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If you are an MBA aspirant, then it is unlikely that you haven't heard about the Written Ability Test or WAT. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have replaced Group Discussion, a crucial step of their admission process with WAT followed by Personal Interviews. WAT tests how good a candidate is in sharing their thoughts in the form of written communication and is usually conducted before or as part of the personal interview in MBA colleges. WAT is increasingly becoming a part of b-schools and not only IIMs but other MBA colleges in India are also adopting it as a better way to finalise candidates for their programmes.
In this article, we describe what is the Written Aptitude Test (WAT) and give you some quick tips to help you ace the WAT round in your MBA interview.
What is WAT?
WAT is a test of your ability to think critically, how effectively you can communicate your ideas and formulate an appropriate response in a given time. The aspirants are given topics related to current political, economic and business affairs and they have to present their views about the same in a clear and crisp manner in the given time.
While you write an essay to get into a B-school, you’ll have to focus on the time. The key will be to write as fast as possible in order to finish the essay. Even though WAT is unique to IIMs, it is at the discretion of each IIM to determine the time allocated for WAT for admission to their college.
For Example: IIM Bangalore gives 30 minutes to write the essay, while IIM Lucknow gives 15 minutes and the time for writing the essay is as little as 10 minutes in IIM Ahmedabad. You don’t have much time to waste on thinking and planning the structure of the essay, else you will not be able to complete it. Your focus should be on starting the essay and putting in as many important points as possible.
There is no compulsion to present the matter in impressive or flowery language. Remember, the people reading your essay are industry stalwarts and have more knowledge than you in the subject. Instead, the accuracy of language and correctness of spelling and grammar are more important. The essay’s evaluation is based on the different angles from which you can analyse the topic and the logic behind each argument.
Tricks on How to Crack WAT
1. Be interesting
Admission officers have to read hundreds of essays, and often they get bored. Try to stand out with the help of an article that is not boring and reflects you and your personality. Start with eye-catching headlines to indulge the reader in your article. Try to give a new angle to your story and try to convince the reader to think about the issue from your point of view.
2. Clarity wins
Use clear and concise language to explain your point. Don’t try to go beyond your point and make sure you have a reasonable argument. Don’t confuse the reader by contradicting your own statements. Don’t go with long explanations because it becomes monotonous. So, try to put your points in a straight forward manner.
3. Emphasise on your ability to learn
In your article, emphasises on your ability and willingness to learn and work. Address your weakness and dwell on them. If you have failed or done below your expectations in the past, explain that and emphasise on your willingness and want to improve and do better.
4. Analyse yourself
Be sure about everything you have mentioned in the article. Here are a set of questions to keep in mind while analysing your work
- Does my essay have one central theme?
- Does my introduction engage the reader? Does my conclusion provide closure?
- Do my introduction and conclusion avoid summary?
- Do I use concrete experiences as supporting details?
- Do I use transitions appropriately?
- What about the essay is memorable?
- What parts of the essay need elaboration or are unclear?
- What parts of the essay do not support my main argument?
- Is every single sentence crucial to the essay? This must be the case.
- What does the essay reveal about my personality?
Think of an appropriate introduction, body and conclusion before you start writing. Make sure you yourself are very clear about the concept you have in mind. The clearer you are with your thought process, the easier it will be to convince the reader to understand and view things from your perspective. The ending of the essay should be very clear and summarised.
The essay you write in the first half of the personal assessment round can generate some questions in the interview round. The panel could ask you questions about the essay and you have to defend it. Questions on the topic can also be asked, which means you will need to know a lot about the topic. For the WAT, it is important to develop the ability to think and articulate quickly.
Also Read:How To Write SOP for MBA Admissions
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If you have taken the CAT or XAT exam this year, then what are you waiting for? Start preparing for WAT!! Here are some other related articles to help you prepare for MBA admissions in India.
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