With a total workforce of 1.4 million, Indian Railways is the 8th largest employer in the world and perhaps the largest in India, according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum. The Indian railways’ network covers more than 115,000 km of track and more than 7,112 train stations. For many Indian youngsters, getting a job in Indian Railways is like a dream come true, thanks to the competitive salary, employee benefits, and job security offered by this government-owned organization.
The hierarchy structure in Indian Railways consists of four levels – Group – A, Group – B, Group – C, and Group – D. Recruitment for Group-A officers is done through Civil Services Examination and Combined Engineering Services Examination conducted by The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). However, candidates for Groups D, C, and B are selected through Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exam. There are 21 Railway Recruitment Boards under the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB) to conduct the recruitment process.
Depending on your qualification and skills, you could be eligible to apply for different job positions, including signal engineers, mechanical engineers, clerks, assistant station managers, and ticket collectors. Here are some useful tips on how to prepare for Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exam.
1. Know Exam Pattern & Syllabus
Once the Railway Recruitment Board issues an official notification for new recruitment, eligible candidates can apply online. You should start your preparation by knowing about the exam pattern and syllabus. Typically, candidates need to take a common, single stage, computer based test (CBT) comprising a total 100 questions, with each question carrying ‘1’ mark. There could be negative marking of ‘1/3’for each wrong answer. The test comprises of four sections – General Awareness, Arithmetic, General Intelligence, and Reasoning. The General Awareness section comprises of questions on current affairs, recent awards, and discoveries, politics, sports, etc. The syllabus for the Arithmetic section covers a wide variety of topics, including, data interpretation, profit & loss, time & distance, simple & compound interest, percentage, HCF & LCM, and number system. In the sections General Intelligence and Reasoning, there will be questions on analogy, calendar problems, classification, pie charts, and diagrams.
2. Start Preparing Early
It would be a good idea to start your preparation way before you apply for a post. The RRB conducts several recruitment exams every year, but the exam pattern for different posts is more or less similar. This means you can start and continue your preparation for the RRB exam, without awaiting the next announcement for new recruitment.
3. Keep the Right Resources Handy
Be sure to collect the necessary resources or study materials, including guide books, test papers, and previous years question papers. Here’s a list of useful books.
- Upkar’s Railway Recruitment Board Examination by Khanna & Verma
- English Grammar by Wren & Martin
- Upkar’s Quicker Reasoning Test
- Arithmetic for Competitive Examinations by R.s Aggarwal
- Upkar’s Special class Railway Apprentice
- Railway Recruitment Board Examination Technical Cadre Books (Upkar Publication)
- A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
4. Boost Your Basics
As part of your preparation, you should revise your basics. For instance, if you can brush up your concepts of profit & loss, ratio & proportion, and percentage, it would help you do well in arithmetic.
5. Follow Current Affairs
You should follow the national and international news regularly, with a special focus on the latest railway budget or any recent developments in Indian railways.
6. Learn Shortcut Tricks
You need to answer 100 questions in 90 minutes; hence knowing math shortcut tricks would be helpful. For instance, if you can remember the values of common square roots, cube roots, squares, and cubes, it would help you solve arithmetic or general intelligence problems faster.
It is also important to stay focused and put your best foot forward on the day of the exam. You should reach the exam venue early and read every question minutely before answering it. Avoid answering any question, if you’re not sure about it. Cracking the RRB exam is not an impossible job. All you need is hard work, patience, and the right mindset.