Can an Average Student make it to IIM-A?

Is getting into IIM Ahmedabad a distant dream for an average student?

One can define the word ‘average’ in a million different ways, but the context seems to suggest here that an average person is someone who has not fared very well in academics.

Every Indian who pursues graduation in Management aspires to join IIM Ahmedabad. This is a given. Many of them may make serious efforts, and those who are keen on making it to IIM-A would know their chances of a seat there, at least to some extent.

IIMs, like other educational institutions, relax the criteria by a few points for those candidates who come under the ‘reservation’ category. We only look at the selection criteria for candidates in the general category here.  

What is the selection process at IIM-A?

IIM-A shortlists candidates for the AWA/PI (Analytical Writing Test and Personal Interview) based on their CAT performance and the candidate’s academic performance in the tenth and twelfth boards, under graduation, and work experience.  

The first milestone is the CAT score.

A candidate must have a minimum cut-off in each of the three sections – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Ability, and Quantitative Ability, besides the final overall CAT percentile

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension <=70
Data Interpretation and Logical Ability <=70
Quantitative Ability <=70
Overall CAT percentile <=80

IIM-A prefers candidates with good academic background over those with lesser marks in their 10th/12th/ under graduation. They also score the marks obtained differently for the various streams. 

IIM-A ensures they have a balanced mix of students from different streams in their student profile. They invite high performers from each of the streams for the first round of AWT/PI to maintain this balance. 

What are the criteria required for admission into IIM-A?

‘Application Rating’ (AR) of the candidate is generated for gauging the selection. The AR is the sum of the rating scores of A, B, C, and D (Refer to the criteria mentioned below). 

Finally, they calculate the Composite Score (CS) based on how they scored in the following parameters:

  • Tenth standard marks (A)
  • Twelfth standard marks (B)
  • Undergrad marks (C)
  • Work experience (D)
  • CAT score
  • AWT / PI scores 

Please check the details of marks accepted for the boards and under graduation, and work experience here:

https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgp/apply/domestic/admission/selection-process

IIM-A tabulates the composite score of the above, including the CAT, WAT/PI scores for shortlisting a candidate for selection. 

All IIMs process candidates’ selections individually. But the Analytical Writing Test (AWT) written test is conducted just once, and all IIMs share the score. Personal interviews are conducted independently by each of the IIMs. 

From the history of IIM-A final selection, we observe that:

  • Over ninety percent of them have scored more than 90% in their tenth boards. 
  • Many of the selected candidates have scored more than 90% marks in both the tenth and twelfth boards.
  • More than fifty percent of them have scored more than 80% in their undergraduate degree.
  • Those with low under graduation scores have also made it to IIM-A, provided they had fared well in the CAT and had great10th/12th marks. 
  • None of them have scored less than 70% in the tenth boards or less than 60% in the twelfth boards. 

The final word

Good performance in the CAT might enable a person’s admission into some of the IIMs. A person may have above average intelligence, but only those who have obtained high scores in their school boards can hope for the much-coveted IIM Ahmedabad seat. 

Stay connected with fellow students on PaGaLGuY for CAT Exam 2020 Discussion

1 comment
  1. @aiinkya.ak
    I have 90% in SSC and 69% in HSC , do i stand a chance in any IIM ?
    last month

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