Options other than CAT for studying in Top Management Colleges

by Harsh Vardhan Posted on

What, if not CAT? Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is said to be a hard to crack competitive exam as it witness thousands of hopeful aspirants running the race to reach 99 percentile to enter the gates of IIM’s. Nearly 2,00,000 aspirants fight for around 4000 seats in 19 IIM’s, which gives us the ratio of around 1:50, making CAT one of the toughest exam in the country.  Despite of shocking and unimaginable figures, it is far from being considered as end of the world phenomena.

For aspirants who live in the bubble crafted by society of how CAT and IIM’s is the perfect life builder and that there is no future beyond this, everything is a lie. Our country has some renowned management schools that suffice in providing same level of knowledge and experience to its students and various different competitive exams that gives an aspirant a path towards their dream.

MAT- it is not hard to get a second chance, MAT provides with four

All India Management Association (AIMA) holds Management Aptitude Test (MAT) four times in a year. The test is conducted generally on first Sunday of February, May, September and December. The test has no age limit and does not require any job experience.  Exam pattern for MAT is as follows:

  • MAT is an objective type test which consists of 200 MCQs. 40 questions from each- Data Analysis & Sufficiency, Language Comprehension, Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Mathematical Skills and Indian & Global Environment.
  • Exam Duration and Timing: MAT will be of 2 hours and 30 minutes in duration. Paper based test will be held from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. whereas online mode of exam will take place in multiple shifts.
  • Marking Scheme: Each question carries 1 mark. On marking wrong answer, ¼ marks would be deducted as a penalty.
  • There is no section-time limit and thus, you can move back and forth between sections.

The expected MAT cut off for top B school is 95% percentile and the entrance exam can be attempted in either offline or online mode. Fee for the exam can be paid through online transaction using debit/credit card or through demand draft of Rs.1400. MAT weaves the path in top B schools for MBA/PGDM courses

IIFT- a college with 100% placement record in 2016

IIFT is sorted as one of the Top management schools in the country with campus located in Delhi and Kolkata. IIFT conducts its own entrance exam and releases its cut off. IIFT is most sought after option if one does not clear CAT.  The rat race is common for every management institute, to walk in gates of IIFT, an aspirant needs to crack its entrance test which is followed by Group Discussion (GD), Essay Writing and Personal Interview (PI). On the basis of candidate’s performance and IIFT Cut off, candidate is selected for the second step of the ladder that leads to IIFT campus.

IIFT cut off describes the minimum marks required by a candidate for the next round and is often released in month of January. The cut off varies Category wise, 2017 witnessed its IIFT cut off as: General category: 48.5/100

  • OBC: 43.5/100
  • SC: 38.5/100
  • ST: 27.17/100
  • PH: 28.85/100

IIFT has ranked 30 among management schools in India by National Institutional Ranking Framework, this year. It has kept its history of getting ranked amongst top B schools since few years now, last year, Business Today ranked it 11 in ‘India’s Best B-School.

There is no denying that one sure shot motive of aspiring for a B school is a dream job in a dream company. IIFT has been successfully giving wings to its students to fly towards their dream companies. Batch of year 2016 witnessed 100% placement from IIFT.

 NMAT- a ray of light towards Narsee Monjee

Since this year Narsee Monjee have shed its responsibility to conduct NMAT, thus from current year, NMAT will be conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The eligibility criteria of NMAT differs from that of others, a candidate must be below 25 years of age and should possess a full time Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks as aggregate. The 2 hour long exam will be conducted in online mode between October-December. It includes 3 sections, Language skills, quantitative skills and Logical skills. NMAT cut off generally ranges between 200-208. Candidates will be eligible to take admission to various NMAT Participating Institutes like Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Study (NMIMS), Amity, Thapar, BML Munjal, VIT, etc.

NMAT Selection Procedure will be based on mainly 3 steps viz. clearing the NMAT entrance examination, Case Discussion and Personal Interview. On the premise of academic performance, NMAT marks, work experience, Case Discussion and Personal Interview, the final merit list will be prepared. On the basis of the final merit list, candidates will be awarded one of the seats.

GMAC have also come up with 20 new exam centres including 4 international test centres (Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka) for increased access.

 XAT- An entry chance to XLRI

XLRI Jamshedpur serves as the conducting body for Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) for candidates aspiring for MBA courses. XAT 2018 is scheduled January. Nearly, 90,000 candidates appear for Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) each year and the selected students are granted admission to approximately 150 B-Schools.

  • XAT 2018 will be conducted over 50 cities in India and internationally in Kathmandu and Dubai.
  • Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree to appear for XAT. 
  • Candidates are selected on the basis of their performance in Written Test and Group Discussion/ Personal Interview.
  • It is an offline or Pen and Paper Based Test
  • XAT Question paper will be set in the English Language.
  • The paper of XAT is divided into 2 Parts (A & B), in total, there are 78 questions in Part A and 25 questions in Part B.
    • Part A contains 3 sections – Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision Making and Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation
    • Part B contains questions on General Knowledge and an Essay writing question.

Candidates who successfully clear the final cut off, will be given a seat as per merit. Last year, XAT 2017 Cut off for BM was 96, 92.55 for HR and 22 marks & above for GMP.

CMAT- an initiative by AICTE

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) conducts CMAT every year nearly in month of January for which a candidate must possess a full-time Bachelor’s degree with 50% marks as aggregate.

The registration process to the rat race will start in December at aicte-cmat.in. It is an objective type exam. Questions will be asked from Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, General Awareness and Logical Skills. As for marking scheme, each question carries 4 marks and 1 mark for every incorrect answer.

The result is expected to be announced a month later in February.

CMAT cut off generally ranges between 75-100 percentiles for top B-schools, candidates will be eligible to take admission to various CMAT Participating Institutes like BIT Mesra, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, JBIMS Mumbai, XISS Ranchi, etc.

The Selection to the dream college  will be based on mainly 3 steps viz. clearing the CMAT entrance examination, Group Discussion and Personal Interview. On the premise of academic performance, CMAT marks, work experience, Group Discussion and Personal Interview, the final merit list will be prepared. On the basis of the final merit list, candidates will be awarded one of the seats.

The world in not an end of one does not clear the expected cut off in CAT. As it is sad, if one door closes, other opens. CAT is surely not the last mile to cover, there are other competitive exams which can lead you the way to your dream colleges and then to your dream job at your dream pay.

Success does not lie within arms of CAT percentile, it lies within hard work of self.


Harsh Vardhan

Adventurer•Avid Traveller•Blogger• Foodie• Gadget Freak•Digital Marketing Consultant•Editor-in-chief @ mrsocialkeeda•Contact -harshktr@gmail.com or admin@mrsocialkeeda.com

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