How to score high in Descriptive Test in SBI PO

Mains 2017 exam – SBI PO Exam Strategy by Toppers?

Experience shared by Ankit Vani, one of the successful candidates of SBI PO 2016,
as an Assistant Manager, State Bank of India.

Let’s start with some important facts first:

  1. I am posted at my preferred circle right now.
  2. The last year’s cutoff for SBI PO Mains 2016 for General category was 70 marks.
  3. I scored 79 marks in Mains exam, a scant ahead of the prescribed cutoff marks.

Why did I tell this to you? Did you notice my first point? Did you carve outan analogy in your mind? Think, push harder. Come on, think once again. Come on, apply some simple reasoning.

Not getting the cue? Okay, let me elaborate then. My score was not enough by any standards to fetch me my circle of preference and yet I managed to get one. How? If not in those 4 divine sections, where did things worked for me then? Yes, you guessed it right. It worked for me in the most “neglected” yet most “defining” section in SBI PO Mains exam, i.e. Descriptive Test. A score of 39 out of 50 and it placed me way ahead of my competitors. In fact, it secured a lot of things for me ahead.

Why did I bore you with all this at the outset? Why did I blabber about my own marks and where things worked for me? How did I recognize that my marks were not enough to bestow me my preference? Well, I did this because Descriptive Test these days has not been pursued with an importance and weightage that it carries in swinging the deal in your favor. It is becoming that “lower order batsmen” who comes out to bat and score a quick 30 runs, leaving opposition amused and ruffled who takes him lightly and end up on giving away the “jewel of winning” to the other side.

A lot of aspirants make this mistake of over-acknowledging their writing and typing abilities, only to make a mockery of their own hallucinations which get brushed aside within 30 minutes. And you know what; congrats you have messed up with your chances of racing ahead.  It is not that you don’t know about your own capabilities, about your own limitations. It is that you start preparing for it so late that you are already overburdened with four sections and descriptive sections gets confined to scanning formats a night before the exam.

Well, let me share some quick tips to score high in Descriptive section of SBI PO Mains 2017 exam:

  • When it comes to letter writing, be it formal or informal, format carries a lot of weightage. If your write up is good but format is not correct, you might not get the desired marks. Hence, look for the formats as early as possible.
  • While writing an essay, keep yourself within the prescribed word limits. Word limit is assigned to assess how a candidate can convey a message with brevity. Don’t surpass the word limit except for 15-20 words.
  • The timing for descriptive section is curtailed to 30 minutes which needs a well framed strategy in order to finish things on time. Divide it like this: first 5 minutes for framing the content of essay and letter, next 20 minutes for writing both of them and last 5 minutes for proof-reading the write up. Hence, sticking to a well-planned strategy in this section would work wonders for you.
  • Maintain a moderate tone while conveying a message. Don’t try to be extremely straight forward or biased towards a particular issue. What you write is a reflection of how you think.
  • Bolster an essay with some facts and figuresin case you remember some of them. It is not a necessity but it can prove to be a big value addition to your writing.
  • Frame an essay properly. Generally, couple of lines should be dedicated to introduction followed by one’s own point of view culminated by a well-thought conclusion. Remember, conclusion should not be divergent from what you have written before.
  • Maintain a steady typing speed in order to finish things on time. If you are slow at it, dedicate an hour daily to improve the speed.
  • Avoid making a lot of grammatical mistakes. Once again, content is secondary, grammar is primary.
  • Proof-read the write up word to word. While writing, we tend to commit a lot of mistakes unknowingly which gets popped up while reviewing it. Hence, proof-read the essay and letter with minute details.
  • Avoid using high-end vocabulary or complicated words/idioms/phrases to convey a message. They are checking your written communication and not your command over vocabulary and language.
  • Start practicingthis part straight away. Start with small introductions and conclusions and proceed ahead with more detailed essay and letters.
  • Choose the topic wisely. The topic might look easy at first go but writing on it might be difficult. Therefore, make sure you make the topic selection with conscious mind and keeping your knowledge in mind.
  • Don’t include irrelevant details to comply with the word limit. Including irrelevant details would make the better part worse and boring.
  • Lastly, practice a lot. Write at least 2-3 letters and essays per day to improve upon your writing abilities. Practicing would unfurl your wings of thinking and you would enter the exam room with proper strategy and mental clarity.

All the best!!


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