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How to Prepare for PI/ WAT Rounds for MBA Admissions at Top B-Schools

Rini Maria
Rini MariaUpdated On: July 15, 2022 04:49 pm IST

PI/ WAT is an important part of the selection process of several MBA colleges in India. Get essential tips on how to prepare for PI WAT for MBA admissions in top B-Schools of India.

How to Prepare for PI WAT Rounds for MBA Admissions

Many top B-Schools of India include the Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds in their selection process. Although some universities and institutions still choose Group Discussion (GD) rounds for selection, WAT and PI are among the most preferred methods. To get into the MBA and PGDM programmes of these top B-School, candidates need to have an accepted MBA entrance exam score and then clear the PI and WAT rounds as well.

The admission process of many MBA colleges in India is conducted during March and April. Therefore, it is high time that you start your PI and WAT preparations alongside now. To be selected in the top B-Schools, you cannot settle to be mediocre. You will have to ace it. This is possible only with practice and dedication. In this article, we have provided some of the tips and tricks that will help you prepare for your PI WAT Rounds.

How to Prepare for Personal Interview (PI)

PI is one of the most essential rounds in the admission process of various colleges. In this round, the interviewing panel tries to know certain details about the candidate such as their interests, motivation, aspirations, and overall personality. A strong hold over communication speaks a lot about personality. That is what an interviewer is looking forward to knowing about.

Most B-Schools allot about 40% of the weightage in the selection process to the PI round. Therefore, these rounds are not so easy to crack. It requires the presence of mind and calmness to tackle and come up with a satisfying response to tricky and confusing questions.

Important Instructions for PI Preparation

Go through the points mentioned below to know the important things regarding preparation for PI rounds.

  • Always look confident and be prepared.
  • Respond to each question with honesty.
  • Attempt to respond to all the questions with humility even if you are unsure about the answers.
  • Expose your strength to the interviewers.
  • Read through your CV well enough to be able to handle any questions from it.

What Questions are Commonly Asked during the PI Rounds?

Interviewers try to know more about you, your aim, hobbies, interests, and future endeavours. Therefore, the questions mainly revolve around these topics. You may also have to answer why do you want to pursue MBA, and how will that impact your career plans, and what other options do you have in mind. However, here are some of the questions that you should be ready with an answer to:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What does your name mean? Does it define your personality?
  • What are your goals after completion of an MBA?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you have any working experience? (Follow-up questions to the answer)
  • Why do you wish to be admitted to the particular B-School?
  • What are your hobbies and interests? (Follow-up questions)
  • Which specialization would you want to opt for?

Important Topics to Cover for PI

Apart from the personal information, the interviewers also tend to evaluate your knowledge on a range of aspects.

  • Current Affairs
  • Political Viewpoint
  • Social Background and Awareness
  • Interest in Sports
  • Business knowledge
  • Command over Literature
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Entertainment world
  • Demographics
  • Performance in the past rounds, GD or WAT

Smoothly Handle Uncomfortable Questions

If you prepare well, you can easily answer the questions that are directly related to facts. However, it is not always that the PI round turns out to be the way you plan it to be. Sometimes, it’s just a word that you say during the interview that the interviewers are fixated on. Either way, as a candidate you will have to keep calm and tackle every situation righteously.

Therefore, it is best to be well-prepared for all aspects without any exceptions. Always carry a confident face and humbly respond to the question. If you do not know the answer to any question, make sure to politely mention that you are not aware of the topic. Always be honest with the interviewer. It will help build confidence in you and always portray you as a good and honest human being. Gradually, try to direct the conversation to a topic in which you hold the most knowledge and experience so that you may impress your interviewing panel.

WAT for Top B-Schools in India

Earlier the ideal method for selection comprised of four stages: Application, Entrance Exam, Group Discussion Rounds, and Personal Interview. But now with the relevancy and high level of competition, most of the top institutions prefer WAT. They opined that it helps to understand the stand of the candidate and their command over the communication skills and writing skills.

