By Aindrani Sarker

Summer. It’s the time of the year again when a fresh batch of students graduate from school and are faced with the almost monstrous task of applying to colleges.

Some colleges have their own entrance exams, some refer to board marks for admission, some colleges do both while another different set of colleges conduct a separate round of Personal Interviews or Group Discussions to select their students. This makes it important to not only ace the entrance exams, but also to make a mark when it comes to these interviews or group discussions.

Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Noida and Hyderabad select their students through a two-fold process.

The first being the SET entrance exam which is followed by the PI-WAT (Personal Interview- Writing Ability Test). Once you have met the cut-off for the entrance test, you are eligible to proceed to the second round of admission, which is the PI-WAT.

While the term PI-WAT might sound like a very complex procedure, in reality it is not. Take it from someone who’s already been in your shoes.

There’s no reason to be daunted by or feel nervous about it. Now, the PI-WAT, as the name suggests, is again a two-step procedure which includes a Writing Ability Test and a Personal Interview.

The WAT

This part is nothing but a short essay writing exercise. You will be given about four or five topics out of which you have to select any one of your own choice and write an essay on it. It needn’t be too long, about 800 words should suffice, unless stated otherwise.

You will roughly be given an hour or so to complete this task. The topics which will be presented to you aren’t very complex.

They’re usually very generic, but thought provoking ones. Some examples would be – “Is the internet a boon or a bane?”, “What impact has social media had on our lives?”, “Should capital punishment be abolished?”- something on those lines.

I would, however, recommend that you be updated with the latest pressing issues around the world as you might be given a topic pertaining to such an issue/event (this will help you during your Personal Interview as well, should your panelists choose to ask you about your opinion about such an issue).

While writing your essay, ensure that your logic remains sound. Also avoid any and all sorts of grammatical and spelling errors.

It is needless to mention that such blunders would not reflect very well on your mark sheet while your essay is being evaluated. This is pretty much all you need to keep in mind while attempting the WAT and you should be able to happily waltz out of the room.

The PI

The Personal Interview usually follows the WAT. Roughly speaking, each interview can last for anywhere between 4-7 minutes.

When called, walk into the room confidently, wish the interviewers and hand your file over to them. Seek their permission before you take your seat and then proceed to introduce yourself to them.

This is the part where the interviewers will take a look at your Curriculum Vitae and your certificates of merit from school. They’ll ask about your extra-curricular activities in school, your interests, hobbies, and basically about yourself in general.

They might also ask you a few technical questions related to law, which shouldn’t be too difficult to attempt considering how you must already have prepared for all the law entrance exams.

In case you’re faced with a question you do not know the answer to, politely tell them that you do not know the answer and would be more than willing to learn or read up about it.

Do not try to make up things and feed them to your interviewers because they’re a lot more experienced in this field than you are. It is always a better idea to accept your flaw or mistake than to wrongfully assert your opinion. This however, does not mean that you come forth as submissive. It is important that you remain confident and maintain your composure at all times.

Even if the interviewers cross question you and try to throw you off, do not get nervous; your self-confidence is what will reflect well on your personality. In case you did not understand a question you were asked, smile and ask the interviewer to kindly repeat it for you.

Apart from all of the above, it is also important that you remain calm, do not come across as rude or arrogant, do not interrupt the interviewers while they are speaking, listen to them carefully and let them finish.

It’s a good idea to be prepared with the answers to generic questions like “Why did you choose law?” or “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” or “What inspired you to build a career in the legal field?” or “What do you think sets you apart from the other candidates?” or “Why do you want to join Symbiosis?”, amongst others.

In case you come from a family where no one is affiliated with field of law, or from a family where most people are running a business, interviewers often ask why you decided to deviate and choose such a different field of education. When you’re asked a question, answer it to the point and in a precise manner. There’s no need to beat around the bush. Short and simple answers will suffice. The above pointers should help you breeze through your interview with ease.

A very frequently asked question pertains to the weightage given to the SET scores and the PI-WAT scores. They are both given equal importance.

50% of your SET score combined with 50% of your PI-WAT score will give you your final score. Essentially this means that for example, a student who has scored 111/150 in SET will be given preference over a student who has scored 102/150 in SET, assuming that they have scored the same marks in their PI-WAT.

In addition to everything that I have already mentioned, I would like to take a moment here to point out how important it is to have all your documents in place.

