Every year, lakhs of MBA aspirants work towards their goal of cracking CAT and possibly getting placed in any one of the leading business schools in the country, the IIMs being at the top. Considered to be one of the toughest exams, clearing CAT is the first step in the process of getting oneself into an IIM. However, after rigorous scrutiny, only a few thousands get placed at the 20 IIMs in the country, and just a handful are conferred with a gold medal for their outstanding performance.
Admissions into one of the IIMs is an achievement by itself. IIMs screen aspirants for the following admission process called the GD/ PI/ WAT round based on the CAT score. The culminate profile of an aspirant – composite CAT score, past academic performance, work experience, and performance in the GD/ PI/ WAT round is considered confirmation into an IIM.
MBA at the IIMs
Once at an IIM, an individual must strive in every possible manner to excel at the task at hand. The two-year program at the IIMs is packed with challenging course and a never-ending list of extra-curricular activities. And what’s more! One must excel in every possible opportunity thrown at them. There is no mediocre way out.
At the IIMs, one will be surrounded by peers, unique in their way and professors who will guide and reason throughout the journey. However, it is not just the academics that account for an excellent grade, but one must also contribute through a club or committee, participate in case competitions, perform at cultural events and venture into the several quizzes and debates. None of these opportunities can be shunted out.
At most of the IIMs, the Normal Curve is followed for grading. For every quiz, every mid-term, every end-term exam and class participation score, one needs to be at the pinnacle, among the 1% that comprises of the best. Participation in a regular class accounts for the class participation score, which finally adds up to the final grade. Being actively involved in the class, raising questions, answering questions and initiating discussions play a very integral part in the score.
This requires a lot of dedication, discipline and hard work. From project works, quizzes, contest, extra-curricular activities to placements, there will be many colleagues and seniors helping each other while competing to get the best of grades. In addition, every student is graded on a standard curve against peers in the class. Among all of this, there is a fair share of collaboration and competition in the two-year journey.
Working towards a gold medal
Getting admitted into the IIMs is an accomplishment worth being proud of. However, once there, one requires a solid strategy to compete with the best.
A few pointers that can be kept in mind:
- Being a few steps ahead: Try and get the ppt and material from the previous year and self-study. Work everything beforehand. Attend every lecture, but keep the classes for revision purpose only. Waiting for the lessons to happen first, returning to the hostel, and revising after a few days will only help in losing the race.
- Group study: Along with the right strategy in academics and tasks at hand, it is essential to team with the similar minds of the hard-working lot. Achievements in academics and extra-curricular activities depend a lot on the type of groups chosen. Also, besides individual study, group study and revision plans work a long way in accomplishing your goal.
- Avoid outdated material: While referring to study material or extra-reading material, one must be careful not to read the obsolete matter. Regularly read the matter from the PPTs and handouts, instead of confusing oneself with reading matter from different books.
- Not Intelligence alone: While at the IIM, one must remember that grade points matter the most. For a suitable placement, a good grade is an essential factor. It is not enough to be intelligent alone, but delivery and performance matter in the race ahead. Research, plan and execute, but keep the time factor in mind. Performance in both the years sums up the final grade and the placement.
Whether enrolled at an IIM or aspiring to be in any top business schools, working on a strategy with some of the pointers mentioned may help a long way to achieve one’s goal.
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