NABARD Grade A 2024 Syllabus and Pattern: Phase 1 and Phase 2

NABARD Pattern Syllabus

NABARD Grade A exam aims to assess overall candidate competence and their general awareness of economic and social issues, agriculture and rural development schemes, reports, and various other government developments.

In this article, we’ll comprehensively cover the syllabus and pattern of the NABARD Grade A examination. We will also list down important topics for all papers, especially Economic and Social Issues (ESI) and Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD). 

Let’s begin by carefully analyzing the pattern of the NABARD Assistant Manager exam.

NABARD Grade A Exam 2024 Pattern

The NABARD Grade A Assistant Manager selection is divided into 3 phases,

NABARD Grade A Exam Phases

Phase 1 Pattern

The Phase 1 examination, also known as the preliminary examination, is a single paper comprising 200 Questions and 200 Marks. It is divided into 8 sections, with 5 sections of non-merit (qualifying) nature wherein you have to only clear the cut-off. The remaining 3 sections are of a merit nature and marks secured in these merit sections decide whether the candidate is shortlisted for the next stage i.e. the phase 2 exam.

SectionNumber of QuestionsMax Marks
Reasoning2020Qualifying Sections (You just need to clear the sectional cutoff)
Computer Knowledge2020
Quantitative Aptitude2020
Decision Making1010
General Awareness2020Merit Sections (Shortlisting for Phase 2 is based on marks scored in the Merit section only) 
Economic and Social Issues4040
Agriculture and Rural Development4040

Phase 2 Pattern

Unlike Phase 1, Phase 2 consists of 2 papers of 100 marks each. Paper 1 is of General English which is completely descriptive in nature. Paper 2 on the other hand is a combination of ESI and ARD questions of objective and subjective format.

PaperType of PaperTime (minutes)Number of QuestionsMarks
Paper I: General English OnlineDescriptive90 min3100
Paper II: Economic and Social Issues & Agriculture and Rural Development 50% Objective30 min30 Objective50
50% Descriptive90 min04 Descriptive50
(Total: 120 minutes)(Total: 100 marks)

Important Note: In Paper-II, 6 descriptive questions are asked out of which only 4 are to be answered by the candidate (2 Questions of 15 marks and 2 questions of 10 marks each).

Phase 3 Pattern

Phase 3 of the NABARD Grade A exam consists of a psychometric test (subject to the discretion of NABARD) and an Interview. 

  1. Candidates are shortlisted for interview based on their Phase 2 marks only. 
  2. The interview carries a weightage of 50 marks. 
  3. Candidates can opt for the interview either in Hindi or English. 

The final selection is done by adding marks secured in Phase 2 and Interview.

Other Details

Negative MarkingYes; 1/4th of the marks allotted to a question for both Phases
Sectional TimingNo
Exam LanguageBilingual (Hindi or English; except the English paper) for both Phases
Qualifying RatioThe calling ratio to qualify for the mains and interview is a maximum of 1:25 and 1:3, respectively.
(The ratio may be suitably changed at the discretion of NABARD) 
Cut-OffCut-offs in Phase-I and Phase-II are applied in two stages:
(i) On scores in individual tests, 
(ii) On Total Score

NABARD Grade A Pattern Changes

Before we begin with decoding the syllabus for the NABARD Grade A Assistant Manager exam, let’s understand how the exam pattern has evolved to date to deliver a holistic assessment process.

Phase 1 Changes

NABARD Grade A examination pattern changed in the year 2021. Before the year 2021, there was no division of the Phase 1 section into merit and non-merit. Phase 1 comprised 200 questions & 200 marks, and the cut-off was calculated out of 200 marks. The subjects included: 

  • Quantitative Aptitude (20 marks) 
  • Reasoning (20 marks) 
  • English (40 marks) 
  • Computer Knowledge (20 marks) 
  • General Awareness (20 marks) 
  • ESI (40 marks) 
  • ARD (40 marks) 

Phase 1 still is a single paper of 200 marks. But now NABARD has:

  1. added a new subject of Decision Making (10 marks) and
  2. reduced the weightage of English from 40 to 30 marks. 

