Essay Writing Examples For Competitive Exams

10 months ago .

The SBI PO preliminary examinations are over. It’s time to prepare for the SBI PO Mains, the Descriptive Paper exam now. The Descriptive paper is important. It carries 50 marks which are counted towards the grand total for selection. There is no way to neglect this section because it’s going to help you crack the paper and give you the start to a promising career. The SBI PO descriptive paper has two sections –essay and letter writing. Go through the sample essays for Descriptive Papers of banking exams like SBI PO. To guide you with the essays, here are a couple of samples.

Check out a previous Essay Samples (Topic 1 & 2) here.

SBI PO Mains – Sample Essays 2017

Topic 3 for SBI PO Mains – Online Education in India

Education is the basic foundation of a student’s life. It shapes his overall personality and demeanor. Thus it is important that everyone has access to good education. With the growing popularity of electronic media, conventional methods of teaching are slowly and steadily being replaced by modern technology. With simple blackboards changing to interactive whiteboards, we are assured that change is on its way. This brings us to another important facet of education in a country like India – online education.

Online education is considered to be the means of attending classes via the internet. Many companies and start-ups provide online platforms to study on. These include MeritNation, Testbook, Toppr, Simplilearn, Ufaber, Intellipaat and Learnsocial among others.

Also known as distance learning, online education provides students with the advantage of studying in an atmosphere in which they are comfortable. This is especially beneficial for those individuals who are burdened with family responsibilities at a young age and those who barely have the time to attend a formal institution.

On the other hand, however, online education hinders the process of socialization. Limited contact with peers and restricted interactions with teachers can confine one’s horizons. The guidance that can be given through a direct, face-to-face conversation is often dwindled by the boundaries of the virtual world.

To add to this, internet penetration in India is very low. So it is not possible for people who really need this kind of education to actually benefit from it. This becomes the responsibility of the government then to ensure that the internet and consequently online education is made available to the remotest parts of the country.

Ultimately, just like there are two sides to a coin, online education has both advantages and disadvantages. It depends on an individual and his circumstances to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa.

And that is probably why Heidi-Hayes Jacobs has said, “Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.”  The education scenario in India must take such suggestions in its stride to better its service and quality.

Topic 4 for SBI PO Mains – Honesty is the Best Policy

Right from a young age, the one value that people around us have always tried to inculcate in us is honesty. Our parents, older siblings, teachers and guardians always emphasize how important it is to be truthful in our actions and words. Even the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, always propagated truth as the strongest value addition to our characters.

However, we often tend to be carried away by the ease and comfort that lies shield us with. Truth is something that is often seen as the more complicated and difficult thing to speak out. The bitterness and rudeness attached with giving someone a frank opinion is tougher to handle than sugar coated lies and flattery.

The most important thing to understand is that genuineness always pays off. Firstly, if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what lies you created and concocted. Distorted versions of the truth, on the other hand, require a very good memory.

Secondly, the truth may hurt for a while but a lie causes much more agony when it is revealed as a lie. Honesty is the foundation on which relationships and trust are built. A single lie can jeopardize one’s faith. A single deception can destroy relations.

Lastly, people who always speak the truth do not live in the fear of being caught. Their mind is free of the worry and anxiety of making up another lie. It is true, to cover up one lie, man has to speak a thousand!

So why choose the wrong path when the right one is welcoming us with open arms? It is true, and so shall it always hold – Honesty is the best policy.

 

Try Few Essays Yourself to be fully prepared before the SBI PO Mains Examination.

The key words in the title are practical and exam. Last week I ran a “competition” to write an essay on aid and poverty. The essays I received were spectacularly good and I do suggest you check them out in the comments section. My one worry though was were they really practical essays in an exam. My essay, which you will find below, is I think much simpler than almost all the essays I received – and perhaps a more practical model for exams.

I should add that these are mostly band score 8.0 writing tips and are written especially for candidates who are aiming high. The moral is:

the road to band score 8.0 often means doing the simple things well

1. Read – write – read – write – read – write – read – write – read – write – read

What does this mean? It means that you should go back and read the paragraph you have just written before you start the next one. You may think that this is a waste of time. If so, you’d be wrong.

  1. It’s important to link your paragraphs together – what more practical way to do that than just read what you have written?
  2. It helps you with words for the next paragraph – it is good to repeat some words as this improves your coherence. Look at my sample essay to see how I repeat/reflect language. In one paragraph I talk about the short term, this makes it easy to move onto the long term in the next paragraph.
  3. You may also want to check out my series of lessons on the process of writing IELTS essays – where you will find a much more detailed explanation of this,

2. Don’t be smart, be clear – select your best idea

One of my very first posts/articles on this site was headed “IELTS is not a test of intelligence”. While the post itself now looks a little old, the advice is still good. You are being tested on the quality of your English, not on the quality of your ideas.

This advice is particularly important for candidates who come from an academic background where they are used to being graded on quality and quantity of ideas. IELTS is different: it is quite possible to write a band 9.0 essay and not include some key “academic” ideas, let alone all the ideas.

