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Published : Friday, 6 January, 2017 10:30 AM
What sets XAT apart from CAT is the Essay Writing section. Twenty minutes are marked at the end of the test to write a 250-300 word essay. The essay is an important element of the exam and provides an insight into judge the candidate’s thoughts, values and expression. It helps the examiner form some kind of an impression about the candidate before meeting him/ her in the interview stage. XAT aspirants need to not only be well acquainted and brilliant with the usual topics such as Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning and so on, they also have to practice writing long pieces, based on the given topic, only then will they get a chance to appear in the personal interview.
1. Engagement with the question
This is one of the first things to do while thinking about and attempting the essay. As the topic is given, the candidate should, without delay, engage with the question. This means understanding the requirement of the topic, and formulating your points linked to it. Identifying the main point or points that will make up your essay is good way to engage with the question. Instead of circling around the topic, it is better to attack the topic in the introduction itself. The introduction, thus, becomes crucial, as it is the first encounter that the examiner has with your essay. The impression that you create on the examiner begins with the introduction and, therefore, needs to be taken seriously.
An important criteria for judging XAT essays is coherence. The essay should not appear to be a disjointed grouping together of facts and opinions but should read smoothly, have a logical flow of views and make sense to the reader. As the aspirants have to adhere to a specific word limit while writing the essay, they need to ensure that whatever they write is well organised and easily understood.
Structure is a significant part of any long writing skill. An essay needs to have a good introduction followed by the main content to be divided into paragraphs and finally, the conclusion which neatly ties the loose ends of the essay and make it look coherent, all of this should not go beyond the prescribed word limit. A good writer will have a well- defined structure in place, which reflect his/ her clarity of thought and ability to organise his/ her ideas in a way which is easily understood and makes an impact on the reader.
The essay is also a test of the candidate’s language skills. The way the candidate articulates his/her views is as important as the views itself. This, however, does not mean that the candidate should use flashy vocabulary to impress the examiner. The candidate should display a firm command on the language, not make mistakes in grammar and sentence structure, not use any slangs or informal expressions and so on.
The essay could be the difference between a candidate getting a call for the interview and a candidate losing out. Good understanding of the concepts, general awareness and preparation should help the candidate sail through it.
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