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by Khalid Kamal Rumi - Friday, 4 February 2011, 01:01 PM
  MUST READ FOR IIM Essay/GD/PI - 2011

    * Wikileaks, Investigative journalism, sting operations, cyber hacking
    * Internal Security - Naxal, saffron terror, Kashmir Autonomy, North-east, States Reorganisation (Telangana etc.)
    * International Terrorism, Cyber terrorism, bioterrorism
    * Right to Education, Foreign Education Bill, Autonomy - IITs/IIMs,issues with new IITs/IIMs, Ragging, Sex Education, Corporal punishment
    * Census, UID - Aadhar, Public Distribution System (PDS)
    * Tata Nano, Singur, Land Acquisition
    * Narendra Modi, secularism, Medha Patekar,
    * Arundhati Roy, Mamata Banerjee - West Bengal, Nitish Kumar - Bihar
    * Scams / Corruption - 2G, CWG, Adarsh, IPL, Karnataka, Jharkhand
    * Climate change - science, politics & economics
    * Tiger conservation, environment ministry vs economic development
    * Female foeticide, Women reservation, Khap panchayats, Honour Killing, Gujjar reservation
    * Reality TV shows, Item numbers, moral policing, censorship, freedom of expression, News channels, Cinema
    * Public-private partnership, SEZ, Microfinance, Basel III, Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropy - azim premji, Buffett, Gates
    * Cricket and state of other sports in India, IPL, Asian Games, CWG, World cup - cricket, hockey, FIFA, Olympics, Doping in Sports, Betting in Games
    * Minority rights, Kandhamal, Ayodhya
    * Inflation, Unemployment, Recession, Outsourcing, economic disparity, HDI
    * Social Media impact: socio-cultural, politico- economic, Telecom revolution:  e/m-commerce, Mobile Number Portability
    * Corporate Governance - Radia Tapes, housing, insurance scams, satyam
    * Disaster Management: (BP, Mumbai) Oil spill, Floods, fire, terror attacks, earthquake, stampede, building collapse, air crash
    * Air India, TATA, Birla, Ambanis, Mahindra, Hero Honda, Bharti
    * Indo- US, EU, China, Pak, UN Security Council, ASEAN
    * West Asia Unrest, Racial attacks in Australia,Suu Kyi (Mayanmar), Democracy in Nepal, Tamil issue (Sri Lanka), North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Tibet, Nobel Prize,
    * Financial Crisis - PIIGS
    * Homosexuality, Live in Relationship,Stem Cell Research, Capital Punishment, Domestic Violence, Euthanasia
    * Judicial Activism, corruption in judiciary
All the Best!

Khalid Kamal Rumi
IIM Indore

Re: MUST READ FOR IIM Essay/GD/PI - 2011
by Khalid Kamal Rumi - Saturday, 5 February 2011, 06:13 PM
  MBA Interview Questions – MUST PREPARE!

