What is WAT?
WAT is a paper-pen based writing test of 15 to 30 minutes duration conducted by IIMs and other top B-schools to test your writing skills after you are shortlisted for final admission round. This test is conducted just before your personal Interview session. In fact most of the IIMs have replaced Group Discussion (GD) round by WAT in the final selection round.
All the IIMs Conduct WAT
Out of the 20 IIMs almost all of them, have replaced GD round by WAT round as their final selection process for admission to their flagship programmes. IIMs found WAT a better testing process to assess a candidate than GD as many candidates could not express their opinion and views during GD while who could speak louder made their presence felt during GD round.
In WAT round a candidate can freely put down his views and thoughts on paper coherently without fear of getting disrupted.
Important Topics for WAT and How to prepar
Writing Ability Test (WAT) topic in an IIM or other B-school can be based on Current affairs, Business, Economics, Finance, Social or Political issues, Sports related news or could be based on abstract topics.
Topics for WAT are carefully selected to enable the candidates to express their coherent views and opinion, place the relevant data and other facts to add value to their writing. Since there are many changes in the economy, tax structure, number of things are happening around, the scope of WAT topics 2021 has also increased on such changes touching the common life.
For example, Farm Bills 2020 and Farmers’ Protests, Covid-19 impact & Vaccination, Budget 2021, National Education Policy (NEP), Recently held US Elections, Gig Economy, Demonetization, GST, Make in India, Bank Recapitalization, among others are the latest WAT topics 2021 and the candidates may be asked to write on them.
A list of past solved and probable WAT topics is prepared by experts at MBAUniverse.com to guide you on the WAT topics
Weightage to WAT in Final Selection
During the past few years weightage to WAT in IIMs has increased. Now WAT carries 10 to 15 percent onwards in almost all the highly ranked IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow and other top MBA colleges in India.
The new IIMs who have joined hands and are going through Common Admission Process (CAP) by conducting single point WAT and PI round coordinated by IIM Raipur for admission to 2021-22 batch have also increased the WAT and PI weightage to 35-40 percent.
High scores in CAT exam may not suffice to take you through the final selection process unless you have understood how to write in WAT and practiced on probable WAT topics to hone your writing skills.
Written Ability Test (WAT) or as IIM Ahmedabad has put it Academic Writing Test (AWT) 2021 is an important component of final selection round at all the IIMs and other MBA colleges.
If you are your preparing for MBA Entrance Process for MBA Admissions 2021, it is important to know that apart from MBA Entrance Exam Scores (CAT, MAT, CMAT scores), good MBA colleges check your General & Business Awareness, how do you express your opinion on abstract topics. Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interviews are modes by which MBA colleges check your written and communication skills. After all, good managers need to put their views, opinion and take decisions with well worded writing skill. How you write in WAT on international, national, social and business events reflects your writing skill.
IIMs, XLRI, MDI, SPJIMR and all other prominent MBA colleges conduct Essay Writing tests, on latest current affairs topics, that are similar to WAT Topics. So, by preparing for WAT, you are in fact preparing for the entire Personal Assessment (PI) Round of all MBA colleges. CAT Toppers like Anushree Naik (CAT 2019: 98.2%, now studying at IIM Ahmedabad) have used MBAUniverse.com solved WAT Topics. So, make sure you too benefit from this rich resource.
WAT Topics 2021
Writing Ability Test (WAT) topic in an IIM or other B-school can be based on Business, Economics & Finance, Social, Political, religious, national or international affairs, Sports related news or could be an abstract.
To help you do well in Personal Interview Rounds for IIMs, FMS Delhi, and all Top 100 MBA Colleges, MBAUnivese.com, India’s No 1 Portal, has prepared 100+ Latest WAT & GD Topics 2021. These topics, listed below, are useful for Bank and other competitive entrance exams as well. So, continue reading.
