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Written Ability Test (WAT)
Written Ability Test
As per the latest news, new IIMs plan to replace Group Discussion (GD) with written test (WAT) and they may use the older scores of IIMs for admissions. The new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started since 2010, following some of the older IIM’s like IIM-A, B, L, etc. will replace the group discussion (GD) stage of their admissions with a written essay test.

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. In the existing 13 IIMs, only IIM Calcutta has the GD process. The other IIMs have the Essay Writing or Written Ability test and Personal Interview rounds.

Writing ability and time constrain
Now that essay writing is gaining importance in the admission criteria of IIMs’ the main concern is the time limit. While writing an essay for admission to a top B-school, the focus should be on the time. 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.

Here, the key will be to write as fast as possible in order to finish the essay. Don’t waste much time on thinking and planning the structure of the essay, else you will not be able to complete it. For this, you will need sufficient practice.

According to a student of IIM Ahmedabad, the best way to practice is by picking up one current-affairs topic every day and writing as much as you can for 10 minutes. 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. Instead, accuracy and correctness of spelling and grammar take precedence. The essay’s evaluation is based on the number of new ideas or points you can produce in the given time, the different angles from which you can analyze the topic and the logic behind each argument.

It is important to develop the ability to think and articulate quickly. For B-school panelists, essays are tools to see how you structure your thoughts and produce them in the least amount of time. Apart from IIMs, other prominent B-schools like XLRI and IIFT also use Essay Writing to assess candidates.

Read More Written Ability Topics (WAT)

Weightage for GD, PI and WAT
The weightage to the GD, PI and Written Ability Test at IIM Lucknow will be as follows:

Components
Sec.1 (Quantitative)
Written Ability Test
10
Group Discussion
10
Personal Interview
25
Personal Interview
45

(The minimum requirement for getting a pass in Personal Interview is 7.5 out of 25 marks.)

Weightage for CAT score, Class X and XII, graduation and work experience
The weightages are as follows:

Components
Sec.1 (Quantitative)
Aggregate CAT - 2009
30
Class - X Marks
10
Class - XII Marks
5
Graduation Marks
5
Experience Profile
5
Total
55

Final Merit List
IIM-L’s admission policy document states: “The sum of the scores in all the eight components will be taken as the final score of a candidate for arriving at the merit list(s) for final selection to the PGP / PGP-ABM of IIML.

Top 10 Business School Essay Writing Tips

1.Don't Use Company Jargon:
As a prospective business student, you have probably spent the past few years in a corporate environment with its own in-house terminology. Remember that you are writing for a reader who hasn't attended your company's meetings or contributed to its products. You should certainly describe various aspects of your professional life--your leadership skills, your career trajectory, your triumph in the face of obstacles, and so on--but do so in language that is as accessible to your reader as it is to you. Imagine that you are composing a document for a customer who must decide whether to buy a particular product: you. Write clearly and personably.

And if you are a fresher, go for the common language you have been using in your school days rather than the jargons you came across while a conversation with your friend who is corporate now or any of your relative.

2. Don't Bore the Reader. Be Interesting.
Admissions officers have to read hundreds of essays, and they must often skim. Abstract rumination has no place in an admission process essay. Admissions officers aren't looking for a new way to view the world; they're looking for a new way to view you, the prospective student.

The best way to grip your reader is to begin the essay with a captivating snapshot. Notice how the blunt, jarring "after" sentence creates intrigue and keeps the reader's interest.

Before: I am a compilation of many years of experiences gained from overcoming the relentless struggles of life.

After: I was six years old, the eldest of six children in the Bronx, when my father was murdered.

3. Do Use Personal Detail. Show, Don't Tell!
Good essays are concrete and grounded in personal detail. They do not merely assert "I learned my lesson" or that "these lessons are useful both on and off the field." They show it through personal detail. "Show, don't tell" means that if you want to relate a personal quality, do so through your experiences without merely asserting it.

Before: If it were not for a strong support system which instilled into me strong family values and morals, I would not be where I am today.

After: Although my grandmother and I didn't have a car or running water, we still lived far more comfortably than did the other families I knew. I learned an important lesson: My grandmother made the most of what little she had, and she was known and respected for her generosity. Even at that age, I recognized the value she placed on maximizing her resources and helping those around her.

The first example is vague and could have been written by anybody. But the second sentence evokes a vivid image of something that actually happened, placing the reader in the experience of the student.

4.Be Concise. Don't Be Wordy.
Wordiness not only takes up valuable space, but also confuses the important ideas you're trying to convey. Short sentences are more forceful because they are direct and to the point. Certain phrases, such as "the fact that," are usually unnecessary. Notice how the revised version focuses on active verbs rather than forms of "to be" and adverbs and adjectives.

Before: My recognition of the fact that the project was finally over was a deeply satisfying moment that will forever linger in my memory.