    * Describe yourself as a person.
    * What type of assignments/tasks keep you hooked and charged and what are those that you find unexciting?
    * 3 words to describe you.
    * How do you define Success/Failure and Leadership
    * What gives you happiness, what makes you sad?
    * What matters most to you, and why? We would like to understand from you what made you the person you are. Do share with us the values, experiences, and lessons that have shaped your perspectives.
    * What are the three most important values that guide your thoughts and actions and why?
    * Successful leaders have a great sense of purpose. What is yours? (Statement of Purpose)
    * What are your (3) strengths?
    * What are your (3) areas of improvement?
    * Mention "one" personal improvement area that you have worked upon in the last one year. Why do you feel the above area was an improvement area for you?
    * How did you identify the improvement area? What did you do to improve yourself in this area?
    * Do you think you have achieved your objective? What makes you think so?
    * What are your personal goals in life? Please elaborate in three separate categories: Short-term (2-3 years), Medium-term (5-6 years) and Long-term (ultimate objective).
    * Where do you see yourself x years from now?
    * How does an MBA at this stage fit into your scheme of things? Why now?
    * Why should we take you?
    * What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to ABC?
    * Why Marketing/ Finance/ Human Resources/ IT / Consulting/ Operations?
    * Why ABC?
    * If you could be the leader of an organization, would you chose ABC, and why?
    * What changes would you make to enhance the organization and what current strategies would you retain?
    * Why would you like to do a project with ABC and how do you think you can add value to ABC and to yourself?
    * How would getting into ABC help you in your journey towards your Personal Goals?
    * Describe any event / situation in your life which has impacted / influenced you significantly.
    * Describe an incident that has had a deep impact on you and brought about a significant change?
    * What are your two most substantial accomplishments / achievement so far?
    * Why do you consider them to be your largest achievements?
    * Describe a time when you delivered significant results. Please include details of the context, the actions you took, and the results that were achieved.
    * Describe a challenging project or a seemingly impossible task which you have undertaken. What was the outcome?
    * Please share details of one of these projects, which you think, was the best – major learnings from the project, recommendations made, recommendations accepted and implemented as well as those not implemented.
    * Briefly describe real situations from your life where you did any of the following: Achieved results against odds; Pursued an idea or business goal to conclusion; Inspired people to achieve a goal
    * Describe a situation when you faced a difficult problem and you were able to solve it. Please include details of the context, the action you took and the results that were achieved.
    * Describe a task/situation that you faced during your summer internship / past work experience which you consider as a complex problem. Please elaborate on the relevance of the problem to your role and the organisation.
    * How did you approach the problem? What options did you generate to solve the problem?
    * What were your key learnings from the situation? What would you do in case you were to handle a similar problem in future?
    * Provide an example when you approached your work with a mindset of having limited resources or time. Please include details of the context, the action you took and the results that were achieved.
    * Have you ever adopted a non-traditional approach to manage a project / situation or to solve a problem? Briefly describe the project / situation of the problem, the approach and the outcome.
    * Describe situations when you had to accomplish an objective in an ambiguous situation.
    * What did you do to handle the situation ? What was the outcome?
    * What were your learnings? Please specify 1 - 2 key learnings from the situation.
    * At times, many of us are caught in a situation of moral conflict, where we have to choose between two seemingly right alternatives. Give us one situation when you faced this conflict. How did you resolve it?
    * Sometimes, we may find a group of people disagreeing with our beliefs/point of view. Give us an instance where you had to convince a group of people on your point of view.
    * Tell us about a time when you had difficulty with a co-worker/team-mate and how you handled the situation.
    * Give two examples of how you have demonstrated leadership and inspired people towards achievement of certain goals.
    * Tell me something about you which are not in your resume.
    * You have just completed your 300 page autobiography. Please submit page 221.
    * Have you been a member of any social/cultural organization? (Yes/No). If yes, please detail your position and accomplishments in the organization. What was the key purpose behind your decision to be associated with this entity? What are your future plans in this regard?

All the Best!
Khalid Kamal Rumi
IIM Indore - 2K12 Batch
Re: MUST READ FOR IIM Essay/GD/PI - 2011
by Khalid Kamal Rumi - Friday, 25 February 2011, 08:58 PM



 What is looked for?

•          Subject knowledge

•          Clarity of thought

•          Flow of ideas

•          Examples

•          Facts

•          Correct usage of grammar

•          Correct usage of words

•          A neat hand-writing

 How should you write?

•          Always write in paragraphs

•          It’s not a natural but learned skill

•          Different paragraphs express different ideas that contribute to the main idea

•          A paragraph should ideally contain :

(i) Topic Sentence: it is the 1st sentence expressing the main idea of the paragraph- Say what you are going to say

(ii) Supporting Sentences: they expand the main idea expressed in the topic sentence- Say it

(iii) Concluding Sentence: rounding off what has been said or a logical conclusion of the idea in the topic sentence- Say it again!!!


How should you write?

•          Follow a flow of paragraphs

•          Always let the first paragraph be an introduction to the subject matter

•          Expansion/ support/ refutation of the idea must follow in subsequent paragraphs

•          The last paragraph must have a conclusion of the main idea

•          There could be two forms of writing- Deductive and Inductive

•          You should have good knowledge of the topic to write about

•          Read the directions carefully

•          Recognize action words- discuss, evaluate, argue, comment etc.

•          Focus on the issue rather than peripheries

•          Choose words with precise meanings; avoid ambiguity

•          Do not use Jargon

•          Do not use Slang

•          Do not use Cliché

•          Do not use Abbreviations

•          Do not use Quotations without acknowledgments

•          Make tentative statements; avoid definitive statements- it leaves a scope for further discussion



XAT Essays

1996 - There is no right way of doing a wrong thing.

1997- "By the third or fourth week of the term, business school had succeeded in afflicting me with a variation of the Stockholm syndrome, named after the incident in which a hostage in a Stockholm bank robbery fell in love with one of her captors." (Peter Robinson in Snapshots from Hell : The making of an MBA)

1998- Max Weber, a German Sociologist, defined state as an entity that has a monopoly over legal violence. India proves that the converse is also true; if criminals cannot be punished by the law, its effect they become the state. (The Economist September 27, 1997)

1999- "Television really is another eye so you can feel and care about things you never felt and cared about before, another ear to hear strange music… The first and only international language."

2000- Ships are safer in the harbour. But they are not meant for the same.

