Writing Ability Test is an important step during your MBA selection / admission procedure. IIMs and a host of other B-Schools conduct this round with 10 to 15 percent weightage. The word limit is anywhere between 150 to 350 words and the time allotted is 15 to 30 minutes. Written ability test topics range from current affairs, politics, business, abstract to social. One must make sure that the essay:
- Has crisp content
- Is coherent
- Has competent language
- Is grammatically correct.
Here are some important IIM WAT sample essays and writing ability test samples are shared for your reference.
What is Written Ability Test (WAT) for IIM?
Written Ability Test -WAT is a crucial step for the selection process for students aiming for Indian Institute of Management- IIM because it provides an equitable platform to the MBA candidates and an appropriate medium to show aspirants communication skills and General Awareness. Along with written ability test Personal Interview (PI) is also mandatory. The combination of WAT and PI has become the most efficient test for the interviewers. WAT is especially important in examining a candidate's abilities because one has to express the in a cogent manner in a certain time limit.
The interviewers/jury will have a chance to look and judge how the candidate’s flow of thought works, how his/her opinions are shaping up and how he/she is able to express themselves on paper. MBA aspirants who have cleared the written exams like CAT, SNAP, XAT etc. must 100% take up WAT practice and read multiple articles everyday about current affairs, socio-political issues, economic and people issues etc.to keep oneself updated about the world affairs and happenings are around the country. In-depth knowledge is necessary of the topic given during WAT as factually and figures-wise, the information provided and written should be correct and is expected to be presented in a coherent flowy manner with everything in place.
It lets the selectors test the candidate extensively on three main criteria:
(i) Knowledge: The topics of WAT can vary from current affairs to socio-political-economic issues to historical incidents to abstract issues.The awareness and understanding of world and country affairs is very necessary in order to pull off a good essay.
(ii) Approach: This is essentially how you structure the arguments and what devices you use to substantiate them.
(iii) The ability of expression: This is a big challenge because one has to express as much as possible while adhering to a word and time limit. It tests how one examines various perspectives from a neutral point of view and then reaches a logical conclusion.
What is the pattern or layout of the Written Ability Test (WAT)?
An ideal essay consists of three main parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
- Introduction: The first paragraph should be devoted to the introduction. You should try to open it with an eye-catching element like a relevant fact, statistical figure(s), quotation, anecdote or definition. After the first two or three lines, the premise or the basic idea should be touched upon. This will provide flow to the whole essay and a link to the main body.
- Body: Once your introduction is done properly, you will get a strong basis to write the whole essay upon. This part involves building upon the premise and supporting it with relevant ideas, concept and, if needed, contrary perspectives. You should expand on the core points and a thorough, however brief, explanation of each should follow. Since you have limited time and words, incomplete or irrelevant points should be avoided. It is important to provide a logical flow to connect consecutive paragraphs, and only then you can do justice to both the word limit and the topic. Depending upon the genre and the vastness of the topic, the structure of the main body should be altered.
- Conclusion: This is the final test for your essay. It should be ensured that all the broad points are used and cited here. A conclusion is essentially the summary of your essay but to make your answer stand out, you can weigh the different viewpoints and present the ones which are stronger. It should touch upon all the core points and bind the whole text together by logic because otherwise, it will look unhinged.
What should be the approach for WAT - Written Ability Test?
- Different institutes give anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes for WAT. In some institutes, only 15 minutes are given to write 200-plus words and so on
- Ideally, there should be a logical analysis of the topic and a meaningful conclusion should follow. Both of these should fit well together and not look like disjoint entities.
- Your content will vary as per the topic but following a set, structure helps as you then only need to worry about the content and not the form.
- Before starting the answer, you should make a rough outline of all the points. This will help in creating the flow for your essay. While jotting down the broad pointers, if you leave one line between two consecutive points, it will be easier for you to add or eliminate points as you go ahead.
- Since you cannot predict the genre of the topic, it is important to have a particular structure prepared.Prepare a template for each and every kind of topic that might be expected, after enough research from previous years’ topic or patterns observed over the years, and slowly build upon your thoughts and expand your horizons.
How to practice or write a Written Ability Test - WAT?
The preparation for Written Ability Test is necessary. Without practice it is not possible to write 150 to 350 word essay within the short span of time. For practice a student must follow the below steps:
- Read a lot to gain the knowledge on current affairs, politics, business, abstract to social which gives good thinking power to the candidates.
- Write frequently. Try to write out the thought in an organized and simple manner. The more practice gives more speed. One must spend at least 2 hours a day writing short essays on at least 1 or 2 articles on simple topics, so that they eventually gain confidence and don’t shy away or are scared of any complicated topics when given on the spot. Practice will instil in them some spirit while writing the final WAT.
- Time management is the important point where candidates must practice. Always Concentrate on the time limitation while writing. Have an idea of what to write from before. Keep some bullet points or highlighters ready in your head, so you don’t have to start from scratch once you get the topic. Build progressively on what you have in mind and write with precision and flow. Don’t waste time thinking about points that are not coherent or relevant to the given topic, as that might lead to you not ending up finishing your essay in time.
- Make a quick structure and strategies in 2-3 mins of the topic given.
- Always take care of the grammar is right in the essay.Grammatical errors must be avoided as much as possible.
- Always do the analysis of the essay written. Discuss with expert
How to Structure WAT- Written Ability Test?
Structure of a Written Ability Test plays a major role in MBA admissions because it caries good score. A structured essay gives more chance of scoring good. The basic yet effective structure for Written Ability Test - WAT is explained below:
- Content: Identify the keywords in the topic, think of the information you have, and what ideas or views you could develop on the basis of this information.Make a template beforehand for every kind of topic that is expected, and have a clear mind space with respect to how you want this essay to be written.
