After cracking those MBA entrances, WAT becomes the next nerve-wracking process to crack. It is totally unpredictable as you do not know who will be grading it, if the grader has the same inclination as you and most importantly you can roughly gauge yourself in a GD or a PI but cannot in WAT. You may end up with questions like, do you stay neutral on a topic or take sides? What do you do if you have no content for the topic asked? How do you structure your thoughts and reciprocate that in writing? How do you practice for WATs? etc.. So, let me help me. Below are pointers for you to prepare for WAT and also what do you do during WAT.
- Content Preparation: Reading! Yes, this is the only way you can expand your knowledge of content. AT this point, even if you have not started, do not worry. Start by reading papers and blogs. I would recommend blogs as you can see how people would have debated about a certain topic. You get to see both sides of the coin. Another helpful tip would also to get the most happening current affairs topics and read about it.
- Timed Practices: Timing is very important in WAT. People usually underestimate, but there are so many cases of the student wishing they had more time to finish up their WAT with the same neatness that they started in, because consistency is very important for WAT. You would want to allocate some time for proofreading. So, take out those pens, time yourselves and start practicing on various topics. You would automatically get your pace.
- Constructive corrections: Do not just stop with practicing. Get someone to read it and grade it for you. I would best suggest various coaching class teachers, your friends, your siblings or even me (You can personally send me your essays ). Get their views and look out for the various thoughts, get corrected on your languages. Try to inculcate that corrective feedback in your next essay and keep improving.
Pointers to remember during WAT:
Keep the below pointers in mind while writing WAT.
- Structure Ideas: Take a good 5-10 minutes (depending on your writing speed) to ponder your ideas and jot down everything you had thought about. Scribble it down in the form of a mind map and structure what points go where and what you are trying to the reader. DO NOT skip this as Abraham Lincoln once said, “if I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe”.
- Time management: As per your practices you should be good at time management by now. But remember to keep track of time. During the process, we often end up being too anxious that we can lose track of everything around us. Easier said, but remember to keep track of the time. You do not want to end up with an amazing start but a rushed-up conclusion (as handwriting shows).
- All about the Introduction and Conclusion: It is the best to have an amazingly impressive and catchy introduction and conclusion as it is here that you can grab your reader’s attention the most. Do not go over 5-6 lines for each. Go ahead and feel free to sprinkle in some humour or sarcasm as this might help break the mundane that graders might go through.
- Stick to the point: It is not about how long your essay is. It is how well you are able to deliver your idea with structure and knowledge. So, stick to the point and refrain from writing long-winded essays. Make your life easier too.
- Grammar: Watch out for your grammar. Because grammar might save you even if your content is not up to the mark. Be extremely conscious of your grammar and yes, punctuation too.
- Spelling: I know this is the era of texting and we are all its slaves. This can make you spell when as “wen” and right as “r8” and ‘wat nt’. REFRAIN from this! Watch out for your spellings. If you do not know how to spell a certain word, avoid it or replace it.
- Vocabulary: Talking about spelling, do not worry about the vocabulary you use. It is completely fine to use simple language. I am not saying do not learn up huge words. But use it only and when you know that you are using it in the right context.
- Consistency: Whether you choose to go for or against a topic or neutral, be consistent about it. Do not be inconsistent while writing and show the reader that you do not have a strong stand. Same applies to your grammar and handwriting. Be the same person who started the introduction in the conclusion as well.
I am a person who feels that writing is all about being yourself and expressing yourself as you wish and there should be no guidelines. But when it comes to WAT, the content is all yours but following these pointers to keep up with good structure and language is essential. WAT is mainly to test your written communication and it is a must to show that you are professional, because in 2 years you will represent that Institute in the corporate world. Break a leg, you guys!