"my cat score is 97.7. i am a fresher, 4th year engineering. my acads were ok but i dont know any more. 88.2 in 10th cbse, 87.4 in 12th cbse. 75 % in grad till 6th sem. in 10th my index is 12.71/20, in 12th my hsc index is 13.59/20.
total is 85.16.. there are many candidates like me. i have applied to fms in which i dont think i have chance now. i have also applied to iit d and b. and mdi , sp jain. right now i dont know whether they ll call me or not. i want to do mba this year because i dont have any idea what new criteria iim's will come up in subsequent years. i have 5 new iim's calls. but i dont think i will have a chance their too. which good bschools accepts male fresher engineer with open hands these days?"
If you could read the above mail, despite the grammatical errors and the excessive acronyms, the concerns of the writer are obvious. This candidate has applied to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kozhikode and on being rejected is questioning the admission criteria adopted by the b-school. When spoken to, the candidate lamented that if IIM-K was so interested in the past academic record of applicants, why ask for CAT scores at all.
The cluelessness seems widespread. Another appliant calculated that his total index score would be 100 (67.2 if he adds up his CAT index 50 (49.72), SSC index 20 (6.12), HSC index 20 (1.44) and Graduation index 10 (10.00). This applicant is also not among those who made it through the shortlist, as aren't many others who scored well in the CAT.
That IIM-K, like a few other IIMs and other top b-schools gives heavy weightage to past academics and extra-curricular activities is no secret.
Officials at IIM-K were honest with their take on the situation when PaGaLGuY spoke to them. Prof Rupesh Pati said that for its 384 seats, the school has received two lakh applications. "Of this we have called only 3,000 but this will further reduce in future stages." He added that the institute had been using the same admissions criteria since three years now and every year the same questions were getting asked. "Yes, the rejected candidate may be good but his performance is only relative. He may be good but there will be many who will be better. We cannot take everybody," he said.
Prof Pati's reply is clear in one of the letters sent by the school to a dejected candidate. The letter reads,
Kindly refer to the admission criteria for second stage. It gives a clear information of process followed. The HSC, SSC index are a relative score and not indicate that you are a poor candidate. It just indicates that there are relatively better candidates available to us based on our admission criteria. Wish you all the best. Regards, Admissions.
Another senior official from IIM-K told PaGaLGuY that all the IIMs were using similar criteria for admission so why IIM-K was being singled out. This official added that one of the reasons for giving past academics importance was that women candidates tended to score higher on that front. "Women in general are consistent workers and students. They tend to do well right through school and college. However because the CAT is a quant heavy test, women don't score very high marks in it. So this method of admission helps us get the consistent scorers and not just those who do well only in the CAT."
That IIM-K wants to increase the number of women in its batches is a known fact. The school had welcomed 100 women in its 2010-2012 batch which was 30% of the total student strength. In an earlier interview, IIM-K director Debashis Chatterjee had said that efforts will be taken to admit more women and make the classroom more diverse.