Tips for Written Ability Test – WAT for MBA admissions

Tips for Written Ability Test – WAT for MBA admissions

January 16, 2020 CAT College application college selection group discussion IIFT IIM Indian Institute of Management MBA MBA entrance MBA entrance exam Personal Interview SCMHRD SIBM Writing ability test Written ability test XIMB XLRI 0

The Written Ability Test


The Written Ability Test (WAT) is conducted to test the candidate’s

  • Ability to think critically
  • Communicate his idea
  • Formulate a constructive critique, and
  • Write the responses in a given time on paper


How to improve your essay writing skills

The command over the clarity in thought and language is developed by practice. Certain tips to ensure you perform well in the Written Ability Test:

  • Read essays written by eminent authors. Understand how they approach the topic and how they structure the flow. See how they write the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
  • Gather information about various topics online. Also improve your knowledge of current affairs. Read newspapers and business magazines regularly (this also helps in your GD and PI rounds)
  • Device a strategy – For example, for a 10 min essay, one can devote
    • 2 minutes to think and gather points
    • 1 minute to design a rough structure
    • 5 minutes to write the main essay
    • 2 minutes to review what you have written
  • Practice writing on a variety of topics-from abstract to current affairs. Write at least 2-3 essays every week. Practice writing on different topics, not only on the ones you like


Some additional tips to improve your essay

While you practice writing, keep the following points in mind:

  • Time yourself. Do not start writing from the outset; take a few minutes to structure your thoughts first
  • Decide what content goes in the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion
  • The body of your essay should not be one large paragraph. Break it down into smaller paragraphs. Each paragraph can focus on a different idea, and yet it should be coherent overall – maintain clarity of thought
  • Make introduction catchy yet abstract so that the examiner isn’t very sure of what to expect in the body
  • If you give a hint of the point you’re driving at in the introduction with a quote, the examiner will skim through the body. Thus, you should avoid quotes unless those are abstract. Purpose of the introduction is to bring the attention of the reader to the body, ensure that function is served
  • Try to present a balanced view on the topic
  • Ensure your tenses are correct throughout the essay. Also, ensure no spelling mistakes or use of short forms. B-schools historically prefer British English over American English. Therefore stick to the British spelling over its US counterpart – ‘Labour’ instead of ‘Labor’, ‘Honour’ instead of ‘Honor’, ‘Grey’ instead of ‘Gray’, and so on
  • Keep the language simple and avoid use of high-sounding words
  • Be concise
  • Leave time for proof reading (reviewing)


How your essay will be evaluated

The parameters based on which you will be evaluated in the Written Ability Test are:

  • Quality of content – there should be facts provided that substantiate one’s claims
  • Interpretation or Analysis of the topic
  • Opinion or solution provided
  • Coherence & the quality of logical arguments supporting the conclusion
  • Clarity of Language, basic spelling and grammar


While the mentioned parameters are exhaustive, each B-School has its own set of parameters they give more importance to.

Remember the person correcting your essays in the Written Ability Teat has to correct a good number of essays that very day. Think of your essay from his perspective – try to keep it interesting.

At CUBIX, we provide a thorough preparation of the GD – PI – WAT process. We counsel aspirants by giving them a personalized preparation strategy which will help them project their best selves. Our mentors ensure that all aspects of the process are covered. Special attention is given to specific processes followed at particular B-schools.

Walk in to our center for a free consultation regarding your career moves – be it MBA in India or study abroad programs through GMAT or GRE (MBA / MS) or more specific – for Admissions Consulting.

You may also want to read our articles on Personal Interview and Group Discussion.


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