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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.


WAT (written ability test) i.e. essay writing (any analytical case study, argument or a controversial topic whereby an opinion with points supporting the same was asked for) in 30 minutes with 3 Panelists (No of participants: 8) followed by a 20 Minutes PI (in most cases) with 2 Panelists (mostly an alumni accompanied by a faculty).


GD/CD 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 PI with 2 panelists.

WAT (writing ability test) i.e. essay writing (Total time: 30 minutes, 10 minutes to think and 20 minutes to write) for about 250 words on only 1 sheet of paper -one side for thought process and one side for actual essay followed by a PI of 20-25 minutes with 3 Panelists. (2 professors and 1 alumni)

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing (20 minutes, 200 words) followed by a 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 PI for 10-15 minutes with mostly 2 Panelists.

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing (30 minutes, 300 words) followed by a PI (mostly about 20-25 minutes but 15-30 minutes in some cases) with 3 Panelists. (1 female/2 male professors-most of the cases)

WAT (Writing Ability Test) i.e. essay writing for 15 minutes & GD for 10 minutes followed by a PI for approx 20 minutes with 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.

Process as announced for 2016 was WSAT(Writing Skills Assessment Test) for 10 minutes (word limit 200 words) followed by a PI for about 30 minutes

WAT (Writing Ability Test) for 30 minutes (300 words limit) followed by PI for about 20-30 minutes with 3 Panelists. (2 males, 1 female)

Was conducted in two phases as follows:

Phase 1: A Confirmation Email was sent to each and every applicant who selected 6 new 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 (Average Duration 10 minutes) Number of sections: 3

(i) Ethics & Value
(ii) Career Goals
(iii) Extrovert Nature-10 Questions in each section, you had to explain your answer choices in about 6 statements)

WAT (Duration 20 minutes) about 300 words 30 lines, total time for both exercises was 30 minutes (This requires good time-management/space management as no extra sheets are given) followed by 2 group interviews (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 3-4 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.

GD PI process execution for HRM and BM candidates was different even though the process remains the same.

Group discussion conducted by 3 panelists on any of the given topics wherein 2-3 pros and cons were discussed in order to arrive at a conclusion. 5 minutes were given for thinking and 30-40 minutes were given for discussing in a group of 8 to 10 members which was followed by a PI for about 20-30 minutes.

WAT for about 10 minutes (2 minutes to think, Word limit: Limited to the sheet) followed by a 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.

In the first 30 minutes, the candidate’s documents were verified and in the next 30 minutes, Extempore and Personal Interview process was held.

Extempore for 1 minute (10 seconds to think about it) Followed by Personal Interview for about 8-10 minutes with 3-4 Panelists. (2 ladies (L1 & L2) and 1 gentleman (G))

A common question “Introduce yourself was asked to be answered before Extempore”. Extempore is conducted in front of the Panel.

WAT for 15 minutes (Word Limit: 150 words) followed by GD for 15 minutes with about 8-10 participants followed by a PI with 2-3 panelists. (1 male, 1 female or 2 male)

PIT (pre-interview test) consisting of essay writing (WAT) and group discussion (6-10 people, 15 minutes to write 200-250 words, 20 minutes to discuss) whereby students are given 2 topics to choose and select within 60 seconds followed by a PI for 20-30 minutes on an average with 3 panelists.(2 men and 1 lady)

WAT consisting of 2 essays (200-250 words) 5 minutes to think and 30 minutes to write for both the topics followed by PI 25-30 minutes with 2-3 panelists.

GD (2 to 3 minutes to think and total 10 minutes for discussion, 12 participants) followed by a PI with about 3 Panelists.

GD of 10-13 participants (5 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to discuss), WAT- 5 minutes to write the summary of the GD followed by a PI with mostly 2-4 panelists for 15-20 minutes.

Group Discussion (2 to minutes to think and write down points, 15-20 minutes to discuss and 2 minutes to conclude) with 10-12 participants and 2-4 Panelists followed by a Personal Interview for 20-25 minutes on an average.

Form Filling + WAT (20 Minutes, 300 words) + GD (30 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 35-45 minutes), ended with a PI with up to 3/4 panelists (2 males, 1 female) for less than 20 minutes.

MBA Core

A case discussion with about 12-14 participants (5 minutes to read, 15 minutes to discuss, Buzzer at 12th minute, 5 minutes to summarize) followed by PI (20-25 minutes) with mostly three Panelists. (3 males OR 1 female/2 males OR 3 females)

For MBA HRM program - Case study (Discussion) + Case Study (Written Analysis)+ Group exercise + PI

A case discussion with about 12-14 participants (5 minutes to read, 15 minutes to discuss, Buzzer at 12th minute, 5 minutes to summarize). Post that a case study was given on which the candidate had to write an analysis responding to the question asked, in about 20 minutes (5 minutes to think and 15 minutes to discuss) (Students need to separately write the problem statement, the alternatives & the recommendations)
Group exercise mentioned below:

A scenario with many possible courses of action was given. Based on some criteria, these were to be arranged in a particular order. 5 minutes were given to go through it and write the answer. 15 minutes were given to discuss and come to a consensus with 3 panelists.

This was followed by a PI (about 20 minutes) with 2/3 panelists.

Started with 3 WATs (details of all the 3 is given below) followed by Group exercise (A case is given with specific roles for everyone. Students are asked to discuss the responsibilities according to our roles.) for 20 minutes (First 5 minutes for reading, next 13 minutes for discussing and last 2 minutes for coming to a conclusion) and ends with an extempore and PI with mostly 2 panelists. Before proceeding for Mock PI students are shown a picture and then asked to give it a title in one word or speak about the same for 2-3 minutes. (Like an extempore).

Description of 3 WATs:

A single sheet was given with 5 questions and 5 minutes to write the answers. Questions were general in nature (describe yourself etc.).

A 30 sec video was shown and we had to "interpret" the video by giving a suitable title in 4 points. Do not describe the video. Time duration: 5 min (Topics shared below).

5 minutes to write your professional, academic and extra-curricular experiences (max 3).

The process involves 3 rounds

1. 2 WATs (essay writing) Total time: 30 minutes, Word limit: 250 words

  1. Case study and
  2. Pictorial Description (2 photos are given and candidates have to establish a correlation between them and assign a suitable caption)

2. 3 Group exercises (6 people in a group, Panelists: 2.)

  1. Discuss a case study- Read & prepare for 5 minutes and discuss for 15 minutes. Arrive at a consensus in the end.
  2. Discuss on random topic-  Read & prepare for 1 minutes and discuss for 5 minutes
  3. Discuss an intervention for 3 minutes(topic same as for GE 2

3. Personal Interview- Before PI or while conducting PI an extempore was conducted.(1 minute to write down points and speak for next 4 minutes)

Group Exercise involving 7-11 candidates with 2 panelists followed by a PI with 3 panelists. (both the activities involved 30 Minutes each). Spot offers, rejects and waitlists were given this year as well. MICAT happened twice this year. (December and February) A few group of candidates had a stress interview whereby candidates are suggested to be patient and calm.

*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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