With most of the MBA exams like CATNMATSNAPTISS-NETIIFT entrance over now, Careers360.com brings you a series on toppers’ GD-PI-WAT experience.

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In this interview, CAT topper Akshay Jayaprakasan who secured admission to IIM Kozhikode, shares his Personal Interview and WAT experience and preparation strategy for the same.  The topper, who participated in PI and WAT for admission to IIM Indore, also speaks on his Writing Ability Test (WAT) and key highlights of GD-PI experience at other IIM also. Akshay says that key areas which influenced his selection included right body language, communication skills, and good sense of humor during the interview. He says that his interview remained stress-free even as he faced the interview with positive attitude. Akshay also shares his experience of PI and WAT at IIM Indore where he was caught on the wrong foot in a particular area.

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For any doubt and query related to GD, PI and WAT/Essay Writing, call the GD PI WAT helpline number, 011- 40 360 360.

 

Personal Interview Experience

 

Careers360:  How many members were there in your interview board at IIM Kozhikode?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: There were three members in my interview board.

 

Careers360:   How was the interview structured? What was the percentage of questions asked from your academic background, professional experience, interest/hobby, and generic issues?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: My interview started with the customary question, “Tell me about yourself”. Later it moved to my work, extracurricular interests, general and political awareness and my opinion on some current issues in India.

 

Careers360:   What was the toughest area for you to answer? Please share some questions asked which you found difficult? How did you tackle those questions?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: I can’t identify a tough area in the interview as such. If you are thorough with your work ex domain, current affairs, points mentioned in CV and academics, you will not face much of a problem in the interview.

 

Careers360:  What was the toughest moment during your PI?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: My interview was pretty relaxed. There was a point where I wasn’t able to answer a current affairs question which I felt I should’ve known. Luckily however, the next question that came, I was able to answer in detail which made up for this lax I guess.

 

 
 
 
 

“Body language, communication skills, and good sense of humor can make your chances in an interview. It is also important to have a positive attitude. The interviewer in most cases is looking for how you approach a question rather than whether you know the correct answer or not.”

 
 
 
 

Careers360:   What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: Body language, communication skills, and good sense of humor can take you places in an interview. It is also important to have a positive attitude. The interviewer in most cases is looking for how you approach a question rather than whether you know the correct answer or not.

 

 
 
 
 

“Personal Interview tips: Be well prepared. There is no substitute for preparation. Read up current affairs and recent trends in your domain of specialization. Know about the college for which you are being interviewed for. Dress well, maintain proper body language and meet the eyes of all interviewers while talking. Do not let stress get to you and remain relaxed as much as possible.”

 
 
 
 

Careers360:  What is your advice to aspirants for Personal Interview?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: Be well prepared. There is no substitute for preparation. Read up current affairs and recent trends in your domain of specialization. Know about the college for which you are being interviewed for. Dress well, maintain proper body language and meet the eyes of all interviewers while talking. Do not let stress get to you and remain relaxed as much as possible.

 

Careers360:   Did you appear for any other PI exercise at other top B-schools? Please share a few experiences (where you went wrong).

Akshay Jayaprakasan: I attended PI for IIM Indore as well. An area where I went wrong was academics. I wasn’t well prepared with my subjects from Under Graduate (UG) and was not able to answer some questions there. However I did manage to convert it in the end.

 

 
 
 
 

“An aspirant should start preparing for the PI as soon as he gets the interview call. It is important to realize that you are now just a step away from making it into that dream college.”

 
 
 
 

Careers360:  How did you prepare for your PI? When and how an aspirant should seriously start preparing for PI?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: An aspirant should start preparing for the PI as soon as he gets the interview call. It is important to realize that you are now just a step away from making it into that dream college. I could not convert my PI the first time I gave CAT as I wasn’t prepared and performed poorly in my interview. Preparing does not mean practiced answers. It just means that you must know yourself properly and be well read.

 

Careers360:    Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: It was very short and was not a stress interview contrary to what most people experience.

 

 Writing Ability Test (WAT) Experience:

 

Careers360:  What was your topic for WAT? How did you write on the topic (please share key highlights)

Akshay Jayaprakasan: My WAT topic was a very abstract one. It said, “The solution to a problem is a problem itself”.  Initially I was devoid of any thoughts. I was waiting for a spark to pop up. I thought about the various issues about which I had read in the recent times and corruption popped up in my mind.

 

I started writing about corruption and the Lokpal Bill by the government as a possible solution to it. I drew a contrast between the Jan Lokpal and the Governments version of Lokpal bringing in as many facts as possible. I concluded by saying if the right solution to a problem is sought then it will lead to solving not just the problem at hand, but also many interlinked problems.

 

Careers360:    What was the allotted time for WAT and how quickly you completed your writing on the topic during the test?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: The allotted time for WAT was 45 minutes, I however completed the same 2 minutes before the bell rang.

 

 
 
 
 

“For WAT, I framed a clear structure in mind of how my flow of thoughts would be before putting pen on paper. That helped in conveying the idea in the best possible way. The best way to go about abstract topics is to find some analogy to some topic that you know well about.”

 
 
 
 

Careers360:  What was your approach on WAT?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: I framed a clear structure in mind of how my flow of thoughts would be before putting pen on paper. That helped in conveying the idea in the best possible way.

 

Careers360:  How did you prepare for your WAT?

Akshay Jayaprakasan: My preparation for WAT was limited to reading current affairs. However, in cases that such abstract topics are received, the best way to go about it is to find some analogy to some topic that you know well about. That was how I approached it.

Also read:

GD-PI-WAT: How I converted my call from IIM?

Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more topper interview on GD-PI-WAT for MBA admissions.

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cat cutoff marks for agribusiness management in IIM lucknow?

harshita sharan Student Expert 27th May, 2020

Hello aspirant,

If you belong to general category, then the cut off for you at Indian Institute of Management Lucknow for Agri business management course is 85 percentile with sectional cut off of 80 percentile.

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https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/iim-lucknow-cutoff

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Anuja 27th May, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

NIBM is one of the finest Institute in India

According to some past year data, the cut off through CAT ranges between 85-90 percentile general category

But the safer score could be more than 90 percentile. As cut off may differ every year depending upon how many candidates appear the exam and difficulty level of the exam

Hope this helps

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Yash Dev Student Expert 27th May, 2020

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In your case, you need to score at least 99.5+ percentile in CAT written examination to be called for esteemed and old IIMs'.

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harshita sharan Student Expert 27th May, 2020
Hello aspirant,

Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Department of Business Economics and DFS delhi CAT cut off is high and It is around 80-85 percentile for sc students.
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However the cut off changes every year so you must try scoring more than the approximate percentile to be on a safer side.

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