How To Prepare For Railway Exams?

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RRB i.e. the railway recruitment board is the apex body responsible for conducting the railway exam. To fill the vacancies in Indian railways, these exams are conducted. Railways are the biggest sector, employing a large number of people every year.

Indian government or a state government in India classifies the public employees as per Group ranking. To enumerate these are Group A (Executive/Gazetted), Group-B (Gazetted/ Non-Gazetted), Group-C and Group-D. Group-A or class I is ranked highest in terms of appointment & authority and Group-D or Class-IV is considered lowest. So the organizational hierarchy of the railway involves 17 zones.

Indian railway is a big sector. As a result, it offers a wide variety of jobs.  UPSC exam results fill the positions for the Group A. It involves the selection of candidates for medical services, technical services, and non-technical services.

It might seem to be an easy exam but it isn’t. Due to the multitudinous nature, the seats available are very less in comparison to the applications. For instance, a little more 1.5 crore people apply for about 80 thousand jobs every year; this is the reason why the difficulty level of the exam is high.

The railway sector is the most lucrative sector of the Indian government. Thus this implies that competition is going to be high.

The various Groups of Railway Exam

GROUP A

These positions are filled by the Union Public Service Examination results. Therefore, recruitment for posts of IRTS (Indian railways traffic officer), IRAS (Indian railways account service), IRSE (Indian railway service of engineers, IRSEE (Indian railway service of electrical engineers), IRSSE (Indian railway service of signal engineers and IRSS (Indian railway store service) is done based on UPSC examination results.

Minimum Educational qualification required for group A services is a graduation degree from a recognized institution.

Age limit for the GROUP A exams is:

For Non-technical jobs, the age of the candidate should be between 21-32 years, for Technical jobs the age should be less than 30, and medical-related jobs should be less than 32 years.

GROUP B

The posts of group B are usually promotion-based. This implies that officers of group C are promoted to group b. There is no examination as such.

GROUP C

RRB is the monitory body which is responsible for recruitment in Group C and D of railways. The required age of candidates should be between 18-29 years.

CANDIDATES WITH AGE BETWEEN 18 YEARS TO 33 YEARS (ONLY FOR GRADUATES)

  1. Traffic assistant
  2. Goods guard
  3. The senior commercial cum ticket clerk
  4. Senior clerk cum typist
  5. Junior account assistant cum typist
  6. Senior timekeeper
  7. Commercial apprentice
  8. Stationmaster

CANDIDATES WITH AGE BETWEEN 18 TO 30 YEARS (ONLY FOR 12TH PASS)

  1. Junior Clerk cum typist
  2. Accounts Clerk cum typist
  3. Junior timekeeper
  4. Trains clerk
  5. The commercial cum ticket clerk

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process for the jobs mentioned above would involve the following stages:

  1. Computer-based test 1 (CBT-1): This step is common for the students of both of the categories. failing the first test means that you are no longer eligible for the second level test. Computer-based test 2 (CBT-2)
  2. Typing skill test/ computer-based aptitude test
  3. Document verification/ medical examination

While CBT1 is common for all, CB2 is different. Therefore the level of difficulty varies with the post applied. For instance, the computer-based test for level 2 jobs would be comparatively less difficult as compared to the computer-based test for level 6. The job profiles decide the division of levels.

There is a typing test for posts like junior clerk cum typist, assistant clerk cum typist, junior timekeeper, etc. Train clerk and commercial cum ticket clerk would not have to give the typing test.

For this information, the students need to analyze the official notification of these exams from the government of India’s official site; As such information keeps changing every year.

Currently, computer-based test 1 and computer-based test 2  (no typing test) followed by document verification is required for the post of Commercial apprenticeship, Traffic apprenticeship, Goods guard, Enquiry cum reservation clerk.

Also, the candidate is required to appear for a typing test for the post-of-Junior accounts assistant cum typist, senior clerk cum typist, senior timekeeper. 

Group D/ Class 4

All the candidates who aren’t graduated or the ones who couldn’t study beyond class 10th or 12th still have the chance to get a respectable job, the railway recruitment board provides this opportunity to them.

Group D consists of posts like Trackman, Gateman, Helpers, Porter, etc. They are required to be between the ages of 18 to 31/33 years (with age relaxation for OBC/SC/ST) and have Indian citizenship.

Minimum Educational qualification required for a candidate is that he must pass the 10th standard or have an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) certificate from either the National Council for Vocational Training or the State Council for Vocational Training.

Currently, there are 21 RRB in India, responsible for managing vacancies and appointing candidates in different zones and regions of the country.

