CAT 2015 results are scheduled to be announced in the second week of January. And the rumours have it that they may be out any time now. I know of some students who have eternally been refreshing the iimcat.ac.in website since 4th January – the scheduled downtime on the official CAT website only added to the anxiety of test-takers.
While it is good to know what the results have in store for you, it is equally important to know what steps are you supposed to take subsequent to the announcement of the results.
Before the CAT results are out – Get Set to take it on!!
The CAT results will be out soon!! The regular queries that I get after the CAT results every year are: “Are my scores good or bad? Will I get GD-PI calls from IIMs and other B-Schools I have applied to? Where else should I apply now?
Most test-takers usually get all but anxious about their CAT results, but they have no clue as to how to evaluate whether the results are good or bad for them. This is primarily because they forget to do one important thing before the results are out: make a list of B-Schools that are Best-Fit to your profile, career goals and aspiration. Once you have such a pre-decided list, if your score is good enough to get you a call from one or more of your Best-Fit schools, then it’s good, else it isn’t. So, how do you identify if a B-School is Best-fit for you or not? For every B-School, make an objective assessment of the following 2 important parameters:
- Can the B-School deliver what you need? Draw up a list of expectations that you have from a B-School – and I am not just talking about reputation, rankings, faculty, infrastructure, alumni network and placement statistics (average salary). You need to be clear about: What type of a job or role are you looking at post an MBA? Are you looking for a specific specialization? Which is the industry that you would want to work in? Which are your dream companies? Go through the placement reports of a B-School, talk to/interact with past students and visit the B-School (whenever in doubt) to know whether the B-School can meet your expectations.
- Do you have what the B-School is looking for? Understand what B-Schools look for in their prospective candidates.
What’s a good Score? Find out the typical scores (cut-offs) that you need to even qualify for a chance in the second stage of the selection process. Know whether there are sectional cutoffs or not – just in case, you miss out on a section or two.
- For the IIMs, be patient and wait for the calls to be released by each of the institutes rather than getting into a prediction game. The parameters of selection are so widely varying & opaque (in some cases) that it is highly improbable for someone to accurately predict if you could get a call from a particular IIM or not. Every year there are innumerable cases of students with very high percentiles getting no calls and those with percentiles in the lower 90s getting through. So, keep it simple – do not stress yourself on whether or not you will get the calls from the IIMs.
- For the other top B-Schools that accept CAT scores, find below an indicative list with overall percentile cut-offs(note that the cutoffs vary year to year – however are indicative enough to help you decide whether to apply or not). **The Cut-offs provided above are Indicative based on data available on the websites of the respective B-Schools or based on the data provided by our past successful students. For a more comprehensive list, visit B-School Cut-offs.
Typical profiles that make it to a particular B-School: Know the weightage given for academics, work experience and extra-curricular achievements – go through their selection criteria as stated on their respective websites.Also look at the batch profile reports of previous years on the websites of respective B-Schools – this should give you a fair idea about your chances of making it to that B-School.
So, if a particular B-School can deliver your expected outcomes and you have all the necessary qualities they are looking for, then the B-School is best-fit for you.
Based on this assessment, draw up a list of B-Schools that are best-fit for you and that you should therefore be applying to. While it’s good for everyone to harbor IIM Ahmedabad dreams, it is also necessary to make a realistic assessment of one’s own profile while making this list. Ensure that you have this list read
Draw up a chart with application deadlines for each of the schools in your list – hopefully you have already applied to those colleges which have closed their applications already. And for those with deadlines after the CAT results – ensure that you apply when you get the results and if you have a favorable score. Do a similar exercise for B-Schools accepting scores of other tests like XAT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT and CET – if they are best-fit for you.
In the next blog, I will present you with a flow-chart that should guide your decision-making & actions once the CAT 2015 results are out.
All the best for CAT 2015 results!!