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Low CAT score? Here's what to do

Last updated on: February 24, 2011 16:04 IST

Low CAT score? Here's what to do

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Kamlesh Sajnani

The IIMs have released the CAT scores. Other good MBA institutes have also begun releasing their test score results. We hope that as an MBA aspirant you have done well in these tests. However, in case you haven't got the score you hoped for, here is a plan of action you can follow.

Retake the CAT next year and improve your performance.

There are many students who believe it is important that they do not compromise on the kind of B-School they get into. So, they improve their scores by taking entrance examinations like CAT, XAT, FMS, IIFT, SNAP one more time. Many students in the past have made multiple attempts before they have finally succeeded and got into the best schools.

If you have decided to give another shot to the CAT, do remember that the effort required will definitely reduce. In our many years of guiding students, we have had examples of students who have not given up, and have made it to the IIMs.

To take up this challenge, the first thing you have to do is to keep in touch with your preparatory material and maintain fundamental competency. Secondly, what you need is practice tests: 3 months prior to the exam.

The author is Managing Director, IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd.


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Explore other options in India for 2011 admission itself

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If you wish to do an MBA this year itself and are searching for more options in India you can consider applying to B-Schools whose application deadlines are still open. However, it is important to map your individual profile based on the following factors to be able to take a decision on the ones you must finally select.

Your academic background

  • The college you are from;
  • The stream you are from;
  • The scores that you have received in 10th, 12th and in graduation
Your prior work experience

  • The company you are with;
  • The position and responsibility in your current organisation;
  • The duration of your work experience

Your aspirations

  • The reason you want to do an MBA;
  • The expectation you have from an MBA qualification
  • Your current score
  • Whether there are other options open to you compared to the institutes that you have currently applied to;
  • Whether you believe that you can improve your performance.

So if you decide to give it another shot, the effort you will need to invest the second time will definitely reduce.


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Explore MBA or MS options abroad

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With the opening up of economies, multinational organisations are faced with a growing requirement for transnational managerial resources. This has led general education, as well as management education specifically, to transgress borders.

Management education aspirants now have a viable alternative to the perpetual/perennial shortage of seats at the IIMs and other premier B-Schools in India. Securing/getting an international MBA is an alternative one should definitely consider as a back-up option that is very possible.

Long gone are the obstacles, myths that used to be associated with international education. Today, the only requisites are the willingness to put in the effort, and a keen hunger to excel.

Some of the main reasons why you might want to seek an international MBA degree are that you want:

  • To be a global resource and hence widen career scope
  • To get a better-quality education than was available in their own country
  • To avail better career opportunities
  • To broaden your international experience/exposure
  • To gain exposure to different cultures/approaches

If these reasons sound familiar, international education is a viable solution for you. And if you would like to explore international options for doing an MBA this year itself, you have a plethora of options to choose from for the August/September 2011 intake. These options include MBA, Master in Management and Specialist Master's Programmes.


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Review your choices

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Your choices can broadly be classified into the following categories, depending on your work experience at the time of application.

Category 1
Top 100 Global MBA Programmes: These programmes typically require applicants to showcase at least two years of full-time work experience ranging from two to seven years. These programmes ensure that students get placed in middle management positions in multinational organisations. The average age that the Top 100 Global MBA programme admits is 27-30 years.

Category 2
Young Managers' Programmes/ Top Master's Programmes in Management Programmes: These programmes are meant for freshers and recent graduates (maximum of two years of work experience) who want to develop a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of business required for a global career in finance, marketing, consulting, and general management.

Surprisingly, the cost of these programmes is very similar to that of the fees in most Indian management programmes, and the job placements linked to these programmes are within some of the 200 best global organisations.

To know more about any of the options or for further support and guidance, I recommend that you visit expert counsellors who can guide you further.


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