The job profile of an IFSCA Grade A officer dives deep into the regulatory landscape of financial services, encompassing banking, insurance, securities markets, and more.

Understanding the eligibility criteria before applying for the exam is important as it ensures a seamless application process and prevents unintentional disqualification. Without a clear understanding of these criteria, you may unknowingly overlook certain requirements, leading to disqualification from the selection process. This could result in losing a valuable opportunity and hinder your dream of joining IFSCA as a Grade A officer. So, let’s understand the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria include two major categories:

1 Age

  • Maximum is 30 years*

(Minimum age limit is not mentioned in the notification)

1.1. Age Relaxation

There is some age relaxation for some specific categories. 

IFSCA Grade A: Age Limit Relaxation
SNo. Category Age Relaxation Upper Age Limit
1 General None 30
2 Other Backward Castes (OBC) (NCL) 3 Years 33
3 SC/ST 5 Years 35
7 PwBD (General/EWS) 10 Years 40
8 PwD (OBC) 13 Years 43
9 PwD (SC/ST) 15 Years 45

2. Educational Qualification

Master’s Degree with specialization in Statistics/ Economics/ Commerce/ Business Administration (Finance)/ Econometrics.

OR

Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology/ Computer Science/ Master’s in Computer Application/ Information Technology.

OR

Bachelor’s degree in commerce with CA, CFA, CS, ICWA.

OR

Bachelor’s degree in Law or in any other discipline from a recognized University

Important Note: A Post Graduate Diploma in any discipline will be acceptable as an educational requirement for the General stream, provided the same is recognized as equivalent to a Master’s degree in that discipline by Govt. of India. The onus to provide necessary documents in this regard shall be on the candidates.

The mode of selection includes a three-stage process:

  1. Phase 1 (online screening examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each)
  2. Phase 2 (online examination consisting of two papers of 100 marks each)
  3. Phase 3 (Interview)

Phase 1

IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 is an online screening examination that consists of 2 papers—Paper 1 and Paper 2—of 100 marks each. Here is the detailed Phase 1 exam pattern:

 

Paper Streams/ Subjects No. of Questions Maximum

Marks

Duration Cut off
Paper 1
  • General Awareness (financial sector)
  • English language
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Test of Reasoning
25 MCQs for each subject (1 mark each) 100 60 minutes 30%
Paper 2 General knowledge, Current events of national and international importance, Economic and social development (sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, and demographics), Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance and costing, Indian Economy, Global Economy, Five-year plans, Central Government’s initiatives/ Schemes in the 

financial sector.

Total 50 MCQs (2 marks each) 100 60 minutes 40%
Aggregate Cut Off 40%

Other Important Details: 

  1. There shall be negative marking (1/4th of marks assigned to the question) for Paper 1 and Paper 2 in Phase 2.
  2. There shall be a cut-off of a minimum of 30% for Paper 1 (no sectional cut-off shall be there) and a cut-off of a minimum of 40% for Paper 2 in Phase 1.
  3. Candidates would need to secure separate cut-offs in each paper as mentioned above as well as aggregate cut-off marks of 40% in the Phase 1 exam to be shortlisted for Phase 2. Marks obtained in Phase 1 shall be used only for shortlisting the candidates for the Phase 2 examination process and will not be counted for the final selection of the candidates.
  4. Subject to the criteria mentioned above, all the candidates who clear Phase 1 shall be shortlisted for Phase 2. A list of candidates shortlisted for Phase 2 will be made available on the IFSCA website.

Phase 2

IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 is the second stage of the selection process that also consists of 2 papers—Paper 1 and Paper 2—of 100 marks each. Here is the detailed Phase 2 exam pattern:

 

Paper Streams/ Subjects Maximum

Marks

Duration Cut off Weightage
Paper 1 English (Descriptive Test) 

  • Precis Writing – 35 marks
  • Essay writing – 30 marks 
  • Comprehension – 35 marks
100 60 minutes 30% 1/3rd
Paper 2 Multiple choice questions on subjects like IFSCA Act, Union Budget, Economic Survey,  Banking, Capital Market, Insurance, Pension Funds, Bullion, GIFT City, GIFT IFSC, IFSCA, Global Financial Centres etc.

Total 50 MCQs (2 marks each)

100 60 minutes 40% 2/3rd
Aggregate Cut Off 40%

Other Important Details: 

  1. Candidates shortlisted for Phase 2 will be issued new Hall Tickets.
  2. There shall be a negative marking (1/4th of marks assigned to the question) for Paper 2 in Phase 2
  3. There shall be a cut-off of a minimum of 30% for Paper 1 and a cut-off of a minimum of 40% for Paper 2 in Phase 2.
  4. Candidates would need to secure separate cut-offs in each paper as mentioned above as well as aggregate cut-off marks of 40% in the Phase 2 exam (weightage of 1/3rd for Paper 1 and 2/3rd for Paper 2) to be shortlisted for Phase 3.
  5. Subject to the criteria mentioned above, candidates equaling 3 times the number of vacancies shall be shortlisted, in order of merit, for Phase 3, i.e. the Interview. The list of candidates shortlisted for Interviews will be made available on the IFSCA website.

