Is survival at the Program tougher than the Admission into IIMs?

If you have managed admission in IIM-A, you have fared exceptionally in the CAT, probably scored over ninety-nine percentile if you belong to the general category.

The CAT is not a mean test to crack, as you have already realised. It is one of the toughest entrance tests you can take in India.   You have tenth / twelfth grade board scores that you are proud to carry all your life, or you would not be a student at IIM A

But let us say you have managed admission in any other IIM besides Ahmedabad, you may still be a person with top CAT scores, besides above-average academic performance. 

Only those who have the grit to go through the grind can hope to be selected for an IIM program. The selection process post the CAT is quite a rigor and those who fail to give satisfactory answers do not make it to the top IIMs. The interview questions are meant to eliminate weak-willed candidates. 

Life at IIM

How grilling can a two-year program be for someone with a proven academic track record? Life in a graduate school is not necessarily a walk in the park. You must be prepared to:

  • attend regular classes and guest lectures, and come with pre-class preparation 
  • score in quizzes and tests
  • submit assignments before the midnight deadline, almost one assignment a day
  • prepare for case studies 
  • organize and present cultural events
  • complete team activities
  • participate in group discussions 
  • engage in sports 
  • go through internships 
  • prepare for placements 

Is it all for real?

Do you think your plate is full or overflowing? Wait for it. The activities on a day-to-day basis seem feverishly crazy. But the grind prepares you for life in the corporate world.

Few students have dropped out midway or failed to complete the course. Most of them complete the program successfully. The seniors and professors are generally helpful and try to get you out of a mess if you were to find yourself in one. 

IIM-A has a mentorship program called “buddy” where the second years mentor the freshers, helping them through their academics and other areas. 

Alumni advice

Successful students of the top IIMs say that you need to come with a firm mindset. You do not get stressed by the activities, but ensure you are well-prepared for them. 

What could bother you?

Pre-reading for class: You are given course material and notes in advance, so read up the pre-class notes. 

Punctuality: Attendance is mandatory, and you cannot be late for any class. You must reach the classroom by 8:44 for a class that begins at 8:45. Never miss a quiz. IIM also grades you on the quiz performance. 

Assignment deadlines: Do not postpone the submission of any assignment. You will not have the time to take it up later. Other assignments will take up your time. 

Group activities: Stay connected with your study-group members. Ensure you are part of an intellectual peer group. Peers do not let you miss deadlines. 

Stay calm: You must eat on time and grab some sleep, besides working out regularly to stay healthy and alert for any class, quiz, or assignment.

The value of an IIM degree

Everyone knows what an IIM tag means. You are one of the chosen few to have this seat in a top IIM. This temple of learning prepares you for the rigors in life. You do not throw away a golden opportunity. Attend the program diligently and come out successfully. You will cherish this two-year-period for the rest of your life. 

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