Additionally, Phase 1 is now divided into merit & non-merit sections. ESI, ARD & GA comprise the merit sections and the rest of the topics are categorised into non merit or qualifying sections.

Now, the cut-off for the Phase 1 exam is calculated out of 100 marks only, based on the merit sections of ESI (40 marks), ARD (40 marks) and GA (20 marks). 

Phase 2 Changes

Next, Phase 2 previously had 2 papers, the same as today.

  • Paper 1 was Descriptive English (100 marks) 
  • Paper 2 was ESI & ARD (100 marks) which used to be an objective type. 

While Descriptive English has no changes, Paper 2 of ESI and ARD is now divided into 50% objective & 50% descriptive format.

Phase 3 Changes

Lastly, the interview before 2021 had a weightage of 25 marks but now holds a weightage of 50 marks

Additionally, in the 2023 notification, NABARD has stated that subject to the discretion of the Bank, a psychometric test will be conducted on completion of the Mains Examination.

Moving on, it’s time to finally understand the syllabus and decode important topics.

NABARD Grade A 2024 Phase 1 Syllabus

The NABARD Grade A notification does not provide a definitive syllabus for Phase 1. However, it does list down the topics for ESI and ARD. Additionally, the syllabus for ESI and ARD remains the same for Phase 1 and 2. 

We have done a thorough analysis of the previous year questions for Reasoning, General Awareness, English, Computer Knowledge, Decision Making, and Quantitative Aptitude to list down the syllabus topics for these subjects.

You can also download our comprehensive guidebook for the NABARD Grade A exam for safekeeping and easy access to information such as the pattern and syllabus in PDF format.

Reasoning Syllabus

The following are the important topics for Reasoning:

  • Alphanumeric series 
  • Coding and Decoding 
  • Syllogism 
  • Direction Sense 
  • Inequality 
  • Ranking and Order 
  • Blood Relation 
  • Puzzles and sitting arrangement 
  • Input-output 
  • Questions based on Statements 
  • Questions based on Data Sufficiency

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) Syllabus

Below listed are the important topics for Quantitative Aptitude:

  • Ratio and Proportion 
  • Percentage 
  • Profit and Loss 
  • Simple and Compound Interest 
  • Questions on Average and Age 
  • Time and Work 
  • Pipes and Cistern 
  • Time and Distance 
  • Mixture and Alligation 
  • Questions on Series and Quadratic equation 
  • Mathematical Inequalities 
  • Number series
  • Data interpretation 
  • Simplification/approximation
  • Quantity comparisons 

English Syllabus

Here are the important topics for Phase 1 English:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Rearrangement
  • Cloze Test
  • Para jumbles
  • Double fillers
  • Error Detection and Sentence Improvement
  • Vocabulary (Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word Substitution, Phrasal verbs)

General Awareness (GA) Syllabus

Based on past year exam analysis of NABARD Grade A, the following topics are most frequently asked from General Awareness section:

  • Current affairs of the preceding 6 months from the date of examination 
  • National News: MoUs, summits and major events related to India. 
  • International: Summits and conferences held abroad. 
  • Defence: Military exercises, drills and major updates related to the defence sector of India. 
  • Days in News: Major events or days, along with its date, and theme. 
  • Persons in News: Obituaries, appointments, retirements
  • Sports: Major tournaments and its winners. 
  • Science, Technology and Space 
  • Awards and honours 
  • Environment
  • Banking, Economy and Schemes 
  • Books and Authors 
  • Static GA: Chief Ministers and Cabinet Ministers, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Organisations’ Headquarters, Banks’ Headquarters and Taglines, Power Plants in India, Indian Dance Forms, Countries’ Capitals and their Currencies.

Decision Making Syllabus

Here are the important topics for the section on Decision Making.

