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How to crack PI-WAT: As the selection process at B-schools comes closer, Careers360 continues to bring the PI-WAT experiences of the students of top B-schools to help the management aspirants who are gearing up to convert their calls into admission offers. In the series today, Tiyasha Ganguly of IMI Delhi, who appeared for the selection rounds at multiple B-schools, shares meaningful and result-oriented insights into the selection rounds i.e Personal Interview and Written Ability Test.
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Tiyasha says that one must have a basic knowledge of the topic that is asked in WAT and reading newspapers, books and keeping up with the current affairs are things to be done to achieve that knowledge. It’s ok to not know the answer to every single question that is asked in the PI, She says. She faced the same situation while appearing for the selection rounds at IMI, New Delhi. However, the honest and confident answers in PI opened the doors of the institute for her. Let’s dive into her PI-WAT experiences and learn more about what it takes or required to ace PI-WAT rounds.
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Read the full interview here:
Careers360: What is the selection procedure at your B-school?
Tiyasha: The selection procedure at IMI, New Delhi, consists of WAT, Psychometric Test, Personal interview and Extempore.
Careers360: What was your overall experience of attending the selection procedure of your B-School? Share in detail.
Tiyasha: The entire process was extremely convenient. It was extremely well organized, wherein, one step led to the next. The administration made us feel at ease and welcome. Each stage of the process seamlessly followed the one prior to it and the timing aspect of the process was well managed.
Careers360: Which other B-Schools’ selection procedure did you appear for? How was your experience in other institutes vis a vis in your institute?
Tiyasha: I attended the process at GIM Goa, TISS Mumbai and TAPMI Manipal. I found the process to be more or less the same with minute differences.
Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing it?
Tiyasha: My topic for the WAT was about India’s diplomatic ties with China. I had practiced writing a few essays prior to appearing for the process. The practice sessions helped me in structuring my thoughts during this stage of the selections. I began by outlining my thoughts about the Historical ties with China and then elaborated about the business ties that the countries share.
Careers360: How did you prepare for WAT? When did you start your preparations for PI-WAT rounds?
Tiyasha: I started preparing for the round immediately after CAT. I read up on different domains of Current Affairs and tried forming an opinion regarding the same. I made editorials an integral component of my reading list and tried reading non-Fiction. Also, I made it a point to write 2 essays everyday and get it checked by someone to receive feedback.
Careers360: Do you think that a separate preparation strategy is required for WAT?
Tiyasha: I think this differs from person to person. This primarily depends on an individual. If one has diligently read the news and has an opinion regarding the same, a separate preparation strategy isn’t necessary.
Careers360: Please share the WAT topics which you were asked during the admission rounds last year?
Tiyasha: Demonetization, beef ban, importance of reservation and impact of advertising were the WAT topics that I had encountered.
Careers360: How should one tackle a WAT topic, if s/he does not have any knowledge about it?
Tiyasha: It’s extremely important to have some basic knowledge regarding the topic. The panellists will definitely understand that the candidate has no idea about the topic if one beats around the bush without giving a definite opinion. There is no way one can escape this round and attempting to do so will be a futile effort. In case one is completely blank about the topic, it’s better to write something related to the topic in a direct manner.
Careers360: What must be the approach, Do’s and Don’ts for WAT?
Tiyasha: It’s important to go without any preconceived notions for the process. Just because something worked during one process doesn’t really mean that it would click for the selection processes of all the other colleges. It’s always better to first structure your thoughts before penning them down. It doesn’t really form a good impression when there are strikes and cuts across the page and shows that one is impulsive and inconsistent. Don’t write every single thing that you can think of. It’s important to stick to the mantra of relevance and ensuring that the structure of the paragraphs isn’t haphazard.
Careers360: Do you think there are some time management skills required for a student to write a complete structured WAT?
Tiyasha: Yes, time management is extremely crucial in this case. Structure your thoughts and start penning down the most important points. Continuing writing without a look at the time is a recipe for disaster. Maintain time and have a deadline to finish writing the most important points that you want to put forward. You cannot write all the possible points for the topic in the 5 to 10 minutes provided. So, stick to the most important and relevant points.
Careers360: How was your personal interview experience? How big was the panel and what were your feelings while facing them?
Tiyasha: My interview panel consisted of 2 panellists. My experience was really good. My personal interview mainly centred upon my graduation subjects since I had no prior work experience. I was asked questions from the domain of Advertising and was asked questions about my college and my experience during the graduation.
Careers360: How did you handle the questions for which you had no answer? Was the panel rude or easy on you?
Tiyasha: I informed my panel that I was not aware of the aspect asked. The panel was extremely friendly at all points of time. It is okay to not know the answer to every single question asked. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be an issue as long as one honestly conveys the same.
Careers360: What were the most interesting questions you were asked? Please share your answers as well.
Tiyasha: I was asked about my favourite movie since I come from a Media and Communication background. I had answered that “La La Land” was a movie that I had loved. I mentioned about how the storyline depicts the characters going through a lot of difficulties and insecurities after which they finally achieve their goals.
Careers360: How did you prepare yourself for PI? What were the PI questions that you searched for your preparations?
Tiyasha: I prepared for the questions by brushing up my knowledge about the subjects I had studied during graduation. Since the majority of questions are generally about the individual, I tried analyzing myself as this is something that one has to honestly answer during the interview. I tried understanding my strengths, weaknesses, goals and insights that I had gained during my prior internships and positions of responsibilities.
Careers360: What factors or qualities, you think the PI panel looks for in a candidate?
Tiyasha: I think confidence and honesty are the two factors that a panel looks at. The manner in which a candidate answers the questions and their comfort level play a key role during this stage of selection.
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You have to score a minimum of 99 percentile to get at least one good IIM call as your academics are not good. You could get a call from new IIMs if you score 99 percentile as the top tier IIMs will not give you a chance due to your poor acads.
Colleges you could look for are like IIM Nagpur, Kashipur, Shillong, etc. These colleges if you study well will provide you with a good package of 10-12 lpa.
Hope this helps. Thank you.
You will not be able to get any good business school like top IIMs, MDI, IIFT, or FMS. However, you can still get a good MBA tier 3/4 college if you increase your percentile to 98 percentile.
However, according to your grads, you must not be disappointed if you don't get a call at 99 because your marks are not good.
Hope for the best. Thank you.
Eligibility for CAT is graduate in any discipline from a recognized university with 50% aggregate, for SC/ST/PwD it's 45%.
So, people from any background can apply for CAT, provided they have required aggregate at their graduation level against their category.
Now, coming to the syllabus for CAT, there's no specific syllabus for CAT, one needs to rely on past years sample papers to get a fair idea about the pattern and weightage given to each topic and section.In general, questions are mostly from middle school level English and Mathematics.
There are mainly three sections in CAT-
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation which includes topics such as Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism etc.
Quantitative Aptitude which includes topics such as Geometry, Algebra, Time and Work, Mensuration, Number System etc.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension which includes topics such as Sentence completion, Questions based on reading comprehension, Para-jumbles & para-summar, inferences etc.
To know the detailed topics, kindly go through the following link-
Honestly there is a difference between just finishing the syllabus and preparing for selection in cat. See you can finish the syllabus if you'll work really hard in one month but trust me only unless you are extraordinary you won't be able to get selected for iims or other good colleges. But don't loose hope you should fight till last.
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