How to prepare for GD, PI and WAT

How to prepare for Group Discussion (GD)

The reason behind having a GD at most of the MBA schools in India is to test some qualities in a student such as, is the student able to talk in a group of people?, is he/she is a good listener?, is the student aware of what is going around for example is the student aware of political, social, economic etc. issues faced by India and in some cases world? The panel is also interested to know about your analytical thinking and how different you can think about any given topic than the others.

Key to success in GD’s is reading of newspapers on daily basis. At least skim through the headlines and only read major issues that are happening in India in detail. You should be well aware of the economic condition of India in current situation. Different welfare schemes proposed by government should be known to you. Basically, get to know about recent developments on some significant fronts such as education, women empowerment, politics, financial budget, technology and India’s relations with neighboring countries.

The best practice in preparation of GD is to discuss topics in a group of friends. It will help to share thoughts and hence increase your knowledge. It will also give you confidence to put your points in a group of people.

One should remember that he/she should be able to pitch in 3 to 5 times in 15 minutes of GD. Each point should be structured for example if you want to say something in 3 to 4 lines in this case the first line should be introductory line which will explain what you want to say, next two lines will be description of your thought and last line should be link back to your first point so that rest of the members in the GD should not forget what was your first point and you will be able conclude it nicely.

How to prepare for Writing Ability Test (WAT)

Most of the IIMs and some of the private institutes have replaced GD with WAT. It is a tool to see how you structure your thoughts and produce them in least amount of time. Time for WAT is usually 20 to 30 minutes. The WAT evaluation is based on number of new ideas and points you can produce in the given limited time. Your focus should be on impressive start of the essay and add as many important points as possible. There is no compulsion to present the matter in impressive or flowery language. Instead, accuracy and correctness of spellings, grammar and punctuation takes the precedence.

In order to master in WAT, read magazines like India Today, Frontline, Outlook etc. and also regularly ready articles from newspapers. You need to analyze every article you read and write it in your own words that will help you to organize your thoughts and put it on the paper. Wide variety of topics should be covered such as sports, Indian economy, politics, education, human rights, CSR, technology etc. Try to mention as much facts and figures as possible; it adds weightage to the point which you want to convey. Remember that figures should be correct otherwise smart use of words like ‘almost’, ‘around’ and ‘roughly’ can help you to sail through. Try to touch upon different aspects of each topic.

Key to add important points in your essay is, think about any given topic in five different ways. These five different ways are social, political, economic, legal, and technological. This will help you to add different perspective in your essay.

How to prepare for Personal Interview (PI)

The personal interview is a critical step in the admissions process and should not be taken lightly.A personal interview is aimed at knowing a candidate more intimately – assessing the clarity of thinking process, future goals and the ‘fit’ with the B-school. It provides the admission committee of a b-school to evaluate your interpersonal and soft skills.The focus of a B-school interview can range from specific questions about your job to broad discussions on life. Approach the interview as a conversation to be enjoyed, not as a question-and-answer ordeal. It may be about your hobbies – your recent cross-country trip. This doesn’t mean that the interviewers are not serious. It just means that you’re being sized up as a person and a future professional in all your dimensions.

Following are some of the important things on which an interviewer stresses the most.

  • Goal Clarity
  • Knowledge
  • Communication Skills
  • Personality traits

Why do want to do an MBA? How does it fit into your career goals? What do you wish to do after your MBA?" – These are some hard questions that you will have to answer almost invariably in all interviews. There is no right or wrong answers to these questions. The best way to impress is to be genuine while expressing your answer convincingly.

Be prepared to discuss different specialty areas in business and their responsibilities. Interviewers will also expect you to discuss current issues in business, including the economy, taxation, foreign competition, the role of technology and ethical challenges in the field. Also brush up on your area of specialization/ subjects at graduation.

Your speaking and listening skills become very important than the often tested reading and writing skills. As simple as it may sound, good communication strategy is quite simple. Listen to the question keenly to understand it well, and then offer a precise answer. If you don’t know the answer, no bluffing the panel please! The experts are too experienced to notice this and can get switched off.

To be honest, it is not at all tough to ‘prepare’ for an interview as you only have to analyze yourself because all the answers an interview board seeks are within you. Analyze your strong and weak areas, be ready with the answer for – how will overcome your weaknesses. Know about the college also read about the city in which the institute is located that shows how much you are willing to get into that particular institute. Most important be confident and do not argue with the panel ever.

Above all have faith in yourself. Remember if you can come this far you can also manage the rest of the things. Proper mind set is the key to success.

Shivanand Pawar

About Shivanand Pawar

Currently an IIM Udaipur student. I have done BE (IT) and holds 17 months of work experience.

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