2001- Economic Growth without distributive justice can only lead to violence.

2002- Indian Economy in the Post WTO Era.

2003- To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or measured, like sincerity and integrity.

2004- Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would he choose as his master piece, Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect, answered, "The next one".

 2005- More than one billion Indians. A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities?

2006- “India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products.”

2007- Economic Growth without environmental damage – mirage or reality?

2008- The consequence of gender imbalance – The Third World War.

2009- The Inherent vice of Capitalism is unequal sharing of blessings and the inherent virtue of Socialism is equal sharing of misery

2010- Earth provide enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed need

2011- “The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not load himself with the most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous in hands of man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.”

You have to give Judgement with justification and support it with example.



The topics of XAT essays are not directly related to current affairs but a thorough knowledge on current affairs, static general knowledge and the trends of Indian economy will help. Apart from that, you need to have idea about Indian social and demographic background. Apart from that, you need to have a basic idea and understanding of ethics and humanity.

The topics are not too abstract but they are not run of the mill topics as well. Hence you have to blend your knowledge, understanding as well as the writing power well in your essays while writing XAT.

What is looked for in your Essay? While writing an essay for XAT, you should be able to showcase your subject knowledge and clarity of thoughts first. You should be able to balance your flow of ideas properly. If you start discussing a point, finish the discussion and then move on to the next point. Always give examples and facts. Make sure you write in correct grammar and spellings along with a neat handwriting.

Structure of your essay You should divide your essay in paragraphs. Different paragraphs express different ideas that contribute to the main idea. The first sentence of your paragraph should talk about what you are going to say in the paragraph; supporting sentences, which shall expand the main idea introduced in the first sentence and the concluding sentence, which shall what has been said and provide a logical conclusion of the idea.

Time management Remember that you will get just 20 minutes for the Essay. Manage the time properly. As Sidharth Balakrishna, CAT expert, author and IIM Calcutta alumnus suggests, "Spend the first few seconds in thinking about what to write and structuring your thoughts. Make sure you leave a couple of minutes at least at the end to review what you have written. The last few minutes can be used to check the flow of the essay-whether the points you have made seem integrated together and also to correct the grammatical errors, small mistakes, errors in syntax etc. However, do not try to change too much in the last few minutes."



The methodology for writing a good essay

Read the topic carefully and determine what you have been asked to write.

Are you expected to present the pros and cons of a particular issue? Are you expected to present an analytical piece? Are you required to write an argumentative essay or come up with different prespectives vis-a-vis an abstract topic?

Once you have a clear picture, jot down the important points that occur to you. For example, for the XAT 2007 topic stated above, the points can run thus:

  • If it is a mirage, how/ why is it so?
  • Technological advancement so far has always decimated scarce and precious natural resources
  • Greed ensures that imbalance between need and output is unchecked
  • Law enforcement is always behind violation of environmental preservation norms etc
  • If it is a reality, how/why can it be so?
  • Alternative sources of energy
  • Recycling
  • Stringent checks and so on

Now reorganise thoughts into the three-section format:

A terrific introduction:

Employ a quote, [only if it is relevant] or a generic observation pertaining to the topic at hand.

Supporting ideas:

This effectively is the body of the essay that is generally fleshed out over two or three small paragraphs. You can move from one paragraph to other by means of connectives such as 'Furthermore', 'Moreover' or 'To illustrate' etc. If you wish to present a deviation from the main line of thought or state an exception, you can use words like 'however', 'but' etc.

Examples will be the key to showcase your understanding of the topic. Provide those that are a function of your reading, observation or personal experience.

You must be politically correct and at the same time avoid wishy washy examples that do not stand scrutiny. 


Wrap up the essay with a fitting finale, using connectives such as ' In conclusion' , 'Hence' or 'Thus'. Otherwise, however well written the essay, it will hang and have an unfinished feel to it.

Tick the important checklist

A] Cogency and coherence: The essay should have a smooth flow of thought and maintain relevance at all times. Moving back and forth will have a stilted effect.

B] Sentence structure: The word choice and construction of sentences should be apt and concise. Certain principles of grammar and usage must be adhered to.

C] Proofreading: Spelling errors and slang are a strict no-no in a formal essay.


All the best!

Khalid Kamal Rumi

IIM Indore

Re: MUST READ FOR IIM Essay/GD/PI - 2011
by SIDDHARTHA KULKARNI - Sunday, 3 April 2011, 04:59 PM

that's a good list.... thank

Re: MUST READ FOR IIM Essay/GD/PI - 2011
by Narendra Paul - Friday, 8 April 2011, 01:17 AM
  its awesome .... pls share the answer for the same .