If you are an MBS aspirant, then it will be unlikely that you have not heard about the Written Aptitude Test or WAT. Indian Institutes of Management (IIM’s) have replaced Group Discussion, a crucial step of their admission process with written ability test also known as WAT followed by personal interviews.
They also plan to use the score of WAT taken by older IIM’s, i.e. if a student has already appeared for the written tests of some of the older IIMs, he or she will not need to take the written test separately for the new IIMs. Either way, the personal interview will still be taken by the new IIMs.
Over the years, GD is gradually getting shunned by the IIMs and WAT is being conducted before PI.
What is WAT?
WAT also known as written ability test is a test of your ability to think critically, how effectively you can communicate your ideas and formulate an appropriate response in given time. The aspirants are given topics related to current political, economic and business affairs and they have to present their viewpoint about the same in a clear and crisp manner in the given time.
Factors to Crack the WAT
While you write an essay to get into the B- School, you’ll have to focus on time as well. The key will be to write as fast as possible in order to finish the essay. Even
though WAT is unique to IIM’s, it is at the discretion of the individual IIM’s 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.
So,instead, accuracy and correctness of spelling and grammar are 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 your 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, emphasise 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?
5. Get things straight in your head:
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 viewpoint. The ending of essay should be very clear and summarized.
The essay you wrote 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. So, if you have taken the CAT or XAT exam this year, then what are you waiting for? Start preparing for WAT!!