Most of the essays that candidates come across in exams are either abstract in nature or is on some current affair, in short it tests either his knowledge, ability to analyze or use his creativity to write something on a subject he must have rarely ever heard of.
The first essay needs general awareness and can be easily written in 15 minutes, with approx length of 300-350 words.
The second essay needs creativity; it stirs the test takers imagination and his lateral thinking, and is a far greater challenge than writing an essay based on general awareness.
Here I will give an example from ‘The Essays’ of Francis Bacon on ‘Of Studies’:
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business.
To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning, by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend
As a reader, I would, without the slightest hesitation, say that the above highlighted extract is one of the greatest piece of writing in the English language, as a critic and book lover I am enthralled by the succinctness of the content, it is difficult to believe that Francis Bacon, around 1600, could have written such a deep and insightful essay in so simple a language, when Shakespeare ,his contemporary, was busy writing plays and sonnets in a language that today is almost inscrutable to most readers who understand English.
Characteristics of a good essay
Comparison between Reading comprehension and Essay
In structure an essay has to be similar and should have the same flow as a normal passage in RC, the content might vary depending on the subject.
As we often seen in RC, the opening paragraph highlights the intent and the purpose of the author, the body of the RC adds examples, points of view, arguments and the last paragraph concludes.
A simple essay should at the most have 4 to 5 paragraphs, if one is good at using modifier and clauses and has practiced enough the art of using them then one should use long sentences, else or otherwise, one should avoid them and use short sentences instead; long sentences, if not grammatically correct, can at times distort the meaning and sound funny just as misplaced modifiers sound.
The biggest hurdle to writing is practice, if one is used to too much of reading, speaking and writing then inadvertently one ends up writing well.
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XAT 2018 will be conducted on 7th January 2018 . At the end of exam you will have to write Essay on some assigned topic. Essay section of XAT attempts your skills of expressing your opinions, specifically under time limitations. Candidates are given a time of period 20 Minutes.
XAT Essay with Revised Exam Pattern
With the changes announced for XAT 2018 part B of the exam will include GK & Essay whereas GK questions have been reduced to 25 but the overall allotted time for this section would remain 35 minutes and this is important for you to understand the assigned topic on essay and think very fast then focus on writing essay in best of your language skills and expressions so that you can ensure that take away from your essay is being understood in the right spirit.
Click and read 14 top Classic Essays.
What does XAT Essay Writing Tests?
The essay is used as a tool to judge the social and ethical values of the aspirant as the written piece provides a valuable insight into the mind of the test taker.
The B-schools use the essay as a pre-interview yardstick as well. The panel also judges your clarity of thoughts, logical hints, focus and concentration, etc. through your essay.
Structure, argument and several other factors that you portray through your essay is judged as well. Each of these factors reflects your personality traits and that is the main criteria for selection.
For instance, XAT essay would test you out on these parameters including the knowledge about the topic, so, the interviewers would know some of your personality traits and can easily spot if you are lying to them or trying to depict what you are not.
What can you do in 20 Minutes Essay Writing Test?
In 20 minutes, if you have substantial information regarding the topic or even if you don't have, always remember one of the most important criteria is to Structure your essay.
A 20 minute essay can test you out in a panic situation if you aren't sure of the information you know. In that time, it’s very important to keep your cool and maintain a structure.
A structured essay is always interesting and gives vital insights about a person, that the person is clear and structured in his approach. You are not expected to know everything but you can show that you are meticulous in your approach, which is the desired quality by all the b-schools and not only XAT 2018 excepting institutes.
Key points to highlight during the Essay Writing Test
As mentioned above, you already know which are the desired qualities you need to have and show case, through your essay. One main criterion for writing an interesting essay would be to think of what the reader would like to know from the essay.
• Develop your main idea with vivid and specific facts, events, quotations, examples, and reasons. There's a big difference between simply stating a point of view and letting an idea unfold in the details.
• Be Specific and avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing by using vivid and specific details.
Read Top 14 Classic Essays for XAT 2018
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