Important Solved WAT Topics
Below are shared the important solved WAT topics to help the candidates to crack the WAT round in final selection process:
- Demonetization in India: Decision is more appreciated than criticized
- GST: Aim to take economy on faster growth path
- “Make in India” Ground realities; India leaps to surpass China
- Rising Population of India could be turned into an asset
- Corruption is the root cause of current economic and social woes in India
- FDI in multi brand retail is a boon or bane
- Ethics and morals cannot be taught in classrooms only
- Net Neutrality: Very Essential to Make India Digital
- Union Budget: Merging the General & Railway Budget will save exchequer from unnecessary spending
- E-commerce: Unrealistic Discounts are Dangerous
- Aadhar -Utility is more than perceived
- Smart City Project: India’s new urban vision
- Bank Recapitalization: Will it restore faith in Banking Industry?
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao will change the orthodox mindset?
- Law should be an instrument of Social Change
- Browsing at Workplace affects productivity
- Social Activism is necessary for survival of democratic society
- RERA should win the trust of home buyers
- Moody’s Rating Upgrade to boost the economy of India
- Globalization and Jingoism always coexist
- General elections will be a watershed for Indian democracy
- India’s 1.2 billion population is an asset for the country
- India has more skilled Human Resource
- Is ASEAN a defunct Group
- Indo-US relations; how much beneficial for India
- How successful would be the Climate Change Summit Paris?
Making changes in their selection process, IIM have increased weightage to WAT from 5-10 percent to 10-15 percent. Almost all the top IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India like IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow and also the new IIMs offering admission through Common Admission Process (CAP) by conducting single point WAT and PI round have increased the WAT and PI weightage to 35-40 percent.
Unless you have understood how to write in WAT and practiced on probable WAT topics to hone your writing skills, the high scores in CAT written exam may not suffice to take you through the final selection process. WAT is a pen-paper based writing test of 15 to 30 minutes duration conducted for MBA admission by IIMs and other top B-schools to test your writing skills after you are shortlisted for final admission round. Many IIMs have replaced Group Discussion (GD) round by WAT in the final selection process.
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.
GD PI WAT Preparation
GD PI WAT Rounds are conducted for MBA Admissions to IIMs and other leading B-schools after the announcement of MBA entrance exam results. B-schools shortlist applicants based on their admission criteria and conduct the Personal Assessment Round which consists of Personal Interview, Group Discussion and Written Abilities Test. Infact it will be fair to say that CAT/XAT scores are only used for shortlisting students, while the real selection happens through the GD PI WAT round. Typically 10 candidates are invited by MBA Colleges for every admission seat. So expect a tough competition!
After interviewing more than 50 IIM Students and IIM Admission Chairpersons, MBAUniverse.com has prepared this exclusive article to help you prepare for GD PI WAT. So continue reading to ace your personal assessment round.
Table of Contents
1. Personal Interview (PI)
- What Is Personal Interview
- How Is Personal Interview Evaluated
- How To Prepare For A Personal Interview
- Top Personal Interview Questions
2. Group Discussions
- What is A Group Discussion
- How is Group Discussion Evaluated
- How to Prepare For a GD
- Top 100 Group Discussions Topics
- What Is Written Abilities Test (WAT)
- How Is Written Abilities Test (WAT) Evaluated
- How To Prepare For Written Abilities Test (WAT)
- Top 100 Written Abilities Test (WAT)
4. Other types of Personal Assessments
- Case Study
- Group Exercise (GE)
1.0 Personal Interview (PI)
1.1 What Is Personal Interview
Personal Interview (PI) is conducted before offering you admission in a course or any job. The Personal Interview (PI) round is the test of your verbal communication skill, presence of mind and how do you present your views and knowledge skilfully to convince the experts who are interviewing you. Personal Interview (PI) is the most important part of final selection process for MBA Admissions to IIMs and all other B-schools. It carries high weightage in final selection process in a range from 30 to 50 percent. Personal Interview Round is conducted by all the MBA colleges for MBA admission after the 1st stage shortlisting on the basis of written exam score. All the top MBA colleges including 20 IIMS, XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI among others conduct Personal Interview (PI) round for final selection
1.2 How To Prepare for Personal Interviews
Every B-school conducts the Personal Interview (PI) round to get the best talent in its class rooms. To be successful in this round, no doubt, you have to be well prepared for the volley of oncoming questions. These are not the questions that are tough or out of this world, but your approach to answer them in a witty, positive and subtle manner gives you an edge over your peers. One of the key tips to crack the PI round is that the further questions arise out of the answers given by you.