Before you go to the venue on the allotted date, make sure you check (and double check) that you have all the required documents. Keep a photocopy (or two) of all these documents handy in case they ask for it at the time of registration. This will save you a lot of running around, anxiety, and energy should you be faced with a situation such as this.

Remain calm and believe in yourself. That’s all it’ll take for you to get through this.

I hope you found this article helpful. I look forward to seeing a lot of you around in the corridors in a few months’ time! All the best!

Aindrani is currently in her second year in Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

28 Response Comments

  • Bishal RoyJune 3, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hey i have scored 73 in the SET exam and i am from the SC category. My PI WAT exam according to me just went fine. Can you please tell me what are my chances? And what us the probable no. of SC students that are called for PI WAT. Thankyou

    Reply
    • What's In A NameJune 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I think by this time you have got your answer! It’s impossible to get the exact number of students who were called for PI WAT!

      Reply
    • DeepthiMay 19, 2017 at 5:48 am

      What questions did they ask in your interview?

      Reply
      • Aindrani SarkerMay 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

        Following are the questions that I was asked-
        1. I used to play a lot of sports in school, so they asked me about that, after having taken a look at my merit certifates.
        2. I was also involved in social work in school, so they asked me details about that.
        3. I was a science student in 11th and 12th so they asked me why I didn’t pursue a career in the science field.
        4. I come from a family of non-lawyers so they asked me what made me choose law.
        5. They also asked me if any provision of the Constitution of India gave citizens the right to compensation in tortious cases.

        Reply
  • Bishal RoyJune 3, 2016 at 3:09 am

    And i forgot to mention that i applied only for SLS ,pune.

    Reply
  • Bamang pupuMay 19, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I got 74 in the set exam . And iam from the ST tribe . Will I get called for the PI ?

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Hopefully you would have gotten your answer by now. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Palak honraoMay 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I have scored 78 in the set exam but i have applied for media
    Do u think i will get a call for the PI and WAT??

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Hopefully you would have gotten your answer by now. Good luck!

      Reply
  • AnujMay 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    What all documents do I need to bring for the PI?

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 23, 2017 at 7:13 am

      Following are the documents you will need to carry with you. Please remember to carry at least one or two photocopies of each of them-
      1. SET Admit Card
      2. SET Score Sheet
      3. Class 10 Board Exam Admit card (Not sure about this, can’t recall very clearly)
      4. Class 10 Board Exam Mark Sheet
      5. Class 12 Board Exam Admit Card
      6. Class 12 Board Exam Mark Sheet (if the results have already been declared by then)
      7. Class 12 Pass Certicate from Board.
      8. Migration Certificate from school.
      9. Transfer Certificate from school, if any.
      10. School Photo Identity Card
      11. Merit Certificates from school.
      12. Certificates for your extra-curriculars from school.
      13. Curriculam Vitae.
      14. Sufficient number of copies of coloured passport sized photographs.

      Please do not treat this as an exhaustive list, as rules and procedures might have changed in the past 2 years. It would be best to contact the college and confirm for most accurate advice in case of any queries or doubts.

      Also, I repeat. Please DO NOT forget to carry photocopies of ALL the documents which you will be carrying. It will save you a lot of time, energy, hassle and stress on the dayof the PI-WAT.

      All the best!

      Reply
  • SurajMay 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Hey I got 73 marks and has been called for interview any chances for selection

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 26, 2017 at 6:40 am

      It all now depends on how well your PI-WAT process goes. Like I mentioned, SET and the PI-WAT are give 50-50 weightage. Hope for the best, good luck!

      Reply
  • Rachit RakeshMay 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Hey .. thank you very much for your valuable tips. I’ve been searching for such points for days after Set results.
    Actually I got 105 in Set . I’ve applied for Pune as well as noida. Got a invitation for PIWAT from both the centres. My question is, will there be a group discussion also??
    Secondly, what are the documents we need to bring with us?
    I’ll be very thankful if you reply .

    Reply
    • TanyaMay 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Hey, congratulations. I did give set last year for pine as well as noida, so I can assure you that no group discussion will take place. Just writing abilities test and a personal interview.

      Please remember to carry at least one or two photocopies of each of them-
      1. SET Admit Card
      2. SET Score Sheet
      3. Class 10 Board Exam Admit card (Not sure about this, can’t recall very clearly)
      4. Class 10 Board Exam Mark Sheet
      5. Class 12 Board Exam Admit Card
      6. Class 12 Board Exam Mark Sheet (if the results have already been declared by then)
      7. Class 12 Pass Certificate from Board.
      8. Migration Certificate from school.
      9. Transfer Certificate from school, if any.
      10. School Photo Identity Card
      11. Merit Certificates from school.
      12. Certificates for your extra-curriculars from school.
      13. Curriculam Vitae.
      14. Sufficient number of copies of coloured passport sized photographs.

