Understanding Group Discussion (GD), Interview and WAT Process for MBA Admissions 2022

Common Admission Test 2022 ( CAT )

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Admit Card: 27 Oct '22

Updated on Aug 9, 2022 23:06 IST

The objective of a group discussion (GD) is to assess a candidate’s ability to convince and lead a group of people who may have different point of views. WAT and PI on the other hand are an assessment of candidate's personality and thought process. 

how to prepare for GD

The second stage of MBA admission process of any B-schools is personality assessment. Various personality assessment methods such as Group Discussions (GD), Personal Interview (PI), Essay Writing, Case Discussions, etc. are conducted by the MBA colleges to assess candidates’ interests, aptitude and personalities.

While group discussion is an exercise to assess future managers' communication ability, leadership qualities, convincing power and knowledge of any topic; personal interview is more of a personal assessment of their personality, future goals and clarity of thought. WAT can be understood as a written GD, where candidates get a topic to write upon within a limited period of time. They have to communicate their argument on the topic in a limited word count.

The objective of a group exercise is to appraise a candidate’s ability to critically analyse a given piece of information and collectively work in a group to arrive at a solution or develop a perspective. B-schools conduct this round to find out whether candidates possess the qualities that are critical to becoming an effective manager. The rationale behind this exercise is that when a group of people is given a task within an unstructured situation, they will try to accomplish it by establishing some order or structure. In this process, they will reveal some of their personality characteristics.

Some B-schools organise a case discussion instead of a simple group discussion. A case-study simulates a real-life situation and instills in you the thought process and action plans to get the best possible solution. There may not be a perfect solutions to a case study, but there is definitely a best possible solution, which the group is expected to collectively arrive at.

Both group exercise and case study evaluate some basic personality traits such as clarity of thought, problem identifying skills, problem solving skills, communication (including listening) skills, ability to critically evaluate and ability to interact in a group.

The most recent addition to the second stage of selection at MBA colleges has been essay writing popularly known as WAT. A well-written essay gives the selectors an opportunity to assess the candidates' ability to organize, develop, and express ideas about the issue presented; provide relevant supporting reasons and examples, and control the elements of standard written English.

A personal interview is the last step of knowing the candidate well. Personality traits that cannot be assessed through the first three tools are evaluated in a personal interview round. The selectors try to understand the kind of person the candidate is, his/her interests, motivation, aspirations, etc.

Key Elements for GD/WAT/PI Preparation

1. Knowing the processes for GD/WAT/PI of the B-school to which you have applied
2. Knowing how to conduct yourself during these activities i.e. knowing what to do and what not to do.
3. Working on the skills that will be tested through these activities.
4. Practicing till you gain confidence and can perform well.
5. Simultaneously enhancing knowledge of various fields so that you can build effective arguments for any topic.

Also Read:

When and How to Start Preparing for GD/WAT and PI?

Preparation for GD/WAT/PI involves two basic steps: gaining procedural knowledge and improving general awareness. Candidates should start preparing for these round as soon at the entrance exam is over. They should start with understanding the process of GDs/WATs/PIs in various B-Schools. 

Procedural knowledge implies knowledge of the processes of GD/WAT/PI, their objectives, dos, and don’ts, etc. Most test prep companies conduct training sessions for the same after the CAT and other MBA entrance exams have been conducted. As these activities involve interaction, it is advisable that candidates join a preparatory course for GD/WAT/PI as soon as they are through with most of their written tests.

Ideally, candidates should start improving general awareness (including self-awareness and subject knowledge) as soon as they start their preparation for MBA entrance exams. As General Awareness is a very vast area, it makes sense to follow the top stories as and when they happen. Post the written tests, candidates should start enhancing their general awareness full-time by reading newspapers and magazines such as Outlook and Outlook Business. While reading up on news-making events, candidates should consider various aspects and arguments and use their own judgment to decide what their stand should be.

Personal Interviews may include many questions from the subjects candidates have studied during their graduation or post-graduation. Candidates should revise important concepts learned in at least two major subjects and think about their real-life applications. As the PI tests candidates’ self-awareness too, they should spend a few days introspecting. Some common PI questions are discussed below:

Also Read:

What Type of Topics Should a Student Prepare for GD?

The WAT/GD topics normally require you to take a stand, so they require you to be analytical and argumentative rather than descriptive. The topics are mostly of sociological significance and may be based on long-standing or recent issues. Students should go through the topics allotted by various B-schools last year, to get an idea of what type of topics can be expected. Also, students should read up on controversial stories of the year, build arguments for/against the issues and decide their standpoint.

Also Read: Preparing for GD? Use this checklist for topics

What are the Common Interview Questions?

Through a personal interview, selectors try to assess candidates’ interests, aptitude, and personality. They try to understand the candidates better by uncovering their aspirations, motivation, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

With this aim in mind, the most common PI questions posed by selectors are:

  • What is the meaning of your name? (an ice breaker question)
  • Tell me something about yourself.
  • Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • What are your plans after an MBA?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself 5/10 years from now?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Elaborate on your work experience.
  • What are your hobbies/interests? (technical questions on the same)

Candidates are also questioned about:

  • A shift in academic streams, if any
  • A gap year, if any
  • Poor academic performance
  • Some general awareness questions
  • Academic questions from the subjects the candidate has studied
  • Information pertaining to the candidate’s home town is also sought in many cases

Also Read: Top 32 questions asked in MBA personal interviews.

