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Second Stage Selection Process of top b-schools

The selection process of all major business schools is a multi-stage affair, beginning with the entrance test. After taking the entrance test, the subsequent rounds are a combination of two or more of the following: Group or Case Discussion (CD/GD), Written Ability Test (WAT or essay writing) and Personal Interview (PI). 

Historically, the rounds used to comprise GD and PI. However, in the last couple of years, institutes have started including the WAT as well, in some cases doing away with the GD altogether.

Just like different entrance tests are required to secure admission in different b-schools. Each B-school has a unique 2nd stage admission process post-written test is conducted. To get a brief information about the 2nd stage process of IIMs and other top b-schools please refer the page.


AWT (Academic Written Test) i.e. essay writing (any Case Study Argument-Analyze the argument and provide your reasons for the same.) in 20 minutes (5 minutes to think, 15 minutes to write. Candidates had to write only in the lines provided, it was quite short) followed by a 15-30 Minutes Personal Interview(PI) with 2 Panelists in most cases(few cases had 3 panelists).

A Basic Math test of 10 Mins was also conducted (3 questions) but it was announced that it shall not be considered for Final merit evaluation.


Group Discussion/Case Discussion between 7 students for 10 minutes (10 minutes to read the case, half of the questions in PI were about the points candidate made during the Case Discussion) followed by Personal Interview(PI) with 2 panelists.

WAT (Written ability test) i.e. essay writing (Total time: 30 minutes, 10 minutes to think and 20 minutes to write) on only 1 one side of the sheet for writing essay with 3 professors followed by a Personal Interview(PI) of 20-25 minutes with 3 Panelists.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing (25 minutes, 200 words) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) for 20-30 minutes with 3 Panelists.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing (15 minutes, 300 words- 2 sides of the page) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) for 15-20 minutes with 2 Panelists.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing (30 minutes, 300 words) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) (mostly about 20-30 minutes) with 3 Panelists.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing for 15 minutes (no word limit but one side of the page & GD (Group Discussion) for 15 minutes (14 minutes to discuss and 1 minute to conclude)with a group of 8 people followed by a Personal Interview (PI) for approx 20 minutes with mostly 2 panelists. The WAT & GD Topics were same. Students were first asked to write on a given Topic for 15 minutes post which a GD was conducted.

Group discussion on a Case Study (9 Candidates,3 mins to introspect and 10 mins for discussion) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) with 2 Panelists for about 15-20 minutes.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) for 20 minutes (300 words limit) followed by Personal Interview (PI) for about 20-30 minutes with 3Panelists.

Was conducted in two phases as follows:

Phase 1: A Confirmation Email was sent to each and every applicant who selected newest IIMs during their CAT application form in order to reconfirm their interest by a particular deadline (Deadline specific to each IIM).

Phase 2: All the Applicants who re-confirmed their interest were sent an email offering admission based on their Final Composite Score (Application Rating score, profile score and GD-WAT-PI performance score) as obtained and shared by other 16 IIMs. They did not conduct a GD-WAT-PI process and admission offer was based on their score and performance during the GD-WAT-PI conducted for other 16 IIMs.

A psychometric test followed by WAT (Duration 20 minutes) about 300 words, total time for both exercises was 30 minutes (This requires good time management/space management as no extra sheets are given) followed by group interview (GI1).There was an elimination post this process and the selected candidates went through a slightly more stressful and detailed group interview (GI2). Both GIs had 4-7 candidates with mostly 2 panelists, and lasted 30-45 minutes. At times, GDs or on the spot exercises (sell a pen to the panel) were conducted within the GIs.

Psychometric Test: 25 statements are given, for each of which the applicant has to record a response and justify the response for 6 statements. Total time available is about 20 mins.

First GI: Based on specialization

Second GI: Based on interests/hobbies, ethics and moral values

GD-PI process was executed separately for HRM and BM candidates even though the process remains the same.

Group discussion conducted by 3 panelists seated in different corners for 40 minutesin a group of 8 to 10 members which was followed by a Personal Interview (PI) for about 20-30 minuteswith thesame 3 panelists. Students were made to follow the rules as specified on the website.

A Psychometric personality test was also conducted (120 questions) but it was announced that it shall not be considered for Final merit evaluation.

