DoMS, IIT Madras gives weightage to written component for the first time, while CAT doubles the applicant pool

The DoMS building at IIT Madras

The switch from the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET) to The Common Admission Test (CAT) netted the management wing of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, double the number of applicants. And to streamline this number and secure the best of the lot, the Department of Management Studies (DoMS) at IIT Madras, for the first time, rated students for the writing test.

According to G Srinivasan, Head of DoMS, at IIT Madras, while every year, it receives some 2,000 odd applications, this year the figure shot up to over 3,600. Naturally, we also called in at least 10% more applicants for the interviews, he said. Prof Srinivasan added however that there was no change in the admission criteria because of the large applicant pool. “No extra marks for women candidates or non-engineers or any other change of strategy. Last year we had some 35-40% women by default.

A deer in the IIT Madras complex

The only change was the written essay (part of the GT process at IIT Madras) which was given weightage for the first time. Explaining, Prof Thenmozhi M, who was in charge of admissions this year told PaGaLGuY that while the written test is not new, this year it was given weightage to help the institute make a more informed choice. Post the GT, we ask candidates to write a spontaneous essay on what was discussed at the GT. The writing tell us a lot about the candidates grasping and understanding power. This essay also helps us check his/her written and communication skills. It might be surprising to know that sometimes even after participating in the discussion, the applicant does not know what the discussion was about. We also check for leadership and team qualities with this exercise.

This year, the newer Indian Institutes of Management, also gave importance to the written component, having done away with the GD. The understanding being that good written and communication skills are a must to become an effective manager in India or on the global stage.

Prof Thenmozhi added that though students have been selected on the basis of CAT, a good CAT score alone was not their criteria for choosing candidates. The applicant can have a 99.99 percentile but if he or she does not have an overall personality and good past academic performance in the earlier years, he/she has most probably not got a call from us, she said adding that work-ex for a year or two also holds good.

The above has more or less been the criteria for selection of candidates for DoMs, IIT Madras this year – the process having completed only four days ago. IIT Madras is among the few IITs that aggressively markets its management school across the country and also travels extensively to conduct interviews. “Chennai is well-connected by air but travelling by train from the northern parts of India can be a problem. Also for some reason, we are viewed as having more South Indian students than others. May be thats because most IITs are centred towards the north of the country. For the record, we have as many South Indian students as we have from other parts of the country,” said Prof Thenmozhi.

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