Tips to succeed in GD-PI

  • Considering that some of the B-school interviews will be scheduled in March, you should be aware of the important provisions of the Union Budget and the rationale behind the provisions. Be prepared to justify yourself if you support or oppose a particular provision in the budget.
  • Write down important points while reading any book, report, etc. is important to develop an opinion. Be clear on your own views on the book or the author’s viewpoint and be prepared to justify your stand.
  • Make yourself aware of basic terms in economics, their implications and various issues concerning the Indian economy. Since the state of the economy affects all businesses in one way or the other, it is important to be aware of the same.
  • Also, know a bit about what to expect in the B-school and the different specializations offered by the B-school.
  • B-schools desire mature students who are able to think independently and are tolerant of differing views on an issue. You should be able to recognise the pros and cons of any issue.
Download Current Affairs Guide 2020-21 Download GDPI Prep Guide 2020-21

What to Keep in Mind While Preparing for WAT?

The skills required to perform well in a GD or WAT are quite similar. Though the communication medium is different (verbal in a GD and written in a WAT), the mental work that candidates need to do when the topic is presented remains the same. Students need to learn how to analyse the topic/issue, identify or build relevant arguments and finalise their position on the issue. In a WAT, they then need to decide on the sequence in which they will present all this on paper (i.e. decide what will be the introduction, body, and conclusion), and finally, write the essay neatly and coherently.

Read More:

About the Author:

Vinayak Kudva is the product head at a top MBA coaching institute.

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Comments

D

Which college can I get with 75 percent marks in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

6 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more information you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

D

Which colleges can I get with 75 %ile in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

6 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more detials you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

R

What CAT score do I need to get into FABM? I'm from B.Sc. Agriculture.

S

Srishti Pranjal

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

General cut off to get into FABM for general is 80, for OBC, it is 70 and for SC and ST, it is 60.

P

Can I get admission for MBA in IPS Business School without giving CAT or any other exam?

S

Sharanya B

Beginner-Level 4

a week ago

Hello Priyanka, CAT is one of the most commonly accepted exam. CMAT XAT MAT exams are also accepted in IPS business school.

N

Neha Sudarshini

Beginner-Level 1

a week ago

Although CAT percentile is kept as a criterion in most colleges, there are other management entrance exams too. Few of the different exams are MAT XAT NMAT etc. These scores again are accepted by numerous number of colleges.

h

While filling CAT 2022 form, I followed the best of 5 marking pattern for SSC which is not correct. Can I fill the form again?

36450093
yash sahani

Contributor-Level 9

a week ago

We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error. 2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it wh...We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:
1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error.
2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it while entering their personal details.
3. Uploading unclear photograph and signature: uploading your photograph is the last step of entering your personal details in the CAT application form.

H

Harsh Rastogi

Beginner-Level 5

a month ago

No, you cannot fill the form again. You should always read the instructions carefully before filling any form.

S

I have heard that UGC has given regulations for CAT eligibility that the colleges can accept CAT eligibility for the past two years. Is it?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibil...An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibility has remained more or less the same in the past years. As per the CAT notification for CAT the same criteria will be followed without any changes. Aspirants should review the criteria, given below in detail, to check if they are eligible for the exam before they begin preparing. They should understand the factors and requirements to appear for CAT 2022 to avoid disqualification at any stage of the admission process. Moreover, candidates should also identify the eligibility criteria for the B-schools separately along with the difference in the eligibility requirements for CAT and the IIM.

A

ANKIT Tiwari

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

The CAT score card is valid for a period of one year only. After which candidates will have to take the following years' CAT exam for admissions in respective institutes. Most of the Institutions/Universities in India accept the CAT score for admissions.

R

What percentile should I score in CAT exam to get MDI Gurgaon under defence quota?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a s...Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a safe bet.

46474621
Utkarsh Tiwary

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

The MDI Gurgaon is the best college which has defence quota. The percentile which is required by MDI Gurgaon under defence quota is expected as 94 percentile. It is also the best college for defence.

A

How to start preparing with CAT and IIFT?

S

Sunit Chatterjee

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

To start first start with your basics remember these 4 to 5 points 1) read 1 hour every day
2. Do sudoku and basics of dilr
3. Do quant from ncert if your basics are weak if it is strong then do past year paper or previous year mock
5. Give ample amount of mock and sectional test thanks.

S

I am applying for CAT 2022 and also had applied for CAT last year. Do I need to re-register or should use last year's credentials?

11624401
ANISHKA LUNAWAT

Beginner-Level 5

3 weeks ago

Yes, you have to apply for the CAT form again from the beginning even if you have registered last year also. Since exam score is valid for only one year.

P

I have a gap year in my engineering. What should I fill in the duration of course in CAT form? Should I fill 4 or 5 years?

S

Sonima Dwivedi

Contributor-Level 6

3 weeks ago

It will still be counted as 4 years.

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