ENGLISH (Writing Skills)

Securities and Exchange Board of India or commonly known as SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in 1988. It comes under the jurisdiction of Government of India with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

SEBI has released the notification for this year’s recruitment of Assistant Managers under ‘Grade A’ Officer. SEBI was established in the year 1988 and is headquartered in Mumbai and it has its regional offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad.

The total number of vacancies are 120 which will be filled through the recruitment process that is conducted in three phases.

SEBI has introduced the descriptive format from this year.

The SEBI Grade ‘A’ Phase II online examination has three papers for 100 marks each which also includes an ‘English’ paper, which is meant to test your writing skills.

Descriptive paper is there to test both your English language and the writing skills. For both of them, you need to develop a regular reading habit which will help you in gaining knowledge along with learning how to arrange your words in the correct manner.

Let’s look into the details of the SEBI GRADE ‘A’ OFFICER ENGLISH (Writing Skills) DESCRIPTIVE PAPER format.

English (Writing Skills) 100 60 minutes


The English section will include 3 questions based on three different types –

  1. Essay Writing
  2. Précis Writing
  3. Reading Comprehension

To be able to bring out the best in your performance, you should be well aware of all the types of questions and format of the paper. It should be very clear in your mind that which type of question expects what kind of approach from you.

‘Right approach leads you to the right path’

Therefore, we will discuss some general points that you need to know regarding the pattern and types of questions asked and how to go about each of them.


An essay, in general terms is a piece of writing which presents the writer’s own ideas / thoughts/ opinions / arguments related to the given topic. An essay, depending on its topic can be of various categories. You need to pick the topic which you are well aware of, well-read, and know the important points or facts and figures related, in case you pick one such kind.

When it comes to writing an essay, you need to focus on the ‘matter’ and the word limit as well. The ability to write on a topic, while covering all possible important points in a precise and crisp manner, is what this exam tests in you. You will be given a SEBI Grade ‘A’ English descriptive paper word limit of around 400 words and you need to make sure that this limit is not exceeded, as it may cost you your marks.

The most important step while writing an essay – bifurcate it into three parts –

  1. INTRODUCTION – You will always have to start the essay with a crisp, precise and proper introduction of the topic you choose, which gives a clear idea to the examiner and does not create a confusion in his/her mind. You have to be careful about not being too detailed, as you just need to introduce the topic and not explain it completely there.
  2. BODY – Once you make the reader familiar with the topic, you start talking about it in detail, keeping the word limit in mind. Here, you will have to cover all the facts /figures / information / ideas depending on the topic that you have chosen. It should include all relevant information and avoid going wayward and getting distracted from the main topic at hand.
  3. CONCLUSION – This is also an important part, which should not be ignored. This gives a complete shape to your essay and will fetch you good marks. Leaving an essay abruptly without properly closing it, will give a bad impression and may prove negative. Always close your essay with a proper message or conclusion.


  • READ AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE – Newspapers / blogs / books. Whatever you can get hold of.

R – Reflect

E – Engage

A – Absorb

D – Decipher

All of the above are a part of reading process. You need to actively engage yourself into it, ‘absorb’ what you read, ‘reflect’ on it and ‘decipher’ at the end, which will give you a better understanding of what you have learned so far.

  • MAKE IT A HABIT TO WRITE OFTEN – Unless you put your knowledge into words, you won’t be able to improve on your writing skills, your ability to express your thoughts with clarity and eventually improve your performance.
  • PRACTICE TYPING ONLINE WITH A WATCH – As you will be attempting the test in online mode, you should be able to keep a track of time and still manage to complete the essay while maintaining your speed with the keyboard.
  • STAY UPDATED – In order to be able to write well, you need to make sure that you are well aware of the current happenings and news around, so that you don’t fall short of words while writing on an important current topic.
  • KEEP A CHECK ON YOUR SPELLINGS – No matter how good you are in presenting a topic, if you are frequent in making spelling errors, you might not be able to make the impression you want to, on the examiner, losing your marks along.
  • TAKE CARE OF THE PUNCTUATION MARKS – In order to be able to present your idea well, you need to make sure you use the punctuation marks well in order to bring out the correct meaning as required.


