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How to Prepare for the SBI PO Mains Descriptive Test with Samples

The Descriptive Test is one of the two tests that is conducted for the SBI PO Mains Exam. It carries a total of 50 marks and the time duration for the test is 30 minutes. To prepare for a Descriptive Test is not a simple process, especially when it is for the post of an SBI PO. Your performance in this test depends on a number of factors, like your writing skills, your speed of typing, and your level of awareness on Current Affairs. This Descriptive Test consists of two questions only. They are Letter Writing and Essay Writing.

The test commences immediately after the Objective Test comes to an end. It continues for the next 30 minutes, without any interruptions. Since there are only 2 questions in this section and it carries a total of 50 marks, let us assume that each question carries 25 marks. In order to help you put in your best efforts while attempting this 50 mark paper, we have taken our time and come up with a few strategies that you can use while you are attempting your Descriptive Test. 

SBI PO Mains Exam Descriptive Test 2016 - Prep Strategies

Q No.


No. of  Marks per Question

Optimum Time to Allot per Question

Optimum Time to Review the Answer

Total Time Taken to Answer the Question


Letter Writing


10 Minutes

2 Minutes

12 Minutes


Essay Writing


15 Minutes

3 Minutes

18 Minutes



25 Minutes

5 Minutes

30 Minutes


Now that you are clear with how much time you need to allot for each question, the next step is to prepare yourself to execute this plan. 

With 12 days left for your Mains Exam, set aside 30 minutes every day and prepare for your Descriptive Test. If you are good at writing, you will need much lesser time to prepare for this section. All you will have to do is, brush up on your current affairs, and work on your typing speed.  You can use our article on the List of Topics to Prepare On for Your SBI PO Mains Exam - Descriptive Test as a reference while you are preparing for this section.  As this section carries a total of 50 marks, with a little practice, you will definitely be able to crack the Descriptive Test.

Preparing for Letter Writing & Essay Writing

#1 For each day pick 2 topics from the list mentioned in the above paragraph. You can take one topic from the letter writing section and the second topic from the essay writing section 

#2 Take 5 minutes to research on each topic.

#3 Open a Word Document and practice writing one letter or one essay for the day. Stick to the time that we have recommended for you to follow while answering each of these questions in the table above.

#4 Review the letter or essay. Check your spellings, grammar, punctuation, and format. In case you have used any sub-headings in your essay, you could re-arrange the order of your sub-headings that you used i fit is required.

*You can alternate between letters and essays for the first 6 days. Once you get the hang of it, you could stick to writing 1 letter every three days, and concentrate more on writing essays.  

Samples for Essay & Letter Writing

We have written a formal letter, an informal letter and an essay for you to use as a reference while you prepare for the Descriptive Test.

1. Formal Letter: Write a letter to your Branch Manager requesting him/her for leave to attend your sister's wedding.

#002, Alankritha Apartments,

5th Cross, Indiranagar,

Hubli - 650 004

July 10, 2016.

The Branch Manager

The State Bank of India


Hubli – 650 004

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

Subject: Request for leave from 19th-22nd July 2016.

My younger sister is getting married in the coming week, on July 21, 2016. My family’s customs and traditions require me to be present for all the pre-marital rituals, which begin from the early morning of July 20th. Since my hometown is Kashi, I will need to leave Hubli on July 19th.

Please grant me leave for the above mentioned duration.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,


Abc Xyz.

Probationary Officer

2. Informal Letter: You are going to Delhi on official duty next month. Make plans to meet with your younger sister who is studying in a hostel in Delhi. 


July 10, 2016.

Dear Sindhu,

How have you been? It has been almost two months since I have written to you. I hope you are doing well at the hostel.

The bank is sending me to Delhi on some official work for three days in the first week of office. I will arrive in Delhi on the morning of August 3rd, and I will be on official duty until the 5th evening. Since this is the first time that I will be coming to Delhi, I was hoping that we could spend time together for the next two days, as it will be the weekend. We could probably go to that chaat shop that you tell me about so much. I will know if it’s as good as what you describe it to be.

Anyway, before I make more plans for my Delhi trip, let me know if you will be free around that time. I hope that exams don’t come in our way. Convey my regards to Aunty Shriya and her family. I look forward to your reply.

Yours lovingly,


3. Essay Writing: Here is a sample on an essay that is written on disruptive school students. You can refer to this essay for the format. 

Disruptive school students have a negative influence on others. Students who are noisy and disobedient should be grouped together and taught separately.

A serious problem is caused in many schools by children who not only do not pay attention to their teacher but also disrupt their classmates. One proposed solution is to place these children in separate classes to minimise disruption. While there is something to be said for this, I do not believe that it is practical.

It is almost certainly true that separating out problem students will result in quieter and more orderly classrooms. This should benefit the majority of children and enable them to learn more effectively. They would no longer be distracted by classmates who either talk all the time or ignore the teacher. Teachers would also be able to concentrate on instructing their students and not have to waste time on disciplinary matters, which should mean that most children learned better. There may, however, be practical problems in implementing this policy. One difficulty would be that the children placed in special classes may behave even worse than before when they are put together. It also seems likely that there is less chance of their behaviour improving when they do not have the positive influence of well-behaved classmates. As a result, this special class could become so unmanageable that it caused even more problems for the school administration than solved it.

If a school has access to teachers who are capable of handling a special classroom, they could go ahead and implement the idea. However, if the teachers feel that they will not be capable of handling a special classroom, the idea must be dropped. If the school is not capable of handling a special classroom, other ideas could be considered, like detention for such students.


Since there is no negative marking for the Descriptive Test, it is comparatively easier to score high marks in this section. We hope that this information has clarified the questions in your mind. 

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