CAT 2018: Here’s how to crack GD/PI and WAT
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) will declare the results of the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2018 in the second week of January 2019.
The second round for entrance into the coveted B-schools of the country requires extensive preparation. Starting early would be a good idea.
GD and the WAT:
- For the GD and the WAT, one needs to prepare General Awareness. In the interview too, questions can also be expected from the current affairs. A future manager should be well informed about the issues of the day and should have logical and mature opinions about the same
- Read good magazines and newspapers to keep yourself abreast of major issues facing your city, state, country and the world. You can be expected to write about abstract topics too
- Practising GD with a group of students and writing practice can help you improve in this area
- An interview checks your personality, which is the main driver of your ability to be a manager
- Prepare your academic subjects of graduation, since good understanding of these indicates strength as a student
- It indicates your future ability to work hard on diverse academic areas for the two rigorous years at the IIMs
- Pick up at least 2-3 subjects from the core areas of your study to prepare in depth. Questions can be from the basics of your subject or from the application of the same. Questions can also check the co-relation of your subjects to the current awareness of the world
- You should also prepare your projects and internships, since they are an indication of the same
People with work-experience can also expect questions from their work.
Technical questions on the nature of your work, general awareness about your organisation and the working environment you are exposed to, are common areas that are probed in these cases.
More importantly, the learning from these, which you can share in the classroom of the b-school, will be probed. It is important to demonstrate that you have learnt from, and added value to, the job/organisation.
- Doing an MBA has fast become a preferred career option these days. However, doing it for wrong reasons or being not clear why you want to do an MBA is not a good idea.
- A B-school can easily check this by probing your career clarity and the role of MBA in the overall scheme of your career. Questions like where do you see yourself 10 years down the line, or, why do you wish to take up a management career should be answered with logical basis and good examples to support yourself.
- Other questions can include your knowledge about the B-School that you are applying to and its co-relation with your preferred career goals.
- The panel may also want to check your understanding of your own personality since it plays a huge role in your handling of others in an organisation
- Questions on strengths and weaknesses should be answered honestly with suitable examples to make your point. Do talk about how you are overcoming your weaknesses
- Sometimes the interview panel wants to discuss your hobbies or interests. This helps them check whether you possess an all-round personality or not
- Checking your interests helps them also to understand how passionate you are about whatever interests you
- Some miscellaneous questions, like why should we select you or why should we reject you, can be asked. In the first case, present a strong case based on your profile’s strengths (including achievements in professional or personal capacities) and your personal strengths
- The second one is trickier but you should present an honest analysis of some of your profile weaknesses or personal weaknesses. Try still to put your best foot forward but don’t misrepresent facts
- Questions on personal ethics can be asked by providing case studies
- Maintain the highest standards of ethics throughout the selection process but at the same time try to achieve the goals of the case study.
Preparation for the interview should be started as early as possible. Give at least 2-3 mock interviews to an experienced and senior panel of people who can assess your preparation and provide feedback on the same.
After each mock interview, assess yourself and see where you can improve.
Work accordingly and only when you feel that enough preparation has been done, go for another round of interview. Taking too many or too less number of interviews is equally incorrect.