning Allowance, Staff Furnishing Scheme and Scheme for Purchasing Computers. 
Annual Income128,4000180,0000
Qualification allowanceNo such allowance is mentioned by SEBIYes, 3500-80,000 

Career Growth

As you progress in your career, you will be promoted based on your performance. In SEBI, one can expect to become an executive director which is a top-level post. The highest rank in the hierarchy is the Chairman. The promotion will be done based on the number of vacancies available for that post as well as your performance. PFRDA follows the same order of hierarchy. Let’s look at the career growth hierarchy of both.

Career growth structure of SEBI and PFRDA (Grade A)

  • Chairperson
  • Whole Time Member
  • Executive Director
  • Chief General Manager
  • General Manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Manager
  • Assistant Manager i.e. Grade A Officer – You are here

Takeaways:

ParametersSEBI Grade APFRDA Grade A
DesignationSameSame
Exam PatternAlmost SameAlmost Same
Syllabus SameSame
Salary structure (Pay Scale)Almost SameAlmost Same

With such similarities, it is difficult to decide which one is better. Every parameter is the same. Now the decision lies in you whether you want to prepare for SEBI Grade A or want to go for PFRDA Grade A exam. If you don’t have a preference, it will be a wise decision to prepare for both. 

If you are a SEBI aspirant and have been preparing for a while, it is advised to apply for PFRDA Grade A as well. You should not miss this opportunity at any cost as the syllabus and pattern are exactly the same. Also, if you are new to the preparation, you should definitely give it a try to PFRDA Grade A exam 2021. This preparation will also help you in SEBI Grade A which is going to be released soon.

ixamBee’s role in your preparation

The vacancies announced for exams like SEBI Grade A and PFRDA Grade A are generally low which makes the exam level tough to crack. Therefore, ixamBee has launched individual courses for both exams that will help in sailing you through these exams. The courses are curated as per the latest exam pattern. Our experts have designed these courses keeping previous years papers in mind. Some salient features of the SEBI Grade A Online Course and PFRDA Grade A Online Course are provided below. 

  • Video Lessons covering the entire syllabus 
  • Full-length Practice Tests
  • Practice questions covering the entire syllabus 
  • 75+ Chapter Tests for easy understanding of concepts
  • Daily Live Online Classes for doubt clarification with the subject experts 
  • All video lessons are self-explanatory and available for the students to access and prepare during the time most feasible for them.
  • The various tests in the form of concept questions, chapter tests, section tests and mock tests provide a wide and targeted coverage of the syllabus. 
  • Our experts will provide Guidance, Tips, and Preparation strategies at each stage of preparation
  • Includes guidance for Interview Round as well.

Besides this, ixamBee also posts useful videos regularly on YouTube which are absolutely free of cost. 

We hope this information guides you in making better decisions.

ixamBee wishes you the very best for the exam!

At ixamBee you can find free Online Test Series, GK updates in the form of BeePedia, as well as latest updates for Bank PO, Bank Clerk, SSC, RBI, NABARD, and Other Government Jobs.

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