Preparation Tips for TISS PIT/ PI Rounds

    Swati Mishra Swati Mishra
    Content Curator

    Once the TISSNET is over, the next hurdle is to cross are the Pre-Interview Test and Personal Interview, which play a major role in the selection of a candidate for various PG programs. The PIT and PI at TISS Mumbai (for programs offered at Mumbai, Tuljapur Campuses, and BALM, Chennai) will in the month of March, 2020.(tentative) Check TISSNET Selection Procedure

    TISSNET 2020: TATA Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will conduct the exam on January 12, 2020 in 39 cities across India. As per the students and experts, the GK section was the toughest. Whereas, Mathematics and English had simple and direct questions. Read more

    Candidates who clear TISSNET will be shortlisted for the 2nd round. The shortlisting will be based on the merit list created on the basis of the online test (cut-off marks to be decided later by the Institute). Check TISSNET cut off

    • Only short-listed candidates will receive call letters for the second round (PIT and PI) to be held in Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Guwahati campuses.
    • The Pre-Interview Test consists of a written test conducted before the Personal Interview.
    • This round consists of a Pre-Interview Test (PIT) and Personal Interview (PI).
    • The PIT can be a group discussion (GD) or written test.


    TISS is known as one of the premier institutes for various MA programs. Candidate’s preparation strategy for gaining admission to such an Institute has to be tailored to meet its expectations. PIT or the Pre-Interview Test is essentially an essay writing test. The 45-mark question paper consists of 2 sections: 1. Essay 2. Short case-let.

    • The essay section carries 30 marks and the topics of an essay will range from issues on current socio-economic, geo-political scenarios to matters of cultural and political significance.
    • The candidates must realize that there is no ‘right' or ‘wrong' answer in topics like these. They will be assessed on their ability to articulate their opinion on the given topic in a crisp and succinct manner. Hence, they must read a lot and practice to present their thoughts in clear sentences in short duration.
    • The section of the short-let case is designed to test the candidate's social awareness and sensitivity to complex issues. The 20-mark section will have four questions based on a case-let to be answered within the stipulated time.

    TISS Group Discussion Pattern

    PIT as GD: The pre-interview test will be a group discussion (GD) for candidates who have applied to any of the social work programs at TISS, Mumbai.

    The GD (Group Discussion) aims to test a candidate’s knowledge about contemporary issues in the field of social work and their sensitivity to social issues. Candidates can express their views orally in English and/ or in Hindi.

    • The time allotted for each GD is 20 minutes.
    • A group discussion will consist of at least 8-12 candidates.
    • The candidates will be shown a photograph with a caption for discussion.
    • The candidates will also be judged for their communication and people’s skills as they interact with each other.

    Here are some tips for effective participation in a GD:

    • Understand - Understand the topic before attempting to contribute.
    • Speak - Try and get a chance to speak. If you can't get a chance to speak make your chance.
    • Initiate - Take the initiative to begin the discussion, if possible.
    • Structure - Structure arguments logically - justify your stand.
    • Summaries- Summaries the discussion effectively
    • Involve- Take active part throughout the GD.
    • Assert- Be assertive.
    • Articulate- Work continuously towards articulating your ideas into meaningful sentences to make the best impact. Be clear in your speech.
    • Emphasize-Use non-verbal communication to emphasize points.
    • Listen- Be an attentive listener.
    • Quality, not quantity matters- it's not 'how much' you say, but 'what' you say that's important.

    TISS Written Test (Essay) Pattern

    PIT as Written Test: The pre-interview test will be a written test for candidates who have applied to all other courses across various TISS campuses. The duration of the written test (essay) varies for different programs.

    • The duration of the essay is 35 minutes for candidates applying to any of the 3 MA programs offered by the School of Management and Labor Studies.
    • The duration of the essay is 45 minutes for candidates applying to any of the other programs offered by the remaining schools under TISS.

    In order to score good, follow the Writing process:

    1. Plan the essay first

    • Use the first 1/10 to 1/5 of time for a question to make an outline or concept map.
    • Organize the plan around a central thesis statement.
    • Order your subtopics as logically as possible, making for easier transitions in the essay.
    • To avoid going off topic, stick to the outline as you write.
    • Hand in the outline. Some professors or TAs may give marks for material written on it.

    2. Write the essay quickly, using clear, concise sentences.

    3. Maintain a clear essay structure to make it easier for the professor or TA to mark:

    • A 1-2 sentence introduction, including a clear thesis statement and a preview of the points.
    • Include keywords from the question in your thesis statement.
    • Body paragraph each containing one main idea, with a topic sentence linking back to the thesis statement, and transition words (e.g.:  although, however) between paragraphs.
    • A short summary as a conclusion, if you have time.
    • If it is easier, leave a space for the introduction and write the body first.

    4. Address issues of spelling, grammar, mechanics, and wording only after drafting the essay.

    • As you write, leave space for corrections/additional points by double-spacing.

    5. Review the essay to make sure its content matches your thesis statement.  If not, change the thesis.

    Check TISSNET Exam Pattern

    TISS Personal Interview (PI)

    The interviewers are seasoned professionals, so be genuine. As the interview is an exchange of ideas, thoughts, and opinions, be open to any comments or criticism from the other side. Pragmatism and honesty are highly valued at TISS, wear them on your sleeve. Interviewers do not have unreasonable expectations from candidates; they are just on the lookout for candidates who are genuinely interested in learning the course.

    • Candidates should be familiar with the program for which they have applied.
    • Questions in the personal interview (PI) may be related to topics on the course content.
    Note: In case of any question or queries, you can call the Admissions Helpline on 022 - 25525252



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