  • Basics of Decision Making 
  • Types of Decision Making
  • Decision Making Models
  • Decision Making Approaches 
  • Factors Affecting Decision Making 
  • Types of Problems Decision Making

Computer Knowledge Syllabus

Candidates are not expected to build a thorough expert knowledge of computers. But, they should be aware of the basic topics, such as,

  • Computer Awareness 
  • Hardware and Memory 
  • Software and Operating Systems 
  • MS Office 
  • Database Management System 
  • Internet and Computer Security 
  • History and Computer & Generations 
  • Shortcuts

Let’s now break down the syllabus for ESI and ARD. Remember that for these two subjects i.e. ESI and ARD, the syllabus for Phase 1 and 2 remains the same, however, Phase 1 questions are objective in nature whereas Phase 2 is 50% objective and 50% descriptive.

Economics and Social Issues (ESI) Syllabus

Nature of Indian EconomyStructural and Institutional features – Economic underdevelopment – Opening up the Indian Economy – Globalisation – Economic Reforms in India – Privatisation
InflationTrends in Inflation & their Impact on National Economy and Individual Income
Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation in IndiaRural and Urban – Measurement of Poverty – Poverty Alleviation Programmes of the Government
Population TrendsPopulation Growth and Economic Development -Population Policy in India
AgricultureCharacteristics / Status – Technical and Institutional changes in Indian Agriculture – Agricultural performance – Issues in Food Security in India – Non Institutional and Institutional Agencies in rural credit
IndustryIndustrial and Labour Policy – Industrial performance – Regional Imbalance in India’s Industrial Development – Public Sector Enterprises
Rural banking and financial institutions in IndiaReforms in Banking/ Financial sector
Globalisation of EconomyRole of International Funding Institutions – IMF & World Bank – WTO – Regional Economic Co-operationGlobalisation of Economy
Social Structure in IndiaMulticulturalism – Demographic trends – Urbanisation and Migration – Gender Issues Joint family system – Social Infrastructure – Education – Health and Environment
EducationStatus & System of Education – Socio – Economic Problems associated with Illiteracy – Educational relevance and educational wastage – Educational Policy for India
Social JusticeProblems of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes – socio-economic programmes for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and other backward classes. Positive Discrimination in favour of the underprivileged
Social Movements(static and current affairs; reports, schemes, government announcements)
Indian Political Systems
Human Development
Current Economic and Social Issues

Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Syllabus

Following is the given syllabus for the ARD as per the official NABARD notification:

