The verbal ability section in MBA entrances should not be confused as a test of one’s speaking abilities, fluency in speech or other related areas of effective presentation such as body language, gestures, intonation patterns and so on. Therefore, a person who is a fluent speaker of the language and has good command over verbal delivery of the language is on an equal footing with the person who may not be a fluent speaker of the language but is well aware of the principles of the language and its implementation.
1. Written test
Though the word verbal in verbal ability might lead the uninitiated to believe that speech is an important part of the entrance examination, it is not so. All MBA entrance examinations are essentially written exams that require application of mind and use of prior knowledge. They are time-bound exams and only thorough knowledge and regular practice can help clear it.
2. Writing vs Speech
There is a difference between a written exam and an oral exam. In the former, the candidate’s understanding of concepts and rules and the fluency in thought and expression is tested, whereas in the latter, the manner of speaking and the fluency of speech takes priority. Being a good speaker in the language doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will find the VARC section to be a smooth ride. While both these domains might overlap and being good in one, sometimes, might help one’s performance in the other, this is not always so.
3. Reading skills
The reading section of the VARC, tests not the speaking prowess of the candidates but the reading skills, comprehension skills, writing skills and others. A good orator does not necessarily have to be a good reader or be good at comprehension. RC requires the candidate to read quickly and effectively to be able to answer the questions based on the passage. A good orator might not have the minute ability or patience to be able to catch the essence of every word and the meaning of the passage and subsequently answer the questions.
A candidate’s speaking power is tested only in the interview stage of the admission process. There, the candidate is expected to present his/ her views and impress the panel with presentation skills, fluency, command on English language, quality of thoughts and so on. A good speaker will be in a position to clear the interview on the basis of his/ her superior language and soft skills. On the other hand, a candidate more focused on writing will find it difficult to articulate his/ her thoughts effectively, even though he/ she may possess good thoughts. This is because verbal presentation requires a different mindset and skill set than writing.
The modern world necessitates a stress on speaking but MBA entrances like CAT are written exams and need to be tackled accordingly.
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