Guide To Written Ability Test (WAT)

Written Ability Test (WAT) in IIMs, IIFT and other prestigious B-schools is a 15 to 20 minutes essay writing or caselet that may be followed by group discussion and personal interview.


It is similar to XAT's essay during written examination. Since CAT is computer based test, it doesn't have a written section during examination. So most of the business schools conduct their individual written ability test during final admission round.

WAT Pattern & Time Duration

You have to write essay (250 to 350 words) in a very limited time duration of 15 to 20 minutes. Your understanding of the topic and writing ability in a logical and coherent manner is tested. generally, WAT has about 20% weightage in final selection. You can also expect related questions in your personal interview round after WAT.


Topics in WAT are mostly based on current affairs, social, political, business, economics, International affairs, philosophy and sports.

What You Need?

  • Topic related knowledge
  • Logical and coherent flow of thought
  • Efficient writing skills including grammar, spelling and punctuation

How To Prepare?

In short. you need to practice. Read newspapers and good articles to gain subject related knowledge and form your own opinion. You should practice writing atleast 15 to 25 essays on different topics before going for actual WAT. Structure your essay in three parts - introduction, body, and conclusion, and write multiple paragraphs with sub headings. For logical flow, ending of previous paragraph must be connected with the start of next paragraph. Avoid using short forms, abbreviations, and language you use in social channels.