The PO mains exam of various exams like SBI-PO, IBPS-PO, BOB Manipal, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank , Dena Bank and many more, now include a descriptive test which consists of two questions – Letter Writing and Essay Writing. Unlike essay, a letter needs to be written in a proper english grammar format. So following the correct format while writing can fetch you brownie points in the letter writing for bank exams.
Why Letter writing?
A bank job requires human interaction at all levels whether at the customer level or at the level of the organization. This requires good communication and analytical skills. Through letter writing the bank wants to test your ability to communicate well within an organization. Also they want to see that how well do you structure your thoughts.
Things to keep in mind
There is no set criteria given by the banks for evaluation of the descriptive test but there are some key points you must keep in mind to score well in the letter writing part of the test.
- Choose your topic wisely: If you are comfortable with a formal letter choose that particular topic, else go with the informal letter. There is no bias for the type of letter you choose.
- Content: Read the question properly and understand it well. Then address all aspects of the topic being asked. The examiner will see whether your content is accurate and is relevant to the context.
- Correct Format: Follow the right pattern according to the type of the letter you have chosen. You will find the formats for both formal and informal letters at the end of this article.
- Structure and Coherence: Never start writing the letter directly. Always structure your thoughts first and then start writing. The first paragraph should introduce the topic followed by your suggestions/demands ending with an appropriate conclusion (like a request for compliance). This way you will not miss any point in your letter and will also be able to maintain a good flow in the content of the letter.
- Grammar and Vocabulary: The presentation of your letter depends on your grammatical expression and the vocabulary that you are using. Be very sure of the meaning and spelling of words that you use. The language should be easily understandable. Avoid using flowery words and phrases.
- Letter Body: Use the appropriate salutation while beginning the letter. Mention the subject precisely because that will convey to the examiner about how well you have understood the question. End the letter with a complimentary expression, for e.g. ‘Yours’ sincerely’, ‘Yours’ truly’ etc.
- Word limit: Sticking to the word limit mentioned in the question is very important because the examiner does not have the whole day to read your answer. Always remember less is more- Try and convey your thoughts in the prescribed word limit. Exceeding the word limit by 15-20 words is exempted.
Format of the letters
There are two types of letters- formal and informal which can be asked in the letter writing part of the test.
- Format for formal letters: Formal letters are written in a professional manner keeping in mind the position of the person you are writing to. Things have to be conveyed in a subtle way with use of formal language. No slang language and abbreviations should be used.
<Your Address/Senders’ Address>
(Example) Hno. 123-A
<Receivers' Address / Address of the person to whom you are writing>
(Example) The Manager
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
<Salutation> Dear Sir/Ma’am
<Subject of the letter>
<Body of the Letter>
<Complimentary Note/ Sign off> Yours’ faithfully
<Name of the Sender>
- Format for informal Letter: An informal letter is written with a personal touch. These are mostly written to friends or relatives with whom we share our everyday life.
<Senders’ Address/Your Address>
<Receivers’ Address/Address of the person to whom you are writing>
<Salutation> Dear XYZ (Name of the Person)
<Body of the Letter>
<Complimentary message> Looking forward to see you
<Sign off> Lots of Love
<Senders’ Name/Your Name>