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IIM cutoff this year: 57 and above

November 23, 2004

Get Ahead readers were treated to an hour-long chat conducted by Rakesh Arora and Munish Kumar of Top Careers And You.

TCY prepares candidates for leading competitive examinations like CAT, GRE, GMAT.

Candidates who had appeared for the recent Common Admission Test directed volley upon volley on how they had performed, the institutes they should apply to, and guidance in general post CAT.

A Production Engineer with an MBA from IIM-Calcutta, Munish is the Quantitative assessment expert at TCY.

Rakesh, an Industrial Engineer, has completed his Executive Management from IIM-Calcutta. He is head of content development at TCY.

This is a transcript of the chat:

CAT on!

lola : How many marks can an officer with two years of experience in a PSU count on in CAT?
RAKESH KUMAR : The initial shortlisting is done on the basis of your CAT score. They may give a lower cutoff for students with work experience.

sainath : What will be the likely cutoff for TAPMI?
RAKESH KUMAR : The TAPMI cutoff will be 47and above.

lola : How much time do you need, ideally, to bell the CAT?
RAKESH KUMAR : You need eight to 12 months to bell the CAT.

reena : What is the likely cutoff in Quant?
RAKESH KUMAR : The Quant cutoff is 16.

reena : How do you think students have fared this year? I felt it was very tough.
RAKESH KUMAR : The paper was easy, but the uncertainty made it tough initially.

lola : Was the Quant section really tough?
RAKESH KUMAR : The Quant section was average. The cutoff is 16.

ac : Was this year's exam more difficult than the previous years?
RAKESH KUMAR : No, the level of difficulty was almost the same. But the unanticipated sections/ structure took its toll [on students].

Menon : Can we expect subsections in XAT also?
RAKESH KUMAR : XAT is not as uncertain as CAT. But going by the trend, please be ready for the worst.

garimadelhi : I scored 56. Is it okay?
RAKESH KUMAR : If you have the sectional cutoffs, your chances are good.

RAKESH KUMAR : Cutoffs for DI/DS: 14. Quant:16. Verbal Ability: 21.

Dilip : What would be the expected cutoff in Verbal/RC in the worst case?
RAKESH KUMAR : Worst case: 18-21.

rajiv :  When should one start preparing for GD/PI ideally?
RAKESH KUMAR : Immediately after CAT, ie Now.

rajiv : If I start concentrating on GD/PI now, will it affect my prepartion for other exams like SNAP, XAT, etc?
RAKESH KUMAR : Along with your CAT preparation, you have to be prepared for SNAP and XAT. But if you fail in GD/PI, it's back to square one for you.

rajat : What would be the cutoff for FORE and IMI?

garimadelhi : What would be your tips for GD?

Nimish : I have scored 46 and have one year's work experience. Is it advisable to apply for NITIE or SP JAIN?
RAKESH KUMAR : It is because SP Jain has a lot of other parameters apart from the CAT score.

Amogh : How can I start preparing for GD/PI?
RAKESH KUMAR : Start working on your content and communication skills.

shruti : I have fared well in VA and DI, but lost miserably in Quant -- a total of 30+. Where can I apply?
RAKESH KUMAR : Schools like ITM should be the best bet for you.

rajiv : How is GK important for other B-school examinations?
RAKESH KUMAR : GK plays an important role in IIFT and XAT.

lola : What are the parameters for getting through to SP Jain?
RAKESH KUMAR : Your CAT score, work experience, career goals, the way you have answered questions in the SP Jain application form and interviews.

rajiv : What type of GK should we look out for?
RAKESH KUMAR : TOPEDGE is the most comprehensive package for GK.

veer : I have scored 41 and have two years of work experience. Can I expect a call from IMT, TAPMI or IMI, FORE, SDM or IMD?
RAKESH KUMAR : You have high chances for getting called by SDM. Let's hope for the best for the rest.

amit : I believe I will score 56+. What are my prospects?
RAKESH KUMAR : With proper sectional cutoffs, your chances are good.

shruti : How is MAT compared to CAT? Is Quant easier or toughter?
RAKESH KUMAR : Quant in MAT is much easier compared to that of CAT because of the absence of any surprises.

rajiv : What kind of questions can be asked in PI? Where should I look for to prepare for GD/PI?
RAKESH KUMAR : Triumph is a good package for GD/PI.