AgricultureDefinition, meaning and its branches
AgronomyDefinition, meaning and scope of agronomy, classification of crops, Factors affecting crop production, Agro Climatic Zones
Cropping SystemsDefinition, meaning and scope of agronomy
Seed productionSeed processing, seed village
MeteorologyWeather parameters, crop-weather advisory
Farming SystemSystem of Crop Intensification, organic farming
Soil and Water ConservationMajor soil types, soil fertility, fertilisers, soil erosion, soil conservation, watershed management
Water ResourceIrrigation Management: types of irrigation, sources of irrigation, crop water requirement, command area development, water conservation techniques, micro irrigation, irrigation pumps, major, medium and minor irrigation
Farm and Agri EngineeringFarm Machinery and Power, Sources of power on the farm human, animal, mechanical, electrical, wind, solar and biomass, bio fuels, water harvesting structures, farm ponds, watershed management, Agro Processing, Controlled and modified storage, perishable food storage, godowns, bins and grain silos
Plantation & HorticultureDefinition, meaning and its branches. Agronomic practices and production technology of various plantation and horticulture crops. Post-harvest management, value and supply chain management of Plantation and Horticulture crops.
Animal HusbandryFarm animals and their role in the Indian economy, Animal husbandry methods in India, common terms about different species of livestock, Utility classification of breeds of cattle. Introduction to common feeds and fodders, their classification and utility. Introduction to poultry industry in India (past, present and future status), Common terms about poultry production and management. Concept of mixed farming and its relevance to socio-economic conditions of farmers in India. Complementary and obligatory nature of livestock and poultry production with that of agricultural farming
FisheriesFisheries resources, management and exploitation – freshwater, brackish water and marine; Aquaculture- Inland and marine; biotechnology; post-harvest technology. Importance of fisheries in India. Common terms about fish production
ForestryFisheries resources, management and exploitation – freshwater, brackish water and marine; Aquaculture- Inland and marine; biotechnology; post-harvest technology. Importance of fisheries in India. Common terms about fish production
Agriculture ExtensionsIts importance and role, methods of evaluation of extension programmes, Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) in dissemination of Agricultural technologies.
Ecology and Climate ChangeEcology and its relevance to man, natural resources, their sustainable management and conservation. Causes of climate change, GreenHouse Gases (GHG), major GHG emitting countries, climate analysis, distinguish between adaptation and mitigation, climate change impact on agriculture and rural livelihood, carbon credit, IPCC, UNFCCC, CoP meetings, funding mechanisms for climate change projects, initiatives by Govt of India, NAPCC, SAPCC, INDC.
Present Scenario of Indian Agriculture and Allied ActivitiesRecent trends, major challenges in agriculture measures to enhance viability of agriculture. Factors of Production in Agriculture; Agricultural Finance and Marketing; Impact of Globalization on Indian Agriculture and issues of Food Security; Concept and Types of Farm Management
Rural DevelopmentConcept of Rural Area, Structure of the Indian Rural EconomyImportance and role of the rural sector in India- Economic, Social and Demographic Characteristics of the Indian rural economy, causes of Rural Backwardness, Panchayati Raj Institutions: Functions and Working. MGNREGA, NRLM – Aajeevika, Rural Drinking water Programmes, Swachh Bharat, Rural Housing, PURA and other rural development programmes
Rural Population in IndiaOccupational structure, Farmers, Agricultural Labourers, Artisans, Handicrafts, Traders, Forest dwellers/tribes and others in rural India- Trends of change in rural population and rural workforce; problems and conditions of rural labour; Issues and challenges in Handlooms. 

NABARD Grade A 2024 Phase 2 Syllabus

The syllabus for Phase II (Mains) is given below.

Paper 1: Descriptive English

The English paper for Phase 2 is of a descriptive nature. Two quick advice for candidates here would be to practise answer writing and improve their typing speed for the various questions under this paper, i.e., 

  1. Essay
  2. Précis writing
  3. Comprehension 
  4. Letter Writing
  5. Report and Answer Writing

The descriptive English paper is designed to assess the writing skills including the candidate’s ability to express their thoughts and how clearly they are able to convey their understanding of the given/chosen topic.

Paper 2: Economic and Social Issues (ESI) and Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)

As previously mentioned, the syllabus of Paper II is the same as the syllabus of ESI & ARD in Phase 1.

Now that we have comprehensively covered the detailed syllabus for the NABARD Grade A exam, let’s point out important topics for various paper topics.

NABARD 2024 Syllabus Change

There has been no recent change in the given syllabus of ESI and ARD. However, the syllabus for the different subjects remains indicative and not exhaustive in nature. This means that questions may be asked from topic areas related to what has been mentioned or not clearly mentioned in the syllabus. 

Candidates are advised to refer to the PYQs to develop a thorough understanding of the topic areas, important topics, weightage of different topics, etc.

NABARD Grade A: Important Topics

Our list of the important topics for the phase 1 and phase 2 syllabus have been filtered out based on the question weightage of various topics in PYQs.

