How to look at CAT B-schools

The CAT is a good test of analytical and verbal abilities. It helps to identify those who have the capacity to solve problems to a certain extent. However, though useful, it has serious limitations. We know that creativity is a critical aspect of problem solving and that is not measured by CAT or even GMAT.

We also know that the capacity to think is not enough. We
know that the capacity to relate, as measured by empathy and sociability(or
Emotional Intelligence) is even more important. We also realize that the
capacity to act or execute seen the ways in which we manage our time and
resources, is critical.

In addition, aspects such as resilience, risk taking ability
and assertiveness are also important to succeed in the field of management.
Unfortunately, CAT is not designed to assess these critical attributes.

In my decades of experience in hiring and leading MBA’s from
all over the world, I have worked with many
people with very high scores on CAT
and GMAT(including a colleague with the perfect score of 800 on GMAT!). I
have also worked with others who could not score high marks on the tests-but
were exceptional in other respects and many of them outperformed and became
special leaders!!

So, for these who could not crack the CAT, I have the
following to say ” If you value your gifts of creativity, dealing with
people, execution etc. do not despair! Infact, if you leverage your strengths
well, there is no reason why you will not beat all those who have high scores
on CAT!!”.

There are three questions that I
would like you to ask yourself:

What do I deeply care for?

What do I love most about

How can I leverage what I love
most about myself to move towards what matters most to me?

These are tough questions that
requires one to learn more about one self.

Once you have gained these
insights, irrespective of your CAT scores, you will become a leader who makes
an impact!

It is for this reason that in SOIL, we use a powerful tool
called Caliper which assesses multiple intelligences and traits. It has tested
over 3 million leaders all over the world in the last 50 years. In India, we
have used caliper to test 15,000 leaders over the last 12 years. This gives
rich insights that can be used to develop their leadership potential. B-schools are now attempting to use tools such
as these in their admission process to understand their applicants better. It
is for this reason that SOIL is focusing on this comprehensive approach and is
recruiting those which 2-3 of experience, who can in a one year “intense”
Program, be developed as competent young leaders.500
alumni of SOIL working in top companies in India are successfully competing
with their counterparts who scored high on CAT and did 2 year MBA Programs. If the feedback of Industry is anything
to go by, they are doing very well!!

And the reason is because they
were educated to answer the three critical questions given above!!

Anil Sachdev

Founder, School of Inspired Leadership