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How to prepare for IBPS PO Mains Descriptive Paper

Last Updated - February 27, 2018

The main exam for IBPS PO is scheduled for November 18, 2018.  This exam is responsible for recruiting probationary officers in public sector banks. Apart from the objective paper, IBPS has also introduced an English descriptive paper that will carry 25 marks. The marks scored in this section will be added to the final score of IBPS PO. Hence, it is essential to score well in this section. 

Since this is a new addition to the question paper, candidates must be aware of the type of questions asked in this section to score well. As per the traditional IBPS PO exam pattern,  there are 4 sections in the objective paper.

  • Reasoning & Computer Aptitude
  • General/ Economy/ Banking Awareness
  • English Language
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation

Preparation tips for descriptive paper

Candidates are required to complete the paper in 30 minutes. This section carries 25 marks and contains 2 questions. One must not neglect the descriptive section as it is very important & carries significant weightage which can lead to your selection in the recruitment process for IBPS PO.

The two questions are:

  • Essay writing- 15 marks
  • Letter writing- 10 marks

2 reasons why the Descriptive Paper in IBPS PO Mains is easier than you think

  • Content is the master key- This paper requires the knowledge of current affairs, GK, statistical data, factual information etc. The way you present your content will determine your score.
  • Questions are known- This part is not completely unknown to the candidates because they know the number and type of questions asked. So, they can easily answer all the questions based on recent topics & general knowledge.

Letter Writing

Letters can be asked in the form of business or personal letters. When a letter is addressed to near & dear ones then it is a personal letter. A letter written for official purposes is a business letter. Therefore, it is essential to know the format of both letters.

Important parts that need to be included in both the types of letters:

  • Letterhead
  • Date
  • Address
  • Subject (in the formal letter)
  • Salutation
  • Content of letter (preferably in 3 paragraphs)
  • Complimentary closing
  • Writers name & designation

Important tips for Letter Writing

  • Mentioning the date is important
  • You must include address & email in the letter address.
  • State the purpose of your letter in the body text.
  • In the informal letter, you do not need to introduce yourself whereas in the formal letter introduction is required.
  • One paragraph should explain the subject in detail.
  • Information should be conveyed in the right way.
  • Rules like a complimentary closing of formal letter should be followed. If you know the name of the addressee, start the informal letter with “Dear” etc.
  • It is advised to write XYZ or ABC while writing the letter instead of writing your name.
  • Active Voice should be followed.

Essay Writing

An essay should be structured in the following manner:

  • Introduction- Background & History of the subject should be included
  • About- Details & theory of the subject should be included.
  • There should be positivity in the body of the letter; advantages should be there.
  • Negatives should be presented carefully.

Important tips for Essay writing

  • Start writing small paragraphs daily to improve vocabulary.
  • Take time to choose the subject.
  • Choose the subject which is familiar to you.
  • Strong opinions should be given instead of suggestions.
  • Your writing should not have a prejudiced view of the issue at hand.

Practice is the key. Rigorous practice will reduce your chances of making errors in the exam. It is advisable to practice writing on MS Word so that your typing speed increases. This will give you an edge over othr candidates in the exam and it will also help in time management.


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