A 100 percentile may not get you far – good Sectional cut-offs and varied background could

Are you sure you want a  100 percentile in CAT 2015? Because B-schools are not really pining for 100 percentilers anymore. In fact, to add to the constant non-engineer and more-women chant, the cry for a diverse background has gained ground in recent years.

Prof SSS Kumar from IIM-K, former CAT Convenor, says that the ideal candidate should have all-round knowledge. “Management graduates are expected to work in complex environments and make holistic decisions, which requires multi-dimensional thinking. This aspect can be gauged from a student’s achievements in different facets which go beyond what is reflected in grade cards. Hence a preference for all rounders,” he explained further.

Another former CAT Convenor, Prof Rohit Kapoor of IIM-I, expresses a similar sentiment.  According to him, the various stages of the admission process help MBA institutes get the right fit. “We look forward to candidates who can think fast under stress and with time pressure. ‎Starting from CAT, through the GD/PI, with sectional cut-offs, all the processes are designed to check these parameters.”

In all, it seems like going for decent Sectional Cut-offs is a better strategy than keeping all eggs in one basket. In fact, Sectional Cut-offs have come to assume far more importance now than earlier – by way of gaining admission in good B-schools.

Some B-schools say that the the attitude and approach of a student can also make a  difference.  Prof Abbasali Gabula Deputy Director, External Relations and Administration at SPJMR explains that it is not any one factor that does the job. “We admit students with the right attitude. CAT score, sectional cut offs and varied academic backgrounds are incidental.”

So, all you CAT aspirants studying hard for that perfect score, relax. Get a good hold over all the Sections and make sure you have a varied background to discuss when you land the interview. Don’t forget that in the last few years, many of the 100 percentilers did not get calls from the top  IIMs and some  top B-schools. Grade cards do not call the shots anymore.

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