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Tips on XAT Essay Writing

Thursday, December 21st, 2017


XAT Essay Writing is one of the major hurdles that students face when preparing for XAT. Entrance tests for MBA are on full swing and the last one in this series is XAT. For all the students who did not do well in CAT, XAT is a golden chance to redeem themselves. Along with Xaviers, a lot of esteemed B-schools such as SP Jain, IMT, MICA etc., accept both CAT and XAT scores for their admission process.

It is popular amongst the students that among all the entrance exams for MBA, XAT is the hardest and probably for the right reasons. Unlike other MBA entrance tests in India, XAT contains two sections that are nowhere to be found in other entrance exams, Decision Making and Essay Writing (Most of the B-Schools conduct a WAT session once you are shortlisted on the basis of your percentile).

The paper for XAT is divided into two parts, Part I and Part II. While calculating the percentile, only Part I is considered. Part II will be considered once you are shortlisted on the basis of your percentile. Part I comprises of QADI, Verbal Ability and Reasoning and Decision Making. Part II is comprised of General Awareness and Essay Writing. You have 40 minutes to attempt the second part, 30 questions from General Awareness and a 200-word essay are to be completed in those 40 minutes.

The topics given for XAT Essay Writing are general or abstract so you are allowed to have a broad perspective. The purpose of Essay Writing in XAT is that along with your language skills, the panelists also get to analyze your thinking process, whether you are capable of putting your thoughts in a logical and reasonable manner or not. In this way, they get to understand certain bits of your personality which helps them with your assessment during the Personal Interview.

We get a lot of questions from students regarding XAT Essay Writing. So, in this post, we are going to share some tips with you on the same:

1. Avoid creating a hotchpotch of ideas

Since the topics given in XAT Essay are mostly general, you start getting a lot of ideas. This is where students create the worst mistake, they put in a lot of ideas in a 200-word essay and create a “khichdi” of the essay thus leading to the obvious doom.

To avoid this mistake, in the limited time that you have, give yourself a few seconds to collect your thoughts properly and put them in short bullet points on a piece of paper before penning down the actual essay on the answer sheet. This way your thoughts will be to the point and the answer sheet will look neat and tidy (A blessing to the examiner!)

2. Maintain a proper structure

An essay written with an improper structure makes for a bad reading, thus creating a bad impression on the examiner. In your first paragraph, give the examiner a fair idea of what you are trying to accomplish through this essay.

In the following passages, expand on the ideas that you suggested in the first paragraph. Remember, you have a word limit of 200 words, so, make sure that your thoughts concise and not all over the place.

Never make the mistake of ending your passage with an improper conclusion. Conclude the essay in the end by keeping in mind all the points that you discussed in the above paragraphs.

3. Keep it interesting

When you start writing the essay, remind yourself that the examiner has to go through thousands of essays, most of them poorly written in some or the other way and might be in a bad mood. You sure don’t want to be the cause of it getting worse (Consequences might be severe for you).

To create content for good reading, it is important that the writing is interesting throughout. From thousands of boring and sleep inducing essays, make yours interesting to get the extra edge over other MBA aspirants.

P.S.: Maintain a neat handwriting while writing your essay (Let’s not make the examiner strain their eyes!!).

4. Practice makes a man perfect

In the three weeks that are left for XAT, make it a habit to religiously write one essay everyday and get it examined by your mentor/teacher/guide so that they can point out the mistakes that you are making and then you can improve upon those mistakes by seeking guidance from them.

5. Read a lot

Read articles from newspapers such as The Hindu, The Indian Express etc. and analyze the writing styles from the articles written in these newspapers. Not only will you get familiar with the structure of an essay but your knowledge bank will also increase thus helping you during the GD-PI process for B-Schools.

6. XAT Essay Writing Topics from Past 5 years

2013 Corruption is the root cause of economic slowdown in India.

2014: The most beautiful thing can neither be seen nor be touched but can only be felt.

2015: Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand. We only listen to refute or reply.

2016: Technology and Nature are natural enemies.

2017: Globalization and Jingoism always coexist.

You can also see XAT Essay Topics from Previous Year Papers – From 2000 till 2017

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Tips on XAT Essay Writing

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XAT 2018 Essay Writing Tips and Strategy - Essay Writing forms an integral part of the Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT). This particular part of the exam often troubles the XAT aspirants, mostly about the topics of the essay and how to give their best shot within the allotted 20-25 minutes duration. This article of Careers360 shares the strategies to write a structured essay within duration to score well.

