14 Tips For Essay Preparation for the XAT Exam

Essay By Laerry

Credit – Laerry

Essay Preparation for XAT and List

XAT is one of the many b-school entrance exams in India. Although the syllabus and the pattern of all these exams are almost same, one thing that differentiates XAT from others is the essay that students have to write.

The essay is evaluated only after a student is able to clear the cut off in the first part of the test which consists of three sections, Verbal ability, Quantitative aptitude and decisions making.

Here is a list of the essay topics that have been given in XAT for past few years:

Year

Topic

2004

Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would he choose as his master piece, Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect answered, “The next one”

2005

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

2006

India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower – but few innovations and patented products

2007

Economic growth without environmental damage – mirage or reality

2008

The consequence of gender imbalance – The Third World War

2009

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

2010

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

2011

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

2012

Poverty is a big menace in India. Due to its complexity and magnitude, most of the government initiatives fail.

2013

Corruption is the root cause for economic slowdown in India

 

As one can notice, the topics can be generally related to current affairs and social problems or they can be abstract ranging from a thought experiment, vague idea or as can be seen in the case of the year 2004, an abstract remark. Students must prepare themselves for any kind of surprises that they may have to face in the main exam.

What is looked for in the essay?

–         Subject Knowledge: How much do you know about a certain topic?

–         Clarity of thoughts: How clear is your ability to think?

–         Facts and Data: Are you able to substantiate your arguments with facts and data?

–         Flow of thought: The way you write gives an idea of how you think and arrange your ideas.

–         Handwriting, Grammar, Spellings: Vital factors in writing, a simple spelling mistake might reflect your nervousness during the exams; a coherent handwriting can award you brownie points.

Tips for Preparation

  1.  The more you read, the better you will be able to understand how paragraphs should be written and sentences should be made.
  2. Make a daily habit of reading newspaper editorials and novels.

Break down the essay into three parts – The Introduction, the Main Body and the Conclusion. Since the essay has to be around 200 words, break down the word usage too. Let the introduction be about 50 words, the main body of around 100 words and conclusion of 50 words. Now, at max you can put forward two arguments in the main body to support your points. 

Follow this approach – PREP i.e. Present your point, reason your point, give an example and if required – restate your point again. For generating content, try to reflect upon the topic from different angles like political, social, economical, psychological and try to analyze the implications of your points on all these points. Make sure that you follow the points stated above as to what is looked for in the essay. 

  1. Practice writing short essays on various topics and get them evaluated through your friends on social media or MBA forums or your mentors in coaching classes.
  2. When you are writing, divide your essay in paragraphs and jot down a few points about what you are going to write.
  3. First paragraph should introduce your readers about what you are going to write in the essay.
  4. The main body of the essay should contain examples to support your arguments.
  5. You must conclude your essay with a logical inferential sentence or paragraph that holds in itself the gist of your complete essay.
  6. You should memorize a few important points of the essay that you have written or even better take a note of what you have written. If you are able to crack the XAT exam then you might be asked questions on your essay in your interview.

Some more points to consider –

  1. You have to write just 200 words, no more. In these many words, you can give intro of 50 words, main body of 100 words and then conclusion of around 50 words. So the maximum you need to write is just 1 good strong point in the main body. So what you need to do is this – write an intro about how you understand the topic, then go on to support your point with examples and logic, then conclude your point at the end.
  2. Note that this breakdown will prove very helpful in tackling the essay section.
  3. Try to see the topic from various perspectives like – political, social, economical and you will see shades of the topic from where you can approach the solution.
  4. Read, read, read – there is no short cut to this.
  5. Don’t try to use superfluous language or do spelling mistakes – keep it simple and lucid.
  6. Don’t contradict yourself or your point of view while writing the essay and make sure that the conclusion is coherent with the points you mention above.

Students should note that the essay does not form part of the GD PI call. You may be asked questions on the same in the Interview though and thus, keeping a note of what you actually wrote in the exam would be helpful.

The XAT essay is not that big an issue is tackled intelligently. You have lots of time, 1 minute to write 20 words !!

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