SBI Bank PO: Preparation for Descriptive test


SBI Bank PO Paper also contains an online Descriptive Test of 50 marks (1 hour duration). It consists of English Language Comprehension, Short Précis, and Letter Writing & Essay.

English Writing & Comprehension

In this section, for descriptive test, paragraph writing is also incorporated. You will be given topic for writing paragraph

  • The paragraph should have maximum 150 words.
  • Sentence formation should be proper. The first sentence can give the main idea of the topic and rest of the sentences should be supportive of the main idea.
  • Sentences are made up of words. Read English magazines, newspapers, English comics to study how sentences are constructed and how the use of a particular relevant vocabulary contributes in formation of an effective sentence.


Precis writing means the art of cutting short a composition in such a way as to make it precise, exact and definite. It requires command over language and power of discrimination between important and unimportant points.

Institute of Banker’s Examination has laid some prominent features of Precis:

  • A precis should be one third of the original length of the given matter. Certain examinations prescribe the number of words of the précis.
  • It should have all the necessary and relevant points of the given matter.
  • It should be brief and simple in language without any ambiguity and obscurity.
  • A precis must convey the same shade of meaning as intended by the writer of the original matter. The language used in précis should be correct, free from slang and writer’s own coined abbreviations.

Kinds of precis:

  • Precis of continuous matter (speech, leading article of a paper, market report etc.
  • Precis of correspondence (official or commercial).

Process of writing Precis

  • Read the passage twice and understand it well. Try to find out central thought.
  • Write down important points as marginal notes.
  • Prepare a rough copy including every point of importance.
  • Make sure not to repeat points.
  • As far as possible do not give the actual words of the original matter.
  • There should be no jerks in writing. Points should flow into one another.  See if the narration is grammatically correct, well punctuated, free of spelling mistakes and properly styled.
  • After writing the rough copy, measure the length of précis. If it is exceeding the required length then look for the areas where reduction is possible.
  • A phrase can be replaced by an adjective or an adverb. Complex sentence can be replaced by simple sentences.
  • Precis should be written in third person, indirect form and past tense.
  • After writing the rough copy, give your précis a suitable heading.
  • While writing précis of a speech, remember that the speaker repeats the same point in various ways so give special attention to the last portion only, as it contains summary of the speech.
  • While writing précis of debates, pay attention to the president / chairman who sums up the important points of both sides in a nut shell.
  • While writing précis for correspondence, put in the leading important points. State briefly the subject of the attached correspondence
  • Give particulars of each separate letters like Number of letter, date, from whom, subject matter.
  • State briefly the points on which opinions were called for, and the substance of the replies
  • Index the correspondence under five headings.

Letter writing

A business letter requires a formal tone and is used for business purposes. They are written for conveying messages to people whom we do not know personally. Certain rules are to be followed for writing it.

  • It should be short and concise
  • The length of letter should not be more than a page
  • Only 2 - 3 paragraphs should be there.
  • Begin the letter with the address and other contact details of the sender. After it mention the date on which the letter is written
  • Next   comes recipient's name and full address. This should come 4-6 lines after the date
  • Next comes greetings or salutation. In salutation you may write- Dear (full name), Dear Sir/Madam, etc. If you do not know the name of the recipient, it would be best to begin with To Whomsoever It May Concern followed by a personal title - Mr./Ms. - and the full name of the person.
  • Next comes subject of letter. Mention the purpose of the letter in short. Make sure that the subject line is in upper-case characters and is aligned either to the left or to the center.
  • Begin the body of the letter with brief introduction followed by paragraphs with main matter or necessary detail to be conveyed. It is important to maintain double- line space between paragraphs.
  • End the letter with a complimentary closing like Respectfully Yours, Sincerely, etc. Leave four blank spaces after the complimentary closing and then, write your full name. The blank space should be used to sign your name
  • Enclosure: If you have enclosed some document with your letter, it is important for you to mention it just below your name. Leave two spaces and write 'Enclosure' or 'Enclosures' below it. If you have attached more than one enclosure, do not forget to mention the correct number in brackets.

Essay Writing

Important features of Essay writing:

  • Choose a relevant title/thesis statement which speaks about the soul of the content of the essay and make sure you know everything related to it.
  • Pay special attention to the beginning and the ending of the essay.
  • The introduction should be relevant and direct. The introduction should be short. It may contain a fact, quote or statistics related to title or thesis statement.
  • Try to stay focused on topic of the essay and do not deviate. If you are writing something extra then make sure it adds value to your topic in some way.
  • Do not give irrelevant and unnecessary quotations in essay as it signals lack of expressions.
  • Do not use stale idioms and clichés.
  • Write each main idea in a separate paragraph. Do not give numbers to your paragraphs.
  • Use simple language, short sentences in informative and suggestive tone.
  • Use graceful, dignified and literary style of language which should be free from slang and colloquial terms.
  • Don’t give one sided conclusions. It should be balanced.

How to approach?

  • In essays, first you have to make clear if you have to explain/ identify/analyze or define some concept. If you are to "identify" something and then "analyze" it, then write 1st paragraph identifying what's requested and a second paragraph analyzing what you have identified.
  • Make a list of ideas. Then write statements, arguments and facts supporting the idea.
  • Make a thesis statement that conveys the point you are about to make in the essay.
  • While giving your opinion use neutral language and avoid writing “ I think” or “everyone thinks”
  • Start with the least important point in your starting paragraph and put the most important point in the last paragraph.
  • Always write the concluding statement for each paragraph.
  • In the end write a conclusion in which you should restate the thesis statement, briefly summarize important arguments and end   the essay with the ultimate point of your essay.
SBI Bank PO: Preparation for Descriptive test
SBI Bank PO: Preparation for Descriptive test - By | Date Published : 28-04-2015 | Category : Article |
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SBI Bank PO Paper also contains an online Descriptive Test of 50 marks (1 hour durati

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