The practical advice here is to select your best idea and write about that. That means not writing everything you know – leave some ideas out. Don’t worry if it is not your best explanation, worry about whether it is your clearest explanation.

3. Write about what you know – relax about ideas

This is a similar idea. IELTS is an international exam (that’s the “I” in IELTS) and the questions are written to be answered by anyone around the world. Some people stress about finding ideas. They shouldn’t. The ideas you need are generally simple (eg”I disagree”, “This is not a good idea”).

The practical solution is to think about what YOU know and what YOUR experience is. If you look at the question, this is what it tells you to do. If you come from Bonn, write about Bonn; if you come from Ulan Bator, write about Ulan Bator!

4. Examples are easier to write than explanations

In an exam you are under pressure. You want to make things as easy for yourself as possible. One practical idea to achieve this is to focus as much on examples as explanations when you write. Why?

It’s simply harder if you only think “because”. Some of the ideas may be very complex and, under pressure, it can be difficult to explain these with reasons. What may happen is that your sentences become too long and the ideas confused.

The practical bit is to concentrate as much on examples. This is a good idea as examples tend to be easier to write as you are simply describing situations. You should also note that the instructions tell you to use examples! All you need to do is make sure that your examples are relevant to the main idea.

5. Don’t write too much – the examiner is paid by the minute

There is no upper word limit I know of, but it really isn’t a good idea to write 350 words or more. Here’s why:

  1. Examiners will only spend so much time looking at any essay. Write too much and they will read what you wrote “less carefully”. It is easier to read/grade a 300 word essay than a 400 word essay!
  2. The more you write, the more likely you are to make language mistakes.
  3. The more you write, the more likely you are to go off topic. The examiner won’t read/grade anything that doesn’t directly relate to the question.
  4.  If you write less, you give yourself more time to choose the best words – and that’s what you are being graded on.
  5. If you write less, you give yourself more time to go back and check what you have written.

6. Writer – know yourself

One of the most famous philosophical thoughts is “know yourself”. How does this apply to exam writing? Did Plato really have IELTS in mind when he wrote his dialogues? Well, no, but…

The idea is that you should check for your mistakes when you write. The practical part here is that you shouldn’t check for mistakes generally – that’s too hard and probably a waste of time in the exam. What isn’t a waste of time though is to look for mistakes you know you can correct – the ones you normally make!

The really practical thing is to have your own checklist in your head before you start writing.

7. See the whole essay in your head before you start writing

It’s very important that your essay is a whole – that all the bits fit together. If you don’t do that, you may lose significant marks for both coherence and task response.

This means planning of course. Planning bothers some people and bores others. There are different ways to do this, but at the very least have a map of your essay in your head.

8. Focus on the backbone of your essay

This is a related point. All the essay matters of course, but perhaps some bits matter more than others. I’d suggest the practical thing to do is concentrate on the backbone of your essay, the bits that help you write better and the examiner to understand better. The backbone is:

  1. The introduction: this should identify the question and outline your position. Don’t rush it as it is the first thing the examiner will read. First impressions count.
  2. The first/topic sentences of each paragraph: these should be clear and to the point. They should identify exactly what that paragraph is about and show how it relates to the rest of the essay. The practical tip is to keep the detail/clever ideas for the body of the paragraph. Start off general and then build towards the specific.
  3. The conclusion: this is the easiest part of the essay normally. Most often, all you need to do is go back to the introduction and rephrase it

Get these bits right and the rest of the essay tends to take care of itself.

9. Don’t just practice whole essays

The best way to learn to write essays is to write essays? True or false? My answer is a bit of both.

Yes, you do need to practise writing complete essays, but it may be a mistake to do only that. The different part of essays require slightly different skills. To write an introduction, you need to be able to paraphrase the question. To write a body paragraph, you need to be able to explain ideas. To write a conclusion, you need to be able summarise.

The practical suggestion is to practise writing introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions separately. Focus on skills.

 10. Focus on the question and refocus on the question

I have left this one to last as it is for me the most important idea. Essays go wrong for different reasons. Some of these you may not be able to avoid: the quality of your English may not be good enough yet. The one mistake you can always avoid is that you didn’t answer the question. Too many essays go wrong because candidates didn’t read and think about the question properly.

The practical suggestion: before you write each paragraph, refer back to the question to remind yourself about what you are meant to write about.

It is very easy to get carried away in exams. You may start off on topic, then you have a “good idea” as you write. So you write about that. Sadly, that “good idea” may not fully relate to the question. Big problem.

My sample essay on poverty and aid

This essay which you can download below is intended to be an example of the ideas in this post.

  • It is fairly simple in structure.
  • It focuses clearly on the question
  • I left many of my best ideas out. I concentrated on what I could explain clearly.
  • It comes in at only just over 300 words.

Download the essay

Poverty and aid essay (28781)

 More writing advice

This is where I catalogue all my writing materials. If you are looking for more specific advice, this is the place to start.

My other essay writing tips

The ideas here are similar and you will find more general guidance on dos and don’ts in IELTS essays.

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