Expert Guide – How to prepare for GDPI and WAT for IIMs?

how to Expert Guide for GD-PI & WAT Preparation
Expert Guide for GD-PI & WAT Preparation

CAT 2023 is over. CAT 2023 performance of cracku students has been amazingly well. Aspirants can check out the CAT 2023 analysis and CAT 2023 paper. Irrespective of the performance in CAT, it is important to shift your focus to the calls at hand. In this article, let us see how to prepare for GD PI and WAT to secure the final admit.

Navigating an interview allows individuals to guide the conversation towards their comfort zones, reducing the randomness they might encounter, unlike in the CAT exam.

Staying well-informed about current events is crucial. Regularly reading newspapers is essential. Dive deep into the issues to understand their origins thoroughly. Superficial knowledge of facts might fall short during group discussions (GD) and interviews. Let’s explore detailed preparations for GDPI and WAT.

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How to prepare for GDPI and WAT?

Written Ability Test (WAT):

WAT is a very important step in the selection process. Every IIM has around 10% weightage for WAT. Therefore, one must prepare for GDPI and WAT with the same diligence with which one would have prepared for CAT.

There are a few things that one must have in mind while writing the essay.

After reading the topic, note down the points you want to discuss on the rough sheet. Do not start with the essay immediately. If you intend to discuss a series of events, arrange them chronologically. Jot down the main points on which you would like your essay to be on.

Maintain coherence throughout the essay. Maintain the logical flow of thoughts. Avoid discussing topics with little to no relevance to the topic given. Make sure that each sentence logically falls in line with the topic under discussion. Do not deviate too much from the crux of the topic. If you are providing examples and illustrations, make it a point to keep them short.

Learn to put down your thoughts succinctly. Avoid being verbose and repeating the same topic again. Be crisp in what you intend to convey. Professors in the panel get less than 5 minutes to glance through your essay. Therefore, make sure your essay is to the point.


Avoid being biased:

Know the difference between being biased and having an opinion. It is important to analyse both sides of the argument thoroughly before arriving at a solution. Keep your biases with you and avoid them getting reflected in the essay. Discuss the pros and cons of both the sides before penning down the final verdict. Being opinionated is fine but a biased article will definitely affect one’s chances.

The topics in WAT can be abstract or based on current affairs. Prepare extensively for both types of topics. Practise writing essays under a timed environment. Also, get your essays reviewed by someone who has gone through the process. This will help you to fine-tune your writing skills.

One can expect a few questions from the essay one has written during the interview too.

Group Discussion:

Most of the IIMs have done away with this process. Still, some of the leading institutes like IIM K, FMS, and IIM Mumbai have GD as one of the rounds. In most of the cases, the GD will be an extension of the topic given in WAT. Therefore, aspirants will have at least a few decent points to start with.

Maintain your composure throughout the GD. Be as polite as possible. Learn how to disagree politely without coming across as rude. Avoid using harsh words and be professional in the conversation. Also, avoid raising your voice during the GD. Make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak.

Avoid displaying alpha male traits. Do not be bossy in your tone. Validate counter arguments if the arguments carry substance. Conclude the GD properly.

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Personal Interview (PI):

PI is the most important process after CAT. Prepare well for template questions like ‘Tell me about yourself’ and ‘Why MBA?’. These questions may manifest themselves in various forms during the interview. Avoid giving self-contradictory answers to these questions.

Try to steer the interview towards your comfort zone. Provide enough links in your ‘tell me about yourself’ answer so that the interview progresses along one of these links. Be thorough with anything related to you.

Some questions may be from the essay you have written. Be thorough with anything you mention in the essay. Also, maintain a neutral outlook in the essay to avoid awkward situations during the interviews. Do not pen down the points that you cannot defend properly.

Talk to someone who has already gone through IIM interviews to have a clear idea about the interviews. Avoid giving rude answers. Be diplomatic if the question demands. Even if the interviewer is rude, handle things with a cool head.

Avoid coming across as prepped. Even if the question is something you have prepared for, avoid reciting the answer. Maintain good dynamics in the way you speak.

If you have some skeleton in the cupboard (especially academics), try to come up with a convincing answer.

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Undergrad subjects:

One can expect a few questions from their undergrad subjects, especially if one is a fresher. Pick two or three subjects and try to master the basic concepts. Also, try searching the subject name and prepare the answer to such questions. Avoid going in completely unprepared.

Also, if you had management papers in your undergrad course (like operations research, statistical methods), prepare such subjects thoroughly. One can expect a few questions from these topics.


Be thoroughly prepared about your hobby. List down the questions that one can ask relating to your hobby and prepare the answers to these questions well. Avoid mentioning things that you are not comfortable with as hobbies. Also, avoid mentioning cliched hobbies like reading unless you happen to be an avid reader.

Irrespective of the hobby you mention, prepare thoroughly about it so that you can defend it during the interview. Prepare for GDPI and WAT well so that you do not come across as shallow or wanting.

Give mock interviews with some mentor. Record the interviews and find out the regions where you can improve. Fine tune your answers. Prepare various flow charts about how your interview can proceed and prepare for all such possibilities.

Behave well mannered during the interview. Try to be politically correct and avoid using harsh language. Avoid speaking ill of someone however bad they may be. Avoid criticising your past employer, college or school. Also, avoid cribbing and try to give answers with a positive outlook.

We hope that this article on how to prepare for GDPI and WAT would have helped you to plan your preparation for further processes. If you are interested in having another go at CAT, try online preparation for CAT. Previous year papers of CAT and free CAT mock tests can also prove to be helpful. For other useful articles, try reading data interpretation tricks for CAT and Games and tournaments for CAT.

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