Scored low in CAT; should you prepare for next year or take admission now?

The results for the CAT 2017 are out. And if you scored a low percentile in CAT 2017 then you have two options either to prepare for CAT 2018 or take admission now. It's a tough task choosing between the two. So, let's first compare the pros and cons of both the options available.

I have scored low in CAT
I have scored low in CAT

Almost every year there are students who couldn't score a good CAT percentile and are confused whether to take admission in B-School that year or appearing for the exam again the next year. A low percentile in the CAT does not mean that your chances of getting into a top dream B-School are over. You still have a pretty good chance at grabbing a seat in a good B-School in the country. Instead of straight away directing your efforts and energy at making preparation to appear in the CAT again the next year you should focus on exploring the B-School available to you with your present score.

All is not yet over

Also, you must keep in mind that B-Schools do not offer admission solely on the basis of CAT Score. There other parameters also such as your academic background, extracurricular, work experience etc that are taken into consideration. If your CAT score is good enough to get you a call letter from a good MBA institution than you must go for it. Chances are that if you perform well in your group discussion and personal interview round and have a great profile that you might be given preference over someone with a better CAT score than you. But, you will never know that until you try, won't you?

Can An Average Student Get Into IIMs

Shortlist the B-schools before they shortlist you!

However, if you feel that you won't get into a decent MBA institution with your CAT score then just don't lose heart yet. There are other management entrances like XAT, CMAT and others that can lead to admission to good colleges. Some of these entrance exams are held after CAT exam and with a little more effort and practice you could secure your chance at a good B-School by acing these entrances.

Let's have a look at some of the popular MBA entrance exams held after the CAT exam, maybe one of these could be your ticket to your dream B-school.

  • Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
  • AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA)
  • Maharashtra MAH MBA -CET
  • Punjab University Chandigarh MBA (Executive) Entrance Test
  • IITTM Gwalior MBA (Tourism)
  • CMAT

Why I did not get a call from IIM despite a CAT score of 99+ percentile

So what should be your next move now?

While you are preparing to appear for these entrance exams also make sure that you are ready to appear for GD-PI rounds shall you get a call from any institution that you might be eyeing at. Therefore your preparation for written test and GD-PI should happen simultaneously. While the preparation you did for CAT will come in handy while preparing for these exams also keep in mind to avoid making any mistakes that you did at the time of your CAT preparation. Most of the exams are easier to crack than CAT hence, you might not face much difficulties while preparing for them. But be mindful to plan your strategy in a way that you can manage your preparation for the written test (for the upcoming MBA entrance test) along with your GD-PI as some B-school may shortlist you despite your low score in CAT 2017.

Some handy tips!!

  • We will advise you not to touch a new topic for your written test. Instead, focus on those areas in which you are strong and confident that you have already aced in CAT preparation.
  • Secondly, an early preparation strategy may give you an upper hand over the other CAT aspirants who start their preparation after the admission process to this academic year ends.
  • Last but not the least; if you are still aiming for the IIMs and top 10 B-schools only then you should seriously start afresh for CAT 2018. But you need to tread cautiously, as this last option may cost you one year which you may have to justify before the interviewers.

We wish you all the best for your career! For more updates on CAT Exam, keep visiting MBA section of

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