CAT or Common Admission Test is one of the most difficult exams that candidates appear for when they are looking to enter one of the 20 highly esteemed management institutes of India. To enter an IIM Is not impossible, there are always many students getting through it. The right strategy and the amount of preparation is what is required. In short IIM entrance exam helps you apply management concepts even before you get into management.
The exam is conducted in two phases and the first phase involves the mother of all management exams and that is CAT. The higher the CAT scores the better the chances of getting shortlisted for an interview. Your prior academic record is also important when it comes to the process of shortlisting the candidates for an interview at one of the lIMs. 70% weightage is given to the CAT score and rest 30% depend on your academic achievements.
Here is a table through which you can identify the rating process of your application:
Rating card on the basis of overall selection criteria
Percentile for lIMs
CAT is an exam where students score an enviable 100 percentile as well. It is not essential to get a 100% but then 99 percentile is the score that is the minimum qualifying criteria if you want to get into an IIM.
It is the numbers that play an important role and the language turns out to be the weakness. The pattern of the paper keeps changing every year and this keeps the exam a challenging one. There is an emphasis on quantitative ability and data interpretation and verbal ability and logical reasoning. Time management and accuracy becomes the key to score as high as possible in the exam.
The criterion of getting into each lIM is different. At IIM Ahmedabad there is 70% weightage given to CAT scores and that should be more than 99 percentile. IIM Bangalore gives almost equal importance to CAT score, 1oth board, 12tI board and your bachelor’s degree for IIM Calcutta. It is a 35% weightage for CAT score and rest is balanced by personal interview, writing ability test, and academic diversity factor for bachelor’s degree, academic diversity factor for professional qualification and the list of work experiences.
IIM Lucknow has minimum cut-off percentiles set up in between 90 and 85 for general category when it comes to PGP and PGP-ABM courses. The other factors like narks of class X and class XIl also are regarded along with your 8raduation marks and the diversity factor. Here women are given extra points. IIM Rohtak asks for a percentile i.e. 85 for the general category. CAT scores are given 50% weightage and the rest is adjusted with the prior academic records and experience. IIM Indore seeks for 90 percentile as the CAT score and includes the other scores from previous national level exams mandatory for everyone i.e. Xth class, XIIth class and graduation.
The new IIMs are no less when it comes to quality. At IIM Kozhikode, the CAT cut-off percentile stands at 90 whereas it gives sectional percentile 80. Even to get Into IIM Shillong, one needs to have a percentile of 90 and nothing less than that works. IIM Ranchi gives a little room when it comes to sectional by keeping the cut-off of 7o percentile but then CAT scores are to be 90 percentile and above. For IIM Raipur the overall CAT percentile is 9o and in case of Udaipur also it stands as high as 90. IIM Kashipur and IIM Trichy also do not compromise and settle down for less. They also require a cut-off of percentile 90.
Tips to get into an IIM
The percentile that you get in the CAT exam should be more than 90 as can be clearly inferred from above mentioned scenario. The way to achieve this is through constant preparation and undeterred dedication. There are certain points that you can follow and achieve the best you can:
1. Schedule your CAT date as per your convenience
You should decide on the date as per your availability and the ability to move in case the center is in a different city
2. Plan ahead and leave enough time for revision
A thorough planning is what is required when you want to achieve 99 percentile and above and IIM is your dream
3. Sit for mock CAT
A very important and helpful part of the preparation for any exam is the mock exam. Even for CAT you should go for mock exams and that too as many as you can
4. Focus on strengths
It is important to keep building on your strengths. Even if you are strong at something, regular polishing and improvisation is required.
5. Try to work on weaknesses
Do not forget about the areas that are your weak point. it is a possibility that you do not want to spend too much time or that you start spending too much of your time on it but then it is important to maintain a balance.
6. Stay Focused
Do not lose your focus. If you have decided that it is CAT that you want to crack, just forget about all other exams. Keep preparing for CAT and you are sure to get through one of the IIMs.