CAT 2018 was conducted successfully on November 25 and the wait is on for the result to be out. IIM aspirants have to ace the last hurdle of the selection process after CAT 2018 Result declaration and be offered that coveted seat in one of the IIMs. Normally, the selection process at the IIMs consists of a Group Discussion or Written Ability Test and Personal Interview, the candidates for which are shortlisted on the basis of their score in CAT.
As per trends, in the IIM Selection Process, the candidate’s academic background, relevant work experience, communication and presentation skills are taken into consideration. There have been shocking instances of top percentile scorers being denied admission by the IIMs for not qualifying the said parameters.
A high CAT score can definitely help one GD/WAT and PI rounds of IIM Selection Process but that does not guarantee a seat at any of the institutions. So, along with the wait for result announcement, now is the time to focus on the next major steps for selection into the IIMs.
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In the Group Discussion (GD) round, candidates are assessed based on their interaction in a group, their leadership qualities, communication skills, and problem-solving capabilities. In some institutes, a GD is replaced by a Written Ability Test (WAT) in which, candidates are adjudged on their critical thinking ability, writing skills and the ability to formulate a response on the given topic in a structured, precise and coherent manner within the given time-frame.
The Personal Interview (PI) round is usually the final step in the IIM Selection process in which the candidate appears in face-to-face interaction with an admission official or a panel of officials. The idea behind this round is getting to know the candidates in-depth – the personality, the aspirations, and the motivators. Assessment is based on confidence level, expressiveness, communication skills, body language etc.
Tips from toppers in preparation of the IIM selection process can be summarized in a sentence: ‘Practice, practice, and more practice.’
The Alumni Secretary of IIM-C Student Council, Abhilash Bhatia is of the opinion that being able to access insights from someone who has been through the IIM Selection Process helped him to strategize his own prep for GD/PI. Additionally, regular participation in Mock GD/PI has also helped in his preparation.
Parita Shah (IIM-C) started her GD/PI prep along with her CAT prep. She was particular about reading the editorial section of newspapers to form opinions on current affairs. She too vouches for mocks as well as informal discussions on current affair topics with her peer group.
Anusha, Vice President – Public Relations at IIMC, learned the art of public speaking by speaking at various events thus gaining invaluable experience and confidence in making her point in public. She made it a point to stay updated with developments around the world by reading the newspapers regularly.
Aaditya Ranade is the Sports Secretary of IIMC Student Council has a very interesting tip for aspirants. He says that it is very important to introspect and be clear about one’s aspirations and motivations as well as develop one’s own clear perspective towards as a whole, as in most cases, the IIMs, more than considering the technical skills of candidates, would actually evaluate the overall personality of the candidate.
Gowtam Marada, a Student Council Representative at the IIMC, focused on developing his critical thinking by reading and analyzing important news stories. Moreover, he also practiced writing essays and appeared for mocks on a regular basis
Selection Criteria for IIM Admissions
Finally, let us take a look at the current year’s selection criteria as announced by the top IIMs. Of the 20 IIMs in the country, most conduct WAT instead of GD.
The weightage of academic background and work experience varies every year from IIM to IIM. Also, the newer IIMs have a common WAT-PI process while the older ones conduct their own Selection Process.
|Name of IIM||CAT Cut-off Score||Parameters for GD-WAT-PI shortlist||Parameters for Final admission offer|
|Ahmedabad||80||Composite Score = Normalized overall score in CAT 2018: 70% + Normalized Application Rating score (academic grades): 30%||Normalized PI Score: 50% + Normalized WAT Score: 10% + Composite Score: 40%|
|Bangalore||90||Composite Score = CAT: 40, 10th: 20, 12th: 10, UG: 20, Gender Diversity: 2, Work Experience: 8||WAT: 10, PI: 30, CAT Score: 25, 10th: 10, 12th: 5, UG: 10, Work Experience: 10.|
|Calcutta||90||Composite Score = CAT Score: 28%, 10th & 12th: 10% each and Gender Diversity: 2%||CAT Score: 15%, PI: 24%, WAT: 5%, Work Experience: 4%. 2% awarded for Academic Diversity at Bachelor?s degree level.|
|Lucknow||90||Composite Score = CAT scaled score (overall and sectional): 60%, 12th & UG: 10% each, Work Experience: 10%, Diversity Factor: 5% each for Academic and Gender Diversity||CAT Score: 30%, WAT: 10%, PI: 40%, 12th & UG: 5% each, Diversity Factor: 5%, Work Experience: 5%|