In series of tips on RBI Grade B Phase II preparation, today we will see how to attempt letter writing.
Let us take a quick glance on the paper pattern. The English paper will be of 100 marks and 90 minutes duration. In these 90 minutes, you are expected to attempt 3 questions – Essay writing, précis writing and Letter/Report Writing. For reading tips and tricks on how to attempt Essay, click here.
The rationale behind asking these type of questions is to check your proficiency in writing letters/reports, notes and other communications as these are important skills for communicating internally as well as externally while working at RBI (or any other banking organisation). It is proven that proper communication gets you desired result. Add to it the fact that, people judge you on the quality of your writing and it becomes evident that there is a dire need to assess the quality of writing of future recruits, especially when you are the mighty RBI.
As in Essay writing the ground rules for written formal communication are simple.
- Whatever you write, get to the main point quickly and simply.
- There is no need for lengthy preambles or spending ages to set the scene or explain the background.
Template for letter writing
Typical template for writing a letter
- Sender’s address and telephone number on the top left hand side of the page.
- Date should be below the sender’s address: The date is important when you’re trying to get the person or organization to complete a task in a timely manner.
- Recipient’s name one line beneath the date: Include his or her title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, Dr. etc). Follow the recipient’s name with his/her job title.
- Salutation. “Dear Sir/Madam” works almost every time, or if you know the name of the person, address them directly with proper salutation like ‘Mr., Mrs, Rev etc.’
- Body of the letter. The body of the letter should have a maximum of three paragraphs.
- In the first paragraph, cut straight to the chase by writing a friendly opening and then stating the reason of the letter.
- In the second paragraph, refer examples to stress your point. Remember, real examples are always preferred than hypothetical examples.
- In the final paragraph, summarize your purpose in writing briefly along with suggestions on how to take it further
- Signing off the letter with the appropriate salutation. Leave space between your salutation and your printed name for a signature, if possible. “Yours sincerely,” “Sincerely,” and “Best,” are all appropriate.
- Add the word ‘Enclosure’ or ‘Attachments’ below your signature block or job title. Only do this if you enclosing other material.
- Proofread your letter. Double check the spelling of names, addresses etc. Make sure your writing is clear and concise. Fix any grammar errors.
Template for Writing Report
Typical structure template for writing a committee report:
- Committee Members
- [Name, institution, location, Chair]
- [Name, institution, location, member]
- [Name, institution, location, member]
- [Date, Time, and Location of Committee Meeting]
- [Provide simple documentation of any meetings of the committee or subset of the committee, in whatever mode and format, e.g., in person, conference call, etc.]
- Attendance at Committee Meeting(s) since Last Report
- [List who attended, in full and in part, and who did not attend.]
- [Provide a brief summary of the committee’s work this year and any comments you have. This is also the place for whatever descriptive report you are used to presenting.]
- Issues [In bullet format, identify what the committee focused on in the agenda meeting and what the committee accomplished in the past year. Also note what you did not accomplish that you had hoped to.]
- Agenda Meeting Focus
- Goals Not Yet Met
- Agenda Meeting Focus
- Near-Term Plans [In bullet form, outline the committee’s near-term actions and plans as well as what will count as success.]
- Formal Motions to the Board (Optional) [If you are presenting a formal motion for Board consideration at the upcoming Board Meeting, you should first discuss it with your staff liaison. State the motion here, using the following format:
- The xxx Committee recommends that: . . . If you will not be present at the Board Meeting, attach a sheet explaining the motion and why your committee supports it. N.B. Formal motions to the Board are specific policy recommendations that require formal Board action. These are relatively infrequent, since each committee has a Board charge to govern its actions. For less formal recommendations, see below.
- Informal Recommendation(s) (Optional) [An opportunity to make recommendations, suggestions, and comments to the Board and Executive Director]
- Respectfully Submitted,
Examples of type of questions asked in letter/report writing for RBI Grade B Phase II English paper.
(a) It has been reported to R.B.I. that few banks are violating the prescribed norms while granting loans to the Private Companies. As the General Manager of R.B.I., direct a committee to be instantly constituted to look into the matter and recommend the remedial measures to be initiated against such banks. Draft a committee report.
(b) On behalf of RBI, issue a circular to all the subsidiary banks to open special cell to deal with educational loan applications for higher education in India and abroad and expedite the essential procedures to sanction the loans within a specific period of 10 days.
(c) The Chairman of Customers’ Association has reported to R.B.I. that banks located in rural areas are not able to function well due to frequent cuts in power supply. It causes tremendous inconvenience to customers who come from far off places and go back without their work being done. On behalf of R.B.I., draft a letter to the Chairman of the Association, assuring him that the matter will be seriously taken into account and rural banks will be instructed to make provision for the installation of generators to address this problem permanently in case of power failure.
Tips to prepare and attempt letter/report RBI Grade B Phase II English Descriptive Paper:
- Identify the main issue and make it the sole focus. If you introduce other points, it will only distract and confuse the intended recipient.
- Avoid grammatical errors, like incorrectly inserting single apostrophes. Not only it irritates many people, it leads them to question the quality of education received. The rule of thumb for apostrophes is to restrict their use to possessive (boy’s bat, girl’s book etc) and missing letters in words (You’ve, I’m, etc).
Below are some common mistakes and their corrections as well as justifications:
- the team played it’s part (should be: the team played its part – its, although possessive, is like his, my, hers, theirs, etc., and does not use the possessive apostrophe)
- its been a long day (should be: it’s been a long day – it’s is an abbreviation of it has)
- your correct (should be: you’re correct – you’re is an abbreviation of you are)
- one months notice (should be: one month’s notice – the notice is governed by the month, hence the possessive apostrophe)
- the groups’ task (should be: the group’s task – group is a collective noun and treated as singular not plural)
- the womens’ decisions (should be the women’s decisions – same as above – women is treated as singular, irrespective of the plural decisions)
- Avoid long sentences. Generally, more words in a sentence reduces the clarity of the meaning. Stick to short sentences. After you are finished drafting your communication, find commas and ‘and’s, and replace with full-stops.
- Avoid jargon, acronyms, technical terms unless essential.
- Use standard fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid using fancy fonts in all types of formal communication. For body text, use 10-12 size. For main headings 14-20 point is fine. Do not bold the words unless necessary.
- Keep your text left aligned as it is the easiest to read. Don’t use justify alignment as it creates uneven word spaces and is more difficult to read.
- Remember to not go beyond the specified word limit. (250 words in RBI Grade B). Going beyond the word limit results in less marks. Keep the number of words between 225-275.
- Proofread your letter/report before submitting it.
- Take care that the tone of the letter is formal. Avoid any references that may sound funny, disrespectful or intimate.
- Do not get nervous. Writing a letter or report isn’t rocket science. After you read the question, relax and think about how you can draft the letter. Make a rough draft in your mind before typing anything.
- Give 15-20 minutes to complete the question.
- Practice : because there is no substitute for it!
Friends, we hope you found this post helpful. Please let us know your views and ask us any queries related to letter/report writing for RBI Grade B 2015 in the comments section below. You can also send us the letters you have written in the comments and we will audit them for you.