Descriptive English test is now a part of bank exams & insurance exams that are conducted for officer cadre positions.It comprises of questions related to letter writing & essay writing.The main purpose of this test is to check the proficiency of written english among candidates.Here you will learn about the format for letter writing & how to prepare/ write a correct letter that will help you to crack the descriptive test.
In SBI PO & UIIC AO exams, descriptive test is just a qualifying test – which means, candidates should only score the necessary cutoffs in this paper to qualify for interviews.
Letter Writing Basics
There are two types of letters which are commonly asked in these exams.They are:
- Informal letters (written to friends, relatives, parents, siblings (brother/ sister)
- Formal letters (written to bank manager, news editor, government dept/ officials etc.)
Descriptive test will have both formal & informal letter questions & you can choose any one for answering.
But it is advisable to know both the formats as both follow the same structure with minor changes only.
What is the correct format of letters?
Be it a formal or informal letter, it should contain all of the following parts:
An example letter written by a person to a state government official in bangalore about building violations, is given below that will help you understand these parts better.
This being the general format, now let us see how to write a proper letter covering the above 3 parts.
Addresses: Every letter should have the from & to addresses mentioned at the top.It is the basic item & must not be forgotten at any cost.
- Under the field ‘From’, mention your name & address.
- Inside the field ‘To’, you need to specify the name & address of the person or organization to whom this letter is sent.
In the above example, the letter is written to bangalore`s BBMP & hence the relevant officer name/ post along with his address is given.
If you are sending a letter to a newspaper editor, the ‘To’ area should be like this:
Body of Letter This is the main part of a letter & should contain your answer for the given question.
- Incase of informal letters, you can start with ‘Dear _____’
- Formal letters should begin with ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’.It is advisable not to use the word ‘dear’.
The next line in formal letters must be for ‘Subject’ where you need to mention the purpose of this letter in one sentence.
In the sample letter above, Mr.Nagaraj wants to complain about the owner.So he has written ‘Sub: Violation of building bye law’.
Similarly, candidates can pickup the subject line from the question itself.
For example, if the question is – ’Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper informing about the rise in ragging issues’, your subject can be “Sub: Rise in ragging issues”
After this, the main content should follow detailing the real purpose of writing that letter.
Conclusion: It can also be termed as the closing remarks, which are necessary at the end of your letter.
Here are certain words that you may use:
- Informal letters: Yours lovingly, Yours affectionately
- Formal letter: Yours sincerely/ Yours truly / Yours faithfully
Writing your name below any of the above words will mark the end of your letter.