Important Note: All question papers (in both Phases, except the test of English) will be set bilingually in Hindi and English.

Phase 3: Interview

Only the shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview. The application fee shall not be refunded to the candidates not shortlisted for Phase 2 and Interview. The weightage of marks obtained in Phase 2 will be 85%, while marks obtained in the interview shall be given a weightage of 15%.

IFSCA reserves the right to modify the selection procedure if deemed fit.

 

Understanding the IFSCA Grade A syllabus significantly impacts the preparation strategy and success in the examination. Below is the detailed syllabus of IFSCA Grade A Phases 1 and 2.

 

Phase 1 Paper 1 Syllabus

Here is the Phase 1 Paper 1 Syllabus of the IFSCA Grade A exam:

1. General Awareness (GA)

Here is the current GA syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 1 exam:

  • National News: MoUs, summits, and major events related to India.
  • International: Summits and conferences held abroad.
  • Financial & Economics News
  • Financial Awareness: RBI and SEBI Notification and Regulations
  • Defence: Military exercises, drills, and major updates related to the defence sector of India
  • Days in News: Major events or days, along with their 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 related news
  • Reports and Government Schemes
  • Books and Authors

 

Here is the static GA syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 1 exam:

  • Chief Ministers and Cabinet Ministers
  • National Parks and Sanctuaries
  • Airport Locations, Stadiums
  • Organisations’ Headquarters
  • Banks’ Headquarters and Taglines
  • Power Plants in India
  • Indian Dance Forms
  • Countries Capitals and their Currencies
  • Important Days

2. English Language

Here is the English Language syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 1 exam:

  • Grammar
  • Error Spotting
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Comprehension Ability 
  • Comprehension passage
  • Cloze test
  • Rearrangement
  • Para jumbles
  • Double Fillers
  • Vocabulary – Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word Substitution, Phrasal Verbs

3. Quantitative Aptitude

 

Here is the Quantitative Aptitude syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 1:

  • 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
  • Data Sufficiency 
  • Partnership 

 

4. Reasoning Ability

 

Here is the Reasoning Ability syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 1 exam:

  • Alphanumeric series
  • Coding and Decoding
  • Syllogism
  • Direction Sense
  • Inequality
  • Ranking and Order
  • Blood Relation
  • Puzzles and Seating arrangement
  • Input-Output
  • Critical Reasoning 
  • Questions Based on Data Sufficiency

Phase 1 Paper 2 Syllabus

Here is the Phase 1 Paper 2 Syllabus of the IFSCA Grade A exam:

1. Economics and Social Issues 

Here is the ESI syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:

  1. Indian Economy
  2. Inflation
  3. Monetary Policy
  4. Fiscal Policy
  5. Growth and Development
  1. Global Economy
    1. Balance of Payment
    2. International Economic Institution
  2. Five Year Plans
  3. Sustainable Development
  4. Poverty Inclusion
  5. Demographics

2. Commerce and Accounts

Here is the Commerce and Accounts syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:

 

  1. Recording Transactions – Ledger, Journal, Debit, Credit
  2. Trial Balance
  3. Cash Flow, Fund Flow. Financial Statement Analysis and 
  4. Ratio analysis
  5. Preparation of Final Company Accounts

3. Costing

Here is the Costing syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:

 

  1. Overview of Cost and Management Accounting: Introduction to Cost and Management Accounting, Objectives and Scope of Cost and Management Accounting.
  2. Methods of Costing: Single Output/ Unit Costing, Job Costing, Batch Costing, Contract Costing, Process/ Operation Costing, and Costing of Service Sectors.
  3. Basics of Cost Control and Analysis- (a) Standard Costing, (b) Marginal Costing, (c) Budget, and Budgetary Control. (Only numerical)
  4. Lean System and Innovation
    1. Introduction to Lean System
    2. Just-in-Time (JIT)
    3. Kaizen Costing
    4. 5 Ss,
    5. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
    6.  Cellular Manufacturing/ One-Piece Flow Production Systems
    7. Six Sigma (SS)
    8. Introduction to Process Innovation and Business Process Re-engineering(BPR)

4. Management

Here is the Management syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:

 

  1. Management: Its nature and scope; The Management Processes. Planning, Organization, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling.
  2. The Role of a Manager in an Organization. Leadership: The Tasks of a Leader.
  3. Leadership Styles: Leadership Theories; A successful Leader versus an effective Leader.
  4. Human Resource Development: Concept of HRD; Goals of HRD
  5. Motivation, Morale, and Incentives: Theories of Motivation; How Managers Motivate; Concept of Morale; Factors determining Morale; Role of Incentives in Building up Morale.
  6. Communication: Steps in the Communication Process; Communication Channels; Oral versus Written Communication; Verbal versus non-verbal Communication; upward, downward and lateral communication; Barriers to Communication, Role of Information Technology.