- Organize ideas: Organize ideas and group them coherently. You must think of the following questions, what would be the theme of the essay? What would be the appropriate ideas to start with? What are the further ideas that one could continue with? What ideas would be the right ones to end with? How can I make the essay effective with the information that I have? How can I Work with the existing ideas?
- Develop: Think of questions like what sort of information would hold the readers' attention and examples they could relate to? What pieces of information, explanation, and examples would support the theme, and the purpose? How long should the essay be?
- Express: An essay should start with an introduction, using statements and information of general nature that provide some background to the topic. Each idea or a set of ideas would form a paragraph. The sequence of paragraphs should lead to the conclusion.
- Review: You must devote the last few minutes to reading through the essay to ensure that there is a logical flow and coherence and the language is error-free to ensure that the flow remains or is improved. Proof-read your entire essay before submitting as this can be a great filtering technique that the jury might use to sit out candidates whose essays are shabby and are not heavy enough on the grammatical side. If one wants to get into the top B-schools of the country, he/she has to review once or twice that essay is error-free and is up to the standards of what is expected.
- Time Management: Most B-schools give a specific duration to write the essay. Hence, you have to ensure that you follow the entire process within the stipulated duration.
How to ace Written Ability Test- WAT?
To ace Written Ability Test the students must follow these top 8 tips to crack WAT:
- Don't Use Company Jargon
- Don't Bore the Reader. Be Interesting.
- Do Use Personal Detail. Show, Don't Tell!
- Be Concise. Don't Be Wordy.
- Do Use Active Voice Verbs.
- Do Seek Multiple Opinions.
- Don't Wander. Do Stay Focused.
- Do Revise, Revise and Revise.
What are the topics asked in Written Ability Test - WAT?
The major topics asked in Written ability test range from current affairs, politics, business, Management, abstract to social.
Some of the interesting topics are:
A winner never stops trying
- It Is Wiser To Find Out Than To Suppose
- Being Hopeful Is Being Positive
- Quality Performance Starts With A Positive Attitude
- Planning and execution originate from the same stem
Please find below some of the Sample Essays for Written Ability Test- WAT
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.
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However, rather than looking for qualities in me that might make her daughter happy, she demanded that I possess 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.
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.
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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.
A winner never stops trying
Success is not measured by how many wins one puts in his bag at the end of the day, but how many times he/she has tried to do a task outside of his comfort zone, with the same dedication, passion and drive that he would do otherwise as well. Winners preach only one golden mantra their entire life – “if you don’t succeed once, keep trying again and again”. The attitude reinforced is much more important than wins or losses.
A winner always thinks about how he can achieve a certain goal by trying various different methods, if one doesn’t work out. His attitude towards his life goals, problems and obstacles is not that of a giving-up, it’s to try again and again multiple times as to why a certain method isn’t working, and will adopt newer and more efficient ways to achieve what he wants. He is the one that knows best about failures and how to deal with him. Every time that he tried and failed would have been an experience for him. He is built of these failures and experiences, which don’t shatter his courage and confidence. In turn they boost his panache and drive to succeed, no matter how many tries and no matter how tough a route he has to take for the same.
His attitude is his personality, his willpower is his golden charm and his drive to succeed is his success mantra. Winners will never give up, as they are dedicated in the root to not let their goal go out of sight. They will do whatever, overcome any number of hurdles before they can actually achieve their life-long goal. There’s a lot that one can continuously learn from winners, to be humble , grounded but always look up towards the sky, as that’s where he would want to reach in life.
Winners are immense hard workers, dedicated souls and meticulous workaholics. Once the spirit of trying and winning is imbibed in them, no one can take that away from, no one can come in their path to success. Winners are therefore heavy influencers, and one must adopt the value of courage, time and getting up bravely when you fall.
We may not be able to define success always by winners, but we can definitely define learning from failures by winners. Many at times, people lose the will or strength to try again, as they lose hope even though they can see their goal clearly. These people are plain quitters, and are most likely to never make in life with their laid out and give-up attitude. On the other hand, winners show us that nothing is impossible really and one must never give up on his dreams. Yes, throughout the journey, there may be tons of people trying to pull you down, to discourage you and demotivate you, tell you to stop trying and search for another alternative. But if these things are ignored and you are set to achieve what you’re really headed out for, no factor can really hold you back or play with your head or heart.
The amount of happiness and satisfaction that winners get once they achieve their goal despite all the obstacles and external factors is unmeasurable and is precious to them. This gives them the boost in confidence to set out to achieve their other goals with the same enthusiasm and passion.
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.
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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. The situation at hand, although sad, is what is getting work done, and the government itself has nothing to say against this. At the end of the day, it’s the power of rule and good deeds that influence people into believing that the government is always there for them, and will take care of them.
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.
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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:-
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Final Tips for WAT Preparation
- Cultivate a habit of writing: In today’s gadget-centric era, most people have lost the habit of traditional pen-paper writing. Thus, instead of practicing on your tablet or PC, it is ideal to make a separate notebook and practice the essay questions in it.
- Make a rough outline before writing: You should refrain from directly attempting the question in fair form. It is better to make a rough outline and structure of your essay and then expanding on each of the elementary point.
- The structure should be strong: As mentioned above, divide your essay into the three broad parts – introduction, main body, and conclusion. Following a structure as basic as this actually comes in handy when you are attempting the WAT.
- Use Simple Language: Focus on making your language simple yet unconventional. Refrain from using highly technical vocabulary and stick to the basics. Long and complex sentences should also be avoided as they make the essay monotonous.
- Proof-read at the end: Make sure to keep the last few minutes reserved for revising and proof-reading. It is better to improve upon your essay than to devote those last minutes in making it longer. Plus, this way you can make important modifications and check for any errors.
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.