While apparently, the topics may appear to be easy,  for writing a standard essay, candidates are often clueless in terms of presenting their thoughts in 200 words within the time frame.

 

The following table gives you the XAT essay topics over last 10 years.

 

XAT Essay Topics

Year

Essay Topic

2017

Globalisation and Jingoism always coexist

2016

Technology and Nature are natural enemies

2015

Listening is a dying art. We hardly listen to understand, we only listen to refute a reply. 

2014

The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched with hands; they can only be felt with heart.

2013

Corruption is the root cause of economic slowdown in India.

2012

Statement I - Poverty is the major problem that is plaguing India. Because of the magnitude and complexity of this problem, government policies are not successful.

Statement II - Poverty is a consequence of the government policies. Instead of trying to address the problem, the government should concentrate on the root causes of the problem.

Support one of the statements. Justify it with examples.

2011

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not load himself with the most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous in hands of man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

2010

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed

2009

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of riches; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries

2008

Gender Bias: Cause of Third World War

2007

Economic growth without environmental damage – mirage or reality

2006

India has the largest pool of talented manpower, but very few innovations and patented products.

2005

More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities.

XAT 2018 Essay Writing Tips and Strategy

 

Now we shall share with you the strategies to improve your essay writing skills.


Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher shares, “The evaluators not only look for language skills, but also for the thought process involved, the spectrum of ideas, and your knowledge pertaining to the topic at hand. Having a fair knowledge of the contemporary topics will give you an edge. So reading newspapers, especially the editorial columns, is highly advised.”

Here we present to you 6 strategies for acing the essay writing section of XAT.

 

Analyse the topic and decide the way you want to drive it

 

After getting the topic, decide the direction in which you want to drive your essay into. Since mostly the topics are abstract in nature, you can contextualise it to politics, social issue or current happening. Once you decide the context, your job will get much easier. “Try to think of possible topics with the current trending news and have your opinions on it. Whilst reading the newspaper, think about your opinion on a particular news. Also, think about the points in favour and opposition of that news,” mentions Rajas Yeotikar, XAT 2017 topper with 99.98 percentile and XLRI Jamshedpur student.

 

Assemble the points before starting

 

The next step is to gather the points. Jot down the points in proper order which you want to present in your essay. Support your points with the help of facts and figures, examples etc. The more you can substantiate your points, better it will be for the evaluation process. “I strongly advise candidates to brush up their vocabulary and practice structured essay writing. It will certainly help in getting your thoughts together and putting them into a structure while writing the essay.,” said Lohith Reddy, another XAT 2017 topper with 99.89 percentile.

 

Write a draft before starting the essay

 

Prepare the structure and draft essay before starting the actual essay. Do not take more than five minutes for it. Divide your points to be included in the introduction, body and conclusion. If you prepare the draft, it would be much more convenient for you to pen down the actual essay. You can do the necessary editing and improve the language of the essay.

 

Structure your essay properly

 

Make sure that your essay consists of three parts, introduction, body and conclusion. The essay should be of around 200 to 300 words. You can separate the three parts with paragraphs. You can also add specific facts and figures through bullet points. Priyadarshi Dasgupta, XAT 2017 99.72 percentiler shares, "I had decided to structure my essay properly, so I began with an introduction, moved on to the body, tried to illustrate with examples if possible, made my inferences and reached a conclusion. I found having a basic structure in place helped me write essays faster and they seemed to have a nicer flow."

 

Keep time in check

 

The duration of the XAT essay is 25 minutes. Keep track of your time so that you do not exceed the time limit. Since Essay Writing would be the last question of the 3-hour XAT paper, save your energy and time till the last 25 minutes. Do not spend over 5 minutes for drafting the essay and before submitting, revise the final copy.

XAT 2018 will be held on January 7, 2018, in computer based mode. Although the test will be conducted online, the essay writing part will be on paper. According to the XAT exam pattern, the test is divided in two parts. Part 1 will consist of 75 multiple choice questions from Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning and Decision Making sections and Part 2 consists of GK and essay writing. 

 

Also Read:

XAT Topper Interviews

XAT section wise preparation strategy from toppers and experts

 

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