Personal Interview for IIM and MBA Admission can revolve around your academics, work experience, extra-curricular activities, your surroundings or current events. There can be a few questions on your future plans as well. IIMs also grill candidates on recent industry and corporate happenings. Here are top tips to prepare for Personal Interview
- Be Careful While Writing Statement of Purpose: Your statement of purpose is also a good source of questions for panellists in PI round. So apart from doing lot of other activities to prepare for PI round, you should focus on your SoP and keep ready your answers on the points that you have filled up in SoP.
- Keep Yourself Updated: Regularly read the newspapers, watch TV news, diarise whatever you find important. You are supposed to know each and every thing. The only strategy is to gather maximum that you can.
- Brush Up On Your Academics: Go through your academics well and revise especially the things in your specialization domain.
- Know all About Your Native Place: Read, know and feel your native place well. You must be aware about the history, Geography and all the important things like famous places, personalities, specialities about your city.
- Delve Deep About your Work Experience: If you have a work experience, you must be well aware about your role and the entire chain of system wherein you contribute with your team.
- Know yourself: Analyse and rehearse upon your strengths and weaknesses. You must be able to highlight your strengths effectively and for it must prepare well. The weaknesses should not reflect your inability to do the work, or to improve.
- Awareness Your Interests & Hobbies: You will be asked about your interests and hobbies, so make sure that you know all about them. One of the candidates interviewed at IIM Calcutta claimed that he had interest in playing Badminton. All the past, present, shuttle cock weight, court-size, service gallery size and other things were asked, although he answered each of them satisfactorily.
- Brush Up your GK: Past and present events must be well known to you. Reading is not enough, you must have an opinion framed on it. To be successful in PI round, no doubt, you have to be well prepared not only with the Current GK for interview but also with the Business GK and the social GK surrounding your local area issues for interview. These GK questions come up during the discussion spontaneously out of your profile, statement of purpose, the interests and hobbies that you fill up in the interview form. The GK questions in Personal Interview are not tough or out of this world but your approach to answer them correctly in a witty, positive and subtle manner gives you an edge.
- Remain Positive: Even if you have all the negative thoughts about some action, policy matters – present them in a balanced manner with a positive thinking for future. Do not criticize too much the policies of the Government, B-schools, Corporate bodies etc. If you have some suggestion for their betterment, you can put them forth in brief, if required.
1.3 Top Personal Interview Questions
Preparing for top PI questions in advance is a good way to ensure your success. Here are a few of the past MBA Personal Interview Questions asked in IIM MBA Personal Interview rounds.
- Why MBA: This is one of the top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission that frequently appears in MBA interviews
- Tell us about yourself: This is another very popular question that frequently appears in MBA Personal Interview Questions
- Past Academic Questions: Your academic profile is an important source of top Questions asked in Personal Interview round of MBA admissions. Nikhilesh N, who scored 98.44 percentile in CAT 2020, was asked questions like UG specialization, how the UG background is related to Business Analytics and the key areas of academic interest in IIM Bangalore Personal Interview round
- Previous Work Experience Questions: If you have short or long work experience, it will be the most important area constituting top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission. Shuktisindhu Mondal who scored 93.26 percentile in CAT 2019 and is an IIM Ahmedabad student, has a work experience of 41 months. He faced many questions regarding the nature of his work and shares, “Questions that I faced were based on my work experience and current affairs.” Accordingly, You are should also be ready with some of the such top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview.
- Your City/State related question: Interviewers want to know if you have empathy for your roots. So there are also some of the important MBA Personal Interview Questions based on your native place
- Why this B-school: This is one of the top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission. If you are appearing in IIM Personal Interview round, it is one of the top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview. If you don’t give a crisp and clear answer, you will leave a bad impression.
