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How to answer essay writing questions 

Paper 1 of Phase 2 has a 30 marks question on “Essay Writing”. You can get topics which pertain to socio-economic issues, technology or finance.

In addition to this, they might provide you with an abstract or statement on which you might be expected to write an essay.

You will get one question from each category and you have a choice to attempt any one out of three.

Often, the paper setters can surprise you by asking subjective answer-type questions from the law syllabus of the Grade A Exam.

For example, here is a question that was asked this year for Essay Writing. 

What are Asset Reconstruction Companies? What are their roles and functions?  [Paper 2 of Phase II, 2022 SEBI Grade A Examination; 30 marks]

How long should your answer be? 

Max. 200 words. You can write less, but not more – as the system will start prompting you that you have exceeded the word limit.

It helps to divide the essay into multiple paragraphs of 2-3 lines. Make sure that the sentences are short.

Let us see one answer:

Asset Reconstruction Companies are specialised companies set up under the SARFAESI Act, under a licence from the Reserve Bank of India, with the purpose of acquiring non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks and financial institutions. [Broadest level explanation giving example of 1 function]

Currently, Gross NPAs of banks run into Rs. 8,00,463 crore. [Numbers add emphasis]

ARCs can acquire these stressed assets and further sell these within 8 years. This helps in cleaning up the books of banks. [Most important purpose of an ARC]

Examples of ARCs are ARCIL, Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company Limited, etc. [this shows that the reading is not just academic as you are giving real examples]

Individual ARCs do not have adequate capital to take over a high volume of NPAs. Hence, the government announced a National Asset Reconstruction Company in the 2021-22 Budget, as per which banks can sell stressed assets for 15% upfront cash and 85% in Security Receipts [this shows awareness of current developments]

Creation of ARCs, however, is a temporary solution for solving the NPA problem, as they are shock absorbers for financial institutions which have given bad loans. In the long-term, the NPA problem can only be reduced by appropriate training of banks and employees to better manage loans and NPAs. [this shows that you have a very ‘sound opinion’ on the topic

Every participant who knows something about the issue will write 200 words – so how can you differentiate yourself? 

What will make you stand apart? 

Here is an unofficial checklist

  1. Address the issue directly and don’t beat around the bush (knowledge is very important for this) – giving numbers helps
  1. Mention recent developments (legal knowledge + knowledge of current affairs and financial GK is very important)
  1. Give examples and numbers where you can
  1. Give a technically sound opinion (this requires that you have depth of understanding) 

How can you prepare for essay-writing? 

It is very difficult to write an essay if you are unprepared for it. 

It’s like playing cricket as a batsman. If you haven’t played a certain type of ball in your net practice, chances are that you can’t play it in the match too!

Therefore, the goal has to be to practise at least 150 important questions for essay writing for Phase 2 and get feedback, so that you are already prepared for it. 

Sometimes people get confused while choosing the correct topic out of available choices. They randomly select a topic thinking they are prepared to answer all of them. You should know which essay topic can fetch better marks. This is also why practice is very important.

Here is a list of 100 most important topics for essays with the perspective of SEBI exam.

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