Seven Deadly Sins of Essay Writing

February 22nd, 2017 by

First thing first, when it comes to essay writing, there could potentially be 700 deadly sins. However, space and time constraints dictate that I resist the perennial, evil temptation of writing another long-winded piece and confine myself to the top seven that lead the line-up. These seven mistakes feature routinely in majority of the essays that I assess, and often a single essay contains all of them in varying degrees. So here I go with the seven deadlies in no particular order of frequency or seriousness. Sin No 1: Irrelevance This one is a two-faced devil and both equally ugl

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How Many Essays You Must Write Before You Write an Essay

February 21st, 2017 by

When I said in the previous post that you must write at least 100 essays, I was not joking. There are a number of reasons why this must be done. First, writing, unlike speaking or reading, is not a natural process we follow every day. Therefore, when we sit down to write, we are filled with self-doubt. Second, every writer, on most occasions, needs to motivate themselves to write. In the case of a WAT taker, the perceived disincentive for writing a bad essay outweighs the perceived incentive for writing a good essay. In other words, most WAT takers feel that a bad essay can do more

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The Five-step Process of Writing a WAT Essay

February 6th, 2017 by

If we all had the right guidance, the requisite reference material at hand, and unlimited time to write and revise the essays that we write, quite a few of us would eventually be able to produce satisfactory essays. The same task becomes infinitely more difficult when it is presented in the form of the WAT, which must be accomplished in approximately 15 minutes, and which must be produced entirely from references in one’s memory. When we are ultimately faced with the final WAT assignment and a blank paper, several factors begin to weigh heavy on our minds. There is the complexity of th

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Written Ability Test – Evaluation Criteria and Recommended Background Reading

February 4th, 2017 by

Over the last few years, most of the top B-schools have switched over from group discussion to writing ability test (WAT). There are compelling reasons why this has happened. It will be prudent to understand them before we begin our preparation for the WAT. The most important reason, I feel, behind this change is that, unlike in GDs, in an essay it is impossible to borrow the content from anyone else or further develop someone else’s thoughts. You must entirely depend on your own content and reasoning. In fact, GDs are meant to test your ability to assimilate diverse points of view along

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Ways and Parameters for College Inquiry and Selection

February 2nd, 2017 by

Often after the announcement of CAT/XAT results, MBA aspirants starts getting confused regarding the B-school selection. A lot of data is available about Old IIMs in public domain regarding various parameters like academics, profiles offered etc. But in case of Private B-schools barring MDI, SP Jain, information on all parameters is incomplete. Situation gets even trickier when two similar colleges are compared. Aspirants log on to various MBA related websites, Facebook and Pagalguy group of colleges. These sources can be good for knowledge about institutes but they have a risk of objecti

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How to Approach an Abstract Group Discussion

January 30th, 2017 by

Before we begin to talk about abstract group discussion, let us first understand what the word abstract actually means. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as follows: Abstract: disassociated from any specific instance , difficult to understand: abstruse , insufficiently factual: formal Indeed, all the above definitions of the word are reflected in most abstract group discussion topics. Abstract topics can be single words, such as ‘Blue’, short sentences, such as ‘All crows are white’, or even images or pictures. What they all have in common is they do not have any c

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How to approach a case study based Group Discussion

January 18th, 2017 by

The process of a case-study group discussion is almost similar to that of a topical discussion in that there is a preparation time of about 5 minutes, the panel starts the discussion and observes the discussion without moderating it, and the group is at complete liberty to understand, analyse, and interpret the case as it deems appropriate in order to make a recommendation. There are however 2 key differences. The first is that instead of an opinion-oriented or a descriptive topic, the participants are given a case statement, which they must read so as to prepare within the given prep

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How to approach a topical Group Discussion

January 8th, 2017 by

Perhaps the most common group discussion types, topical group discussions are an integral part of the evaluation processes many of the top B-schools. Topical group discussions are called so because they have a clearly-defined topic framework within which the group discussion takes place. Topical group discussions are broadly of two types: opinion-oriented, and descriptive. For example, a discussion titled as “Should B-schools do away with their entrance examinations?” is the former type, whereas, “India in 2030” is the latter. Within these two categories, you may find two sub

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Group Discussion – Definition, Tips, and other rules to follow

January 3rd, 2017 by

As the exam season comes to an end and the Group Discussion stage usher in, we can begin our preparations for the round two by looking at some basics of the Group Discussion (GD) process. In this article we shall explore the process of the GD, different formats of the GD, the evaluation criteria, and the background preparation required to give us a firm foundation in whichever GD we participate in. Having been an integral part of the selection process until the last few years, the GD has been replaced by WAT (Writing Ability Test) at most IIMs. However, IIM-K still conducts the GD along w

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