Syllabus for Railway Exam

SECTIONS IN 1st COMPUTER BASED TEST

  • MATHS for 30 marks
  • GENERAL INTELLIGENCE AND REASONING for 30 marks
  • GENERAL AWARENESS for 40 marks

Thus the candidates need to answer 100 questions in 90 minutes. Also, there will be negative marking and 1/3rd of the total marks shall be deducted for every wrong answer.

SECTIONS IN THE 2ND COMPUTER BASED TEST

(THE PATTERN IS SAME FOR ALL THE LEVELS, HOWEVER, THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL WOULD INCREASE AS WE GO UP THE LEVEL LADDER)

  • MATHS 35
  • GENERAL INTELLIGENCE AND REASONING 35
  • GENERAL AWARENESS 50

Thus, here the candidates need to answer 120 questions in 90 minutes.

SECTION WISE PREPARATION STRATEGY FOR RRB EXAMS

1. General awareness

This section includes all the events of national and international significance.  In particular, a major focus is always on international organizations, important days and dates, books and authors, awards and honors, appointments, government schemes, etc.

2. Arithmetic ability

This section aims to test the mathematical and quantitative skills possessed by the candidates. For this reason, the majority of the questions are asked from the number system, data interpretation, percentage, ratio and proportion, time and distance, area, HCF, LCM, simplification, and averages.

3. General intelligence

It consists of general questions from science, economy, polity, geography, and history. There is no pre-defined syllabus for general awareness. However, Lucent’s book for general knowledge can be helpful while preparing for this section.

4. Reasoning Ability

This section can be divided into the following sections:

–    Verbal reasoning

Commonly, questions are asked from Number series, a test of direction sense, number ranking, age-related questions, alphabet series, blood relations, coding-decoding, arithmetical reasoning, decision making, analogy.

–    Non-verbal reasoning

Under this, important sub-topics are Mirror images, non-verbal series, and embedded figures, grouping identical figures, cubes, and dices.

5. General English

The English section primarily involves two things- comprehension and vocabulary related questions. Reading newspapers regularly can help you improve your spoken and written English. The syllabus includes one-word phrases, idioms, synonyms, antonyms, reading a passage, fill in the blanks, etc.

Preparation Tips for Railway Exam

  • All the entrance exams seek to test the candidate’s ability to solve tricky questions in the stipulated time. Regular practice is a must if you want to avoid the last moment hustle. So the most important thing about such exams is to solve the previous year papers.
  • Once you are through with the past question papers, you have covered almost 40% of the syllabus.
  • It is better to cover the entire syllabus.
  • Putting 4-5 hours regularly is very essential if you want to crack this exam.
  • Never underestimate the difficulty level of the exam. 
  • Attempt 10-15 mocks before you sit for the final exam. Never do the mocks for the sake of just doing them, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, then the idea of giving mocks become futile.
  • Another important way to increase the probability of clearing the exam is: practicing with a stopwatch. As time management is very crucial in such entrance examinations. If you want to answer the majority of the questions, you need to prepare hard. However, if you are taking too long to answer a question, it becomes really difficult to complete the paper.

Time Management in Railway Exam

Ideally, for the general awareness section, each question should be answered in 15-20 seconds. After all, in this section, you don’t need to burn your brain, either you know the answer or you don’t! There is no midway in general awareness questions. Isn’t it?

Moving on to English, reading passages involves a lot of time. So the students should answer the questions in this section in 1-2 minutes each. For mathematics related questions, the students should be thorough with tables, squares, and cubes of the numbers. However, Vedic math provides an easy way to do cumbersome calculations in less than a minute.

If you get stuck over a question, it is better to skip it and move on to the next question rather than wasting time over it unnecessarily.

Books to Refer for Railway Exam

  • English grammar by wren and martin
  • Upkar Railway recruitment board examination by Khanna and Verma
  • Reasoning test by R.S. Agarwal
  • 15 practice sets Indian railways j.e. recruitment exam by Arihant publications
  • Quantitative aptitude by R.S. Agarwal
  • Magazines like “pratiyogita darpan” can prove to be a silver lining over the cloud as it provides concrete and informative content, which can help you retain most of the information.

Lastly,

“A GOAL WITHOUT A VISION IS AN ILLUSION”, SO IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SET A GOAL, STAND UP AND GET GOING.

Once you have decided what you want to achieve, then there is no going back. You have to do it at any cost. But training your mind would be the ultimate factor determining the chances of your victory. Work hard, give it your best shot and never lose confidence. Without a positive mind, even extreme and tenuous efforts won’t heed positive results.

So keep your spirits high and be ready to work hard for the next few months until you crack the railway exam.

All the Best!

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