What is WAT?

The Written Ability Test (WAT) is one of two shortlisting rounds used by business schools to evaluate a candidate’s thinking and written communication capabilities. Last year, leading IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) in the country revived the WAT idea to replace the group discussion round (GD). Many other B-Schools have followed in the footsteps of this approach and now use WAT as one of their MBA admissions criteria. The WAT round, the second step of their shortlisting process, is given a high weighting (more than 20%) by major IIMs and other prominent b-schools in the nation.
The WAT (Written Ability Test) is a written test that consists of one unique essay question that a student must answer within 10-20 minutes. This round takes place between the hours of early afternoon and late afternoon. Several institutes have different styles and types of essays. The primary goal of the WAT round is to assess the candidate’s ability in four important areas: comprehension, fluency, problem-solving, and reasoning. This phase is analogous to a writing contest. The WAT round has replaced the original group discussion round in some IIMs (including new IIMs and Baby IIMs). The incapacity of candidates to creatively develop their thoughts during the prior group discussion stage was one of three reasons for this change.