Written Ability Test abbreviated as WAT is one of the most crucial stages for getting admission in the top MBA colleges like IIMs, XLRI, IIFT etc. Some top colleges have replaced WAT with Group Discussions as well. In the selection process of management courses in top institutes, the PI and WAT receive top priority. If you haven’t sat for any Written Ability Test before and want to get its insights as well as preparation tips, follow the article thoroughly.
The WAT section is easy to clear if you have a good hold of current affairs. The WAT paper can be filled with objective statements on which, the candidates will be asked to describe and put forward their opinions in a suitable manner. Some of the current topics are given below on which, students can prepare. These topics have high chances to come to the WAT at different institutes. It shall be the responsibility of the candidate to enrich themselves with facts and figures of these incidents and write based on that.
Elements of Report Writing for WAT
The descriptive type of answers of WAT is not required to be in the format of news but can be opinionated writing like a column and an article. However, it contains the basic elements of a journalistic report writing, which is commonly known as 5Ws and 1H including the ‘Mode of Persuasion’ which is described below,
WAT 2020 Tip: 5Ws & 1H
For creative writing, 5Ws and 1H rule are hailed as one of the important elements of non-fiction writing which can be categorized in articles and columns. The 5W and 1H means, Who, When, Where, What, Why and How. These are the basic ‘W-H’ words that come to one’s mind when they are developing a write-up for anything.
If the student is given an article topic, the student, in his writeup, must dive deep into the introduction, description, and aftermath of the incident. To do this, asking these 6 questions comprising 5Ws and 1H initials helps a lot for making a writeup full proof.
WAT 2020 Tip: Modes of Persuasion
Mode of Persuasion is a very important sector for excelling in the Writing Ability Test or WAT for 2020 MBA admissions in the top colleges. The ‘Modes of Persuasion’ has 3 elements in it which are known for making the communication process more effective and appealing. In the newspapers, the columns and editorials that are published throughout keep good care of including the 3 elements of the Modes of Persuasion.
The 3 elements are: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
These three components were first described as useful for effective communication in ancient greek philosopher Aristotle’s Rhetoric where he described the various mode of communication which are still followed in written and verbal communication. The various elements are described below:
Ethos is known as the art of telling the reader about the writer’s or the communicator’s good hold on the subjects. It can be done by using terminologies and external references. It builds trust between the reader and the writer as the reader knows that what he is reading is coming from a man of words, in sort, it increases the overall credibility of the writing.
Example: A politician in his address uses his own examples as a social worker, as a soldier, teacher or businessman, etc to appeal to the people. Thus, his experiences make his speech credible.
For the same reason, commercial advertisements on healthcare products use such lines which are, “Indian Medical Association says dust particles in your hand can cause diseases, so use our X handwash.” Thus, they build trust between the audience by mentioning a legitimate reference.
The element of ‘Pathos’ refers to assessing the emotions of the reader. Pathos uses emotional elements to appeal to the audience emotionally. When the communicator/writer is able to connect with the emotions of his/her readers, the writing becomes very appealing and builds interest.
Example: “Mahatma Gandhi himself was a soldier in war, he has seen the suffering of people due to violence which led him to the path of non-violence to give us a peaceful and secure future.” In the statement, while expressing the greatness of the philosophies of Gandhi, the writer uses how his peaceful ways would make a change in our lives, thus, the reader is influenced by the non-violent ways of Mahatma for ‘Peace’, ‘Security’ etc which gives him/her a psychological relief. The writer uses the word ‘us’ to create a sense of emotional bonding with the reader and writer.
Like Ethos, Logos is also used to increase credibility but unlike Ethos, Logos use the reference of statistical data for the cause. It includes numerical and statistical figures of varified sources to support a statement.
Example: “Staying with India between 15-29 million Indians died of starvation in British induced famines. The most famous example was, of course, was the Great Bengal Famine during World War II when 4 million people died in Bengal because Winston Churchill deliberately, as a matter of written policy, proceeded to divert essential supplies from civilians in Bengal to sturdy tummies and Europeans as reserve stockpiles.” This excerpt is taken from MP Shashi Tharoor’s Speech in Oxford where he used statistical data to convey the horrors of British Raj in India. The use of numbers easily conveys the scale of the incident which the audience can easily connect with. This speech is a fantastic example of the usage of Logos.
