SBI PO & UIIC AO 2016 Exam: How to Prepare for Descriptive Test?


The descriptive test plays crucial part in the selection process of both SBI PO & UIIC exam. To get a call for interview, you need to qualify both the written exam as well as the descriptive test. If you perform well in the written exam but fail in the descriptive test, you may not be eligible for the interview process.

In descriptive test, you have to answer all the questions in English and if you have good writing skills you can easily clear this test. Do note that, the descriptive test will be held online mode. You will have to answer Descriptive Test by typing on the computer immediately after the completion of written exam, Descriptive Test will be administered.

The nature of the Descriptive test in itself ignites fear in the mind of most candidates. And when it is combined with English Language the nervousness and the fear has no bounds. Like many you must also be scared of the English Descriptive test. Therefore to alleviate your fear of English Descriptive Exam, we have come up with the Tips for Descriptive Exam. We hope this will help you in your preparation.

First let us discuss the Pattern of Descriptive Test –

In SBI PO Exam – As per the notification for the SBI PO 2016 Exam,

1. The Descriptive Test will be of 30 minutes duration with 50 marks.

2. This Test will contain questions from Letter Writing & Essay topics.

3. Essay questions carries 30 marks & letter writing questions will be of 20 marks.

In UIIC AO Exam – As per the notification for the UIIC AO 2016 Exam,

1. The Descriptive Test will be of 30 minutes duration with 30 marks.

2. This Test will contain questions from Letter Writing & Essay topics.

3. Essay questions carries 20 marks & letter writing questions will be of 10 marks.


Now, let us discuss “How to prepare for the Descriptive Test”? For this, you have to develop a well framed exam strategy and prepare accordingly.

Now let’s discuss the topics covered in the descriptive test –

Letter writing:

This topic tests a candidate’s ability to precisely and effectively communicate with the person to whom the letter is addressed. There are different kinds of letters asked in the exam. For examples, there are personal letters and formal letters. The form of each letter is determined by its kind. For example, personal letters are written in a friendly tone. Formal letters, on the other hand, are written in a formal style.

What is a Formal letter: If you’re writing to a Bank Manager, any government official, dignitary, academic official or anyone else with whom you hope to have a professional relationship, the letter should be formal.

What is an Informal letter: If you’re writing to your friend, to your relatives, a co-worker, a distant or elderly relative, the letter should probably be informal.

Key points you need to keep in mind before writing a letter in exam –

Format of the letter: In order to fetch good marks in descriptive test, the letter should be written in correct format. An examiner always looks at whether the letter is written in the correct format and gives marks accordingly.

Below is the correct format of letter writing –


A – Wing,

Sector 16, A

Film City, Noida

Pin Code -201301

Date: May 25, 2016


The Branch Manager,

State Bank of India

Sector 16, Noida

Subject: ______________.

Dear Sir,

Body: Write your message here.

Yours faithfully



(i) Everything should be written on the left hand side (left aligned).

(ii) If you’re writing a formal letter, you can use “Dear Sirs,” “Dear Madams,” or “Dear Sirs/Madams.” “Respected Sirs/Madams”.

(iii) If you’re writing an informal letter, you can use “Dear” or “Hello,” as well as more informal greetings such as “Hi” or “Hey.”

(iv) During exam, you need not to mention your original name in the letter. You can use ABC or XYZ in place of your name.

Essay writing

This is an important part of the descriptive test, as maximum marks are assigned for essay writing. It involves organizing and structuring of your thoughts and ideas. It requires good writing skills and imagination. Before writing an essay, plan your thoughts and ideas and put them on the paper in a very structured manner.


How to prepare for Essay writing?

1. To improve your writing skills, you should make a habit of reading English Newspaper on a regular basis. Generally, in competitive exams, essay topics are asked from current issues. So, reading newspaper will not only improve your writing skills but it will also help you in increasing your general knowledge.

2. While reading articles or editorials, always jot (write something quickly) down relevant points and make notes of important lines and quotes. This exercise will help surely help you in improving your English Grammar.

3. Write articles using your own words on any topic, this exercise will boost your confidence before exam.

4. Always refer to the dictionary if you do not know the meaning of a word or when you are in doubt about any unfamiliar usage of a word.

5. Reading and writing articles will help you in putting your ideas on paper and will ensure that you have good command over language.

6. Buy books for essay writing and start your preparation. Write two essays daily on a regular basis.

Key points while writing an Essay:

1. Read instruction carefully – Read the questions and instructions carefully, before start writing essay in the exam.

2. Pick a topic – Select the topic in which you are most confident and about which you have proper knowledge.

3. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas – Note down all your ideas on a rough sheet, before writing an essay.

4. Always write essay in three parts – Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

(i) Introduction – The introduction should attract the examiner attention and show the focus of your essay.

(ii) Body – The body of essay explains or describes the topic in detail manner. Do not repeat any sentence in the essay.

(iii) Conclusion – The conclusion is the end of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic.

Here are some suggested books for the descriptive test –

1. Descriptive English book – Kiran Prakashan

2. Descriptive General English book- S.P. Bakshi and Richa Sharma

3. Crack Descriptive English – Varuna Sharma

4. Descriptive English- SC Gupta

5. Descriptive English – K. Kundan

At last –

As descriptive test will be held online mode, then make a habit of typing articles and letter in your desktop or laptop. This will improve your writing skills and as well as increase your typing speed. Write 1 essay and letter on a daily basis. Reread your essay or letter and check to see if it makes sense. Review what you have written and improve it.


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