Everyone loves a B-school tag and an MBA degree. But with a large number of tests available for getting into an MBA several students face the dilemma of which test to go in for. CAT, GMAT or GRE are among the main tests the scores of which are recognised by most of the reputed B-schools in India and abroad. But which one is a better choice, remains the key confusion.
Let’s talk about this particular situation through a hypothetical example. I
would like the readers to read these scenarios and draw their own
conclusions. Remember, this is not a comparison between Indian and
international business schools but one of clarity of mind and focus. It is
about overcoming your fears and dilemmas and making informed choices after weighing the pros and cons of each option.
Candidates A and B both study at the same engineering college. Both want an MBA. Towards the completion of his course, Candidate A starts his research on the Indian business schools. He wants to complete his education and then start working. Researching on the management schools and admissions, he gets totally perplexed at the sheer number of MBA entrances like the CAT, XAT, MAT, SNAP, CMAT etc. He is thinking about which exams to prepare for; there is no way he will be able to attempt each one. Pondering over his dilemma, he settles for the CAT as this exam score is accepted by more than a 100
Indian institutes. He also attempts to give entrances for particular
colleges like NMAT and IIFT. After his MBA studies at an average college, candidate A starts working, not entirely happy with his placement, especially after a premiere engineering degree. A few years later, he becomes clearer about getting into business strategy consulting and wanting to make wider networks and get practical exposure through experiential learning, he starts preparing for his GMAT aiming to get into an international programme.
Candidate B was clear about getting into Operations in the manufacturing industry right from the start of his Mechanical Engineering days. He sat for placements, got an entry into his industry of choice and earnestly started working his way up. Over the span of the next two years, he worked hard, was identified as fast track employee, given additional responsibilities and also joined his company’s CSR initiatives. At the end of the two years, while candidate A was just beginning his career, Candidate B was already at
an Assistant Management level. Now, Candidate B was ready to start preparing for his MBA, in order to catapult his career to a higher position with greater responsibilities in the Operations area. Preferring to get his MBA
from a top 20 world schools, the choice for him was between the GMAT and GRE. Realising that GMAT takers were more in number and the GMAT score was more popular with the MBA colleges; he took the exam after three months of preparation and got a stellar score. Having already built his profile over the span of his career, when he applied to colleges in the third year of his experience, he got an offer from two of his dream colleges in the US with a scholarship from one.
This decision of which exam to take is very difficult to make. With limited
time and immense competition, making an either/or/and choice is very
daunting. Here are a few pointers to nudge you to think and make the right decision for your career:
* How do you want your career to grow post MBA?
* What do you want from your education experience?
* Which are your dream colleges?
* What are your strengths and weaknesses?
List all your strengths, weaknesses and aspirations guys. This personal
notebook will become your very own crystal ball. You can look back, consult and take inspiration from it every time the going gets a little tough. Hang in there, and you will make it.
Each type of entrance test has its own parameters on which it assesses
candidates, so it is impossible to differentiate between them. However, a person who has appeared for the CAT and done reasonably well in it is well equipped to give any kind of entrance test.
Why only management, a student, who has actively participated in different competitions like the Olympiads at the school level will have the natural confidence and mental strength to face different competitions later, irrespective of which field he wants to be in.
The most sought after entrance tests are CAT and GMAT. However, many institutes have their own admission criteria but will gladly accept a CAT or a GMAT score. More and more business schools in India are now accepting the GMAT score with relevant work experience.
While most MBA aspirants have strong mathematical abilities, they face a challenge in cracking the verbal section. This is true for CAT and GMAT and the reason for the overall scores dropping.
If a person dedicates 3-4 months on an average of four hours of study every day, then s/he can easily crack whatever exam they are preparing for.
To improve vocabulary and general language skills, one can easily start
reading on varied topics suited to their interests and start writing as
well. This improves diction, language, vocabulary and expression.
After giving the GMAT, one has many options available across the globe. The
advantage of studying at a GMAT accepting school cannot be overemphasised-
the biggest one is the huge amount of self-development involved. One needs a
work experience to make it and in the process of garnering this work
experience, one collates immense industry knowledge and also clarity of
goals with respect to which function to pursue post MBA.