After: Completing the project at last gave me an enduring sense of fulfillment.

5.Do Address Your Weaknesses. Don't Dwell on Them.
At some point while writing the essay on personal topic, you will have an opportunity to explain deficiencies in your record, and you should take advantage of it. Be sure to explain them adequately: "I partied too much to do well on tests" will not help your reputation. The best tactic is to spin the negatives into positives by stressing your attempts to improve; for example, mention your poor first-quarter grades briefly, and then describe what you did to bring them up.

Before: My grade point average provides an incomplete evaluation of my potential and of the person I am today, since it fails to reveal my passion and determined spirit which make me unique and an asset to the _______ School of Business.

After: Though my overall grade point average was disappointing, I am confident that the upward trend in my academic transcript will continue in business school. Furthermore, my success on the CAT/XAT/etc and in the corporate world since graduation reinforces my conviction that I have a keen business sense--one that I hope to develop at the _______ School of Business.

6.Do Vary Your Sentences and Use Transitions.
The best essays contain a variety of sentence lengths mixed within any given paragraph. Also, remember that transition is not limited to words like nevertheless, furthermore or consequently. Good transition flows from the natural thought progression of your argument.

Before: I started playing piano when I was eight years old. I worked hard to learn difficult pieces. I began to love music.

After: I started playing the piano at the age of eight. As I learned to play more difficult pieces, my appreciation for music deepened.

7.Do Use Active Voice Verbs.
Passive-voice expressions are verb phrases in which the subject receives the action expressed in the verb. Passive voice employs a form of the word to be, such as was or were. Overuse of the passive voice makes prose seem flat and uninteresting.

Before: The lessons that have prepared me for my career as an executive were taught to me by my mother.

After: My mother taught me lessons that will prove invaluable in my career as an executive.

8.Do Seek Multiple Opinions.
Ask your friends and family to keep these questions in mind:
  • 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?
  • Have I used active-voice verbs wherever possible?
  • Is my sentence structure varied, or do I use all long or short sentences?
  • Are there any clichés, such as "cutting-edge" or "learned my lesson"?
  • Do I use transitions appropriately?
  • What about the essay is memorable?
  • What's the worst part of the essay?
  • 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?
9.Don't Wander. Do Stay Focused.
Many students try to turn the personal essay into a complete autobiography. Not surprisingly, they find it difficult to pack so much information into such a short essay, and their essays end up sounding more like a list of experiences than a coherent, well-organized thought. Make sure that every sentence in your essay exists solely to support one central theme.

10. Do Revise, Revise And Revise.
The first step in an improving any essay is to cut, cut, and cut some more.

Some important sample essays are as follows, although they are only indicative and not to be considered as the only way of writing on those topics. One should exercise his or her own thoughts as well. To help you understand and co-relate, the ending of some topics are not what it should be. We hope you can identify and complete them in your words.

Values Challenged

One has to understand sub-continental culture regarding marriage in order to understand this particular crisis. Marriages are classified into two groups: 'settled' marriage and 'love' marriage. In a 'settled' marriage, the groom's family chooses the bride, and if bride's family accepts the groom, the two families get together and fix the marriage. The bride and the groom may or may not meet each other before the marriage.

In a 'love' marriage, two persons fall in love and get married, with or without the permission of their families. This is considered a social crime, and the newlyweds are forced to leave their families.

After I came back from the US, I met my sweetheart who was attending medical school. We courted each other for years, and when she graduated we figured it was time to marry. I asked my family to select the woman of my choice so as to marry the woman I love without upsetting social norms.

When my mother proposed my fiancée's family, her mother wanted to see me personally. I assumed she would consider me a suitable candidate for her daughter's husband since I come from a good family and since I am qualified to maintain a family.

However, rather than looking for qualities in me that might make her daughter happy, she demanded that I posses an MBA degree before I marry her daughter. Apparently, all of her relatives' and friends' daughters got married to either MBAs or Ph.D.'s.

I was dumbfounded. I would have gladly given the moon to her daughter, but I was not about to earn an MBA to satisfy this woman's irrational craving. How would an MBA help me to become a better husband? Even though I intended to pursue an MBA anyway, I could not agree to her demand. I told her that I would never earn an MBA. As a result, I couldn't marry the woman of my dreams.

I stayed true to my personal values, and it cost me the woman I love.

Media Influence

CRITICALLY ASSESS THE WAYS IN WHICH THE MEDIA CAN BE SAID TO INFLUENCE OR HAVE EFFECTS ON SOCIETY.

The Mass Media is a unique feature of modern society; its development has accompanied an increase in the magnitude and complexity of societal actions and engagements, rapid social change, technological innovation, rising personal income and standard of life and the decline of some traditional forms of control and authority.

