Written Ability Test (WAT) 2021 for IIMs and Other Top MBA Colleges - Writing Tips & WAT Topics

Pratyush Roy
Pratyush RoyPublished On: January 11, 2021

WAT is a very important part of MBA admissions in IIMs as well as many other top MBA colleges. How to prepare for WAT for MBA admissions 2021? Find out here and get detailed information regarding the topics and preparation tips.

WAT Preparation Tips and Topics

Written Ability Test or WAT is a pen-and-paper based test of the writing skills of a candidate in the MBA Admission Process in India. Lasting around 10-15 minutes, the WAT round test how effectively an MBA candidate is able to write on any topic given to them during the IIM Selection Process. WAT is a crucial stage for getting admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and MBA colleges in India, such as XLRI, IIFT etc. Although it is not conducted by every MBA college in India, it is definitely a part of most of the top B-Schools of India. Almost all of the IIMs and many other B-Schools have replaced the Group Discussion in their selection process with WAT. Some other top MBA colleges in India have also followed suit while some have included both GD and WAT in their admission process.

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Since WAT topic is given to the candidate right before their test is conducted, their round can seem a bit difficult but WAT is easy to clear if you have a good hold of current affairs. The WAT paper can be filled with objective statements in which, the candidates will be asked to describe and put forward their opinions in a suitable manner. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common WAT topics in IIMs and other MBA colleges and some of the best tips to succeed in WAT.

Important Dates for MBA Admission in India 2021

Following are some of the important dates regarding MBA admissions in India.

Event

Dates

CAT 2020 Exam Day

November 29, 2020

CAT 2020 Result Announcement

January 2, 2021

Application Deadlines for B-Schools

January - February 2021

Selection Rounds including WAT

February - April 2021

How to Answer Questions in WAT 2021

The descriptive type of answers for WAT does not have to be written like a piece 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 2021 Tips - 5Ws & 1H To Remember

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.

5 Ws & 1 H

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 in making a writeup full proof.

Also Read:Common Questions Asked in Personal Interview (PI) for MBA Admissions

WAT 2021 Tip: Modes of Persuasion

Mode of Persuasion is a very important factor for excelling in the Writing Ability Test or WAT for 2021 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 newspapers, the columns and editorials that are published throughout include the 3 elements of the Modes of Persuasion.

Modes of Persuation

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

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 and 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 giving a reference.

Pathos

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.

Logos

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.

WAT 2021 Preparation Tips

As with any other part of the selection process, preparing for WAT is essential for success. It is a very important round for admission in top MBA colleges and candidates give themselves enough time to become familiar with how to write on WAT topics of IIMs. Some of the best preparation tips for WAT have been given below.

  1. Practice writing on a daily basis and develop a reading habit.

  2. Read newspapers and stay aware of current affairs topics.

  3. Write with a time limit and critique your writing.

  4. Remember who you are writing for and match the tone appropriately.

  5. Use simple and easy to understand the language in short sentences.

  6. It is beneficial to mostly maintain an optimistic attitude in your writing.

  7. Practice writing in paragraphs and stick to one idea per paragraph.

  8. Work on improving your flow. It will make your writing 10 times better automatically.

Also Read:GD, PI, WAT Topics for MBA Admissions 2021

Current Affairs Topics for WAT 2021

The topic of WAT 2021 in various institutes for MBA admissions 2021 will come from the current affairs of 2020. Students need to keep a check of the most important happenings of India and abroad. However, most questions are asked 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:

Expected WAT Topics for MBA Admissions 2021

Given below are some of the WAT topics that are expected to appear in the MBA admission process 2021. Candidates must make sure that they are updated with the latest news in files such as business, economy, politics, etc. to perform well in this test.

  • Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)
  • Impact of coronavirus on the economy
  • Coronavirus in India
  • India's fight with Coronavirus
  • Impact of coronavirus on the tourism industry
  • Is social distancing the new world order?
  • COVID-19 vaccine development
  • US Elections
  • Companies Amendment Bill
  • New farm laws
  • Data privacy of individuals
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • Public health
  • Modicare
  • Indo-China relations
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Electric vehicles
  • Globalisation vs Nationalism
  • Indian vs Chinese goods
  • Climate change

WAT 2021 Topic: Why Dollar is Getting Expensive Compared to Rupees

Include the following points for a good write-up on the topic mentioned above:

  • 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 2021 Topic: Issues Over Article 370

Include the following points 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 2021 Topic: Effect of Industry 4.0

Include the following points 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 2021 Topic: Cashless Economy - A Boon or Bane

Include the points given below 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 2021 Topic: Critical Analysis of India’s Current Union Budget

Include these points for writing about India's current 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 2021 Topic: Privatisation of Government Sectors - A Critical Analysis

Include the following points 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 2021 Topic: Amazon Forest Fire - Who is to be Blamed?

Include the points given below 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 rainforest's contribution in maintaining environmental balance

WAT 2021 Topic: Banking Sector Slowdown in India

Refer to the following points 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 2021 Topic: Telecom Sector Distress in India

The following points have to be adhered to 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 2021 Topic: Cut in Corporate Taxes - Good or Bad?

Include the following points 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

Also Read:GD, PI and WAT Preparation Tips for 2021 MBA Admissions

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 numerous more topics mainly pertaining to the Indian and global economy to be able to write efficiently in the WAT in the MBA admissions 2021. The candidates are advised to refer to the newspapers and magazines such as Financial Times, Outlook, Business Standard, etc and also read up on the editorial pieces by stalwarts in their respective fields.

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