When you write in Academic Writing Test (AWT) in the final selection round of IIM Ahmedabad, or Written Ability Test (WAT) of IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, FMS Delhi or in the CAP 2017 of 9 IIMs, before beginning to write just think, who you are writing for?

Are you writing for yourself to read or for panellists to examine you on various parameters? Obviously you do not write for yourself ignoring your overarching goal-writing for the reader, who happens to be the examiner. After WAT your essay may become a part of questions in Personal Interview. Without considering who will read your article, you will not first consider how fully you should explain the ideas. What figures, data, quotes to include, what terms and concepts you need to define. Before you start writing the essay in neat handwriting (Yes quite necessary) consider your learned reader. Many essays will be presented before the panel, to be examined, so you have to write in such a manner that would hook your reader in the first paragraph itself. Pour your knowledgeable ideas in a systematic way to maintain consistency and conclude it gracefully. It will serve you well. The guidelines and tips from experts are to move stepwise -

Step-1: Since the topics in WAT require good information and some data (Which you might like to insert) and reactions/quotes, gather your thoughts before beginning to write so that you may write in a concise and coherent manner.

Step-2: Introductory paragraph must be clear on the views that you are going to discuss in your essay So before beginning, plan the outline what you are going to say. An introduction to a given topic ‘Trump as President of USA – Impact on India’ could be as follows - “Donald Trump’s victory as the President of USA signifies a victory against terrorism in accordance with the policy of India. Government of India will be able to strike a good equation with him. Though there is some concern in India’s business circles about Trump’s views on business outsourcing and its likely impact on India, Trump is not expected to take any decision which will hurt India. He fully understands the importance of India’s role in Asia. The US cannot afford to alienate and antagonize India. Taking into account the totality of Indo-US relations, Trump’s victory is a positive factor for stability, continuity and inter-dependence.”

Step-3: One paragraph should discuss one segment e.g. do not mix the issues or make contradictory statements in your writing piece. On the one hand you might state that “UID Aadhaar has great utility but it is difficult to have the fingerprints of certain classes” and then you add “Aadhaar will help nab the criminals since it is based on fingerprints” – now both the statements are contradictory and crisscross each other. Avoid this.

Step-4: Avoid writing such points as you cannot discuss or on which your views could be ambiguous.

Step-5: Since there is time constraint for you, write in simple and easy to understand language. Use figurative language only when you are pretty sure of it. If you decorate your writing with floral verbiage it will look like a room with too many decorations meant to distract the visitor. Our purpose is to keep our reader glued to our theme of writing and not get distracted. So please remember that.

Step-6: Try to project positive thoughts and view points as more negative thoughts or pessimistic ideas might give a wrong message.

Step-7: It is necessary that your sentences are grammatically correct, there is proper subject verb agreement and verbosity. Number of aspirants make petty mistakes like use of ‘advice’(noun) in place of ‘advise’(verb); ‘ device’ instead of ‘devise’; making plural of ‘advice’ as ‘advices’ or singular as ‘ an advice’; usage like ‘many news’, ‘ furnitures’ and so on which should have respectively been written as ‘pieces of advice’ (plural) or ‘a piece of advice’ (singular); ‘many items of news’, ‘articles of furniture’ etc. Framing correct sentences is of utmost importance to avoid conveying a wrong meaning and making a bad impression.

Step-8: Correct use of punctuation is also very important. Ignorance to punctuation- marks makes a disastrous change in meaning. The message which the sentence actually conveys and the message which you actually wanted to convey could be pole apart. Look at the following sentences –
i) The minister’s brother who has fled to Cuba has accumulated massive wealth. (one brother has done this there may be more brothers)
ii) The minister’s brother, who has fled to Cuba has accumulated massive wealth. (one brother who has done the act)

Step-9: Transition words like “Nevertheless/Hence/Therefore/However" are to be judiciously used between paragraphs or the sentences. Such words may exist if you wish to flow your writing from one idea to another and to next paragraph.

Step-10: Last or concluding paragraph should be able to give your concluding view point summarizing the writing piece. You can conclude it with some quote from India Inc., political advisors, prominent personalities, leading analysts etc. but with acknowledgements.