Topics of WAT 2020 on Current Affairs of 2019-2020
The topic of WAT 2020 in various institutes for MBA admissions 2020 will come from the current affairs of 2019. Students need to keep a check of the most important happenings of the country and abroad. However, most questions generally come from the current affairs of the country, below, we discuss some of the important topics which have a high possibility to be asked in the exam:
WAT 2020 Topic: Why Dollar is Getting Expensive Compared to Rupees
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the topic of Dollar Getting Expensive Compared to Rupees
- Current account deficit
- Global economic slowdown
- Movement of capital
- Acceptance of rupees outside India
- Effect of new Indian economic policy
- Government’s steps to tackle the issue
WAT 2020 Topic: Issues Over Article 370
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Issues of Article 370
- Demographic importance of Kashmir
- History of Article 370
- Provisions of Article 370
- Current amendments in Article 370
- Aftermath - Communication shutdown in Kashmir
- Aftermath - Curbing the voice of local leaders and local media
- Indian Media vs Foreign Media - Contradictions over the Article 370 Amendment
WAT 2020 Topic: Effect of Industry 4.0
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Effect of Industry 4.0 on the MBA Education
- What is Industry 4.0
- Using the latest technology to shape industry 4.0 (AI, Big Data, Blockchain)
- Using new trends for business stimulation
- Differences between industry 4.0, 3.0, 2.0 and 1.0
- MBA institutes adopting Industry 4.0 in the curriculum - steps taken
- Focus on Sustainable Development
- Government Policies
- Criticism of the industry 4.0
WAT 2020 Topic: Cashless Economy - A Boon or Bane
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Cashless Economy
- What is Cashless Economy
- What are the Cashless transaction methods
- Government policies to promote cashless economy
- Pros of cashless economy
- Challenges of cashless economy in the Indian perspective
- The success rate of the cashless economy in various countries
- The benefit of the economy of India by cashless means
WAT 2020 Topic: Critical Analysis of India’s Current Union Budget
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Indian Union Budget
- Overview of the current Union Budget
- The focus of the current Union Budget - Whom will it benefit?
- The difference from the previous Union Budget
- Criticism of the current Union Budget
- Government’s take on the Union Budget
- Opposition’s take on the Union Budget
WAT 2020 Topic: Privatisation of Government Sectors - A Critical Analysis
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Privatisation of Government Sectors
- Reason behind privatizing
- Sectors in India being privatized
- What are the benefits of privatizing
- What are the setbacks of privatizing
- Criticism of privatizing public sectors - impact on the normal people
- Criticism of the extreme liberal economy
- Indian public companies in loss - the reason for the mismanagement behind
WAT 2020 Topic: Amazon Forest Fire - Who to be Blamed?
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Amazon Forest Fire
- Forest fire in Amazon - reasons
- The adverse impact of forest fires in Amazon
- Tribals accusing the government of letting oil companies inside the protected area
- Legal fight of the tribals against the government
- Steps taken to prevent amazon forest fire
- Amazon railforest’s contribution in maintaining environmental balance
WAT 2020 Topic: Banking Sector Slowdown in India
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Banking Sector Slowdown
- What does banking slowdown mean for the economy
- Reasons behind banking slowdowns
- Government policies to curb slowdown - Merging banks and privatisation
- Only 1 Bank (Bandhan Bank) Reported High Profits - Case Study
- Impact of Banking Slowdown on Economy
WAT 2020 Topic: Telecom Sector Distress in India
Include the following points given for a good write-up on the Telecom Centre Distress
- A comparison of telecom service consumption over the years
- Unequal market competition for telecom companies
- Vodafone’s take on the Government of India for telecom distress
- BSNL Dying - Natural or Poisoned?
- Rise of Jio in the Telecom Market
- Rapid changes in the TRAI Policies
- Fines imposed on Telecom companies by the Supreme Court
- Government steps to manage telecom industry distress
- Possible solutions
WAT 2020 Topic: Cut in Corporate Taxes - Good or Bad?
Include the following points given for a good write-up on Cutting Corporate Taxes:
- The reason behind cutting corporate tax
- Short-term impact on the economy - good or bad
- Long-term Impact on the economy - good or bad
- Government reasons behind the decision
- Opposition’s take on Government for the decision
- Analysis of the Corporate Tax policies of India
These are some of the topics which are in discussion currently. Most of the topics have a direct relation to the economy and the business industry of India. The candidates have to prepare themselves with numerous more topics mainly on Indian and global economy to be able to write efficiently in the WAT in the 2020 MBA admissions. The candidates are advised to be the avid consumers of newspapers and magazines like Financial Times, Outlook, Business Standard, etc. as well as read up on the editorial pieces by stalwarts in their respective fields.