Specifications of WAT

Here is the major specification for the format of WAT:

TopicAbstract/ Current Affairs/ Recent Events (or amalgamation of two or all of them)
Time Provided15 - 30 minutes
Word Limit200 - 400 words
StructureIntroduction, Body, Conclusion

How Should You Approach the WAT Round?

Usually, candidates rush into writing everything they know about the subject but that can be messy and send the wrong message about your personality. Hence, always remain composed and think through first. There is an affirmative way on how to approach the topic and excel in it. It is known as the CODER Method.

C = Collect ideas. Instead of directly jumping into the topic. Take time to first evaluate all the available options, pros, and cons of the topic. If possible jot it down to avoid any confusion.

O = Organize the writing format according to the collected points. Do not jumble them up and always maintain a flow of writing.

D = Develop the idea that you have initiated. Make sure to stick to the opinion that you have started writing with.

E = Express elaborately on each of the points you have collected initially. Divide your focus equally among all the pointers.

R = Review your work. Before submission, it is necessary that you read through once. Ensure it is error-free of any language or grammatical mistake. Go through it to know if it makes sense to you or is justified.

Once you are sure of the essay that you have written, you may submit it. Practice is the only way that will help you get the best outcomes. Try to write fast and with a good vocabulary and viewpoint. Your take on the topic is the main point. So, have a positive and broad approach to be on the safe side.

Key Factors to Remember During WAT

Time Management: The key factor during the WAT is time management. You can neither spend too much time planning nor reviewing. If you have 20 minutes, divide your time accordingly that you finish a decent essay with meaningful thoughts. Do not waste your time and immediately start with the CODER method.

Unified Approach: Never get shuffled between your thoughts. Try to keep a positive opinion and stick to it. It is not said best to jump between two thoughts. The reader views it as a confused personality. Therefore, always make sure to write relevant points and stick to one decision.

Read Articles, Blogs, News, Current Affairs, and Magazines: It helps in building a critical approach to the topic. Many leading magazines, newspapers, articles etc. include numerous subjects. The topic could be from any of them. Reading thoroughly will help you make the correct approach to the topic.

Sentence Framing and Grammar: An essay that is free from any grammatical errors or sentence framing is always regarded as the best. Having a strong hold over the language may still create confusion in pressure. However, make it a point to always stay calm and not make any errors.

Abstract Topics: B-Schools of India want their candidates to be witty and yet precise. This is why there are possibilities for abstract topics. Without getting nervous, try to understand the need for the topic and approach it accordingly. Do not hesitate in making a statement. It will only help you make a bold yet confident approach.

Important WAT Topics Asked in the Past Years

Here are some of the abstract topics asked in the WAT round over the past years by most IIMs and Top B-Schools of India:

Abstract/ TopicB-School or Institutes
All decisions in a democracy should be taken through referendumsIIM Lucknow
Is immigration a boon or a baneIIT Bombay, SJMSoM
DemonetisationIIM Bangalore
Farmer suicides are on a rise. What measures do you suggest to improve this situation?IIM Calcutta
Is it right to allot investor money and profits to CSR activities?IIM Kozhikode
Centralization of Indian Public Sector Oil companies will be a boonIIM Lucknow
Ads don't just sell products but also notions of success. To what extent do you agree? Give ReasonsIIM Indore
Cultural diversity impedes democratic governanceIIM Lucknow
Suggest ways to reduce the problem of teacher absenteeism in primary and middle fortsIIM Bangalore
The Government of India has announced monetary benefits for improving sanitation in rural areas. Will this be useful and what other measures do you suggest for the same.IIM Bangalore

By using these tipcs, you can prepare well for PI/ WAT and perform with 100% effort to secure admissions in the top B-Schools of India.

For any queries, feel free to reach us through the Q&A Zone. Also, fill the Common Application Form (CAF) or call on the toll-free student helpline number 1800-572-9877.

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