      Please do not treat this as an exhaustive list, as rules and procedures might have changed in the past 2 years. It would be best to contact the college and confirm for most accurate advice in case of any queries or doubts.

      Also, I repeat. Please DO NOT forget to carry photocopies of ALL the documents which you will be carrying. It will save you a lot of time, energy, hassle and stress on the day of the PI-WAT.

      All the best!

      Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 26, 2017 at 6:45 am

      Hello!

      To answer your first question, no there will be no group discussion. PI-WAT stands for Personal Interview-Writing Ability Test. So as long as they say PI-WAT, there is no scope for a GD.

      As for your second question, I already responded to someone on this page and listed the documents. However, I’ll repost the list for your benefit.

      1. SET Admit Card
      2. SET Score Sheet
      3. Class 10 Board Exam Admit card (Not sure about this, can’t recall very clearly)
      4. Class 10 Board Exam Mark Sheet
      5. Class 12 Board Exam Admit Card
      6. Class 12 Board Exam Mark Sheet (if the results have already been declared by then)
      7. Class 12 Pass Certicate from Board.
      8. Migration Certificate from school.
      9. Transfer Certificate from school, if any.
      10. School Photo Identity Card
      11. Merit Certificates from school.
      12. Certificates for your extra-curriculars from school.
      13. Curriculam Vitae.
      14. Sufficient number of copies of coloured passport sized photographs.

      Please do not treat this as an exhaustive list, as rules and procedures might have changed in the past 2 years. It would be best to contact the college and confirm for most accurate advice in case of any queries or doubts.

      Also, I repeat. Please DO NOT forget to carry photocopies of ALL the documents which you will be carrying. It will save you a lot of time, energy, hassle and stress on the dayof the PI-WAT.

      All the best!

      Reply
  • ShraddhaMay 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    What were your WAT topics? Were they generic ones or were they related to Current happenings?

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 28, 2017 at 4:28 am

      Generic topics. The only 2 which I remember and have already listed in the article are-

      1. Is social media a boon or a bane?
      2. Should capital punishment be abolished?

      Reply
  • Rohan samarMay 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Expected topics for pi-wat 2017.

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 28, 2017 at 4:29 am

      Honestly, it’s very difficult to predict. It could be anything under the sun. But it will not be anything which is extremely to cope with on the spot. Don’t worry.

      Reply
  • ShyraMay 25, 2017 at 5:30 am

    I got an 87 in my set ,I’m from general category and the cut off for BBA LLB was 87 ,I got invitation for pi-wat and my question is how well do I have to perform in order to be selected since I’m a border line case ? I’m really nervous please help !!

    Reply
    • Aindrani SarkerMay 28, 2017 at 4:35 am

      It’s hard to put a number on it because really, all you have to do is be better than the others.
      Give it your all. Write the most kickass essay you have ever written and ace the interview. Just do the best you can, and then just wait and see what happens, I guess.

      Reply
  • Mitul soniMay 29, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I scored 78/150 nd got a call from SLS hydrarabad. Will I be able to crack symbiosis PI-WAT.

    Reply
    • Deepanshu PaulMay 31, 2017 at 6:24 am

      There are chances but the marks are less to get a call after PI-WAT process they may not call you. So, you can prepare well for next year.
      Best of luck

      Reply
  • Deepanshu PaulMay 29, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Hey i scored 100/150 in bba.llb and i had appeared for my PI-WAT is there any chances will i get admission in this law college ?

    Reply
  • Delma pereiraMay 31, 2017 at 8:15 am

    i have applied of three years law and i have been short listed for PI-WA in this case do i got anything to do with SET ..?

    Reply
  • SureshJuly 20, 2017 at 12:52 am

    There is no transperancy for the selection of students for ug cource in symbayogis law school. They are not publishing the names of candidates short listed or their marks .This creates doubt for their selection

    Reply
  • ChandanNovember 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I have completed my 12 in 2016 and 10th in 2013 the classes are 2 nd the diff of year is 3 .

    Can this prblm effect in PI

    Pls suggest smthng for it …..plssss

    Reply

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