Importance of WAT (Written Ability Test) in IIM Selection: Topics, Preparation & Weightage

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The concept of WAT (Written Ability Test ) was started last year by the top IIMs (Indian Institute of Management). It is one of the two shortlisting rounds conducted by the B-Schools to assess the candidates on the basis of their communication skills. Both these skills are equally important for any MBA aspirant to qualify for the final rounds and get a college of their choice. Therefore, major IIMs and other top B-schools give a good weightage to the WAT round (more than 20%). In this article, all the tips and strategies have been summarized to help you with your CAT preparation.

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What is WAT (Written Ability Test)?

Almost all the 20 IIMs have replaced GD ( Group Discussion) round with the WAT round for admission to their flagship programmes. IIMs found WAT a better option than GD as many candidates were unable to express their thoughts during GD. So, WAT is a written examination where the candidates are given a topic and are asked to write an essay on the same. The time bracket for this test is around 15-30 minutes though this time duration depends on different B-Schools. The word limit for WAT is generally around 200-300 words. 

WAT Preparation Tips & Topics:

Preparation Tips for WAT IIMs:

  • The introduction of your essay should give an idea about the topic you are writing for so that the examiner is well aware of your thoughts and goes through them well.
  • Just after the introductory paragraph, you are supposed to give a detailed idea about the argument.
  • Try to put in some facts backing your arguments to highlight your opinion.
  • Lastly, try to keep the conclusion brief. It should not be very lengthy and also give a sense of closure to the examiner.

 Some previous years’ WAT topics of IIMs are as follows:

  1. The good old village is an obsolete, Utopian concept.
  2. Global warming has adverse effects on all species on the planet should we migrate to another planet ? If not, suggest measures to mitigate the disaster.
  3. The ratio of males and females in colleges is good. Then why is it not the same in corporate life? Mention causes & solutions.
  4. The current era is known as the “ Age of the Man” concerning the usage of natural resources, atmospheric changes, flora & fauna. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  5. How do you prioritize when every work is a priority?
  6. Five-year plan
  7. Why should we protect data?
  8. Income Inequality
  9. Should the government be allowed to spy on its citizens on the pretext of security?
  10. Effect of growth of e-commerce sites on retail shops and outlets.

Weightage to WAT In Final Selection:

Different IIMs give different weightage to WAT. The percentage varies from institute to institute. IIM Ahmedabad organizes AWT (Analytical Writing Test) for shortlisting candidates for their final selection. It is the same as WAT. Specifically, IIM Ahmedabad has not released any weightage for the AWT round but instead, it computes an FCS (Final Composite Score) of the candidate who appears for the AWT and PI round.


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