There is an association between the development of mass media and social change, although the degree and direction of this association is still debated upon even after years of study into media influence. Many of the consequences, either detrimental or beneficial, which have been attributed to the mass media, are almost undoubtedly due to other tendencies within society.

Few sociologists would refute the importance of the mass media, and mass communications as a whole, as being a major factor in the construction and circulation of social understanding and social imagery in modern societies. Therefore it is argued that the mass media is used as “an instrument”, both more powerful and more flexible than anything in previous existence, for influencing people into certain modes of belief and understanding within society.

The question of media’s influence on society and its cultural framework has often been debated upon from leading theorists to anyone with any form of media connections, but to contemplate that the character of Chulbul Pandey from Dabang or student group of Rang De Basanti can have an influence on an audience members attitude, beliefs or interpretations of society is a very simplistic and debatable version of the truth.

The media does influence, but using more diverse and subtle roles of impact. Some theorists suggest that it is even a case of society influencing the media and not the more widespread and presumed version.

Presidential Vs. Parliamentary Democracy: A Debate

Two of the most popular types of democracy are the presidential and parliamentary government systems.

A nation's type of government refers to how that state's executive, legislative, and judicial organs are organized. All nations need some sort of government to avoid anarchy. Democratic governments are those that permit the nation's citizens to manage their government either directly or through elected representatives. This is opposed to authoritarian governments that limit or prohibit the direct participation of its citizens. Two of the most popular types of democratic governments are the presidential and parliamentary systems.

The office of President characterizes the presidential system. The President is both the chief executive and the head of state. The President is unique in that he or she is elected independently of the legislature. The powers invested in the President are usually balanced against those vested in the legislature. In the American presidential system, the legislature must debate and pass various bills. The President has the power to veto the bill, preventing its adoption. However, the legislature may override the President's veto if they can muster enough votes. The American President's broadest powers rest in foreign affairs. The President has the right to deploy the military in most situations, but does not have the right to officially declare war. More recently the American President requested the right to approve treaties without the consent of the legislature. The American Congress denied this bill and was able to override the President's veto.

In parliamentary governments the head of state and the chief executive are two separate offices. Many times the head of state functions in a primarily ceremonial role, while the chief executive is the head of the nation's legislature. The most striking difference between presidential and parliamentary systems is in the election of the chief executive. In parliament systems, the chief executive is not chosen by the people but by the legislature. Typically the majority party in the parliament chooses the chief executive, known as the Prime Minister. However, in some parliaments there are so many parties represented that none hold a majority. Parliament members must decide among themselves whom to elect as Prime Minister. The fusion of the legislative and executive branches in the parliamentary system tends to lead to more discipline among political party members. Party members in parliaments almost always vote strictly along party lines. Presidential systems, on the contrary, are less disciplined and legislators are free to vote their conscious with fewer repercussions from their party. Debate styles also differ between the two systems. Presidential system legislators make use of a filibuster, or the right to prolong speeches to delay legislative action. Parliamentary systems will call for cloture or an end to debate so voting can begin.

Most European nations follow the parliamentary system of government. Britain is the most well known parliamentary system. Because Great Britain was once a pure monarchy, the function of the head of state was given to the royal family, while the role of chief executive was established with Parliament. Some parliaments, however, do not have a history of monarchy. Israel is a parliamentary system with a president. The president, however, does not hold the same power as a president in a presidential system, but functions as the head of state. In both presidential and parliamentary systems, the chief executive can be removed from office by the legislature. Parliamentary systems use a "˜vote of no confidence' where a majority of parliament members vote to remove the Prime Minister from office. A new election is then called. In presidential systems, a similar process is used where legislators vote to impeach the President from office.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, democracy has begun to flourish around the world. As emerging nations struggle to identify themselves, they are also debating which form of democracy is best for them. Depending on the nation and its citizens, they may choose the more classic parliamentary system or the less rigid presidential system. They could also blend to two popular systems together to create the hybrid government that works best for them.

Corruption in India

“Corruption is Social Evil - Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

In its simplest sense, corruption may be defined as an act of bribery or misuse of public position or power for the fulfillment of selfish motives or to gain personal gratifications. It has also been defined as "Misuse of authority as a result of consideration of personal gain which need not be monetary".

In recent Centuries India has earned a place among the THREE most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India is now no longer considered a soft state. It has now become a consideration state where everything can be had for a consideration. Today, the number of ministers with an honest image can be counted on fingers. At one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.

It is well established that politicians are extremely corrupt the world over. In fact, people are surprised to find an honest politician. These corrupt politicians go scot-free, unharmed and unpunished. Leaders like Lal Bahadur Shastri or Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel are a rare breed now who had very little bank balance at the time of death.

