The notification issued by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) about the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), a few days ago has caught MBA aspirants, b-schools and coaching institutes off-guard. While schools say that they have received no intimation about the new exam, likely candidates are clueless on whether they should register for it considering that they don't know which b-schools are accepting CMAT scores.
They seem the most confused of the lot - whether to take the exam at all and if yes, what to study. Lack of information on which b-schools are going to accept CMAT scores has made life stressful. We, as MBA aspirants, have too many entrance tests. This exam will only add to my list said Shalaka Raje. Similar is the case with Tanmay Bhedkankar who appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT) this year. He said, Unless AICTE reveals the names of the institutes which will accept CMAT scores, I will not know whether to take the exam. I am waiting for the list."
We should be informed about CMAT-accepting institutes well in advance. Students prepare for an exam only after knowing which institutes are taking its scores. This is just no way to go about conducting national level exams, said Siddhi Bohra. Students feel that the present ambiguity about the exam will force lower number of participants. Explains Harsh Shah: I doubt that there will be many CMAT test-takers. No information will generate little interest in management aspirants."
B-schools are as clueless as none have received any communication from AICTE on the matter. Father E. Abraham, Director, XLRI said, There is no way that our institute will make CMAT test score applicable in our admission policy for the next academic year. We are absolutely certain on this matter because according to the Supreme Court (SC) interim order, this test is not part of those permitted for admissions across all b-schools. At XLRI, we have already shut the admissions policy for the next year."
A similar view was echoed by Dr H Chaturvedi, Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH). He said, We are against the introduction of CMAT and its incorporation in our admissions policy. According to the order of SC, AICTE was allowed to start an additional management test, but in the notification it is said that AICTE will allocate meritorious students from CMAT test to AICTE approved b-schools. It is absurd as AICTE cannot impose CMAT on institution. He further said that until the final verdict is out from SC, BIMTECH will not consider CMAT scores in their admission policy.
An official from S P Jain Institute of Management said that CMAT scores will not accepted. "We have always made it clear in our admission policy that CAT, Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores will be applicable. Besides, our admission policy for the next academic year is already out." There are some b-schools which are still awaiting communication from AICTE to make changes. We are yet to receive any formal communication from AICTE. We read the notification published in the newspaper, however there is no decision taken on the issue since dialogue with AICTE is yet to begin, said Dr A M Sherry, Chairperson, Joint Admission Committee, Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad.
The only management institute that seems to be slightly welcoming of CMAT is Jaipuria Institute of Management in New Delhi, though the number of seats to be kept vacant for the same is yet to be decided. We accept scores of different tests and are not bound by any one single entrance test. We are yet to understand the criteria of AICTEs CMAT registration of institutes and work out a plan for the same," said Dr J D Singh, Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management.
Career Launcher, T.I.M.E and IMS told PaGaLGuY that their coaching product CMAT is in the pipeline and they are waiting for more information. It will be more of a dry-run for many test takers and coaching institutes like ours since it is the launch of the test. We will offer full-fledged CMAT coaching. said Tony Xavier, Head of Academics, IMS. He further added: Mock test experience of CMAT should help make students comfortable with one more online management exams." Neelabh Verma, Centre Manager, IMS, said, "Coaching for CMAT in IMS will include test preparation materials, 24 sessions of class learning and mock test sessions."
Other coaching institutes informed that queries are pouring in from students and they are expecting the numbers to soar high as the exam dates come closer. Currently, IMS has started conducting workshops and test series and in days to come, will be providing mock tests too. A similar method is adopted by Career Launchers.
When asked to clarify all these issues, Dr S S Mantha, Chairman, said that he and his team is in the process of asking institutes to include CMAT test score, but it will take few more days to have a final call on the matter. "The list of institutes will soon be made public," he said.
Incidentally, registrations for CMAT begin on December 9.