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Importance of WAT and Interview Round in IIM Selection

by Manish Gupta 2021-09-02

Importance of WAT and Interview Round in IIM Selection

CAT exam is a prerequisite which you need to crack in any case with top percentiles, for you to be considered in the IIM selection process. But after this first step, as you narrow down in the IIM admission funnel, more crucial steps open up beside you, being WAT and personal interview. In these two rounds, you will be evaluated rigorously to find your suitability for the 2 years post-graduate management program. Let's go through the importance of these 2 rounds in your PGDM selection journey. 

What's so special about IIM PI? Weightage to Interview Round! 

Different IIMs have different weightage to interview. Talking about tier 1 IIMs, there are 50 weights assigned in IIM Ahmedabad interview, 30 weights for IIM Bangalore interview, 48 weights for IIM Calcutta interview and 40 weights each for IIM Indore interview and IIM Lucknow interview. All of these weights are the highest for PI round out of all the parameters considered for final selection, be it CAT score, 10th and 12th grade, Bachelor degrees marks, Work experience,  Diversity, or WAT. So this clears out how much significance the PI round plays in your selection into these top institutes and thus you should be concerned about how to prepare for an IIM MBA interview. This also points out a concern that no matter how well you do in the CAT exam, it will be of no use if your Personal interview round is not upto the mark. It is the only factor that is so much focussed upon, the reason being the skills it tests single-handedly. 

Final Selection Weights

Parameters

Weights

 

A

B

C

I

L

Personal Interview (PI)

50

30

48

40

40

CAT Score

15

25

30

20

30

10th Score

15

10

0

10

0

12th Score

5

0

10

5

Bachelor Degree Score

10

0

0

5

Work Experience

10

8

0

5

Point awarded for Academic Diversity

0

0

4

0

5

Writing Test

10

10

0

20

0

Total

90

100

90

100

90

 

The Real Significance of IIM Personal Interview

The importance of the PI round can be further revealed from the parameters that it checks a candidate on, as these parameters are something that one should necessarily possess to sail through the exhaustive 2 years management course. Below mentioned are some of these aspects checked in the IIM interview questions. 

Your Background:- Here your educational background, family, extracurriculars, hobbies, interests, aspirations, your short-term and long-term goals are asked in detail with the twin objective of knowing you and making yourself comfortable for the rest of the interview. 

Your objective of doing an MBA:- You may be grilled for why you want to go for MBA and that too from that specific IIM. You must have some solid answer as you may be rejected for giving some vague excuses. Counter questions like why MBA after engineering or job, reason of gap year, etc. may be asked so as to assess clarity in your goals. 

Your Soft Skills:- Here your confidence, body language, presentation, oratory, and listening skills are tested rigorously to evaluate whether you are a good fit from a personality point of view. To go into more detail, you are examined on the parameters like your body movements (say posture, hand gestures, face expressions), eye contact with the panel (at a subconscious level), humbleness, and confidence in your tone ( without an impression of stumbling) while encountering questions, pronunciation, clarity in answers, logical solutions, organized thoughts, interjection handling capabilities, honesty, etc. 

Your Subject Knowledge:- Whatever you have done in your graduation study, your grip on any of the semester subjects (especially your favorite subjects) is tested to know your earnestness in academics. 

Besides, some other aspects can be judged depending on the interviewing panel. Nevertheless, it's evident that the IIM personal interview round uncovers all your traits so as to find your match with the vacant seat. It is thus important that you understand and analyze yourself clearly before appearing for any such interview. 

Importance of WAT in IIM selection

Before calling you for the interview round, you are required to sit for the WAT i.e written ability test which is conducted by the majority of the IIMs. For IIM A, it's known by the name of analytical writing test (AWT).

Taking into consideration that many students are usually not able to express their ideas and opinions orally, most of the IIMs have now replaced the GD round with WAT. This makes the round even more momentous as it is now worth 2 rounds, GD and WAT itself. Penning down your thoughts eliminates the agitation and brings lucidity while simultaneously avoiding strong personality domination. 

As you can see in the aforementioned table, the weights assigned to the WAT round are not as high as the PI round, but still, they are at par with other parameters. For instance, IIM Ahmedabad assigns 10 weights to your AWT score which is roughly the same as the weights to your CAT score for which you pour sweat, blood, and tears. So, you should prepare for WAT with the same zeal as well. 

What is so important in IIM WAT?  

The exam should not be taken lightly as there are many things that are tested in parallel in a 15-30 minute exam. First is your conceptual clarity about current affairs and abstract topics. This ensures how many details, ideas, examples you can mention for a particular topic. Second is your analytical order of content, that is how logically you make a flow of information from the introduction to the conclusion of the topic. The third is your vocabulary, what type of words you use, and in what context. Another important aspect is your grammar and spelling accuracy. And the last one is your ability to write within the word limits and that too within a time constraint. You should try to neither write more nor much less than what is asked. It is worthy to note that the first and second points take over above your grammar and vocabulary, as after all you are applying for admission in MBA, not for literature.

Altogether, you see how much importance PI and WAT rounds play in your final selection and getting admission offer letters from prestigious IIMs. Though the weightage to CAT goes on diminishing with further rounds, its importance couldn't also be underestimated as it is the first criteria on meeting which you will be shortlisted for subsequent rounds. So, if you have not started yet or are lacking the best sources to supplement your CAT 2021 preparation, we have got you all covered under our Self-sufficient plans where supporting materials, mock tests, performance analysis, assistance from top IIM mentors is readily available to guide you in making your MBA dream achievable. 

Further, Acadergy possesses a dedicated inventory of blogs to provide you new insights into entrances preparation. Scroll through more of our blogs to stay updated about CAT, B-Schools, interviews, and much more.