Menon : What kind of questions can we expect for the examinations of the different institutes.
RAKESH KUMAR : Apart from CAT and XAT, most of the tests like CET and MAT have usually direct questions for Quant.

hardik : What would be the cutoff for SP Jain?

allies : I have scored 38 and have two years of work experience. Which institutions should I apply to?
RAKESH KUMAR : 38 is a low score. You can aim for the B-rung B-Schools like ITM.

rajas : I have scored around 52, clearing all the sections as per your cutoffs. Can I get a call from any of the IIMs?
RAKESH KUMAR : 52 is a bit low for IIMs. All the best, though.

amit : Do IIMs require [their students to have] work experience?
RAKESH KUMAR : The initial CAT cutoff will fetch you a call. IIMs have a proper mix of freshers and experienced professionals.

Harish : I have 14 years of experience in Software Development. I did not prepare for CAT, but have good aptitude. So I took the test. I am not very serious about going to IIMs, but I am curious to know what the cutoff for a guy like me would be.
RAKESH KUMAR : The initial cutoff is based on your CAT score. At this stage, work experience will not play a vital role.

sana : I am in a dilemma. Which field should I choose after I enroll in a regular MBA programme?
RAKESH KUMAR : The first-year programme in most B-schools is common. This will help you make up your mind. Also, it [the field you choose] depends on your interest.

allies : Does MICA look for a high VA score?
RAKESH KUMAR : You should have a proper cutoff, though.

nagasatish : I have calculated my total score at 29 to 31. DI: 6, Quant: 11,VA: 16. What would my percentile be, and which institutes can I apply to?
RAKESH KUMAR : Your percentile can be 65 to 70. You can select low-rung B-Schools. All the best.

Harish : Which is better? IIMs or ISB, for people with 10-plus years work experience? Which has more lateral placements?
RAKESH KUMAR : IIM-A has started its one-year executive programme. ISB is a different galaxy altogether.

Richa : Will I get a call with a score of 48?
RAKESH KUMAR : Please visit to find out the institutes which will call you.

Aashish : I expect to score 61 and above -- Quant: 18, Verbal: 25, DI: 18. Can I get a call from IIMs?
RAKESH KUMAR : Quant has a potential to jeopardise your being called. Everything else is awesome.

ghetto : How good is MDI versus SP Jain and NITIE?
RAKESH KUMAR : All three are in the same league with almost comparable rankings.

krishnakanth : I have calculated a score of 59. Any chance of being called by IIMs? I have cleared the individual cutoffs.
RAKESH KUMAR : Yes, you do stand a chance.

shan : I am geting a score of about 38. I have two years of work experience. Can I apply to SP Jain?
RAKESH KUMAR : As I mentioned earlier, SP Jain has other criteria as well. Please visit its web site.

PAYALJAIN : I have been working for an MNC for one-and-a-half years. I have scored 39.5 in CAT. Can I expect a call from MDI for its new HR programme?
RAKESH KUMAR : Your score is low. If you are lucky, a call from them might be on the cards.

Rohan : My scores are: Quant - 16. DI - 13.33. Verbal - 22.67. Total - 52. Can I expect a call from the IIMs?
RAKESH KUMAR : Your chances are low. Let's hope for the best.

RRaja : What's the negative marking percentage for each question?
RAKESH KUMAR : 25% of the question weightage. Successive negative marking may also be applicable.

saurabhjha : I have been working at a leading pharmaceutical company in Hyderabad, for 18 months. I have scored 55 -- Quant: 16, DI: 20, Eng: 19. Can I expect a call?
RAKESH KUMAR : Maybe, yes. Verbal could create some problems for you.

ritesh : My scores are: Verbal - 24, Quant - 20, DI - 27 (after calculating with 1/3 negative marking. My accuracy is not very high. Can I get a call?
RAKESH KUMAR : Chances are high. Pray for a non-successive negative marking.

rajats : I have got 35 -- 21 in VA, 9 in DI, 5 in Quant. Which institutes should I look at?
RAKESH KUMAR : Low-rung B-Schools would be a good bet.

surajeet : What would be a fair attempt for Quant?
RAKESH KUMAR : An ideal attempt would be 20 to 22, with an 85 to 90% accuracy.

PAYALJAIN : With a total score of 39.5, and 1.5 years of work experience and a good academic record, what are my chances for getting into SP Jain?
RAKESH KUMAR : Bleak, but it's worth a try.

