About 1.67 lakh students apply for about 3500 seats in IIMs and another 5000 seats in other business schools that accept IIM-CAT scores such as FMS and IITs. So the written test of IIM-CAT is used as a rejection process to reject out a huge number of low potential students. Student quality control is exercised at this stage by testing students’ potential, hence a sizeable number of candidates are denied to go through to the next round of Personality-based tests.

If you want to enter the IIMs and other good Business Schools in India, then the first and biggest hurdle for you is IIM-CAT. But even before you start dreaming and planning, let’s get well informed about whether we really need an MBA or not, and if an MBA, then which kind of an MBA will suit our needs.

Do you need an MBA – An Introduction

Before you embark on the road to an MBA, you need to be clear whether you really need an MBA and how it can possibly fit into your career and life.

The minimum qualification needed to do an MBA is a graduation in any discipline. It is still advised that picking up a work experience of 2 to 3 years after your graduation will help you benefit from an MBA program better.  Doing an MBA after picking up work experience will help you understand your MBA courses better and this will result in steeper growth in your career.

The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations management to develop your holistic business sense.

In terms of academics, an MBA can be of two types : General MBA, and Super Specialized MBA

General MBA programs teach you all management subjects the first year to develop a business foundation and in second year, you can take a few extra courses in one area to specialize in it.

Super Specialized MBA programs may similarly develop a business foundation in first year and later focus on a superspecialization( Example is Post Graduate Programme in Agribusiness Management /PGP-ABM offered by IIM-Ahmedabad ) or may compromise on business foundation courses and spend an inordinate focus on just the super specialization (Example Post Graduate Diploma in Manufacturing Management / PGDMM offered by NITIE-Mumbai) .

There is no fine dividing line between General MBA programs and Super Specialized MBA programs, except that after General MBA programs, you still have the freedom to change your domain during your career. So Super Specialized MBA programs are recommended only for those students who are passionate about a super specialized domain or for those whose academic background gives them an edge in a related domain, say a Post Graduate Diploma in Manufacturing Management (PGDMM) offered by National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE-Mumbai) is specifically for first class engineers.

Ideally, your personality and interests should match your career direction, but an MBA program has different types of courses, out of which one or more will definitely match your personality and interests. So if you do not know what career will suit you and you are not passionate about any career, then a general MBA fits you like a glove.

Exams for premier Indian Business Schools

The top 25 B-Schools either affiliate themselves with a common national level examination or take their own aptitude test to admit candidates in its courses.

The various common national level examinations to get into the best Indian B-Schools are :

    • IIM-CAT: The 19 IIMs and 150 more institutes.
    • XAT: XLRI Jamshedpur, XIM Bhubaneshwar, SPJain, GIM etc.
    • SNAP: Symbiosis University affiliated Institutes.
    • IBSAT: ICFAI Business Schools
    • IRMA: Institute of Rural Management, Anand
    • NMAT: Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
    • IIFT: Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi and Kolkata

The Selection Process:

The selection process has a huge vanilla component with some B.Schools having specific needs. The selection process broadly focuses on checking whether you can handle the rigor of an academically challenging MBA course and benefit from it.

The Selection Process has two stages:

  1. Aptitude Test (Written Test):The aptitude test or the written test is rejection process to weed out a huge amount of low potential students. Student quality control is imposed at this stage by testing their potential, hence a sizeable number of candidates are denied to go through to the next round. The test broadly focuses on testing Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability and Reasoning Ability. This questions are based on Reading and Comprehension, English Usage, Numerical Ability, Data Analysis, Data Sufficiency, Critical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, covert Psychological Aspects, General Knowledge and General Business Awareness. This test has multiple choice questions.

Students who clear the written aptitude test are permitted to move to the next stage of the process-the Personality tests.

  1. The Personality Tests:The personality tests are a selection process which focusses on identifying your positives. It usually has a group dynamics test such as a  Group Discussion (GD) or a Case Study initially and then a Personal Interview (PI), Presentations, Extempore etc.

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