5. Finance

Here is the Finance syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:  

 

  1. Financial System
    1. Role and Functions of Regulatory Bodies in the Financial Sector.
  2. Financial Markets
    1. Primary and Secondary Markets (Forex, Money, Bond, Equity, etc.), functions, instruments, and recent developments.
  3. General Topics
    1. Basics of Derivatives: Forward, Futures, and Swap
    2. Recent Developments in the Financial Sector
    3. Financial Inclusion- use of technology
    4. Alternate source of finance, private and social cost-benefit, Public-Private Partnership
    5. Direct and Indirect taxes;-Non-tax sources of Revenue, GST, Finance Commission, Fiscal Policy, Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act(FRBM),
    6. Inflation:-Definition, trends, estimates, consequences, and remedies (control): WPI, CPI-components, and trends

6. Current Events

Here is the Current Events syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Paper 2:  

  1. Central Government’s initiatives/ Schemes in the financial sector
  2. Current events of national and international importance
  3. Economic Survey and Union Budget

 Phase 2 Paper 1 Syllabus

Here is the Phase 2 Paper 1 Syllabus of the IFSCA Grade A exam:

 1. English (Descriptive) 

Here is the ESI syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 1:

  1. Precis Writing 
  2. Essay writing 
  3. Comprehension

Phase 2 Paper 2 Syllabus

Here is the Phase 2 Paper 2 Syllabus of the IFSCA Grade A exam:

1. IFSCA Act

Here is the IFSCA Act syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

IFSCA Act and Regulation (available on the IFSCA’s Official website) 

2. Union Budget and Economic Survey

You need to cover the union budget and economic survey.

3. Capital Market and Bullion

Here is the Capital Market and Bullion syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. Bonds
  2. Forex Market
  3. Debt Market
  4. Equity Market
  5. Bullion

4. Banking

Here is the Banking syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. Banking Structure in India
  2. Banking Awareness
  3. RBI Functions

 

5. Insurance

Here is the Banking syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. Types of Insurance
    1. Banking Insurance
    2. Life Insurance
    3. General Insurance
    4. Health Insurance

6. Pension Funds

Here is the Pension Funds syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. PPF
  2. APY
  3. EPF
  4. NPS

7. Gift City, GIFT IFSC, and IFSCA

Here is the Gift City, GIFT IFSC, and IFSCA syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. IFSC – International Financial Services Centres
  2. IFSCA – International Financial Services Centres Authority
  3. GIFT City – Gujarat International Finance Tec-City
  4. GIFT IFSC – IFSC Located in GIFT city

8. Global Financial Centres

Here is the Global Financial Centres syllabus for the IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Paper 2:

  1. Global Financial Central Services Index

Analyzing the previous years’ cut-offs is paramount for you as it offers valuable insights into the level of performance required for a competitive edge. Armed with this knowledge, you can identify trends and prioritize high-scoring sections to tailor your preparation strategically.

IFSCA Grade A Phase 1 Cut Off 2023

Here are the Phase 1 cut-off marks of the IFSCA Grade A 2023 exam:

 

Category  Paper 1 Paper 2 Aggregate
SC, ST, OBC NCL, EWS, UR & PwBD 30 out of 100 40 out of 100 80 out of 200

 

IFSCA Grade A Phase 2 Cut Off 2023

Here are the Phase 2 cut-off marks of the IFSCA Grade A 2023 exam:

 

Category  Cut-Off Marks for Interview
UR/GEN 59.67
EWS 59.67
OBC 59.33
SC 54.67
ST 54.67

Preparing for the IFSCA Grade A exam requires a structured and strategic approach. To help you through this journey, refer to this sample detailed 75-days study plan that you can tailor to align with your specific strengths, weaknesses, and the time at your disposal.

 

Here is the 75-days IFCSA Grade A assistant manager preparation strategy: 

 

Day 1 to 20 Day 21 to 30 Day 31 to 45 Day 46 to 50 Day 51 to 75
Management Commerce & Accounts and Costing Current Events Revision Gift city, GIFT IFSC, IFSCA and Global Financial Centres
Finance Economy Govt. Initiatives in Financial Sector Revision Practice DE
Practice DE (Ph 2)  Practice DE (Ph 2) Revision Revision Revision
Capital Market and Banking and Bullion (Ph 2) Insurance and Pension Funds (Ph 2) Union Budget and Economic Survey (Ph 2) IFSCA Act (Ph 2) Revision

 

Points to Remember

  • After each session, review your performance, pinpoint your weak areas, and allocate additional time to improve your weaknesses.
  • Practice Descriptive Writing
  • Solve a lot of MCQs
  • Refer SEBI Syllabus and solve PYQs