Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is the dream destination for MBA aspirants. The selection process for an IIM is an extremely rigorous process, which requires a lot of preparation. All of the IIMs follow 2 stages of selection process- written test (CAT) and GWPI (group discussion/written ability test/personal interview). Selection of the candidates depends on various factors such as written exam, academic background, work experience, reservation category, gender etc.
1st Stage: Qualify The CAT Exam: The first step to secure admission in an IIM is qualifying the Common Admission Test (CAT). CAT is a highly competitive exam that is taken by more than 2 lakh candidates. It is a computer based test held in India to facilitate the admission process to the Master of Business Administration Programme (MBA) in top business schools of India. This exam is conducted to analyze the skills of the students in areas such as English, Mathematics and Logical Reasoning.
CAT consists of questions from Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. To crack the CAT exam, you first need to analyze your strength and weaknesses and then start to work upon them. Verbal ability is the most significant part of CAT exam. The best way to prepare for this section is by reading books, magazines, blog, posts, novels etc. Divide your time during exam such that you would have the chance to read and answer as many questions as possible.
To get a call from IIM Ahmedabad or Calcutta, you have to score above 99 percentile in the CAT exam. The criteria for getting a call from IIM varies year per year, but the cut-off percentile always remains high. IIM Bangalore doesn’t have strict criteria for percentile cut-off. They generally consider your academic weightage and work experience.
2nd Stage: Interview/GD: Interviews at the IIMs are generally taken by IIM officials. The officials can be faculty, ex-faculty and sometimes even alumni. At IIM-A, the interviews are opposite to what people believe. The interviews are generally open ended and everything that interviewer asks you, is related to you or something you talk about. If you are experienced then it’ll work in your favor, but it can be against you if you are not prepared.
For a Group Discussion (GD) round, be prepared for both sides of the debate. What will happen if everyone has taken up one side of the argument; in such a case you will not be able to make your stance clear. Even if not, taking up an opposite stand will help you stand out a little from the mass.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you are experienced or not. Make interviewers believe that you are a good candidate and nothing can stop you. The most important thing you should know is that they are looking for a reason not to fail you, but select you.