MBA entrance preparation does not stop at CAT
Every year more than 2 lakh students register for Common Admission Test (CAT), which is one of the most important management entrance exams in India. Cracking CAT and getting into a good business school is every aspirant dream. However, the sad reality is that not everyone does well in CAT.
But, should it be the end to your dream B-School? Should it be the end to pursue MBA from a top-notch college and bag a good job?
The answer is a big NO!
Often, a lot of aspirants think that CAT is the only exam that will help them get into a good business school. If they don’t perform well in CAT, they have lost their chance to get into a good business school and make a career for themselves.
However, there are a lot of more other National level top business schools that accept scores from non-CAT exams. Let’s analyse what they are and also the type of management entrance exams in India.
Type of management entrance exams
- Content focused
- Speed focused
- CAT – Common Admission Test
- XAT – Xavier Aptitude Test
- GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test
- IIFT – Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
These are the exams that focus more on the content i.e. their level of difficulty is a bit high as compared to the exams that test your speed with a basic level of difficulty.
The strategy for these exams is to have very high accuracy and maximising the number of attempts.
Pro tip: Solve at least the last 5 years questions papers of these exams, be familiar with the paper pattern and the types of questions asked. Solve the mocks and last year papers in form of a timer.
- Speed focused
- SNAP – Symbiosis International University
- NMAT – NMIMS Management Aptitude Test
- MICAT – MICA Admissions Test
- TISSNET – Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test
- MAH-CET – Maharashtra Common Entrance Test
- ATMA – AIMS Test for Management Admissions
- MAT – Management Aptitude Test
- CMAT – Common Management Admission Test
These are the exams that focus more on your speed as their level of difficulty is easy to moderate. In these exams, the number of questions is more and you need to solve them in less amount of time.
The strategy for these exams is to MOVE ON. Here, you cannot afford to waste time and get stuck on a single question. So, you need to move on and attempt the paper in such a manner that you can maximise the number of attempts with decent accuracy.
Pro tip: Use the round strategy wherein you solve questions which are easy and which can be solved in less than a minute in the first round. In the subsequent rounds, solve questions with increasing difficulty and which are time-consuming and so on.
Solve at least the last 5 years questions papers of these exams, be familiar with the paper pattern and the types of questions asked. Solve the mocks and last year papers in form of a timer.
Top 10 colleges accepting non-CAT scores
- ISB – The Indian School of Business
Exams accepted: GMAT and GRE
Campus: Hyderabad and Mohali
Average package: 25.71 LPA
- XLRI – Xavier Labour Relations Institute
Exams accepted: XAT and GMAT (for PGDM (GM))
Campus: Jamshedpur and Delhi
Average package: 24.31 LPA
- JBIMS – Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
Exams accepted: MAH-CET
Average package: 22.84 LPA
- IIFT – The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
Exams accepted: IIFT
Campus: Delhi and Kolkata
Average package: 20.48 LPA
- TISS – Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Exams accepted: TISSNET
Average package: 21.00 LPA
- SIBM – Symbiosis Institute of Business Management
Exams accepted: SNAP
Campus: Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad
Average package: 20.14 LPA
- NMIMS – Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies
Exams accepted: NMAT
Campus: Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad
Average package: 18.33 LPA
- MICA – Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad
Exams accepted: MICAT, CAT, XAT and GMAT
Average package: 13.9 LPA
- SCMHRD – Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development
Exams accepted: SNAP
Average package: 16.1 LPA
- IMT – Institute of Management Technology
Exams accepted: CAT, XAT and GMAT
Campus: Ghaziabad, Nagpur and Hyderabad
Average package: 13.6 LPA
What shall be done?
All these colleges mentioned above are top-notch colleges and some of them even better than a lot of IIMs. A lot of aspirants just stop preparing after CAT, thinking that as they have not done well in CAT, they won’t be able to crack other exams too. This is exactly your time to join the PARTY.
You can take advantage of this very situation and try to capitalize on the exams that will be coming after the CAT exam.
You will be having exams in the following manner post CAT exam:
- IIFT and MICAT-1
- NMAT (which can be given in slots of 5 windows)
- GMAT (which can be given any time of the year)
Some thumb rules to be kept in mind:
- Continue until the last exam
- If your preparation is well, you will surely get through at least one of the exams
- Never lose hope and keep trying, success is just a mile away
- Stay strong, eat healthily and follow the process
Once you are done with your CAT, keep these things in mind:
- Forget about how CAT went and start focusing on the upcoming exams.
- Stop asking your friends how their exam went and in turn, get demotivated.
- Just believe in yourself and the process you been following
- Give exam-specific mock tests. Try to give at least 5 mocks of every non-CAT exams
- Develop strategies for both content focused and speed focused exams
- Solve previous years exam papers of all the non-CAT exams
- Keep calm and believe in yourself, there’s always something for you just capitalize on it at the right time
- Your preparation should not stop after CAT, slog yourself till the last exam, surely the results will be in your way