WAT for about 10 minutes (2 minutes to think, Word limit: Limited to the sheet) followed by Personal Interview (PI) for 15 minutes with three Panelists. (2 females, 1 male)

For any WAT Topic, students had to tick one of two boxes- “For” or “Against” and then start writing appropriately.

Extempore for 1 minute (10 seconds to think) followed by Personal Interview(PI) for about 8-10 minutes with 3-4 Panelists.

The Team explains the extempore process before giving the topic. Topic is given anywhere in the interview and not just at the start. Follow-up questions were asked during PI based on Extempore content.

WAT for 15 minutes (Word Limit: 150 words, Time: 15 Mins) followed by Group Discussion (GD) for 15 minutes with about 10 participants followed by a Personal Interview (PI) with 2 panelists for 10-15 minutes.

PIT (pre-interview test) consisting of essay writing (WAT) and group discussion (6-10 people, 15 minutes to write 200 words, 30 minutes to discuss) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) for 20-30 minutes on an average with 3 panelists.

WAT consisting of an essay(200-250 words) 30 minutes to write followed by Personal Interview (PI) for 30 minutes with 3 panelists.

GD followed by a Personal Interview (PI) with about 3-4 Panelists.

WAT- 10 minutes to write (space to write was quite less) followed by a Personal Interview (PI) with mostly 3 panelists for 15-20 minutes.

Group Discussion (2 to minutes to think and write down points, 15 minutes to discuss and 2 minutes to conclude) with 10-12 participants & 3 Panelists followed by a Personal Interview(PI) for 20-25 minutes with 3 panelists.

Form Filling - Online Submission beforehand
WAT (20 Minutes, 300 words) + GD (30 - 45 Minutes)

WAT (Essay writing) conducted for 20 minutes (Word limit: less than 300 words) which was followed by GD with 10-11 participants and 2 Panelists (each individual had to speak for 1.5-2 minutes on the topic, giving his/her views. After this round, the floor was left open for discussion for around 10-15 minutes. Hence the entire duration of the GD was 30-45 minutes), ended with a PI with up to 3/4 panelistsfor less than 20 minutes.

MBA Core
A case discussion with about 12 participants (5 minutes to read, 15 minutes to discuss, Buzzer at 12th minute, 3 minutes to summarize) with 3 panelists followed by Personal Interview (PI) (20-25 minutes) with 3 Panelists.

SOP- prior to the CDPI round, one is asked to send them a list of documents along with a Statement of Purpose of about 300 words. This is extremely important as the panelists refer to it during the PI.

For MBA HRM program - Case Study (Written Analysis) +Case study (Discussion) + PI A case study was given to write a short answer (WAT) followed by a Case study discussion with about 12-14 participants (A group exercise where a case study is given) followed by a PI with 3 panelists.

Started with WAT (Picture was shown which needed to be described in 5 mins, word limit: 150)followed by Group Discussion which consisted of 2 parts. (5 newspaper headlines were shown on a projector- the first 5 minutes were given to the group to discuss and come to a consensus as to what headline the group wants to pick. The next 15 minutes were to be spent in discussing the headline (Group Members: 10)followed by Extempore (30 secs to think and 2 mins to speak) followed by Personal Interview(PI).

The process involved 3 rounds

  1. 2 WATs (essay writing) Total time: 30 minutes

1- Pictorial description (Word limit: 300 words) 1 photo given
2- Tweet along with hash tag in 100 words based on the topic
2.   2 Group exercises
(1-Discuss a case study- Read & prepare for 5 minutes and discuss for 10 minutes.)
(2-Discuss on random/abstract topic- Arrive at a consensus in the end. Total time: 10 minutes)
3.   Personal Interview-Before PI or while conducting PI an extempore for 90 seconds was conducted. (1 minute to write down points and speak for next 4 minutes)

Group Exercise involving 7-12 candidates with 2 panelists (5 mins for reading, 20 mins for the task and 5 mins for the presentation)followed by a Personal Interview (PI) with 3 panelists. (30 Minutes). Stress interviews lasted for 40 minutes. Spot offers, rejects and waitlists were given.All the students were grilled based on the likes and dislikes mentioned in their SOP.

*Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies announces to follow the Common Admissions Process carried out by DTE to offer admissions for its 2-year Masters in Management Studies (MMS) Programme, which is equivalent to a MBA. Check detailed notification here.

*The details are published based on primary and secondary sources.

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