RRaja : What is 'successive negative marking'?
RAKESH KUMAR : Beyond a certain point, your negative marking per question will be directly proportionat to the number of incorrect questions.

parul : If I get 44 without clearing my cutoffs, can I expect a call from UBS?
RAKESH KUMAR : You have a 50-50 chance.

surajeet : Which section would be the key holder for selection?
RAKESH KUMAR : You have to qualify for the cutoffs to get a call from IIMs.

veiloffright : I have a net score of 27 with an accuracy of 90.8% What are my chances this year?
RAKESH KUMAR : Your accuracy is impeccable. But CAT also checks speed. All the best.

hihihi : Is the Indian Institute of Finance at Delhi good? How much would be the average salary after passing out there?
RAKESH KUMAR : It is an just an average institute. Placements are not 100%

pravin : Does experience have priority over freshers as far as GD/PI is concerned?
RAKESH KUMAR : At some institutes like SPJ, yes. But most of the institutes don't specify this. According to our experts, it does have a weightage.

shan : My net score of 38 coupled with two years of experience -- academics over 80%; accuracy at 85% -- what is the best bet?
RAKESH KUMAR : If you are intersted in marketing, apply to NIRMA. Otherwise, institutes like LBSIM are good.

Gan : I am 35 years old, a cost accountant (ICWA) with 12 years of experience. Can I attempt CAT?
RAKESH KUMAR : IIMs do not specify any age limit. But be sure about the type of platform you want after MBA.

suchi : Can you please tell me some common GDs?
RAKESH KUMAR : Role Plays, Case Studies, Normal. The last is divided into Argumentative, Factual, Abstract.

pravin : Are IIMs intersted in which questions are answered or just in sectional cutoffs?
RAKESH KUMAR : Sectional cutoffs are important for IIMs.

swami : I attempted 109 questions and got 88 correct. What are my chances?
RAKESH KUMAR : Send us a box of sweets! See you at IIM-A!

sangeetha : I work in Chennai. I scored 39.33. My academic score is 85%, and I have been involved in lots of extra-curricular activites. Should I apply to SP Jain? How good is SDM for marketing placements?
RAKESH KUMAR : SDM is just an average institute with average marketing placements.

ashraf : Could you please explain the different stages of the personal interview? What questions could be asked?
RAKESH KUMAR : For an interview, you should have: 1. Self-awareness. 2. Clarity of goals. 3. Personality traits. 4. Academics.

ashu : I scored 45 at CAT and have eights years of expereince. Any chance for an IIM call?
RAKESH KUMAR : Chances are low. Let's hope for the best.

atulmathur : I got 45 marks (23 in EU, 14 in Math, 8 in DI). Do I stand a chance for an IIM-C course or at MDI, SP Jain or NITIE?
RAKESH KUMAR : Let's hope for the best. They test you on graduate level math in the second round.

ram : This not related to CAT. How good is ICFAI, Hyderabad?
RAKESH KUMAR : Impeccable in finance.

nilesh : If you have performed well in English and less in Math, what are the chances?
RAKESH KUMAR : It all depends on your score.

veiloffright : With three years of work experience and a score of 27 with a 90.8% accuracy level, what are my chances with the top 50 institutes in India?
RAKESH KUMAR : Look out to apply to institutes between 35 and 50. All the best!

dulu : I am a software professional and will completing two years of experience for the next CAT examination. When is the best time to start preparing? I am into core software development.
RAKESH KUMAR : You should prepare 8 to 10 months before the exam.

kanwal : At what score can we expect an IIM call?

ashu : There is a LOT of difference between the solutions posted to the CAT questions between Top Careers and You, TIME and IMS. Especially in Verbal. This has created a lot of confusion. Why so much subjectivity?
RAKESH KUMAR : Different experts have a different perspective to solve questions. But two or three players are doing a very good job.

shriniv : Is ISB better than IIM-A? If it is, wouldn't it be worth trying there rather than IIM-A?
RAKESH KUMAR : It's like asking who is better: Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan!

hussaino : I am third year engineering student. I plan to appear next year for CAT. When and how should I start preparing?
RAKESH KUMAR : Start now.

kutreya : I have scored 31/28.66/23. Any chance of getting called from IIM-A?
RAKESH KUMAR : Very high chances!

sdutta : How is TAPMI as an Institute. Which stream is best there?
RAKESH KUMAR : TAPMI is among the top 15 B-Schools.

RAKESH KUMAR : It was great talking to you. All the best to you and your future!

CAT on!

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