PhaseSectionImportant Topics
Phase 1ReasoningSeating Arrangement
Quantitative AptitudeNumber Series
Data Interpretation
Quadratic Equations
Word Problem
Computer KnowledgeMicrosoft Office
Computer Network
Computer Organisation and Data Processing Cycle
EnglishReading Comprehension
Sentence Rearrangement
Cloze Test
Para jumbles
Double fillers
Error Detection and Sentence Improvement
Vocabulary (Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word Substitution, Phrasal verbs)
Decision MakingBasics of Decision Making
Types of Decision Making
Decision Making Approaches
Types of Problems in Decision Making
General AwarenessBooks + Authors
Sports: Winners, Loosers, Venues
Partnerships with Govt. or International Organisations
Defence: Military Exercise, Equipment
Govt. Launches: Bodies, Courses, Projects, Infrastructure
Phase 1 + 2Economic and Social IssuesGovernment Schemes
ESI Current Affairs
ESI Static
Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentAgronomy
Farming System
Soil and Water Conservation
Plantation and Horticulture
Animal Husbandry
Agriculture Engineering
ARD Current Affairs
Phase 2Descriptive English Precis/Essay topics are a mix of environmental and economic issues relating to ESI and ARD syllabus. For letter-writing, you write to official authorities addressing an issue.

Important Note: It is essential to have a holistic learning approach when covering the syllabus of ESI and ARD. For example, current and static affairs topics for ESI and ARD will also help you with the General Awareness and Descriptive English sections. 

NABARD Grade A 2024 Interview Syllabus

The final phase of the interview does not have a defined syllabus. However, you do need a strategy to ace the interview.

Building a Strategy

Following are 3 quick tips to remember when preparing your strategy for the interview,

  1. Be clear about the organisation (NABARD), its role, and objectives.
  2. Be prepared for basic interview questions such as,
  • Why do you want to work in NABARD?
  • Why are you the most suitable for this position?
  • Questions about previous work experience/gap years in resume.
  • Miscellaneous questions related to information given in your CV.
  1. Stay on top of the current issues such as the latest Union Budget & Economic Survey, current issues related to agriculture and rural developments, and other developments in the economic sector.

Do not assume that you’ll be able to crack the interview for NABARD without any preparation. Practice with mock interviews, study topper interviews, and develop an effective strategy suitable to your candidacy. 

To understand more about developing an effective preparation strategy for the interview, watch our video of NABARD Grade A Topper Interview.


In this blog, we have explained the NABARD Grade A pattern, syllabus, and the most important topics for the subjects of Phase 1 and Phase 2. The discussed pattern and syllabus are based on the latest official notification of NABARD 2023. It is subject to change at the organisation’s discretion. 

A comprehensive understanding of the pattern, syllabus, and previous year questions will help you develop an effective study plan that will help you ace the NABARD Grade A exam with flying colours. Best of luck!


1. Is the NABARD Grade A exam syllabus the same every year?

The basic concepts and topics mostly remain the same. However, there might be small changes subject to the organisation. Checking the latest official announcement is important to ensure you have the accurate syllabus for the year you are appearing for.

2. What is the eligibility criteria for NABARD Grade A?

To be eligible for the NABARD Grade A exam, the candidate should be a citizen of India. The candidate should be between 21 to 30 years of age as of the cut-off date of the notification for the year applied for. They should have a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject depending on the applied post.

3. What are the recommended books for the NABARD Grade A exam?

Here are the recommended books:
·        Quantitative Aptitude: Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Agarwal (Buy Here)
·        Reasoning: A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal (Buy Here)
·        English: English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin (Buy Here)
·        Computer Knowledge: Arihant’s Computer Awareness (Buy Here)
·        General Awareness: Lucent’s General Knowledge (Buy Here)
·        Decision Making: Principles & Practices of Management by TN Chhabra (Buy Here)
·        ESI: Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Buy Here) and Social Problems in India by Ram Ahuja (Buy Here)
·        ARD: Fundamentals of Agriculture (Part 1 and 2) by Arun Katyayan (Buy Here) and Handbook of Fisheries by ICAR (Buy Here)

4. How many times is the NABARD Grade A Exam conducted?

The NABARD Grade A Exam is generally held once a year.

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