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How to answer precis-writing questions 

Precis-writing carries 30 marks in SEBI Grade A, Paper 1 of Phase 2. 

This paper is very important as you must score maximum marks possible to get a good rank. 

Many candidates who are good in legal knowledge and skills are unable to clear the paper because of poor marks in Paper 1 of Phase 2.   

There are only 3 questions in that paper – Precis writing (30 marks), Comprehension Answer Writing (40 marks) and Essay Writing (40 marks). 

Basically, you can prepare for 30% marks in that paper if you just learn how to write a good precis.

So let’s take a sample question from the SEBI’s Information Handout for Grade A in 2022. This is a question of 337 words. You have to write a precis of 50 words.

We will directly practice writing it.  

I have broken the precis into additional paragraphs. You have to capture the idea behind each paragraph and write it in one sentence. 

Capture the essence of the paragraph and you can leave out extra details.

Some paragraphs may not have an essential idea, in which case you may skip those paragraphs altogether.  

Try not to copy the sentence from the paragraph verbatim. You need to be able to capture the idea and construct independent sentences in grammatically correct English. 


Christian Reed, a project manager, has worked at the Tata Steel plant—Britain’s biggest—for 11 years. His father worked in the local steel industry for 40 years, and his grandfather was a foundry worker. “It’s very difficult to contemplate losing the plant,” he says. “It would be like losing a member of the family.” 

The fate of his job and those of about 4,300 other Port Talbot steelworkers, as well as Britain’s loss-making steel industry in general, have become the most poignant part of the political row that has erupted in Britain since Tata Steel, Britain’s biggest producer, said in late March that it planned to sell or close its operations in the country. (114 words)

Precis: The jobs of 4300 steelworkers at Britain’s largest steel plant are in jeopardy, as its owner, Tata Steel, plans to sell or close operations.  (24 words)

Paragraph: Opposition politicians have demanded that the government engineer a rescue, either by erecting high tariff walls against cheap steel imports, as America has done, or by going for some sort of nationalisation, as Italy has attempted with the ill-starred Ilva plant in the heel of the country. 

Precis: Politicians are demanding protection through nationalisation or imposition of tariffs. (10 words)

Paragraphs: On April 5th a potential rescuer, Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty House, a commodity-trading company, said he was interested in buying the Port Talbot business, though he wants plenty of government sweeteners before doing so. He has called Britain’s steel industry “probably the worst in the world.”

There are few parts of the rich world where steel remains a good business, however. Port Talbot’s woes are indicative of a global problem—especially in places where makers of unspecialised steel face competition from cheaper producers.

In the eyes of many, including the Welsh steelworkers, the main bogeyman is China, where steel output has ballooned. The country has produced more steel in two years than Britain since 1900, according to the International Steel Statistics Bureau, and is indeed awash with excess capacity. But this is part of a phenomenon that extends across the developing world. 

The OECD, a club mostly of rich countries, reckons that in the four years to 2017 steelmaking capacity will have grown by 50% in the Middle East, 20% in Africa and 10% in Latin America.

Precis: Developed countries face competition from China, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. (12 words)

Total Precis Length: 46 words

Has any important idea been missed?

The major aspects we left out are are covered, for example: 

  • Britain’s industry being the worst in the world – we have already talked about competition with China
  • Sanjeev Gupta from Liberty House wanting to buy the business subject to sweeteners – we have talked about request for sweeteners from the government

You need to be able to capture the idea and construct independent sentences in grammatically correct English.

Imagine practising this for 50-100 excerpts everyday, and getting feedback. How will it be? 

You can prepare for your SEBI Grade A Phase 2 paper with great ease.  

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