The list of scams and scandals in the country is endless. Now recently before the start of 2010 Common Wealth Games, Corruption played major role in common wealth games organisation. The Bofors payoff scandal of 1986 involved a total amount of Rs 1750 crore in purchase of guns from a Swedish firm for the Army. The Cement scandal of 1982 involved the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Sugar Scandal of 1994 involved a Union Minister of State for food, the Urea Scam and of course no one can forget Hawala Scandal of 1991, the Coffin-gate, fodder scam in Bihar or the Stamp scandal which shocked not only the political arena but the entire society.

Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. Many new leaders when come into power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon they themselves become corrupt and start amassing huge wealth.

There are many myths about corruption, which have to be exploded if we really want to combat it. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. We will have to guard against all these crude fallacies while planning measures to fight corruption.

It is not possible to kill or remove the corruption by improving the Social-economic conditions of the country. Because we all know that the most of the people who are corrupted are not economically or socially backward, surely they will be having a notable social status.

"Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, these results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world's poorest citizens."

The following steps should be considered to eradicate corruption:

Greedy business people and unscrupulous investors should stop bribing the political elites. Don’t be either at the receiving or at the bribing end. Political elites should stop putting their private gains before the welfare of citizens and economic development of their regions. Government should include a chapter in text books related to corruption and its desire consequences.

We all need to stop talking about Corruption only and start taking initiatives and be brave in ourselves. Corruption is going to end only when people like us stand up and speak out.

If we do not take step forward to remove corruption from root, the word developing country will always be attached with our country INDIA. So we, the common man, should find some solution for removing corruption from our INDIA and hence we will also prove ourselves helpful in making our country developed.

And it is possible - today’s generation is willing to change this system. And soon corruption will be out from our country. Every person should consider this as his or her own responsibility to avoid and defeat corruption

“A strong youth movement in the country only can remove corruption and each student should take a vow to begin this exercise courageously within the family” - Former President- Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

How Do You Measure Success In Life?

Reaching the top of the tree in one's chosen occupation or profession is the usual standard by which success in life is measured, at least in the Western world. However many Asians would reject this criterion. The contemplative religions assert that success is only measurable in terms of religious advancement and of the acquisition of the virtues. Thus, success would be in inverse ratio to material advancement.

Most of the world accepts the definition of material advancement, its objectives being affluence and perhaps power over others, both being the most important means of self-expression. Some are born into positions which already confer affluence and power, so success to them might lie merely in the preservation of the family business or estate and perhaps its enhancement for the benefit of the next generation. Most people have to work hard to achieve success.

The western concept of success is not always satisfying and some people, at the height of their affluence and power, reject it in favor of the simple life. This happens for a variety of reasons. Beyond a certain point the acquisition of money proves unsatisfactory. The difference between the lifestyle available to a millionaire and that available to a billionaire is marginal. Unhappily money making can become an obsession, and some very wealthy people become very mean. Money also creates anxiety since it usually has to be put at risk if more is to be made. Other anxieties may be created when a large number of people become dependent on a financial empire.

Money confers power which may corrupt. It is often made at the disadvantage of others, and it may damage a business man's relationships both with his peers and with his subordinates. These pressures and anxieties often have a detrimental effect on health and on family life. One's wife and children are inevitably neglected and unhappy. The children of successful capitalists or career workaholics sometimes reject everything the father offers and want to start a life of their own where they could get and give that love and care they always missed and which was replaced by materialistic things.

You can complete this essay in your own words…..

Let us now cover some essay topics that have appeared in the past in B-schools entrances. These topics are very popular and have a high chance of getting repeated:-

National affairs:
  • India has the largest pool of talented manpower but very few innovations and patented products
  • Allowing Foreign Universities in India is bad for India's education system
  • India versus Bharat: a divided nation
  • How should women empower themselves?
  • More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities
Political Issues:
  • Voting should be made compulsory
  • Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right
  • Fight against corruption
  • Women's Reservation Bill
  • Union Budget is useless and recession puts it off track
Economy/ Business Issues:
  • Recession is the mother of innovation
  • Should Petroleum Subsidy go away?
  • Discuss the role of Public Private Partnership in India's Economic Growth
  • Foreign direct investment will revitalize the education system
  • Businesses should concentrate on making profits and not address social and environmental Issues
International Issues:
  • India to become a superpower in near future
  • China's relations with India vis-a-vis Pakistan
  • Does India have a role in Afghanistan? Discuss
This list of past Essay Topics above will help you understand what are the areas to study, the topics asked are and how to go about preparations. It is recommended that you read newspaper and listen to news so that you're well tuned with current affairs.

Essay as a precursor to PI:

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. If you don’t know something, simply admit it.

This was a complete module on WAT which is the latest buzz-word in town for MBA aspirants. MBARendezvous.com has especially made this module to throw sufficient light on this topic. We are very hopeful that once you go through all the topics discussed in the module, you will be well prepared to face the WAT of any institute or college.

We wish you all the very best and stay tuned to www.mbarendezvous.com


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