- Which Specialization and Why? Some B-schools want their students to be clear about their career choice post MBA. They also want you to be clear about which specialization that you will select in 2nd year and why. This is a sure shot question in IIM Personal Interview round, if you are applying for an Specialized MBA program.
- Current Affair Events & your opinion on them: With lot of changes happening at the national and international level, your updated knowledge on current affairs and what do you think about them is the key area on which a few questions you are sure to face in IIM Personal Interview round. Nikita Agarwal, who scored 99.22 percentile in CAT 2019 and is a student of MDI Gurgaon was asked questions like Chandrayan-2, Cryptocurrency, Bullet trains.
- Questions on Extra Curricular Activities: If you are a sports person, a model or an achiever in some other area, the IIM MBA Interview Questions will be focused on them too. Tanishq Diddee, a national medalist in swimming, a triathlon and marathon participant who scored 99.70 percentile in CAT 2019 and converted IIM Ahmedabad was asked about how a business model can be made around swimming?, How will India capture the POK? Why Kenyan runners are good at marathon?
2. Group Discussions
2.1 What is A Group Discussion
GD round is a favourite component of final selection round not only in top MBA colleges but also in various recruitment process like class 1 and 2 services, SSB, bank officers’ recruitment services among others. It carries a substantial weightage also in final admission/selection process. Group Discussion rules allow you to speak effectively and listen to others also. The major Group Discussion tips to win the GD round are to follow the Group Discussion skills. One of the key winning Group Discussion skills is to remain well learned, listen others carefully and not to miss the opportunity to make an effective speech.
2.2 How is Group Discussion Evaluated
The basic reason behind conducting Group Discussion (GD) round in the final admission process for MBA/PGDM programmes in B-schools is a very important aspect of group communication reflecting the leadership skills and thought process of the participants.
2.3 Type of GD Topics
- GD Topics on Business & Economy: It includes current trends in business and economy, major policy initiatives, latest business trends, and their impact globally and nationally.
- GD Topics on Current Affairs: The GD topics on Current affairs are based on national or international political development, Policies and issues which are highly debated in media.
- GD topics on Social Issues: Top MBA Colleges are focusing on developing socially responsible MBAs. Hence, there is a greater emphasis on issues like gender and environment sensitivity, ethics etc.
- GD Topics on Abstract Topics: You may be thinking what are abstract GD topics? These are the topics which have multiple interpretations and candidates can show their creativity and smart thinking.
2.4 How to Prepare For a GD
Group Discussion preparation has three aspects. These three Group Discussion preparation tips are:
- Read and learn more on GD Topics
- Learn to be a good listener
- Learn and practice to speak effectively supported by facts and figures
GD Preparation should begin along with your CAT/XAT preparation. Immediately after the written exam is over, you should focus on preparing for Group Discussion round which commands high weightage in final selection round.
- To prepare for a group discussion, keep track of happenings around the world.
- Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings, which affect our lives, however remotely, shows a well-rounded personality.
- As a team player, your ability to lead and play in team is measured in the GD. Make a habit of reading English newspapers and magazines, watch interesting documentaries and profiles on television to get a wider perspective on issues.
- Group Discussion topics can be from a wide range of issues. It could be a topic on current events, business news, sports or anything very general. The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be to face the group discussion.
- You should prepare on variety of topics as rich and right subject knowledge will be required during GD round. You should have subject knowledge and be well aware of the latest happenings around you, not just in India but around the world as well. To be in a better position, make sure that you have in-depth knowledge on the subject. Subject knowledge is a pre-requisite while you are preparing for a group discussion because you will then have the power to steer the conversation to whichever direction you want to. If you can memorize some relevant data, it will be an added advantage.
- If you are a good reader and read on variety of topics, it will help you in group discussion round. There is no need for last minute preparation. You should read over a period of time. Reading not only adds to your knowledge database, but enhances your vocabulary skills as well.
- Always choose the magazines that are content rich and not just full of advertisements. Often magazines have columns which are promoting a particular institute etc. Avoid such magazines, do some research and buy the best that will be beneficial for you.
