Exam Pattern

Exam Pattern 2021

NABARD Grade A Exam Pattern

Major changes have been announced by NABARD in its exam pattern this year. In NABARD Grade A Phase 1, all the sections have been grouped into two where half of the sections have been included in the qualifying section & the remaining half in the merit section. To be able to qualify for mains, all the candidates will have to score well in the merit section. The scores obtained in this section will only be considered for the selection in Phase 2.

A minimum cut-off would be declared on the basis of which the selection would be made and those who manage equal or more than the cut-off score will get a seat in the second phase and then subsequently in the third phase.

The structure of the NABARD Grade A exam pattern for various streams is as follows.

Phase 1 Preliminary Examination (Online Exam will consist of 8 sections)
Phase 2 Main Examination will be online and will be a mix of MCQs and Descriptive Pattern
Phase 3 Interview

What's New in 2021

CriteriaNotification 2020Notification 2021

Phase 1 Exam Pattern

Only 7 sections were assessed in the Prelims. 

A new section on ‘Decision Making’ has been introduced that will be assessed in the Preliminary examination. A total of 8 sections will be assessed now. 


Interview for 25 marks

Interview for 50 marks

Educational Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with an aggregate of 50%

Bachelor’s degree with an aggregate of 60%

Phase 1 Exam Pattern 2021

The NABARD Grade A exam 2021 is going to be an objective type test, that will test you on the basis of your knowledge and skills in various subjects like - Quantitative Aptitude, Test of Reasoning, Computer Knowledge, General Awareness, Economic and Social Issues, English Language, Agriculture & Rural Development. A new subject 'Decision Making' is introduced this time. The details of the NABARD Grade A Phase 1 exam pattern are as follows.

Nature of Test Test NameNo. Of QuestionsMaximum MarksTime Duration
Qualifying Quantitative Aptitude 20 20 Composite time of 120 minutes
Reasoning Ability 20 20
Computer Knowledge 20 20
English Language 30 30
Decision Making 10 10
Merit Based General Awareness 20 20
Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India) 40 40
Economic and Social Issues (with focus on Rural India) 40 40
Total 200 200 2 Hours

Important Points:

  • Test of Reasoning, English Language, Decision Making, Computer Knowledge, and Quantitative Aptitude will come under the qualifying section 
  • General Awareness, ESI (Rural India being the major emphasis), and ARD (emphasizing Rural India) will come under the umbrella of the merit section.
  • The candidates for the Mains examination will be shortlisted based on the marks secured in the Merit Section only
  • For every wrong answer, 1/4th marks assigned to that question will be deducted from your total score 
  • There will be sectional and overall cut-offs

Phase 2 Exam Pattern 2021

The calling ratio of appearance in NABARD mains and pre will be 1:25. NABARD has introduced a major change in the assistant manager 2021 pattern for the Phase 2 exam.  There are two different papers in  Phase 2, each with its individual timing. The General English paper of the NABARD Assistant Manager is in the descriptive format with a total duration of 90 minutes whereas the ESI paper is objective and descriptive both where the objective paper will be for 30 minutes and the descriptive paper will be for 90 minutes each carrying 50 marks. Paper 2 will contain questions from Economic & Social Issues and Agriculture & Rural Development with special stress on Rural India for General post. For the Specialist posts, Paper 2 will be based on the respective discipline. The NABARD Grade A Phase 2 exam pattern 2021 is given below.

PaperSubjectType of PaperNo. of QuestionsMarksDuration
Paper I General English Online Descriptive (Answers to be typed using keyboard) 3 100 90 Minutes
Paper II Economic and Social Issues and Agriculture & Rural Development Objective 30 50 30 Minutes
Descriptive Type (Answers to be typed using keyboard either in English or Hindi (Remington and Inscript keyboards)) 6 questions will be asked, of which candidates will be required to attempt 4 questions [2 of 15 marks each (with difficulty level) and 2 of 10 marks each] 50 90 Minutes
Total 100 (Paper II) 2 Hours (Paper II)

 Important Points:

  • For every wrong answer, 1/4th marks assigned to that question will be deducted from your total score 
  • There will be sectional and overall cut-offs


If you manage to qualify in the NABARD Grade A 2021 exam and secure a sufficiently high rank in merit, you will be shortlisted for the third phase ie ‘ NABARD Grade A interview’. The maximum marks allocated to the Interview stage are 50. The applicants to be called for an Interview for  NABARD Grade A will be in the ratio of 1:3 respectively.