The Common Admission Test (CAT) is the biggest management entrance exam in India. Over the years, it has become a favourite among professionals who wish to boost their careers with an MBA degree from a top B-School. Qualifying CAT with a good score certainly increases candidates' chances of admission in the top management colleges of India. However, not being able to crack CAT does not mean the end of the world. There are many other national-level entrance exams in India such as XAT, MAT, CMAT, SNAP or NMAT by GMAC that open the door to management education. In fact, many private institutes conduct their own tests to select students for their management courses. In addition, there are many state-level and university level MBA exams in India that can fulfill candidates' dreams of admission in a reputed management institute. In this article, we've elaborated on all the reasons candidates need in order to take CAT, and also why CAT is not the only option when it comes to MBA admissions.
Why is CAT Important for MBA Admissions?
National-Level Exam With Over 3000 Participating Institutes Across India
CAT is a national-level exam and the number of options in terms of colleges accepting its scores is endless. Some of the prestigious names include the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which conduct CAT on a rotational basis every year as per the policy, and other top-ranked management institutes such as Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) University of Delhi, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) University of Mumbai, Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur and Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad.
CAT Participating Colleges Offer Excellent Placement Opportunities
All the above-mentioned B-Schools not only offer an excellent range of postgraduate management programmes but they've also witnessed phenomenal placements year after year. If the figures of the session 2017-18 are anything to go by, some of the IIMs have recorded 100% placements, with salary package offers going up to Rs. 90 lakh per annum. Another advantage of studying at a top management institute is that it opens the door to bright internship opportunities, which are extremely promising for candidates in terms of receiving pre-placement offers (PPOs).
Most of the CAT Accepting Colleges are Brand Names in the Industry
Basically, most of these colleges have become a brand name in the business world where some of the most popular companies come and hire managers year after year. Once shortlisted for admission in an MBA college, candidates should, therefore, study hard to sharpen their managerial skills and gear up to climb up the corporate ladder post the completion of their programmes.
CAT is Designed to Assess Candidates Based on their Knowledge & Skills
Apart from being a passport for entry into these premier business schools, CAT is basically an entrance exam that evaluates candidates on my levels to see how well they can cope with the pressures of the corporate world. The computer-based exam is designed to shortlist highly qualified candidates on the basis of their knowledge and skills related to Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Sufficiency, Data Interpretation (DI), Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Analytical Reasoning.
CAT Not the Only Criterion for MBA Admissions
Importance of Further Selection Process
While all the above reasons may seem enough to take the next CAT exam, a good score will not be the only criterion to get admission into IIMs or other business schools in India. The candidates' profiles are closely assessed before selecting them for the management courses. During the selection rounds in MBA admissions, candidates' personal, academic and work experience are given equal importance. The Group Discussion or Personal Interview or the Written Ability Test (WAT) rounds, which are usually conducted post the entrance exams for qualified candidates, have enough weightage to make or break the deal.
Other Management Entrance Exams
There are so many other entrance exams conducted at the national-level, state-level as well as at the University level such as MAT, CMAT, ATMA, NMAT by GMAC, IPU CET, XAT or MAH CET that can be considered by those who do not crack CAT or those who wish to explore other options of pursuing management education. There are many private colleges in India that conduct their own tests to shortlist candidates for their management programmes.
Option to Improve Scores
As compared to CAT which is conducted just once a year, there are many entrance exams that are conducted multiple times in one year and give candidates an option to improve their scores without wasting a year. Some of these exams include MAT, ATMA, NMAT by GMAC, etc. CAT, on the contrary, is conducted only once and therefore candidates have to wait an entire year in order to have a second attempt.
CAT is certainly the biggest and the most important MBA entrance exam but this doesn't take away the fact it is not the only option to pursue management education in India. The choices are endless, and all that students need to do is just widen their horizons.