How to get into an IIM?
Indian Institute of Management(s) (IIMs) are the prime institutes of management education and research in India. They primarily offer programs in postgraduation, doctoral and executive education. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, initiated the establishment of the IIMs on the recommendation of the Planning Commission.
There is a total of 20 IIMs spread across the span of the country. Most of the IIMs offer a two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) and also the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM).
Excellent pedagogy, industry exposure, and impressive placement records make the IIMs one of the most sought after business schools in India. Thus, it is not a surprise that every year lakhs of students apply for admission to the IIMs for the few thousand seats available. As a result, the selection criteria at the IIMs is very strictly implemented to ensure that only the most deserving candidates are selected.
But the question is, what does it take to get into one of the best IIMs in the country? Here is the simplified explanation about the above question and the requirements and qualifications required to get into an IIM.
IIMs Admission procedure
The admission into an IIM can be divided into three steps as follows:
- The first step is to clear the Common Aptitude Exam or CAT Exam: This exam is conducted by the IIMs as a prerequisite for the admission to their business programs. The fact is that CAT exam is not only limited to the admission into IIMs, but it is also a prerequisite for other management institutions as well like S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), International Management Institute (IMI), etc.
CAT is a highly competitive exam which is attempted by lakhs of candidates competing for admission to the PGDM and PGP programs. If all the courses are taken into account, then there is a total of 12,411 seats in all IIMs.
CAT exam is based on the concepts of Math and English of secondary and higher secondary school level. The logical reasoning section in the exam is very generic and is based on a wide range of question-based on the seating arrangement, direction sense test, etc.
In the verbal ability and reading comprehension, passages are given, followed by some questions. Apart from that, a few grammar-based questions like sentence completion, jumbled sentences, etc. are asked.
Practising the concepts daily and involving the application of these concepts into your learning can help you prepare better for the CAT exam. To prepare for the exam, you must invest in good study material from a reputed institute or even join an institute for preparation. You can also choose online courses or part-time courses if you want to prepare for the exam along with working regularly.
You must work smart while you are preparing for your exam. You need to focus on mastering a selected topic first, that hold high weightage in CAT exam. The topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Numbers for Quant, and Reading comprehension require you to dirty your hands with practice so that you can prepare a major chunk of the exam well.
Another thing while preparing for the CAT exam is to practice mock tests daily. You must test yourself after you are done with one topic and also take tests to practice the concepts that you prepared last week so that you do not lose the practice of those concepts.
- Written ability test and personal interviews: Once you have cleared the required cutoffs for the CAT exam, the IIMs call for a Written Test or a Group discussion followed by personal interviews. Personal interviews are generally conducted by the IIM faculty that includes the ex-faculty, or even an alumnus at times. Personal interviews are meant to check the soft skills and interpersonal skills. The questions asked in the personal interviews can be pertaining to your academics or your personal life. Along with the Personal interviews, the IIMs also conduct a written ability test to check your writing ability and comprehension of the given topic. Group discussions have become obsolete except at IIM Shillong that conducts group discussion in the second stage of selection.
- Final Selection in an IIM: The defined parameters for the final selection are different for different IIMs. Different scores are assigned based on your composite CAT score, past academic performance and the work experience and performance in WAT or the PI. Based on these scores, the final selections take place in the IIMs. You can check the scores based on parameters on the official sites of the IIMs. Apart from that, you can also get your IIM to shortlist ready by calculating the approximate total score based on the CAT percentile, Written Ability Test/Group Discussion, and the personal interview round using the IIM profiler.
Now that you know the process of getting into one of the prime institutes of management and research in the country, you can start preparing for yourself if you want to pursue a degree in management from the elite institutions. You can also check out the official websites of the IIMs to know more.
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