  • FINANCE: Financial Inclusion, Demonetisation.
  • ECONOMY/COMMERCE: GST & Its Impact, Effects of falling Rupee on Indian Economy etc.
  • SOCIAL ISSUES: Agrarian Crisis , Women Empowerment & Safety, Challenges & Success of Swachch Bharat Mission, Education System in India etc.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Climate Change, Global Warming, Water Crisis etc.

SOME BREAKING NEWS HERE: For a change, the online examination for SEBI GRADE ‘A’ Officer will be adding a new section in English descriptive paper in the form of précis writing. Students appearing for banking exams are well aware of the descriptive format which includes an essay and a letter, whereas, here you will be provided with a totally different part to attempt, for which you need to be well prepared.

A ‘Précis’ in simple words, is a summary / gist of a paragraph / text provided. A simple way to understand the concept can be by the name – ‘précis’ can be well related to the word ‘precise’ and that’s what you need to do here. Be ‘precise’ in your answer, taking care of the SEBI GRADE ‘A’ Officer word limit of 120 words that will be mentioned in the examination as well.


You will be provided a passage of a moderate length and you will be asked to write a précis or a summary out of the passage in 120 words, covering all possible important points mentioned in it.

You may also be asked to give a title for the given passage and that will require a deep understanding of the topic that is being discussed.


  • SCAN THE PASSAGE – The first thing you are supposed to do is scan or read the passage properly and analysing it. Scanning includes segregating the important points from the less important ones which you need / do not need to cover in your summary.
  • DETERMINE THE THEME – You should be able to analyse and realize what the theme of the passage given to you is. To identify the ‘central idea’ of the passage is the most important thing, as the whole passage revolves around that.
  • USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE – Avoid copying the sentences from the original paragraph, and use your own words to write the summary. Do not just select and omit from the given passage, but ‘mould’ the idea expressed into your own words and express clearly.
  • MAINTAIN CLARITY – You need to maintain the clarity of your expression, in order to keep the précis comprehensible for the examiner. It needs to be written in a way that can be understood even by someone who hasn’t read the passage.
  • AVOID PERSONAL OPINIONS/COMMENTS – You are not supposed to include your personal ideas / opinions or comment on anything given in the passage.

(* DO NOT FORGET it is a summary of the text already provided to you and not an essay!)

  • WRITE IN THIRD PERSON – Always, in any case, write the précis in ‘third person’, even if it is an autobiography or a personal account of someone and use ‘reported speech’.
  • CHOOSE AN APPROPRIATE TITLE – A title has to be ‘apt’ and has to cover the main idea of the passage.

A title is the representative of the text that follows. Therefore, the title needs to be decided in a manner which should be able to give an idea of the passage, as soon as one reads it.



 Almost each one of the aspirants who are preparing for competitive exams is well aware of this type. A ‘Reading Comprehension’ is nothing but a small test of your reading ability, analysing skills, and how swiftly you read and understand the passage. As the title suggests, you are expected to ‘read’ and ‘comprehend’ the information given and answer whatever related to the passage is asked in the questions that follow.

  • READ BETWEEN THE LINES- You need to learn the art of skipping while scanning the complete passage. ‘Reading between the lines’ means just that. You should be able to get the complete idea of the passage while not reading each and every word of it.
  • KEEP TRACK OF TIME – Do not forget to check your speed while utilizing the given time. You will be given only 60 Minutes to attempt all three questions, thus you need to be ‘on your toes’.
  • SCAN THE QUESTIONS – Scanning all the questions before you attempt will help you save time, and let you know which ones to opt first. Spot the questions that are easy and less time-taking and attempt them first. E.g. Synonyms / antonyms / vocab related questions / title of the passage etc.
  • DO NOT PANIC – Don’t lose your patience at the sight of a long and typical comprehension passage, based on economy/finance/technical topics, where you might find some difficult terms.

Even if you don’t know the meaning of the word asked, you just have to read the passage and understand the context of it, and scan the options and eliminate the ones which you do not find related to the passage.


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