- Prepare the topics that are Repeated. There are topics which re-appear with minute changes and minor variations. Be aware of such topics well in advance so that you have ample time to prepare for the same. For example the issues of terrorism, gender inequality, poverty, liberalization and privatization, reservations in educational institutions etc often appear as GD topics. Make sure you know these topics well and can come up with some unique, insightful points along with some data.
- Improve your Communication Skills. You should be well versed in your communication skills. You should have a good vocabulary and a decent command over English. Much before your actual group discussion, rehearse well. You can sit with a group of friends and choose a topic and indulge in a friendly GD. Not only will this increase your knowledge, you will be a better speaker by the time it is time for your GD.
- Learn to communicate with body gestures. The panelists observe the way you sit and react in the course of the discussion. . Body gestures are very important, because your body language says a lot about you. In a GD, sit straight, avoid leaning back on to the chair or knocking the table with pen or your fingers. Also, do not get distracted easily.
- Learn to be a good listener. Listening Skills are Essential for GD round, so carefully listen to what others have to say. Just speaking throughout the discussion doesn’t make you better. You should learn to give others a chance to speak. Try and listen to others. If the speaker is making an eye-contact with you remember to acknowledge him by nodding your head, so that the speaker is aware that his listeners are listening to him and paying full attention. This will also show that you are vigilant and are an active participant in the discussion.
2.5 Top Group Discussions Topics
Year 2021 was an eventful year, to say the least! And with dawn of year 2022, third wave of Covid-19 has struck. Latest Group Discussion Topics for MBA admission 2022 include:
- Global Climate Crisis: India Leadership
- Gati Shakti Master Plan
- Covid-19 Third Wave
- Economic Survey 2022
- Coal Crisis in India
- Privatization of Public Sector in India
- Air India Disinvestment by BJP Government & Acquisition by TATAs: Selling Family Silver or Saving Taxpayer’s Money
- Budget 2022: Will it Propel Economic Growth
- Repealing of Farm Bills
- Are Stock Market & Economy Not Co-related?
- India’s Semiconductor Mission – Key Facts
- Farmers’ Protest and MSP
- Facebook Rebrands to Meta: What is Metaverse & Augmented Reality Cryptocurrencies and NFTs: Real Revolution or just a Bubble?
- National Startup Day & Startup Boom in India: Are Unicorns Real or just Paper Tigers? Make in India: The idea will make India a manufacturing hub
Written Ability Test (WAT) is an important part of final selection to MBA programme in IIMs and other top MBA colleges. Read below about the important details about how IIMs conduct WAT round, What are the key topics to prepare, How to score high in WAT and more
3.1 What is WAT?
WAT is a paper-pen based writing test of 15 to 30 minutes duration conducted by IIMs and other top B-schools to test your writing skills after you are shortlisted for final admission round. This test is conducted just before your personal Interview session. In fact most of the IIMs have replaced Group Discussion (GD) round by WAT in the final selection round. In WAT round a candidate can freely put down his views and thoughts on paper coherently without fear of getting disrupted.
How Is Written Abilities Test (WAT) Evaluated
To be updated soon
How To Prepare For Written Abilities Test (WAT)
To be updated soon
Top Written Abilities Test (WAT) Topics
Writing Ability Test (WAT) topic in an IIM or other B-school can be based on Current affairs, Business, Economics, Finance, Social or Political issues, Sports related news or could be based on abstract topics.
Topics for WAT are carefully selected to enable the candidates to express their coherent views and opinion, place the relevant data and other facts to add value to their writing. Since there are many changes in the economy, tax structure, number of things are happening around, the scope of WAT topics 2021 has also increased on such changes touching the common life. For example, Farm Bills 2020 and Farmers’ Protests, Covid-19 impact & Vaccination, Budget 2021, National Education Policy (NEP), Recently held US Elections, Gig Economy, Demonetization, GST, Make in India, Bank Recapitalization, among others are the latest WAT topics 2021 and the candidates may be asked to write on them.
Having read these introductions to GD PI WAT, now comes the best part! Read short interviews with CAT Toppers & IIM Students by MBAUniverse.com as they reveal their GD PI WAT Preparation.