What is Written Ability Test - WAT
What is WAT?
WAT or Written Ability Test is the latest addition to the final selection process in a lot of popular MBA colleges. Earlier, after getting a good score in MBA entrance exams like CAT, MAT, XAT, SNAP, CMAT; the two hurdles that needed to be cleared to gain admission to a decent B-school were: the group discussions round (GD) and the personal interview round (PI). Now, WAT is another round that an MBA aspirant needs to clear. In fact, most MBA colleges (including most IIMs) have replaced the GD with the WAT.
WAT is basically a test to analyse a management aspirant’s writing skills and coherency & clarity of thought process. It is, in fact, more or less, an essay writing test. A lot of management institutes now are adapting selection procedures that are similar to international MBA programmes, which ask for essays and statements of purpose (SOP).
The Rise of WAT
XLRI, Jamshedpur was the first management school to herald this change by introducing essay-writing. However, the written test was part of its entrance exam, XAT.
But a written ability test was included in the final selection procedure, post-entrance exams, first by the older Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in 2010. The IIMs introduced a “written ability test” (WAT) in addition to the usual group discussions (GD) & personal interview (PI) rounds for the candidates who had qualified the CAT (common aptitude test). In the following years, the six new IIMs (IIM Raipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Ranchi, IIM Udaipur, IIM Tiruchirappalli and IIM Kashipur) adopted WAT as well and went a step ahead by doing away with the group discussion (GD) altogether and replacing it with the Written Ability Test (WAT).
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In 2013, all the IIMs adopted WAT as part of the selection process for admission.
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